The island which is in “the center of the world” between three parts of the world (Europe, Asia and Africa) and three seas (Mediterranean, Ionic and Tirrensky). Not without reason one of favourite local symbols – Gorgon’s Jellyfish on three legs.
The blessed place where the sun shines almost all the year round where how in a song about Chipollino, “oranges, both lemons, and olives ripen”, the kitchen is extraordinary appetizing (who doesn’t know Palermo pizza?), and inhabitants are impulsive and sympathetic. In a word, that Italy of which many dream since the childhood. The generous and hospitable earth on which ways of a set of the people intertwined.
Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, tribes of ostgot and vandals, Vikings and francs, Arabs – everything presented to Sicily something, special, joined unique symbiosis of traditions, beliefs, adverbs, cultural relics.
What is Sicily?
Travel across Sicily is a fascinating wandering on centuries and cultures. It is possible to go here, as to the certain country: not without reason the island has an autonomy, it has the president and the capital – Palermo. It is the Italian city, the fifth in size, the prospering port and just picturesque place – noisy, chaotic, full of contrasts.
In architectural appearance of Palermo Norman, Byzantine and Arab traditions connected, the uncountable set of ancient palaces, temples and chapels adjoins to fashionable hotels and fashionable boutiques here. And the main airport of the Sicilian capital is called in honor of prosecutors Falcone and Borsellino – the famous fighters against mafia who are esteemed as national heroes here.
Mafia – one of “counters” of Sicily. However, times of blossoming of well-known “cosa nostra” already behind, and mafia “Mecca” islands, Corleone’s town sung in “Godfather” surprises with purity and decency. Here reminds of doubtful glory of former times only the Museum of mafia.
Much more Sicilians are proud of other place of interest – an active volcano Etna, the highest in Europe (3340 meters above sea level). Its snow-covered top seems at the same time close, visible practically from any point of Sicily, and mythical and unreal. Ancient Greeks really considered Etna as the sacred mountain (its name is translated as “flaring”). Somewhere in the depth of it there was a smithy of god handicraftsman Hephaestus forging the weapon to the Olympic inhabitants of heaven. And in a subsoil of a volcano the giant Enkelad whose breath periodically escapes outside in the form of white clouds of a smoke is immured. Today everyone can touch a terrible and majestic miracle of Etna: among tourists walks on volcano’s slopes where among the stiffened streams is a lava and magnificent vegetation are popular ancient towns and small villages are scattered, and from height the unforgettable view of the sea opens. Here only to the crater it is better to rise accompanied by a reliable porter.
One more place where ancient myths come to life, – the Valley of temples near the city of Agrigento. Here seven Greek sanctuaries of the 6-5th centuries BC constructed in Doric style tower. One of them remained almost entirely, from others there were only bases with couple of columns, but also they look impressively in the kolossalnost. The horror and delight of the antique person before a bulk of the world is felt here especially sharply. Perhaps, gods still didn’t leave this place? Already for the sake of the answer to this question it is worth visiting Sicily which Goethe called “soul of Italy”.