Sicily has a long, colorful history and its culture is a montage of influences. The Greek temples of Tempio Della Concordia in the city of Agricento are remarkably in tact, but the Greek amphitheatre at Taormina shows the destruction wrought by past invasions. Arabian influences are apparent in La Kalsa, an ancient section of Palermo. At Cefalů, construction of a Norman Cathedral commenced in 1131. The massive church inspires awe to this day.
Sicily has stunning natural attractions as well. Most dominant is Mount Aetna, Europe’s tallest active volcano. Sicily’s rocky coastline is home to most of its people, leaving the heartland ruggedly secluded. Sicily is full of museums housed in structures as diverse as converted silk mills and 14th century palaces, and displaying everything from regional art to rare archaeological finds to the preserved accoutrements of native son Vincenzo Bellini, a composer whose five room apartment is now a museum. Sicilian cuisine is a collision of exotic spices, fresh produce and catch of the day seafood. One of the odder Sicilian experiences is a tour of the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, the final resting place to 8000 former Sicilians, whose corpses lie eerily preserved in an underground labyrinth.