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Sicily
Sicily is an amazing world that does not look like anything: the world of the azure sea and a smoking volcano, the world of orange groves and desert steppes, the…

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Sicily

Sicily is an amazing world that does not look like anything: the world of the azure sea and a smoking volcano, the world of orange groves and desert steppes, the world of pacified peace of Greek temples and the hubbub of market squares, the world of Greek philosophers and Arab conquerors, it is a world of opposites woven into one a big tale called Sicily.

Geographical position: Sicily – the largest island in the Mediterranean basin
the total area with adjacent small islands is 25,426 km2. Three capes gave the island a triangle shape, for which the ancient Greeks called Sicily Trinacria. Its shores are washed by three seas: in the north – the Tyrrhenian, in the east – the Ionian, in the west and south – the Mediterranean. The island is separated from the mainland of Italy, the Apennine Peninsula by the Strait of Messina (3 km wide at its narrowest point). 3 archipelagos belong to Sicily: Aeolian (Aeolian) islands – in the north, Aegadian – in the west and Pelagic islands – in the south.

The island of Sicily is of volcanic origin, the landscape is mountainous, consisting of a continuation of the Calabrian Apennines mountain range. In the eastern part rises the highest volcano in Europe – Etna 3340 m high. There are many rivers on the island (Alcantara, Simeto, Platani, Belice, etc.), but not a single navigable one, because in the summer they dry up almost everything. Also on the island are numerous reserves and parks; magnificent forests in the mountains of Nebrodi and Fikutsa.

Administrative division: The island of Sicily has the status of an autonomous region of Italy with an administrative division into 9 provinces: Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Messina, Catania, Enna, Ragusa, Syracuse. The regional parliament is located in the capital of the island – Palermo.

Population and language: More than 5 million people live on the island of Sicily. The majority of the population are Italians. There are also Arabs (natives of Tunisia), Greeks, French, Maltese. Sicilians speak Italian, but at home they often use the Sicilian dialect, which is difficult for foreigners who speak Italian to understand. There are people who speak only the Sicilian dialect, but nonetheless perfectly understand Italian. In major cities, hotels and tourist centers can be explained in English, French and German. In provincial hotels, shops, etc., the language spoken is primarily Italian. However, Sicilians are distinguished by their hospitality and friendly indulgence towards tourists, so if you get lost or need any information, local residents are usually always ready to help, using the sign language heavily.

Climate and weather: Flora of Sicily is one of the richest in the Mediterranean. In spring, the whole island turns into a huge multi-colored bouquet. A riot of colors and aromas turn their heads, and it becomes clear how the ancient Greeks, heading along the sea to Sicily, smelled blossoming oranges and lemons when the island was not yet visible on the horizon … But only in the middle of May, when oleanders blossom, water in the sea warms up to 17-18 ° C There are years when it is already possible to swim in May or the first half of June, but Sicilians themselves usually begin to “try” the sea in the second half of June or July, and until that time they go to the beach just to sunbathe. Although many tourists open the swimming season in early June. But, slowly warming up, the sea cools down just as slowly, retaining heat until November, and sometimes until December, offering bathers 20 ° C and even higher. The water temperature in July-August is 22-24 ° C (although the water warmth depends not only on air temperature, but also on the beach – sandy beaches usually warm faster and stronger). The climate in Sicily is subtropical Mediterranean, rather mild. The summer is wet and hot, in July-August the temperature can reach 40-45 ° C, but the heat is transferred on the coast more easily than in the heart of the island, thanks to the sea wind. In any case, people who do not tolerate heat during this period are not recommended to visit the island and even pose a danger. The humid heat is periodically replaced by a sirco-dry wind from the African desert, which sometimes blows for several days in a row at a temperature of 40 ° C and above. Winters are short and warm, with an average temperature of 13 ° C, although it rains windy. Usually the cold is wet, i.e. it always feels like the air is colder than it really is. The holiday season is May-October. The island has an average of more than 2500 hours of sunshine per year.

Sea and beaches: Sicily offers a complete choice for any, even the most demanding, guest. The sea in different parts of the island has its own characteristics: somewhere more transparent, somewhere emerald blue, somewhere inhabited by many colored fish swimming right at coast, etc. All these differences are due to the type of coastline, and Sicily tried to give its guests the greatest choice: it’s worth moving for a kilometer and instead of pebbles, the entrance to the sea will be exclusively sandy, the next kilometer will be stones that will soon be replaced by the finest white sand, etc.

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