Italy ➜ Sicilia
The largest Mediterranean island is the remnant of a land bridge that once connected Europe and Africa. This bridging function is also culturally noticeable: Carthaginians, Greeks, Phoenicians and the Imperium Romanum are among the peoples who colonised the island. Sicily was under Muslim rule for a whole 250 years. Not surprisingly, Garibaldi's unification of Italy began on this outpost of multiculturalism.
Like a queen, the island connects the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. Its landmark, Mount Etna, is the largest volcano in Europe. With 3000 different plant species, Sicily is a paradise of vegetation. In some regions, tropical plants such as bougainvillea, jasmine or papyrus give a glimpse of nearby Africa. On the picturesque coastlines as well as in the interior, the Greeks left behind impressive temples. The buildings erected under Arab rule were often rebuilt by Normans. This is how the Byzantine-influenced domed architectural style typical of Sicily developed. Examples are San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi or San Giovanni degli Eremiti.
Sicilian cuisine is amazingly varied. Famous are its sweets, whose recipes often date back to Arab times, such as cassata or fruits made of marzipan.
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