Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. and is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.
Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and it frequently changed hands after the fall of the Roman Empire. It was ruled during the early Middle Ages by the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantine Empire, and the Emirate of Sicily. The Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, which was subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou, Spain, the House of Habsburg, and then finally unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860.
Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. It is also home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, and Selinunte.
PROVINCE OF MESSINA
The province of Messina occupies the north-western corner of Sicily, and borders the Thyrrhenian sea to the north and the Ionian to the east, separated by the Messina strait. Mother Nature has created a masterpiece here, painting the gorgeous sea into its background. As in the past, Messina is the main portal to Sicily. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Swabians landed on its coasts and had a heavy influence on culture here and throughout the Island. By exploring the small provincial towns, one can discover precious works of art in this churches and places, and important traces of great and faraway civilization. Local traditions narrate the history of the local people, as do the ancient avors that have endured to the present.