Sicily is not only the largest island in the Mediterranean covering a total area of around 10.000 square miles but is also the largest region in Italy, its rough triangular shape is symbolized by the mythological three legged Trinacria.
It is home to the first known parliament in the western world Palermo. Sicily is also home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world Mount Etna with a maximum height of 10.890ft.
The popultation of Sicily is around 5 millions with 97% Sicilian born. Its capital, Palermo is big battered and bustling and is home to 720.000. Not a city for everyone' tastes, it is flamboyant, feisty and full of life. Traffic, poverty and decaying buildings are not for fainthearted.
The 1.9 miles that separate it from the main land has always been a point of discussion for Sicilians and Italian alike, the long planned suspension bridge has been in the making but has never come to fruition.
Sicily enjoys a Mediterranean climate, it's the first part of Italy to heat up in the Spring an the last to get chilly in Winter.
Sicily's positioning has made it a strategic point of interest for many centuries. It is surrounded by three oceans: the Mediterranean, the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Due to its African geographical positioning it suffers from the longest, hottest summers with July and August being veritable scorchers. Sicily has two main airports: Catania Fontanarossa recently renamed Vincenzo Bellini and Palermo Falcone e Borsellino. Also consider Trapani Vincenzo Florio and the newly opened but not active Comiso. Catania Fontanarossa is the busiest carrying over 6 millions passengers per year, with an array of national and international carriers.
Sicily's vegetation is rich and varied as is its landscapes, mild winters, hot summers, fertile soils and varying altitude create a profusion of trees, plants and flowers. Almonds, peaches, oranges and other citrus fruits flourish, and of course olives are the key to Sicily's economy. As one of the biggest exporters of olive oil around the world, Sicilians treat their much respected olive tree with profound respect. Harvesting takes place between September and November depending on the altitude at which the olives are grown, this ritual becomes a celebration for locals.