52 Reasons to Love Sicily | #35. Amazing Architecture

What exactly is it? Built in 1905, Stand Florio was constructed for the industrious Florio family as a daytime seaside resort for their friends and associates – – members of Palermo’s nouveau riche elite. On its grounds they played soccer/football and water sports and socialized. The complex was designed by Palermo architect Ernesto Basile, who…

52 Reasons to Love Sicily | #33. Human Super Heroes

The blast, which registered on earthquake monitors, was the masterwork of the Sicilian mafia. Falcone was targeted because of his life’s work: arresting, holding accountable, and imprisoning those involved in the plague of organized corruption that had crippled Sicily for decades. Falcone and his fellow prosecutor, Paolo Borsellino, were super heroes, having risked (and subsequently…

52 Reasons to Love Sicily | #25. East Meets West in Sicily

Sicily is a bridge where east meets west, especially in Palermo where north African and middle-eastern sensibilities blend with European ones, as illustrated by the Arab-Norman heritage of Palermo. The Arabs were in power in Sicily from roughly 827 to 1061, and many Sicilians will tell you they are proud of the cultural and technological…

52 Reasons to Love Sicily | #22. Strolls Through Public Gardens

Strolls through public gardens offer a different kind of exploring. Villa Giulia, an oasis of greenery in Palermo that was commissioned in 1777, presents you with a geometric layout accentuated with neoclassical band shells and allegorical statues. In the midst of the park, is the Villa Giulia version of the Genius of Palermo, or the…

52 Reasons to Love Sicily | #21. Castles and Their Stories

Castles and their stories pervade hilltop towns in Sicily. This castle pictured, Il Castello di Caccamo in Palermo Province, presents travelers an especially interesting glimpse into Europe’s medieval past. Scholars think the site has been home to some kind of fortress for millennia, meanwhile, this impenetrable iteration, the largest in Sicily, was built by the…