The Wonders of Sicily - Explore the Spectacular History, Arts and the Sicilians

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"For over twenty-five centuries we’ve been bearing the weight of superb and heterogeneous civilisations, all from outside, none made by ourselves, none that we could call our own. We’re as white as you are, Chevalley, and as the Queen of England; and yet for two thousand five hundred years we’ve been a colony. I don’t say that in complaint; it’s our fault. But even so we’re worn out and exhausted."
Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa: The Leopard







John Julius Norwich - Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History

John Julius Norwich: "Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History", February 2016 (Paul Mellon Lecture)







Sicilian Sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List

  • Agrigento: Archaeological Area of Agrigento (UNESCO)
  • Aeolian Islands: Isole Eolie. The group consists of seven islands (Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea) and five small islets (Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Nera, Bottaro and Lisca Bianca) in the vicinity of Panarea. (UNESCO)
  • Caltagirone (UNESCO)
  • Catania (UNESCO)
  • Cefalù Cathedral
  • Militello Val di Catania (UNESCO)
  • Modica (UNESCO)
  • Monreale Cathedral
  • Mount Etna (UNESCO)
  • Noto (UNESCO)
  • Palermo: Palazzo dei Normanni (The Norman Palace)
  • Palermo: Cappella Palatina (The Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace)
  • Palermo: Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti
  • Palermo: Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (also known as the Martorana)
  • Palermo: Church of San Cataldo
  • Palermo: Cathedral of Palermo
  • Palermo: The Zisa Palace (La Zisa)
  • Palermo: The Cuba Palace (La Cuba)
  • Palazzolo Acreide (UNESCO)
  • Ragusa (UNESCO)
  • Scicli (UNESCO)
  • Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (UNESCO)







Facts about Sicily

  • Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean.
  • Sicily is the largest region in Italy.
  • The terrain in Sicily is hilly. Plains and plateaus make up only 14% of the total land area.
  • It is hard to believe for anyone having visited Sicily that the island once was well wooded, even throughout the Middle Ages. It it not clear when the forests disappeared, but by the 17th century, there was not enough timber for local consumption.
  • The Nobel Prize winner Luigi Pirandello was born near Agrigento.
  • Boccaccio's Decameron Fifth Day - Novel VI takes place in the Cuba, Palermo (commissioned in 1180 by William II)
  • Lemons, oranges, pistachio and sugar cane were brought to Sicily by the Arabs.













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