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Sicily is a beautifully rugged island on the southern tip of Italy and is divided from the mainland region of Calabria by the Straits of Messina.
Natives of Sicily speak Sicilian, an ancient Romance language that is a separate language from Italian, and although Italian is recognised across the island, like all foreign destinations it is polite to know basic phrases in the natural tongue.
The island has a long history of foreign domination, and in its lifetime has housed empires such as the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Catalans. The result is a huge mix of cultures that have left their marks on the island and this is reflected when travelling between different settlements. In addition to the vast cultural influences there are a plethora of historical sites to explore and each town and city offers their own local specialities.
Travelling around Sicily is easily achieved due to the great train and bus links across the island, however like any new destination care should be taken when using the public services at night. In between districts, Sicily has a beautiful wealth of scenery and terrain to discover and although the Parks and Nature Reserves aren’t particularly well organised, take advantage of the clear hiking trails to explore such landmarks as the Nebrodi Mountains, the Madonie Mountains, the Etna Volcano and many more.