The main island of Sicily is separated from the peninsula of Italy by the Strait of Messina and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily and its smaller surrounding islands form the Autonomous Region of Sicily and measure a total area of 10,698 square miles (27,708 square km). The surrounding islands of Sicily include the Aegadian Islands, Aeolian Islands, Pantelleria, and Lampedusa. The main island of Sicily is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna.
The history of Sicily is ancient and colorful and dates back to 8,000 BC as discovered from cave drawings. From 750 BC, Greeks lived on the island, cultivating grapes and olives on its fertile land. However, during the First Punic War, Rome intervened and Sicily became the first Roman province outside the Italian Peninsula. As the Roman Empire fell apart, Sicily through the middle ages changed hands from the Germanics, Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Normans to the French and finally was reunited with Italy in the 19th century.
Today, Sicily is a melting pot of cultures and a mesmerizing tourist destination. The fertile volcanic soil has also made it the third largest wine producer in Italy. Tourist flock here to see Mount Etna, visit historical sites and experience the convergence of different cultures on the island. Sicily also has white sandy beaches, idyllic islands, and the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean offer great scuba diving opportunities.
There are many hiking trails to choose from in Sicily amongst vineyards, along rugged coastline and also at Mount Etna. Besides that, immerse yourself in Sicilian culture with food, wine and tours of historical sites.
International airlines fly to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, Palermo Airport and Trapani Airport. Get to the Aeolian Islands and Aegadian Islands via ferry or hydrofoil. There are overnight ferries to Lampedusa and Pantelleria as well as flights.