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Sicily is comprised of nine provinces: Palermo, the capital of the region on the Western coast; Messina, on the Eastern side, where Taormina, Tyndaris and the Aeolian Islands are the biggest tourist destinations of the province; Catania and Syracuse, both ancient Greek settlements in the Southeast; Ragusa, Caltanissetta and Agrigento in the South; Enna in the center with no connection to the Mediterranean Sea; and Trapani on the Western side, whose points of interest can be found in Selinunte, Segesta, and Erice.
Agrigento, located in Southern Sicily, has a population of 55,000. Agrigento has very ancient origins and was once part of the Magna Grecia. Today, Agrigento still offers some of the best preserved Greek ruin sites in the world. The famous Valley of the Temples is situated in its premises. Agrigento is a major tourist center thanks to its extraordinarily rich archaeological legacy. It also serves as an agricultural center for the surrounding region. Sulfur and potash have been mined locally since Roman times and are exported from the nearby harbor of Porto Empedocle (named after the philosopher Empedocles who lived in ancient Akragas). More>>
Catania was founded in the 8th century BC by Greek colonizers from Chalcis in Euboea led by Evarco. Once called Ætna, after the volcano (480–461 BC), it has also been known as Katane. It was extensively destroyed by earthquakes in 1169 and 1693, and by lava flows which ran over and around it into the sea.Catania is the second biggest city in Sicily and counts 306,464 inhabitants. It was founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. Located South of the active volcano Mount Etna, the city was covered seven times by the lava flow and rebuilt. Catania also hosts the oldest university of Sicily, established in 1434. More>>
Enna is located in the center of the island and has a population of 29,072. It was founded in the 7th century BC. Because of its celebrations, the Holy Week is the best time to visit the city. This province has great archeological importance, thanks to sites such as the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina and Morgantina. The colony of Henna was founded on this high plateau in 664 BC by colonists from Gela, eager to exploit the area’s agricultural resources. In 397 BC, the town fell to Dionysius of Syracuse and it remained in Syracusan hands until the 3rd century BC when it entered Roman power. In 859 AD it was the turn of the Saracens to breach the town’s hardy defenses. The name was then altered to Castrogiovanni, by which it was known until 1927, when Mussolini changed back to Enna. More>>
Erice is a small town of the province of Trapani. The town is located on the homonymous Mount Eryx, religious center of Elimi. Famous for its temple, this is where the Phoenicians worshipped Astarte; the Greeks Aphrodite; and the Romans Venus. Today, Erice is also an important center for scientific conferences. Erice is a small town of the province of Trapani. The town is located on the homonymous Mount Eryx, religious center of Elimi. Famous for its temple, this is where the Phoenicians worshipped Astarte; the Greeks Aphrodite; and the Romans Venus. Today, Erice is also an important center for scientific conferences.
Messina, located on the Northeastern side of the island, is the third largest city in Sicily, with 260,000. Founded in the 8th century BC by the Greeks, the city was conquered and sacked by different populations because of its strategic position on the straight. Messina was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1910, but was soon rebuilt. Taormina, Tyndaris and the Aeolian Islands are the most visited tourist destinations of the province. More>>
Palermo, located on the Northeastern side of Sicily, is the capital and largest city of the island with 750,000 inhabitants. Founded in the 8th century BC by the Phoenicians, Palermo was a prosperous center over the centuries, but has also been a coveted and repeatedly occupied location. This has turned the city into a melting pot of different peoples and cultures which have all left their influence. Palermo is the principal city and administrative seat of the autonomous region of Sicily, Italy as well as the capital of the Province of Palermo. More>>
Ragusa is located in the Southern tip of Sicily and counts a population of 68,346. The town was totally devastated in the earthquake of 1693 and rebuilt. Modica is a town located in the province of Ragusa and counts approximately 51,807 inhabitants. It was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1693 and was rebuilt in a magnificent Baroque style. More>>
Syracuse, located in the Southeastern part of Sicily, was founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. The city’s archeological site is part of the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city in the following centuries was struck by two damaging earthquakes in 1542 and 1693, and, in 1729, by a plague. The 17th century destruction forever changed the appearance of Syracuse, as well as the entire Val di Noto. These cities were rebuilt along the typical lines of Sicilian Baroque, which is still considered one of the most typical expressions of art of Southern Italy.
Noto is a town located in the province of Syracuse. It is well know for its Baroque architecture. More>>
The small town of Taormina is located in the Southeast of the Messina province. Founded by the Greeks in the 5th century BC, Taormina’s most important monument is its Greek Theater. Today, Taormina is a fashionable resort and one of the most visited tourist destinations in Sicily. Isola Bella is a stunning nature reserve that is just south of Taormina. Tours of the Capo Sant’ Andrea grottos are also available. Taormina is built on an extremely hilly coast and is approximately a forty-five minute drive away from Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna. More>>
Trapani is a city on the Western coast of Sicily with 67,456 inhabitants. Throughout the centuries the saltworks along the coast have created a unique environment of great cultural and economic relevance. The fishing industry flourishes, especially the famous tuna or tonnare which are caught by fishermen who still use the mattanza technique to catch the tunas. More>>