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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The largest island in the Mediterranean, the Italian region of Sicily (Sicilia) has successfully meshed together aspects of several Mediterranean cultures (Greek and Roman, Arab and Norman, Spanish, French, and Italian) to form its own unique identity. Aside from its eclectic culture, Sicily boasts many frozen impressions of times past, as well as Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, standing 3,323 meters tall.

Situated in southeast Sicily, Siracusa (Syracuse) is a place where history is extremely visible. Once a powerful Greek and then Roman city, temples and theaters from ancient times still stand to remind Siracusans of their past. The Tempio di Apollo (Temple of Apollo) is one site that truly reflects Siracusa’s complicated history. The temple was built in the 6th century BC on Siracusa’s island of Ortygia and stands as the oldest Doric peripteral temple in the world, according to Originally, the temple is said to have been built to honor Apollo, though Cicero wrote that it was in dedication to Artemis. Before long, the temple was converted
into a Byzantine church, then into a Muslim mosque, and then back into a church

No matter where you are in Sicily, there is one distinctive feature of the region that cannot be avoided: the food. Sicilian cuisine is treasured worldwide. Due to its numerous outside influences, the cuisine is an interesting mix of fish, homegrown foods, Italian pastas, and foreign ingredients.

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