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Sicily the Mediterranean island

The Italian island

Sicily the mediterranean island, with its capital Palermo, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. It is close to Africa and halfway between the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar.

To begin with, Sicily is a dazzling blend of rolling hills, volcanic mountains and coastal beaches that meet clear, crystal clear seas. The southernmost region of Italy, the island continues to attract foreign and non-foreign travelers with its rich legacy of ancient ruins, unique dialects and delicious and characteristic food and drink.

Sicily is also home to the now famous international Aeolian Islands. They are known for their shimmering sea and the opportunity to visit these small islands. Additionally, each is different from the other. Every Sicilian city has historical and baroque elements to visit. Also, we recommend a tour of Mount Etna (with a guide!). It is one of the few volcanoes still active in Europe.

Taormina

We will focus on Taormina, the attraction and the most famous town in Sicily. Taormina the black pearl of Sicily, in the nineteenth century, all the young people from illustrious families of northern Europe. Once they had completed their classical studies and before embarking on their careers, had to take the Grand Tour. That is a journey through France and the Italian Peninsula. This became a sort of rite of passage. Which would accompany them through the roughness of their future lives, at a time when mass tourism did not exist at all. The last term of such a Grand Tour, before returning home, was usually Taormina, in Sicily.

Here they stayed blissfully for a few weeks or even a few months. Absorbing the light and beauty to the full before returning to their northern cities, full of fog and cold.

This pilgrimage of privileged people, intellectuals, and bon vivant continued almost to the present day, with celebrated American, British, and German writers, film directors, politicians. Taormina today is a town of 10,000 inhabitants in the province of Messina, Sicily. We see it perched on a hill 206 m above sea level. Suspended between rocks and the sea, on a terrace of Mount Tauro. In a setting of natural beauty unique in the world for variety and contrast. There is a volcano, still active, Etna, that stands out against the backdrop of the sky.

The history of Taormina began with the Magna Graecia; that is, it was a settlement of Greeks. Then it remained under the state of Syracuse until Rome, in 212 BC, annexed it with all of Sicily, as a Roman province. During the servile war (134 – 132 B.C.) Tauromenium was occupied by the insurgent slaves, who chose it as a safe stronghold. Besieged by Pompilius, they endured for a long time even withstanding hunger and only surrendering when one of their leaders, Serapion, betrayed them. It was repopulated by Roman settlers by Augustus in 21 B.CB.C.