We arrived in Sicily yesterday, had some travel adventures with rental car (GPS in Italian, etc.) but arrived safe and sound in Syracuse. A bit about Sicilian history- it is an island that famously has Mt. Etna which has erupted numerous times, there have been many earthquakes, it’s actually geographically close to North Africa (Tunisia especially) about 600 miles. It has been conquered and occupied by many different groups including Arabs, Spanish, Byzantine, Germans in Middle Ages, Greeks, Normans, and of course Romans. It was a separate entity until it became part of the Italian Republic in the 19th century. It has a distinct culture, cuisine, and is rich in art through the 17th century. We are of course, not supposed to talk about the “godfathers” or “sopranos” but you can see lots of tee shirts alluding to that part of Sicilian heritage. It is mostly a rural economy and though it has had times of great prosperity it is mostly an economically deprived region.
We have not seen much economic depravation so far as there are many tourists in Syracuse. The setting as you will see is quite beautiful by the Mediterranean and even at night you can see the bottom of the sea close to shore. Enjoy the photos from our first day in Sicily.