The island of Sicily is quickly becoming a popular holiday destination. Filled with breath-taking buildings, mesmerising scenery and amazing local delicacies, it’s no wonder that many return to the peaceful isle year on year.
But how much do you know about Sicily? Find out 10 fascinating facts about this historical location here:
Did you know that around 70% of people living in Sicily speak Sicilian, and not Italian? It may surprise you to know that Sicilian is so different to Italian that it could be a language in its own right. Although it is referred to as a dialect, many Sicilians beg to differ.
Surprising to some, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. With an astonishing 600 miles of coastline, it takes an estimated 3½ hours to cross the main island from East to West, and 2½ hours to cross from North to South. This means that there are plenty of mesmerising walks to be taken, spending the days exploring the wealth of natural beauty at your own pace.
Sicily homes Stromboli and Etna, which are two of Italy’s three active volcanoes. The third volcano is Vesuvius, which is situated near Naples. Mt Etna is the tallest volcano in Europe, with a circumference of 87 miles. This makes it around two and a half times the height of Vesuvius, which is the next largest.
That’s right! People from Sicily consider themselves Sicilians first and Italians second. Although Sicily is a part of Italy, the region has its own culture, traditions and dialect. Due to this, Sicilians are incredibly proud of their heritage.
Italy is a country famous for many things: romance, religion, food, and wine. However, Sicily has its own takes on these characteristics; Sicilian wines are delicious and popular throughout the world. Whilst in Sicily, you must try sfincione, which is the Sicilian form of pizza – bellissimo!
Throughout its intriguing and diverse history, Sicily has become a hugely popular and fascinating location to explore. The Sicily we know today is the outcome of a number of cultures coming together, including Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, French, German, Italian and Spanish civilisations.
Sicily’s varied landscape is made up of a balance of beautiful flat stretches and more challenging steep hills. This makes the terrain perfect for avid cyclists, and with the stunning views to embrace, the island is known to many as one of the most perfect locations to test out a bicycle. In addition, the number of beaches with crystal-clear waters are perfect for some time to relax and re-energise after a long day’s cycle.
Opera is loved by many due to its powerful and intoxicating sound. Sicily homes Italy’s largest and Europe’s third largest Opera House, the Teatro Massimo. Built in Palermo in 1897, it was dedicated to King Victor Emanuel II. Renowned for its perfect acoustics, the Teatro Massimo is also known for featuring in the final scenes in The Godfather Part III.
A famous and hugely popular form of poetry, the Sonnet, first originated in Sicily. Although heavily associated with William Shakespeare in modern times, sonnets were actually invented in the early 13th century by Giacomo da Lentini, a poet from the Sicilian School of Poetry. They were made famous across the world in the 14th century by poets such as Petrarch and Dante Alighieri.
Did you know the island of Sicily isn’t just surrounded by one sea, but three? These three different seas are the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Ionian Sea. This fact has made Sicily a popular destination of interest for many civilisations over the centuries, in both Europe and Northern Africa.
Sicily is a beautiful island with an incredible history waiting for you to explore. Did you know some of these facts? At Freelance Villas , we have a variety of Sicily Villas with Pools in the best locations including Fontaine Biance, Noto, Taormina & Syracuse, allowing you to see the beauty Sicily offers.