Sicily is Italy's largest island and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, an ancient meeting point between East and West, Africa and Europe. It's also a geographical and political region of Italy, famed for its varied landscape, cuisine, and fascinating history. Because of its strategic location, Sicily has been invaded over the centuries by many armies and was once the site of Roman, Greek and Phoenician colonies. For history buffs and interested tourists, remnants of those cultures remain to this day.
Roads and Riding
Roads vary in quality. Some, like the main autostradas (motorways), are good, but small rural roads can be dodgy, especially after heavy rain when axle-breaking potholes appear and landslides lead to road closures. Sicily has a limited network of motorways, strade statali (state roads and Strade provinciali - provincial roads), which are sometimes little more than country lanes, but they provide access to some of the more beautiful scenery and the small towns and villages.
Climate and Environment, When to Go
Sicily is blessed with a sunny climate, with coastal temperatures rarely dipping below 15°C. The best times to visit Sicily are April – June and September - October, when the weather is usually good, prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists. Late July and August are the peak of the high season: the sun broils, prices are inflated and the island’s top attractions are awash with a tide of holidaymakers. Most of Italy goes on holiday in this period (known as Ferragosto, literally ‘the August holiday’), and a significant chunk of the population chooses Sicily as its preferred destination.
Sights, People, Food and Drink
Aside from history, architecture and natural beauties, one of Sicily’s greatest attractions is its food. Every village, town and city has a raucous, sense-exploding food market. Traditional recipes are wonderfully preserved, and the restaurants flirt with modern cuisine. The Sicilian attitude towards food is much like its character – a lot of tradition with just a sprinkling of modernity. Sicily ticks all the right boxes for any visitor: history, architecture, culture, food, beaches, and volcanoes – it’s all there. Still this island has more. Its special allure is within its people, whose loyalty to tradition keeps their culture aflame.
Facts for the Traveler
|Land area:||25.711 sq km
|Religion:||Roman Catholic (73%)|
|Time zone:||Central European Time (GMT+1)|
|International dialing number:||+39|
|Visa:||Tourists from most countries (EU, USA, etc) do not need visa. A valid passport is required only.|
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