The wonders of Sicily

Sicily is a fantastic island, full of wonderful landscapes, monuments and places to visit.

Here are our top five attractions:

Mount Etna, on the east cost of Sicily, is the highest volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. Etna leaves us speechless with its spectacular eruptions. In 1669 lava flows destroyed 10 villages before reaching Catania five weeks later. Another destructive eruption occurred on November 25th, in 1843. The lava exploded, hitting about 70 people and 35 lost their lives. The eruption in 1928 caused the destruction of Mascali and threatened the towns of Sant’Alfio and Nunziata. On December 14th 1991 an eruption lasted over a year. The town of Zafferana was in danger but successful diversion efforts saved the town. Today, small intermittent explosions produce dense steam and ash plumes.

Etna is a UNESCO site and one of Sicily’s main tourist attractions, with thousands of visitors every year. Part of the excitement of visiting Mount Etna is the opportunity to come face-to-face with a “little too active” volcano. If you want to see the summit you need a tour with a guide but you can simply take a walk by yourself. You can also visit beautiful towns near Etna and taste typical food.

If you want to see the snow the best period is from November to March. If you want a warmer temperature, you will have to wait for spring and summer.

The Valley of the Temples is an archaeological park right below Agrigento. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are seven Temples in Doric Style (the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Heracles, the temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestus, and the temple of Asclepius) that are great examples of Greek architecture.

Another UNESCO Site is the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is one of the most beautiful parts of Sicily. There are seven islands in all and two of these also include two active volcanoes: Vulcano and Stromboli. Here you can see several species of birds and lizards, pumice caves, caper fields and Malvasia vineyard, amazing coves with turquoise water…..

The “Villa Romana del Casale” (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Piazza Armerina is an ancient residential building that dates back 320-370 AD. Here you can admire wonderful mosaics especially in the Corridor of the Great Hunt, over 60 meters long and about 5 meters wide

Taormina is on a hill of Monte Tauro on the east coast of Sicily. Ancient people like the Sicels, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards chose it as their residential site thanks to its position, mild climate and magic atmosphere. Here you can visit the splendid Greek Theatre, the Roman “Naumachiae”, the 10th century Palazzo Corvaja, the 13th century Cathedral of Saint Nicolò, the 16th century Palace of the Dukes of Saint Stefano, the public gardens, the “Badia Vecchia” (Ancient Abbey) and you can see the remains of the walls that protected the town in the past. Near Taormina a narrow strip of sand connects the beach to Isola bella, which is a nature reserve. Tourists from all over the world visit Taormina every year.

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Autore:

Giuseppe Panebianco – Francesco D’Auria – Giuseppe Chillemi

Classe:

II A – Furci Siculo
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