Sicily

Overview

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Siciliana (Sicilian Region). Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean. It… [Read more]

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List of sights

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Agrigento (1)
Agrigento (1)

Agrigento

Coordinates: 37° 17′ 27″ N, 13° 35′ 10″ E

Agrigento was founded on a plateau overlooking the sea, with two nearby rivers, the Hypsas and the Akragas, and a ridge to the north offering a degree of natural fortification. Its establishment took place around 582-580 BC and is… [Read more]

Catania (1)
Catania (1)

Catania

Coordinates: 37° 30′ 8″ N, 15° 5′ 15″ E

Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. Catania is known for its seismic history, having been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1169, another in 1693, and… [Read more]

Enna (1)
Enna (1)

Enna

Coordinates: 37° 34′ 1″ N, 14° 16′ 57″ E

Enna is situated near the centre of the island. The peculiar situation of Enna is described by several ancient authors, and is indeed one of the most remarkable in Sicily. The ancient city was placed on the level summit of a gigantic… [Read more]

Erice (1)
Erice (1)

Erice

Coordinates: 38° 2′ 15″ N, 12° 35′ 10″ E

Erice is located on top of Mount Erice, at around 750 m above sea level, overlooking the city of Trapani, the low western coast towards Marsala, the dramatic Punta del Saraceno and Capo san Vito to the north-east, and the Aegadian[Read more]

Monreale (1)
Monreale (1)

Monreale

Coordinates: 38° 4′ 54″ N, 13° 17′ 29″ E

Monreale is a town in the province of Palermo, in Sicily, on the slope of Monte Caputo, overlooking the very fertile valley called “La Conca d’oro” (“The Golden Shell”), famed for its orange, olive and almond trees, the produce of which… [Read more]

Palermo (1)
Palermo (1)

Palermo

Coordinates: 38° 6′ 51″ N, 13° 21′ 23″ E

Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city was founded by the Phoenicians, but named by the Ancient Greeks as Panormus meaning “always fit for landing… [Read more]

Piazza Armerina (1)
Piazza Armerina (1)

Piazza Armerina

Coordinates: 37° 21′ 54″ N, 14° 20′ 2″ E

Piazza Armerina is an Italian town in the province of Enna. The town is famous chiefly for its Roman mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale, about 3 km to the south-west. It has a range of significant architecture dating from medieval… [Read more]

Taormina (1)
Taormina (1)

Taormina

Coordinates: 37° 51′ 9″ N, 15° 17′ 32″ E

Taormina is a small town on the east coast of the island of Sicily, in the Province of Messina, about midway between Messina and Catania. The present town of Taormina occupies the ancient site, on a lofty hill which forms the last… [Read more]

Description

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Siciliana (Sicilian Region). Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean. It extends from the tip of the Apennine peninsula, from which it is separated only by the narrow Strait of Messina, towards the North African coast. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, which is at 3,320 m the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.

The earliest archaeological evidence of human dwelling on the island dates from as early as 8000 BC. At around 750 BC, Sicily was host to a number of Phoenician and Greek colonies and for the next 600 years it was the site of the Greek-Punic and Roman-Punic wars, which ended with the Roman destruction of Carthage. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily often changed hands, and during the early Middle Ages it was ruled in turn by the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans. Later on, the Kingdom of Sicily lasted between 1130 and 1816, first subordinated to the crowns of Aragon, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and finally unified under the Bourbons with Naples, as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Following the Expedition of the Thousand, a Giuseppe Garibaldi-led revolt during the Italian Unification process and a plebiscite, it became part of Italy in 1860. After the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region.

It also holds importance for archaeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte.

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Sicily

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