It is with pride we proclaim that Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, but it is not the size that matters. There are a few smaller island that are part of the autonomous region Regione Siciliana, which is just Italian for Region of Sicily or Sicilian Region. Sicily is an absolutely beautiful and very diverse island. Sicily has always been at the crossroads of Africa and Europe.
Sicily contains beautiful seaside resorts, stunning mountain sceneries as well as bustling city live in Palermo and Messina and then of course there is the Etna. Art, culture, beautiful sceneries, outdoor activities, relaxation, a pleasant climate, kind people and great food; Sicily has it all.
A short history of Sicily
One has found archaeological evidence of human dwelling on Sicily that dates back as early as 12,000 BC. Sicily was a colonising power between the 8th century and 2nd century BC having Phoenician and Greek colonies and engaging in fierce warfare. Since the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century CE Sicily became a colony of different foreign powers like the Vandals, the Byzantine Empire, the Arabs, Spanish and the House of Habsburg.
During Italy’s unification process, which in Italy is known as Risorgimento, meaning Resurgence or revival, Sicily became part of Italy in 1860 and after a referendum in 1946 Sicily was granted special status as an autonomous region. After the Second World War Sicily fell into great decline and a special fund supported the island’s economy improving Sicily’s infrastructure.
Despite these investments many people left the island to settle in other parts of Italy, Europe and the world. Although unemployment is still high it is no longer in double digit territory like it used to be in the 1990s. Sicily has a relatively large agricultural sector and most income is derived from tourism and financial services.
Mount Etna and fabulous food
We mentioned her before; the Etna is a prominent landmark on the island. At a height of more than 3,300m or 10,900ft Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe and the tallest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Besides being the tallest active volcano in Europe Etna is one of the most active volcanos in the world.
Volcanic soil is known to be very fertile, so you can find plenty of vineyards, orchards and other forms of agriculture on and around Mount Etna. Fertile soil helped by a pleasant climate produces one of the best foods in Europe if not the world. Sicily produces food from excellent quality like citrus fruits – citrons, oranges and lemons- tomatoes, olives, artichokes, almonds, grapes, cheese and pistachio nuts among many other products.
Sicily is the third largest wine producer in Italy and the region is mainly known for fortified Marsala wines. In the last few decades Sicilian wine has improved significantly as wine makers have been experimenting with different varietals and decent marketing campaigns made Sicilian wines better known outside Italy.
Check out wine selection on our menu page.
Since Sicily is an island you can imagine that they do a lot of fishing. The island has big fisheries producing tuna, swordfish, sardine and anchovies.