Sicily is the largest region in Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. To the north it overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the east it is divided from the Italian peninsula by the Strait of Messina and is bathed by the Ionian Sea and to the southwest it is divided from Africa.
Because of its strategic position it has been inhabited since the Paleolithic and Mesolithic times as evidenced by the traces found in the caves of the northern coast. The first inhabitants were, according to Thucydides, the Sicans from Iberia (VIII-VII century BC). Starting from 735 BC came the first Greek colonists who caused the retreat of the Phoenicians who had placed their base in western Sicily between Mozia and Capo Lilibeo. In 265 BC the Romans took possession of Messina, allying with local mercenaries. In 1415 the island became a Spanish vice-kingdom with a marginal role in the Mediterranean. Despite the discontent and revolts in the major centers, the Spanish dominion remained firm until the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) when the Spanish dominion ceased and Sicily passed to the Savoy. Pressed by the French, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon king of Naples found his refuge in Sicily, unifying the two states in the kingdom of the two Sicilies and abolishing feudal privileges in 1812. In 1848 the revolutionary movements began throughout the island and the Sicilians with the provisional government of Ruggero Settimo declared the Bourbons lapsed. On 11 May 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi disembarked in Marsala, defeating the Bourbon troops in Calatafimi but social tensions still broke out with the Sicilian Fasci movement repressed in 1894 by Francesco Crispi, then head of the Italian government.
Complex and complex, Sicilian cuisine is often considered the richest in specialties and the most scenic in Italy. Some of the best known foods, widespread not only regionally but even worldwide, are the Sicilian cassata, the iris, the Sicilian cannolo, the granita and the arancini. Thanks to its mild climate, the island is rich in spices and aromatic plants; oregano, mint, rosemary, are part of the Sicilian condiments every day. The fertile soil produces large quantities of oranges and lemons. Almonds, prickly pear, pistachio and olives are other culinary symbols in which the island excels.
Regarding the traditions, particular and sometimes picturesque, they were the cause for which, over the centuries, a stereotype has been created translated in the term Sicilian, meaning with it a sort of particularity and differentiation of the island character with respect to that of the neighboring regions. The habit is widespread at large tables for lunch or dinner, especially in summer.
Timetables are moved a little further ahead than in the north, even arriving at two in the afternoon and having dinner around nine-ten in the summer. We tend to stay a little longer at the table even after having eaten dinner.
The viticulture of Sicily, for many years aimed at obtaining cutting wines (high alcohol content and large quantities) has made remarkable progress in recent years, achieving remarkable results in the wine sector. The structure of Sicilian wines, due both to the type of vines and to the pedoclimatic environment, accompanied by the qualitative improvement and refinement of enological techniques, has meant that many products have by now imposed themselves with full merit on national and international markets. The Alberello and its "mixed" versions are very widespread as a breeding system, as is the Tendone. More than half of the vineyards use espaliers and counter-espaliers.