Sources and recommended reading

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Especially recommended



  • Maria Giuffre: The Baroque Architecture of Sicily
  • Sicily Unpacked (DVD)
  • The Blue Guide Sicily
  • The Greek World (ed. G.P. Carratelli)
  • Sicily and the Sea (Allard Pierson Museum, 2015)
  • Donald Garstang: Giacomo Serpotta and the Stuccatori of Palermo 1560-1790 (hard to find)

Sicilian History and Culture



Guide Books on Sicily

  • Blue Guide Sicily (Ellen Grady)
  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Sicily
  • Lonely Planet Sicily (Travel Guide)
  • Rough Guide to Sicily (first choice for those interested in art and history)


The Sicilian Baroque

  • Anthony Blunt: Sicilian Baroque
  • Maria Giuffre: The Baroque Architecture of Sicily
  • Donald Garstang: Giacomo Serpotta and the Stuccatori of Palermo 1560-1790



  • Lisa Sciortino: The Cathedral of Monreale (2012)
  • The Cenobium Project
  • (link dead)

Life and food in Sicily / Italy

  • Giorgio Locatelli: Made in Sicily
  • Giorgio Locatelli: Made in Italy


The Normans and the Norman Conquest of Sicily etc.



  • John Julius Norwich: Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History
  • John Julius Norwich: The Normans in Sicily: The Normans in the South 1016-1130 and the Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194
  • Gordon S. Brown: The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily
  • Isabelle Dolezalek: Arabic Script on Christian Kings : Textile Inscriptions on Royal Garments from Norman Sicily


Muslim Sicily

See also: Conquest and Conversion in Medieval Muslim Sicily September 28, 2017 A talk by Alex Metcalfe, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Lancaster University, UK.


Recommended DVDs / Blurays

  • Sicily Unpacked (DVD)
    Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon and Michelin starred chef Giorgio Locatelli take us on a delightful journey around Sicily. Sharing a passion for all things Sicilian they make the perfect travel partners. They reveal how the layers of history have created a unique blend of art and architecture. As well as the pleasures of an intense and vibrant culture, they experience the sadness the island has come through and the strength of the Sicilian people as they rose up and challenged the Mafia. Together they document how the various conquering forces and the rich variety of different heritages have helped to shape both the food and the culture of Sicily.
  • The Star Maker (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1995)
  • Baarìa (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2009)
  • L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

The Star Maker

baroque architecture: the cathedral in Syracuse

Sicilian actress Tiziana Lodato made her debut as Beata in Giuseppe Tornatore's film The Star Maker (1995). Sergio Castellitto played the lead role.


Giuseppe Tornatore's hometown Bagheria was the setting for his epic of three generations. Baaría was released in 2009.


Most of Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura takes place in Sicily. Here a scene from Villa Palagonia, Bagheria.






Jeremy Dummett: Syracuse, City of Legends

Jeremy Dummett's Homepage




Jeremy Dummett: Palermo, City of Kings: The Heart of Sicily

Richard Wagner in Sicily

The famous composer Richard Wagner finished his last music drama, Parsifal, in Palermo, Sicily.



The Romans

  • Enzo Cammarata: The Roman Villa of Casale: Historical Facts and Curiosities (Edition 2013)
  • Giuseppe di Giovanni: Piazza Armerina: The Roman Villa of Casale (Edition 2014)



  • Jonathan Jones: The masterpiece that may never be seen again Jonathan Jones travels to Palermo in search of Caravaggio's lost nativity (The Guardian)


Interesting articles, blogs etc.



The Mafia

  • Jonathan Jones: The masterpiece that may never be seen again Jonathan Jones travels to Palermo in search of Caravaggio's lost nativity (The Guardian)


Important cities (Wikipedia)



Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travellers

Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travellers from Andy & Suzanne Edwards.

"Without Sicily, Italy leaves no image in the soul. Sicily is the key to everything." Goethe, Italian Journey

Rising up from the heart of the Mediterranean, Sicily has a rich and ancient history spanning over 2,000 years. A bounty prized by invaders from the Greeks, Romans and Vandals to the Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Sicily's violently beautiful landscapes are haunted by a vibrant mix of cultures and her soil has always been fertile ground for the literary and artistic imagination. This compelling guide uncovers the island's multi-faceted personality through those literary figures who have managed to get under her skin - from Pindar, Cicero and Aeschylus to Shakespeare and Cervantes; DH Lawrence, Coleridge and Oscar Wilde to Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Ezra Pound and Lawrence Durrell; as well as local writers who have defined the modern Italian novel - Giuseppe di Lampedusa and Leonardo Sciascia. Through their words and lives we witness the beauty, pain and power of the Sicilian cultural landscape and discover how the potent mix of influences on the island's society has been preserved forever in literature.


Luigi Pirandello






More sources and recommendations