Destinations / Italy / Sicily
Looking for all the world as if Italy had kicked it unceremoniously into the sea, Sicily sits almost touching the toe of the mainland. The Italian mainland is separated by the Straits of Messina, only 3 km away. With such a strategic position in the Mediterranean, it is little wonder it was plundered, pillaged and conquered over the years.
Ruled by Europeans, Africans and Asians, the island is historically cosmopolitan, to say the least. Holidays to Sicily are a melting pot of cultures, teeming with art and archaeological treasures, making it a colourful and deeply fascinating destination. Some beautiful baroque architecture can stand side by side with less attractive modern influences. But head to the coast where pretty villages slope to the sea; where almond trees and orange and lemon groves scent the air and where you dip a toe in the sea and you are captivated for ever by the magic of this land.
One cannot ignore the long time struggle with Mafia-led corruption and feel curious about it, but a holiday to Sicily is far more about natural beauty, dramatic scenery, great weather and wonderful cuisine. Everywhere, the deep pride of the Sicilians is palpable and their genuine hospitality is heartwarming. Holidays to Sicily must include Mt Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world where incredible sights of spewing smoke plumes can frequently be spotted.
The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is hugely contrasting - by times rocky, coastal, lush, hilly, vibrant and dreamily sleepy, it can offer very diverse experiences. The bustling resorts of Taormina, Giardini Naxos and Letojanni are all located on the east side of the island and offer great holiday amenities. One of Sicily's best welcome phrases is: "Come visit our sunny island. We've been expecting you for three thousand years!"
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