Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the most diverse region inItaly, a land of gods and natural forces and a place of ancient cultures.
Catania, in the northeast of the island, is Sicily's second largest city that has been strongly influenced by earthquakes and also the volcanic activity of Mount Etna. It is believed that Greek settlers from Chalkidi founded it and some centuries later, it was conquered by the Romans and later, the Arabs brought the city a new wave of prosperity.
Noto is a charming town with around 20,000 inhabitants. It is one of the most beautiful enclosed Baroque towns in Sicily. However, many of Noto's historic buildings have been neglected for many years and are in somewhat less than perfect condition. The Cathedrale Di San Nicolo also fell into disrepair as a result of continued neglect and this caused both its dome and part of its roof to collapse in 1996.
A proud and mighty volcano rises above eastern Sicily. Mount Etna, the largest volcano in Europe, is the undisputed ruler of this fascinating Mediterranean island. The snow on the summit region of Etna obscures the fact that deep within the volcano is an unimaginable natural furnace with a temperature of around 1,000 degrees Celsius.
Marsala was given its name by the Arabs who called it 'Marsal-Allah', 'God's Harbor'. The monumental city gate is a reminder of the landing of Giuseppe Garibaldis on the 8th of March, 1860.
In the mountain area close to Palermo, another wonderful city featured on our journey, is the picturesque town of Monreale, a townscape that for more than 800 years, has been dominated by a single building. Monreale Cathedral was built due to a struggle for power between the Bishop of Palermo and the Norman King, William.
Sicily is exquisite. An ancient island of both discovery and pleasure.