Island of Sicily: sights and photos

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Island of Sicily: sights and photos
Island of Sicily: sights and photos
Anonim

The island of Sicily is one of the most unusual resorts in all of Europe. Millions of tourists from Russia and other countries visit this wonderful place every year.

Sicily is considered a real pearl of the Mediterranean. The history of this beautiful place can trace the development of various cultures. At the moment, the territory belongs to sunny Italy.

In this article we will tell you about the island itself, as well as about the sights located on it. There are a lot of them and you will learn about the most significant ones here.

Where is the island of Sicily?

The island is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. To be more precise - between Europe and Africa. The area of ​​the island of Sicily is about 25 thousand square kilometers. As mentioned above, at different times, tribes fought for it, and all because the island has a specific location. By the way, in terms of area, the island of Sicily is the largest in the Mediterranean Sea.

It is worth noting that if you look at Sicily from space, you can see that it has the shape of a triangle. It is for this reason that inancient times the island was called Trinacria.

Basic information about the island

The main administrative center of this place is the city of Palermo, which is no secret to anyone. It is also worth briefly talking about the history of the island itself, since it is difficult to understand something about the sights without it.

In ancient times, Sicily had a different name - Trinacria. That is what the Hellenes called this place. Three tribes lived here - the Sikans, the Sikuls, and the Elims. The Sikans lived here initially, and the rest came here later, and this happened during the overpopulation of nearby lands. But that's not all. Later, global colonization began to take place here. The Phoenicians came here, as well as the Greeks. The whole island was covered with a number of colonies. The Phoenicians settled in the western part of the island, and the Greeks settled in the eastern part. Later, a struggle for the island broke out here. The Greeks tried to completely subdue him.

Later came the Roman Empire and finally, by 535, the island joined the Byzantine Empire. After a while, there were some more strife with France, but in the end, in modern times, Sicily is considered part of Italy.

Climate on the island

As for the climate on the island, it is Mediterranean. This means that here summers are not hot, and winters are very warm. Of course, sometimes the wind blows from Africa and it is commonly called sirocco. The island becomes unbearably hot as the thermometer rises to 45 degrees. It is good that such phenomena do not occur so often and mostly do not last long. But it is this climate that attractsmost vacationers.

Flag of Sicily

The flag of the island of Sicily, the photo of which can be seen below, is not at all the same as the flag of Italy. The county has its own. It was adopted as early as the 13th century.

Flag of Sicily

It is worth telling about one interesting fact. Many people ask: what is depicted on the flag of Sicily? The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea has the same pattern. These flags are characterized by the presence of a triskelion in the center, that is, three legs, as well as the head of the Gorgon Medusa. On the flag of the Italian island, they symbolize its three different points.

This sign is found not only on the flags of these islands. It was also used by the ancient Greeks, Etruscans, Celts. And this is not a complete list.

Attractions

What to see on the island of Sicily from the sights? This issue will be discussed in detail in the article. As you might guess, most of the attractions of the island of Sicily appeared a very long time ago. They are all different from each other, because there were colonizations of completely different cultures. It is also worth noting that natural historical monuments have survived to our time. About one of them in the next part of the article.

Volcano Etna

One of the most interesting attractions on the island of Sicily in Italy, of course, is Mount Etna. Almost every person living here is proud of him.

The uniqueness of the volcano is that it is considered the highest active volcano in Europe - 3323 meters. It exceeds in height the famous Vesuvius, locatednear Naples, almost two and a half times!

The downside of the volcano on the island of Sicily is the constant eruption of lava flows that destroy the nearest villages. This happens approximately every two to three months.

The volcano on the island of Sicily does not cause much harm to the state, since it is far enough from it. But there are pluses, people use his gifts to develop their agriculture. This is because the soil is rich in trace elements. In fact, the Sicilians are truly a unique people. People have learned to live near such a dangerous natural phenomenon.

Mount Etna

City of Taormina

This place can be called a real gem of the island of Sicily in Italy. Citizens are proud of the wonderful resort. There is definitely something to be surprised about here. In addition, Taormina never complains about the lack of tourists. There is charming nature here - mountains, sea, wonderful gardens.

The city is located in the eastern part of Sicily, that is, on the shores of the Ionian Sea. Beginning in the 19th century, the island began to attract we althy tourists, and this continues to this day. Currently, one can easily see famous musicians and artists on the island.

The city is mostly interesting because you can spend time in it in different ways. For example, relaxing on the beach or wandering through the old medieval streets while studying the architecture of the city.

Most of all tourists here are attracted by the ancient Greek theater, built in the third century BC. Previously, it was considered the largest theater on the island. Here couldbe at the same time about ten thousand people. From here, Mount Etna is very clearly visible. Many tourists come here for this very reason. Currently, the theater serves its intended purpose. Various festivals are often held here.

Roman naumachia attracts many more travelers. Previously, this was the name of special structures intended for gladiator fights.

City of Taormina

Palermo Cathedral

This unique building was erected in the city of Palermo during the Middle Ages. Until now, it amazes travelers with its grandeur and beauty. Many architects worked on the creation of a beautiful cathedral, as well as artists from different countries.

The history of the Cathedral has more than fifteen centuries, because there was another church here before, but after the Arabs captured the island, the cathedral turned into a mosque. And in 1072 he was again baptized in honor of the Virgin.

The building was seriously reconstructed in the 19th century. It was then that it was very much changed externally, as well as internally. For example, the low dome was replaced with a wooden ceiling. In addition, the royal sarcophagi served as a kind of message for the creation of a memorial zone.

At the present time, this is one of the most famous sights of Palermo, as well as all of Sicily. This place is considered a kind of symbol of the unification of different cultures. It is dominated by elements of classicism, as well as Arabic and Gothic styles.

The Cathedral is located in the very centercity, so it is not difficult to find it at all. Doors for local residents as well as tourists are open daily. It is forbidden to visit the cathedral only during Mass.

It is also worth noting that you can only visit the Cathedral in certain clothes. Shoulders should be covered regardless of the weather. Entrance to the cathedral is free, but you have to pay for a ticket to the tomb. The cost as of 2018 is 7 euros.

Cathedral of Palermo

Temple Valley

This place is called the memorial of all Sicily. It is located in Agrigento. The place is so historical, one can say that here even the dust underfoot seems somehow special and saturated with antiquity.

Once upon a time, countless slaves ennobled this place. It was thanks to them that these ancient sanctuaries were created.

In ancient times, the city of Agrigento had a different name - Agrigentum. It was founded in 581 BC. e. Its fate was similar to the fate of cities located on the island of Sicily.

In addition, tourists constantly come here and reviews of the temple valley are only the most positive. There are few places where you can see such ancient beauty.

As for the temples, their appearance has not survived to our times. In addition, I would also like to say that there are many ancient cities near Agrigento, about which scientists know very little, since excavations have not yet been carried out here.

Currently, this park includes many Doric temples, an ancient wall, as well as necropolises. the most ancientthe temple in this valley is the temple of Hercules. It was built in 510 BC. e. The building has survived quite well to our time, as it was restored several times - during the time of the Romans, as well as in the 20th century. Eight of the 36 columns were restored during the latest reconstruction.

Botanical Garden

Another very popular tourist spot. It does not belong to the times of antiquity, but it also has a historical character. The garden has existed for more than two hundred years, and the date of foundation of this wonderful place is considered to be 1779. Initially, it had only scientific significance and was built precisely for this purpose. It was opened to tourists in 1795. The following year, a large aquarium appeared here.

This place never ceases to admire both locals and travelers from different parts of our vast planet.

Currently, there are more than twelve thousand different plants. And the main attraction of the garden is the large-leaved ficus. It impresses most visitors, as well as local residents, with its extraordinary size and structure. He appeared here in the 19th century. Currently, the botanical garden includes several large greenhouses with various plants, as well as thousands of specimens of fungi, algae and lichens.

In addition to all of the above, some species of animals and birds live in the botanical garden. They include ringed parrots.

Botanical Garden

Royal residence

Another popular attraction in Sicily isthe royal residence of the Normans. The second name of this remarkable architectural structure is the Palazzo Normanni. The most popular part of the visit to the palace is the Palatine Chapel.

As for the history of the construction of the building - for the first time the Phoenicians built something on this place, then the ancient Romans made their fortifications here. Then, in the 9th century, the Arabs decided to take possession of Palermo and built a residence in this place and called it the Palace of the Emirs. Then there were quite a few conquests of this place. The founder of the building that has survived to this day is considered to be Robert Guiscard. He managed to subjugate all of southern Italy. In modern times, the royal castle is considered one of the most famous historical sights of Sicily, as well as throughout Italy. In addition, the Sicilian Parliament sits here.

The main value of the palace is considered to be its interior. As mentioned above, the Palatine Chapel is the most famous part of the palace. In addition to it, two more rooms have been preserved inside the building from the time of the Normans. The most famous of them is the Roger Hall. The hall is decorated with luxurious golden mosaics, for the sake of which crowds of tourists come to this place. The second room is called the Hall of Squires. It was accidentally discovered during restoration work in the first half of the 20th century. As for the royal apartments on the third floor, the Hall of Hercules has been preserved here.

Syracuse

Another rather great page in the history of Italy is considered to be a popular city on the island of Sicily called Syracuse. This ancient Greek settlement was oncefounded by immigrants from Corinth - Hellenes. It happened in the 18th century, and initially it was no different from all other Sicilian cities. But everything changed dramatically after the tyrant of the Greek colony named Gelon took possession of the city. He made this place his residence.

Once such famous people as Archimedes and Plato worked here. There is even a square named after the scientist. Despite the fact that Syracuse belongs to Italy, it can rightly be called Greek heritage. In addition, I would like to note that Dionysius the First ruled this settlement for the longest time.

The city has a lot of attractions and one of the most famous is the ear-shaped cave. The structure is called the Ear of Dionysius. The place is a limestone artificial cave, which was carved into the Temenite rocks. If you look at it from a helicopter, you can see that the cave has the shape of the letter S. Its length is more than sixty meters, and its height is more than twenty meters. The acoustics here are excellent.

The Cathedral in Syracuse is also not to be ignored. It is considered a real gem of the local area. In ancient Greece, the temple was the richest place. Therefore, he was constantly robbed. The greatest damage to the structure was brought in the first century BC.

Villa del Casale

And another popular attraction of the island is Villa del Casale. It was built in the fourth century BC near the city of Piazza Armerina.

Once the villa was the central estate of a huge estate andwas one of the most luxurious buildings of its kind. The Villa is best known for its beautifully preserved mosaics. And by the way, such mosaics belong to the richest collection of ancient Roman art. The object is also under the protection of UNESCO.

Villa del Casale in Sicily

The first official excavations here began in 1929. After this case, Giuseppe Cultrera took over. Scientists suggest that the villa was the residence of some rich man. There are many rooms here. Among them are the living room, bedroom, kitchen and more.

In 1959 most of the mosaics were found. For example, scientists have found interesting fragments depicting hunting scenes.

Cassibile River

Cassibile is a river in Italy, located in the southeast. Its length is thirty kilometers. Its source is in the mountains of Iblea, not far from the popular city of Palazzolo Acreide.

The place is not considered particularly popular. There are no lifts here, and there is practically no infrastructure. But there is a nature reserve near Cassibile. Entrance to it is absolutely free, but you will have to leave your initials at the entrance. You can visit the park from early morning until seven in the evening.

Most of all tourists are impressed by the lakes, the passage to which goes through a rocky staircase. There are signs along the way, so it's hard to get confused. It will take about half an hour to reach the lakes. It is also worth noting that on the approach it is worth being careful, since a collapse of stones is possible. Here is crystal clear turquoisewater. You can swim.

On the territory of the reserve itself there is a very large number of ancient grottoes.

Monreale Cathedral

The famous archbishop's cathedral, located in the suburbs of Palermo. It belongs to the most important monuments of Arab architecture. It was founded by King William II the Good. It is very popular due to the cycle of mosaics associated with the Old and also the New Testament. Listed as a World Cultural Heritage site in 2015.

The construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century at the behest of the king himself. According to legend, the Mother of God appeared to Wilhelm in a dream and pointed to this place for construction. The construction of the cathedral progressed very quickly. By the end of the reign of the king, the building was almost completed, and to this day it has practically retained its original appearance. Unfortunately, in 1807 it was struck by lightning, and in 1811 the structure was damaged by an unforeseen fire, but was later restored.

Cathedral Monreale

The structure is one of the special Sicilian monuments. It is unusual in that it has several different styles. There are signs of Norman as well as Islamic culture.

Where to stay on the island?

There are a lot of hotels on the island of Sicily. Of course, where to stay is a relative question, since it largely depends on the budget of the traveler. Definitely the best hotels on the island are Terra del Sole and Villa Paradiso. It has the best views as well as rooms.

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