Less effusive and more inscrutable than their mainland counterparts, Sicilians don’t conform to carefree Italian stereotypes. Life on the island has been too tough and embattled. Numerous civilisations have invaded, with the Greeks and Romans building temples and amphitheatres and the Normans, Arabs and Spanish leaving behind everything from cathedrals, to citrus fruits, chocolate and couscous. More recently, an earthquake in the 17th century saw the towns of the Noto Valley rebuilt in gorgeous late Baroque style. Sicily’s delights aren’t limited to the manmade though.
The football kicked by Italy’s boot, Sicily is so packed with ancient sites and architectural gems it could be accused of showing off. Only that’s not the Sicilian way.
Its natural landscapes range from rolling limestone hills and quiet bays, to the explosive peaks of Stromboli and Etna, while its fertile seas and fields produce the fresh goodies used in its unique cuisine and sensational street food.