- San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons HotelSan Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons HotelSicily, Italy
Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands, separated from the Continent by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian, the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas. It is one of the pearls of Southern Italy and can be discovered, understood and experienced through a series of itineraries dedicated to areas of interest ranging from nature to history and traditions.
Sicily's two main airports serve the island's two biggest cities: Palermo and Catania. Named after two assassinated anti-Mafia judges, Palermo'sFalcone-Borsellino Airportis at Punto Raisi, 30km west of the city. Alitalia, Meridiana and two dozen other airlines operate regular flights to/from major Italian and international destinations including Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York City and Zürich; Ryanair, easyJet and Vueling are among the low-cost carriers serving other cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, Florence, Paris and Rome.
Unless you're flying, arriving in Sicily involves a ferry crossing. Regular car/passenger ferries cross the Strait of Messina (the 3km stretch of water that separates Sicily from the Italian mainland) between Villa San Giovanni and Messina, or Reggio di Calabria and Messina. Ferries also sail to Sicily from Genoa, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples, Salerno, Cagliari (Sardinia), Malta and Tunisia.
Nature seems to have endowed all its wonders to this land: mountains, hills and above all the sea, with its incredible colors, its crystal-clear water and the beauty of its seabeds, in no way inferior to those of other seas.
Here, the Mediterranean Sea, with its many little islands scattered around the coasts of Sicily - The Aeolians, Egadi and Pelagie Islands, Pantelleria and Ustica - offers unique and the intense sceneries, scents and flavors of uncontaminated nature. Last but not least, its great volcanoes are symbols of the irresistible beauty and vitality of this incredibly charming region.
On Sicily's southeastern coast stands Syracuse, joint UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Necropolis of Pantalica since 2005. This ancient Greek colony fronts an evocative natural port that is blocked on its east by Ortygia, the oldest urban center here. Every corner and cranny of the city offers precious archaeological testimonies that recall the splendor of Magna Graecia. Sicily is rich in UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Two other must-sees are the Late Baroque cities of the Noto Valley, and the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.