Sicily is billed as perhaps the world’s first true cosmopolitan, multi-racial society. Asians, Africans and Europeans have all ruled this island at various stages. Forget your impression left by The Godfather... Sicily is a friendly, vibrant, bustling island fringed with golden orchards, lush forests and the unforgettable soaring Mount Etna. If you love food, history and quaint villages, you cannot help but fall in love with Sicily – the Mediterranean’s largest island.
Between Sicily and Tunisia lies the tiny volcanic island of Pantelleria. While Italian, the Arabic influence in architecture and culture is undeniable. Its pre-history of dwellings and artefacts takes you back 35,000 years, and bronze-age defensive ramparts are still found here. It played a strategic part in World War II due to its coveted trans-continental location in the Straits of Sicily. Much of the black-rock island is covered in vineyards, and those who love sweeter wines might develop a taste for the regional tipple Passita.
The Aeolian Islands lie in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the north coast of Sicily and near Italy’s “foot”. They comprise of a volcanic archipelago of 8 islands, with Mt Stromboli - on the island of Stromboli - being highly active over the years. At night time, a spectacular display of lava and fire is not uncommon. The largest of the islands is Lipari which, in the middle of summer, attracts many tourists from the mainland.
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North Sydney NSW 2060