Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and boasts a good 1500 kilometres of coastline. Nature seems to have blessed this land with all of its marvels: mountains, hills, and above all the sea, with its incredible colors, transparent waters, and beautiful deeps. And we must not forget the imposing volcanoes, symbols of the overwhelming exuberance of this incredibly alluring region. Its charm is further enriched by the precious archaeological remains that recount the island’s ancient origins.
Sicily is a crossroad of many civilizations and cultures, a magic land visited by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, each of whom left behind small or large fragments of their culture. To this very day one can admire the remains of these civilizations in the Greek temples, Roman mosaics, the splendid Arabo-Norman buildings, or savour the oriental atmosphere of the local markets scattered across the island. Many UNESCO World Heritage sites are found in Sicily: the villa of Casale di Piazza Armerina, the Archaeological site and rustic landscape of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the Aeolian Islands, the historic old town of Syracuse, the cemetery of Pantalica and the eight towns of the Val di Noto.
The land’s exuberance and heat influence its culinary treasures as well. To stimulate the appetite there is a row of antipastas, from arancini di riso (oranges in rice), to cazzilli, and crispeddi catanesi. The varieties of extra virgin olive oil, the succulent blood oranges and the sweet grapes of Canicattì, the tomatoes from Pachino and capers from Pantelleria, Indian figs and olives of Nocellara del Belice all exemplify the excellence of Sicilian gastronomy. And let us not forget some of the famous cheeses, like Ragusano and pecorino, or some of the flavorful sausages like the Sant’Angelo salami, or some of the fragrant products of the oven like pagnotta di Dittaino.
To wash it all down, there are the excellent Sicilian wines with their decisive and full bodied taste.