Theme Week Sicily

Monday, 19 May 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Lipari Panorama © flickr.com - Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/cc-by-2.0

Lipari Panorama © flickr.com – Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/cc-by-2.0

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, and it is officially referred to as Regione Siciliana (Sicilian Region). Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean. It extends from the tip of the Apennine peninsula, from which it is separated only by the narrow Strait of Messina, towards the North African coast. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, which, at 3,350 m (10,990 ft), is the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate. Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine and architecture. It also holds importance for archeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte.

The earliest archeological evidence of human dwelling on the island dates from as early as 8000 BC. At around 750 BC, Sicily was host to a number of Phoenician and Greek colonies, and for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Greek–Punic and Roman–Punic wars, which ended with the Roman destruction of Carthage. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily frequently changed hands, and during the early Middle Ages, it was ruled in turn by the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans. Later on, the Kingdom of Sicily lasted between 1130 and 1816, first subordinated to the crowns of Aragon, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire, and then finally unified under the Bourbons with Naples, as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Following the Expedition of the Thousand, a Giuseppe Garibaldi-led revolt during the Italian Unification process and a plebiscite, it became part of Italy in 1860. After the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region.

Palermo Collage © DanieleDF1995/cc-by-sa-3.0 Monte Castello © flickr.com - Carlo Columba/cc-by-sa-2.0 Etna Volcano, seen from San Gregorio Di Catania © flickr.com - filicudi/cc-by-2.0 Catania Collage © DanieleDF1995/cc-by-sa-3.0 Palermo - Chiesa di San Cataldo and Piazza Bellini © flickr.com - l0da ralta/cc-by-2.0 Lipari Panorama © flickr.com - Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/cc-by-2.0
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Palermo - Chiesa di San Cataldo and Piazza Bellini © flickr.com - l0da ralta/cc-by-2.0
Thanks to the regular growth of the last years, Sicily is the eighth richest region in terms of total GDP. A series of reforms and investments on agriculture such as the introduction of modern irrigation systems have made competitive this important industry. In the 1970s there was a growth of the industrial sector through the creation of some factories. In recent years the importance of the service industry has grown for the opening of several shopping malls and for a modest growth of financial and telecommunication activities. Tourism is an important source of wealth for the island thanks to its natural and historical heritage. Today Sicily is investing a large amount of money on structures of the hospitality industry, in order to make tourism more competitive. However, Sicily continues to have a GDP per capita below the Italian average and more unemployment than the rest of Italy. This difference is mostly caused by the negative influence of Mafia that is still active in some areas although it is much weaker than in the past.

Sicily has long been noted for its fertile soil due to the volcanic eruptions in the past and present. The local agriculture is also helped by the pleasant climate of the island. The main agricultural products are wheat, citrons, oranges (Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP), lemons, tomatoes (Pomodoro di Pachino IGP), olives, olive oil, artichokes, Opuntia ficus-indica (Fico d’India dell’Etna DOP), almonds, grapes, pistachios (Pistacchio di Bronte DOP) and wine. Cattle and sheep are raised. The cheese productions are particularly important thanks to the Ragusano DOP and the Pecorino Siciliano DOP. Ragusa is noted for its honey (Miele Ibleo) and chocolate (Cioccolato di Modica IGP) productions. Sicily is the third largest wine producer in Italy (the world’s largest wine producer) after Veneto and Emilia Romagna. The region is known mainly for fortified Marsala wines. In recent decades the wine industry has improved, new winemakers are experimenting with less-known native varietals, and Sicilian wines have become better known. The best known local varietal is Nero d’Avola, named for a small town not far from Syracuse; the best wines made with these grapes come from Noto, a famous old city close to Avola. Sicily is also known for its liqueurs as the Amaro Averna produced in Caltanissetta and the local Limoncello. Fishing is another fundamental resource for Sicily. There are important tuna, sardine, swordfish and European anchovy fisheries. Mazzara del Vallo is the largest fishing centre in Sicily and one of the most important in Italy.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Sicily region, italia.it – Sicily, Agriturismo Sicily, DreamSicilyVillas.com, Parco dell’Etna, Donnafugata Vineyards and Wine Cellars, Wikitravel Sicily and Wikipedia Sicily. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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