Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. It is one of the autonomous regions of Italy. The region has an overall area of 25,708 square kilometres and a population of five million. Palermo is the capital of Sicily, the provinces are: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani. Sicily’s closest neighbour is Calabria, 3 kl to the east across the straits of Messina. The wines of Mt Etna are the hot topic when discussing wines from Italy. For more information on the grapes of Sicily click here.
Sicily has a rich and blended culture, particularly in the arts, music, literature, food, wine and architecture. The Sicilian economy is largely based on agriculture, and in particular orange and lemon orchards. More recently international tourists have begun to value the natural beauty of the Sicilian countryside. Sicily is also home to many historic sites such as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the Greek theatre at Taomina and the Roman ruins at Siracusa. The great baroque cities of Ragusa, Modica and Noto are definitely worth a visit.
Throughout much of its history, Sicily has been a valuable prize, fought over by many warring nations, mainly due to its important position on the Mediterranean trade routes. Cicero described Siracusa as the greatest and most beautiful city of all Ancient Greece. Archimedes, one of the ancient world’s greatest mathematicians, was a native Sicilian, born in Siracusa.
Sicily is well known as the home of one of Europe’s most spectacular volcanoes. Mount Etna, rising to 3,320 metres, the tallest & most active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. It is located near Catania on the eastern side of the island. The Aeolian Islands, to the north-east of Sicily, include Stromboli which is currently active, and also Vulcano, Vulcanello and Lipari which are all dormant.
We first visited Sicily in 2007 and I can highly recommend the destination. So much to offer, so much to see . In 2019 we returned and the changes in the wine tourism industry are stunning. We have a new partner there and our Luxury wine tour is a must for the wine and food enthusiast.