Sicily is a cultural hub with a rich history spanning over centuries. With sweeping scenery, breathtaking buildings, interesting architecture and a captivating community. Some fascinating Facts about Sicily:
– Sicily has a population of around 5.82 million and is the fourth most populous region in Italy. This makes up for around 8.5% of Italy’s population in total!
– Over four-fifths of the land in Sicily is hills and mountainous.
– Three different seas surround the island: the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Ionian Sea.
– Many famous names throughout history have hailed from Sicily. They include the mathematician Archimedes, Domenico Dolce, one half of the iconic fashion house Dolce and Gabbana, and musician and composer Vincenzo Bellini.
– Over the years, Sicily has been in the possession of several groups including the Romans, Vandals and Ostrogoths, Islam and Byzantine. However, it has also experienced periods of independence under the Greeks. Sicily may have better Ancient Greek ruins than Greece! The Greeks once controlled the large majority of the island, and their cultural influences can be seen all around the island. Many people claim that the ruins in Sicily are far more beautiful than those in Greece.
– Around 25% of the Sicilian population live on the slopes of Mount Etna due to its sheer size, and the land is perfectly fertile for growing grapes and other produce.
-Forbes Magazine deemed Palermo to have the ‘tastiest and most varied street food’, and gave them the top spot as ‘The European Capital of Street Food’. With the most famed snacks including traditional Sicilian Arancini, Pannele and their own style of pizza!
– A very large percentage of the population of Sicily consider themselves to be Sicilian rather than Italian. They also have their own dialect; aspects of it vary from traditional Italian that it could be referred to as another language; this is spoken by around 70% of the population.
– Mount Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe… and it is very, very active, with rumblings every year and several notable eruptions in the last decade.
– A fun Sicily fact for foodies: cannoli hails from Sicily.
Though they’re sold to tourists across Italy these days, they’re generally at their most accurate–and arguably tastiest–when you eat them in Sicily.
– The mafia is not a Hollywood invention. Of all these interesting facts about Sicily, the one that everyone is likely familiar with is the concept of the Sicilian mafia, or Cosa Nostra – you can thank Hollywood and especially The Godfather that.
However, Hollywood didn’t invent the Cosa Nostra: they have been present in Sicily since the early 19th century, and Corleone, made famous by The Godfather, is a real place.The Cosa Nostra is not a joke in Sicily, despite the Godfather merchandise sold in souvenir shops around the island, and has caused pain to innumerable Sicilians. Today, the island continues to work to move away from the Cosa Nostra.