"Sicilia - more than another island" Top 5 Page for this destination Sicilia by iandsmith
Sicilia Travel Guide: 2,522 reviews and 7,469 photos
Sicilia, it almost seems like a land that time is passing by in some places. Tradition is strong in rural areas but industry's pervasive atmosphere is overpowering in places like Catania.
Much of the countryside is truly beautiful but sections of some cities are downright ugly.
Unquestionably it is poorer in material wealth than the north of Italy, a fact resented by many on this historic isle.
History is omnipresent covering an array of civilizations, though Greek, Roman, Norman and Byzantine influences are strongest in terms of remains but its proximity to Africa has always had an influence on the place.
Pollution in places, as in the rest of Europe, but particularly Italy, is a problem. Seeing piles of rubbish at the bottom of a cliff or cluttering a tourist beach does not endear one to wax lyrical about some sites yet others are sublime and I use this photo as an example.
The Greek remains are great in some places and this theatre at Segesta in Western Sicily is a prime example. Set, as many Greek theatres are, in a stunning location, it epitomises both the history and scenic beauty of the island called Sicilia.
According to most sources, this is the number one thing to see in Sicily. I have to say that after two hours' drive to get about 30 kilometres to get there I was entitled to be in a less-than-celubrious mood yet Monreale still impressed.
In the central apse is the figure of Christ Pantokrator (All Powerful) and to give you some scale there is someone's head just visible at the bottom of the photo.
More on this cathedral in the general pages.
This, and other Norman remains, are some of the undoubted highlights of your Sicilian sojourn.
Though only lasting 67 years, their rule over the island was significant in that, rather than conquering the split community of Greeks and Moors, Roger II melded them together in a political masterstroke that allowed Sicily to fulfill its potential while the rest of Italy was in turmoil.
He realised he didn't have the forces to take them in battle so he talked them into accepting the Norman overlords.
This edifice clearly reflects the melding of cultures with the Moorish wooden ceilings but the clearly Byzantine decorations.
William II, the last of the four Norman rulers, is interred here.
- Pros:Pretty countryside, splendid small towns, historical remains.
- Cons:Pollution, driving.
- In a nutshell:I'd go again but avoid the major towns.
Monreale to most tourists means the Cattedrale di Monreale, a splendid edifice of Byzantine, Norman, Arab and classical... more travel advice
This is a pathetic attempt to put more pictures in my site. I have no idea why this village exists, what there is to see... more travel advice
iandsmith's Related Pages
Sicilia Travel Guide
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- ""Touched by the sea, kissed by the sun ....."
- "Sicilia - more than another island"
- "Sensational Sicily"
- "SCENES FROM SICILY"
- "My sunshine land"
- "Under my skin"
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- Things to Do in Sicilia
- Hotels in Sicilia
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- Nightlife in Sicilia
- Restaurants in Sicilia
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- Warnings and Dangers in Sicilia
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