WHAT IS SICILY?
Sicily is the most magical, mythic, monster-plagued, and mistreated island in the Mediterranean, as well as staging ground of many of the foundation myths and stories of Western civilization. The so-called “Crossroads of the Mediterranean”, Sicily sits like a cork strategically plugging the center of the sea, so no island has been as stepped upon – no people in the Mediterranean have as many different ancestors written in their faces, their language, their customs, and their beliefs. Sicilian history is Mediterranean history.
Sicily was at the center of the dawn of Western civilization under Greeks, was trampled down by Romans and Byzantines, became the glory of the Mediterranean a second time under Arabs and Normans, ignited the Renaissance by passing ideas from the Arab world to mainland Italy; then was rebuilt and left to rot by the Spanish. Hers is an epic tale of heroes from Odysseus (Ulysses) to Garibaldi, Plato to Pirandello, Aeneas to Patton, Empedocles to Archimedes, Demeter to Giovanni Falcone, and monsters from Cyclops, Skylla, and Charbidis, to Al Pacino and Mafia dons. Sicily is an unexpectedly subtle, incredibly beautiful, fascinating, and wounded place that is central to the story of Western civilization.
And here are some pictures of the highlights of Sicily...