3 Top Things You Need To Know About Sicily

Lipari - Photo © Sossio
Lipari – Photo © Sossio

There are many reasons why villas in Italy located on the lovely island of Sicily are the perfect holiday getaway. Here are just three of those reasons.

When planning a trip to Italy, choosing a particular region to visit can be difficult. After all, every region (every town, in fact) has its own special attractions – from the sparkling coast lands of Amalfi and the vineyards of Tuscany to the masserias of Puglia. However, if you’re looking for a destination truly unlike any you’ll find in the rest of the country, you should consider booking in to one of the many charming villas villas in Italy on the island of Sicily. Here are some reasons why.

Fascinating and Diverse

When describing the island, one of the first things people may tell you is that it’s not like the rest of the country. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean, it has evolved in vastly different ways from the mainland, both topographically and culturally. Knowing how to speak schoolbook Italian, for example, may not be as useful as you may think, as the region has its own hybrid dialect (a remnant of the various ancient conquerors who have left their mark, sometimes literally, on the island) that, in itself, has variations depending on the towns, many of which are multi-ethnic.

Long-ago influxes from Normandy, Spain, Moorish North Africa, Greece, Phoenicia, and Rome, among others, have created an incredibly rich cultural heritage that is evident not only in the language, but in the customs, traditions, art, and architecture. This is evident from the largest ancient temples (such as those in the Agrigento) to the smallest villas in Italy here – and even in the lemon and orange groves, which were established by the island’s Arabic invaders.

Amazing Topography

The largest island in Italy and in the Mediterranean, Sicily boasts a landscape that is extremely varied and complex. Actually an archipelago rather than an individual island, it boasts four massive mountain ranges. The Hyblaean Mountains in the southeast houses the 9,100 acres of Pantalica Nature Reserve, which counts among its treasures the largest stone necropolis in Europe, with over 5,000 tombs carved into limestone cliffs. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. There is also a number of volcanoes (including Mount Etna, the highest at 3,370 meters and still very much active), minor islands, sparkling rivers, and miles and miles of coastlands. Further inland are woodlands and rolling hills, as well as flatlands with vineyards, farmlands, and fruit groves, many of which boast charming villas. In Italy, the land itself is as fascinating as its people, and nowhere is this truer than Sicily.

A Gastronomic Heaven

Ask people what they remember best about Sicily and chances are they’ll say ‘the food’. Sicily is truly a gastronomic heaven, boasting specialties both savoury and sweet. The secret, perhaps, is that Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of cuisines from many cultures: Greek, Roman, Norman, Arabic, Phoenician, Spanish, Moorish (even their gelato is often made with exotic flavours).

In Sicilian cooking, distinctive spices and flavours are paired with the belief in cooking with love, using the best and freshest ingredients. When asked the key to being a good cook, it isn’t uncommon to hear a Sicilian chef say ‘you must cook from the heart!’

It would be near impossible to name just one ‘signature’ Sicilian dish, but Sfincione and caponata alla Siciliana are two dishes you definitely need to sample while staying in one of the villas in Italy on the island. (Every household boasts they have the best recipe.) As a plus, Sicilian cuisine is considered to be very healthy. In fact, Sicily is known to be one of the birthplaces of the Mediterranean DietFeature Articles, which has been scientifically proven to have major health benefits.

About the Author

Lisa Jeeves

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