Sicilia, apart from being the southernmost region, is also the biggest region of Italy and the biggest island of the Mediterranean, and is touched by three seas: the Ionio to the east, Tirreno to the North and the Mar di Sicilia to the south. The territory is mostly made of hills, and in a small part mountainous.
Mount Etna (3323 metres), is a very active volcano, and it dominates the north-eastern part of the island and is the highest point in the region.
Part of the territory are the following groups of islands: Eolie, le Egadi, Pelagie, Pantelleria and Ustica.
Located between Europe and Africa, Sicilia has witnessed the growth of many civilations of the ancient world. The various conquerors always left a different cultural heritage, which gave birth to a mix of languages, habits, and traditions.
Initially inhabited by the Micenei, in the III millennium B.C. the island was occupied by the Sicani, and from the IX century B.C by the Phoenicians.
In 735 B.C, attracted by the island's beauty, the Greeks settled there founding different colonies. The merchants coming from Eubea built their homes in Nasso, Lentini and Catania. Since then, the region was known as Trinacria, which means three points.
In the III century B.C the Greek civilization came in touch with the Roman one, surrendering to it after the third Punic war. From the V century, the Byzantine dominion began, forcing the region to follow a dictatorial military regime, which caused many revolutions, which led to the conquest of the island by the Arabs in 902, preventing further Byzantine conquers and allowing economical and cultural growth.
In 1061 the Normans invaded the region. The Arab resistance lasted 30 years, and Federico II ruled until 1250.
A Spanish domination followed, which lasted until 1713 when the Island was given to Vittorio Amedeo di Savoia, but then given back to Spain in 1718. The region entered the Kingdom of Italy only in 1848.
Today, Sicilia counts on its extracting industry, thanks to its rich mines, salt production and oil wells.
The region has recently started to re evaluate its beauties, trying to develop touristic economy which is becoming the main source of income for the Island.
Sicilia in fact proposes many differnt landscapes, from corn fields to luxurious gardens, or the volcanous areas to the big cities.
Many archeological zones are present, from the Valle dei Templi di Agrigento to the temples of Selinunte or the Greek theatre of Taormina.
The important landmarks to visit in Palermo are the Palazzo Reale, with its splendid Palatine chapel, the Duomo, the Martorana, Palazzo Abatellis with the Galleria Regionale di Sicilia and the Parco della Favorita.