Destinations IN Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

Sicilians are immensely proud of their island and its fascinating history and today delight in sharing their unique culture with visitors. As the largest of the Mediterranean islands, it has a strategic importance that has brought it under the influence of many foreign rulers. Apart from the temples, theatres, and churches which reflect Greek, Roman, Arab and even Norman influences, the delicious local food and wine adds an extra dimension to any visit to the island.

Agrigento's Valley of the Temples include the handsome remains of the most complete Greek temples outside mainland Greece. The unspoilt rocky scenery, punctuated with almond, cypress and olive trees, is the perfect backdrop to one of the most astonishing archaeological sights in Italy.

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The largest island of the archipelago, Lipari has a regular population of 10,000 which doubles in the summer months; however, the island remains remarkably unspoilt.

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Palermo, the Sicilian capital is a lively city with mediaeval streets, markets, art and architecture, world renowned opera, Baroque churches and the beautiful Norman Cathedral at Monreale located just seven kilometres from the city centre.

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A provincial capital for many centuries, Ragusa is the archetypal Sicilian hill town. Having been all but destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, the town was rebuilt in epic Baroque style, with stunning 18th century churches designed by Gagliardi, glorifying the cobbled streets of Ragusa Ibla.

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Salina is the second largest Aeolian island and by far the lushest. From a distance, Salina looks entirely green with two high mountains and a smooth coastline.

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The Corinthians were the first settlers at the intriguing island of Ortigia which forms the main part of this ancient city. Syracuse Cathedral has original Greek columns dating from the 5th Century, the Temple of Athena within its massive walls and a handsome Baroque façade.

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Taormina is a beguiling town in a commanding position high on Monte Tauro, overlooking two sweeping bays below, in the shadow of Mount Etna's imposing skyline silhouette. Hotels in the seaside resort of Taormina Beach hug the dramatic rocky coastline and provide a tranquil haven away from the main town centre.

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Trapani is a city on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Originally founded by ancient Greeks, the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands.

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The southern-most of the Aeolian Islands, Vulcano is renowned for its beautiful landscape. It has the largest volcanic plateau of the archipelago and is famed for its natural thermal waters and sulphur mud treatments.

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