The history of Sicily - the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea for surface and population – was influenced by several rulers who passed by the territory. The succession of all of these civilizations enriched Sicily of urban settlements, monuments and ruins from the past. That’s why Sicily was one of the most privileged places where history is recollected through the signs that were never altered by the time, and that are preserved until now.
It’s possible to admire the ruins in several cities as Palermo, Catania, Agrigento, Enna and Syracuse. But Sicily also shows its fascinating side in the naturalistic landscapes. Mostly mountainous, this island displays amazing sceneries, with its indented and rocky coasts interrupted by some of the most beautiful Italian beaches.
The geographical position of the island (cornerstone of the Mediterranean Sea) , the beauty of its landscapes and the generosity of the territory contributed for centuries to make the island the favorite destination of several conqueror who left inestimable cultural and artistic testimonies.
Etna is the biggest Volcano in Europe, with a height of 3300 meters, represents the dominant morphologic element in the Ionic coast.
The irregular conic shape of the volcano provesthe difficulty of the constructive and destructive processes that characterized the eruptive history.
The volcanic activities started around 600.000 years ago, followed by two periods characterized by a certain difference in the magma, and a great increase of the explosiveness, that formed two big strato-volcanos, “ilTrifoglietto” and “ilMongibelloantico” with several secondary active centers.
This activity lasted until 8000 years ago, when then started a phase mainly effusive (latest Mongibello). In its history, the Etna has often changed its eruptive mechanism: the first eruptions were mainly effusive, instead the final phases of the activity of the Trifoglietto and the Mongibello antico are explosive. The latter was also characterized by activities with formation of mud flows.
In the actual phase (latest Mongibello) prevail effusive lateral eruptions, meanwhile at the Summit craters (Voragine, BoccaNuova, Crater North-East, Crater South-East) is prevailing the Strombolian eruption.
The Etna is for sure the most memorable place in the island, even though the Nebrodi, the Peloritani, the Iblei, and the Madonie are the ideal mountains for enchanting excursions.
Right from the Nebrodi arise the main rivers of the territory of Catania: the Simeto and the Alcantara; the Simetorises from the South slope and flows into the Sea in the South of Catania. Not far from Taormina, instead, flows the Alcantara that marks also the North border of the area of Catania.
Some of the inland routes draw a vivid, realistic, interesting picture of the old, authentic country life, which is almost disappeared both in Sicily and in Italy.Every period is good to visit Sicily, in the summer you can enjoy of the long bathing season which starts in April and ends in November; you can visit Sicily also in winter time becausethanks to its mild climate the temperatures rarely get really cold especially along the coast.
Even if the best season to visit Sicily is for sure the spring.