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Sicily is now governed by a centre-right coalition.

Nello Musumeci is the current President since Administratively, Sicily is divided into nine provinces, each with a capital city of the same name as the province. A series of reforms and investments on agriculture such as the introduction of modern irrigation systems have made this important industry competitive. Today Sicily is investing a large amount of money on structures of the hospitality industry , in order to make tourism more competitive. Sicily has long been noted for its fertile soil due to volcanic eruptions.

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The local agriculture is also helped by the pleasant climate of the island. Cattle and sheep are raised. Sicily is the third largest wine producer in Italy the world's largest wine producer after Veneto and Emilia Romagna. In recent decades the wine industry has improved, new winemakers are experimenting with less-known native varietals, and Sicilian wines have become better known.

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Furthermore, in Sicily high quality wines are also produced using non-native varietals like Syrah , Chardonnay and Merlot. Sicily is also known for its liqueurs, such as the Amaro Averna produced in Caltanissetta and the local limoncello. Fishing is another fundamental resource for Sicily. There are important tuna , sardine , swordfish and European anchovy fisheries.

Mazara del Vallo is the largest fishing centre in Sicily and one of the most important in Italy. Improvements in Sicily's road system have helped to promote industrial development. The region has three important industrial districts :. In Palermo there are important shipyards such as Fincantieri , mechanical factories of famous Italian companies as Ansaldo Breda , publishing and textile industries. A table showing Sicily's different GDP nominal and per capita growth between and [] []. After the table which shows Sicily's GDP growth, [] this table shows the sectors of the Sicilian economy in The unemployment rate stood at Highways have been built and expanded in the last four decades.

The most prominent Sicilian roads are the motorways known as autostrade in the north of the island. Much of the motorway network is elevated on pillars due to the island's mountainous terrain. The first railway in Sicily was opened in Palermo-Bagheria and today all of the Sicilian provinces are served by a network of railway services, linking to most major cities and towns; this service is operated by Trenitalia.

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Of the narrow-gauge railways the Ferrovia Circumetnea is the only one that still operates, going round Mount Etna. From the major cities of Sicily, there are services to Naples , Rome and Milan ; this is achieved by the trains being loaded onto ferries which cross the Strait. In Catania there is an underground railway service metropolitana di Catania ; in Palermo the national railway operator Trenitalia operates a commuter rail Palermo metropolitan railway service , the Sicilian Capital is also served by 4 AMAT Comunal Public Transport Operator tramlines; Messina is served by a tramline.

Mainland Sicily has several airports which serve numerous Italian and European destinations and some extra-European. By sea, Sicily is served by several ferry routes and cargo ports, and in all major cities, cruise ships dock on a regular basis. Plans for a bridge linking Sicily to the mainland have been discussed since Throughout the last decade, plans were developed for a road and rail link to the mainland via what would be the world's longest suspension bridge , the Strait of Messina Bridge. Planning for the project has experienced several false starts over the past few years. Sicily's sunny, dry climate, scenery, cuisine, history and architecture attract many tourists from mainland Italy and abroad.

The tourist season peaks in the summer months, although people visit the island all year round. The last features some of the best-preserved temples of the ancient Greek period. Many Mediterranean cruise ships stop in Sicily, and many wine tourists also visit the island. This increased the attraction of Sicily as a tourist destination. By the order of inscription:. Because many different cultures settled, dominated or invaded the island, Sicily has a huge variety of archaeological sites. Also, some of the most notable and best preserved temples and other structures of the Greek world are located in Sicily.

Here is a short list of the major archaeological sites:. The excavation and restoration of one of Sicily's best known archaeological sites, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, was at the direction of the archaeologist Domenico Antonio Lo Faso Pietrasanta , Fifth Duke of Serradifalco , known in archaeological circles simply as "Serradifalco". He also oversaw the restoration of ancient sites at Segesta , Selinunte , Siracusa and Taormina.

The Coastal towers in Sicily Torri costiere della Sicilia are old watchtowers along the coast. In Sicily, the first coastal towers date back to and of the Aragonese monarchy. From the threat came from the south, from North Africa to Maghreb , mainly to Barbary pirates and corsairs of Barbary Coast. In , the Turks settled in Algiers , and from , the corsair Hayreddin Barbarossa under the command of Ottoman Empire , operated from that harbour. Most existing towers were built on architectural designs of the Florentine architect Camillo Camilliani from [] to , and involved the coastal periple of Sicily.

The typology changed completely in ', because of the new higher fire volumes of cannon vessels, the towers were built on the type of Martello towers that the British built in the UK and elsewhere in the British Empire. The decline of Mediterranean piracy caused by the Second Barbary War led to a smaller number of coastal towers built during the 19th Century.

Ligny Tower - Trapani. Torre Cabrera Pozzallo Pozzallo. Vignazza Tower Giardini Naxos. To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything. Sicily has long been associated with the arts ; many poets, writers, philosophers , intellectuals, architects and painters have roots on the island.

The history of prestige in this field can be traced back to Greek philosopher Archimedes , a Syracuse native who has gone on to become renowned as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.

e-book The Narrow Beach (Sicilian Studies)

Terracotta ceramics from the island are well known, the art of ceramics on Sicily goes back to the original ancient peoples named the Sicanians , it was then perfected during the period of Greek colonisation and is still prominent and distinct to this day. Famous painters include Renaissance artist Antonello da Messina , Bruno Caruso , Renato Guttuso and Greek born Giorgio de Chirico who is commonly dubbed the "father of Surrealist art " and founder of the metaphysical art movement.

The Sicilian Baroque has a unique architectural identity. Noto , Caltagirone , Catania , Ragusa , Modica , Scicli and particularly Acireale contain some of Italy's best examples of Baroque architecture , carved in the local red sandstone. Noto provides one of the best examples of the Baroque architecture brought to Sicily. The Baroque style in Sicily was largely confined to buildings erected by the church, and palazzi built as private residences for the Sicilian aristocracy.

However, even at this early stage, provincial architects had begun to incorporate certain vernacular features of Sicily's older architecture. By the middle of the 18th century, when Sicily's Baroque architecture was noticeably different from that of the mainland, it typically included at least two or three of the following features, coupled with a unique freedom of design that is more difficult to characterise in words. Palermo hosts the Teatro Massimo which is the largest opera house in Italy and the third largest in all of Europe.

The golden age of Sicilian poetry began in the early 13th century with the Sicilian School of Giacomo da Lentini , which was highly influential on Italian literature. In terms of academic reflection, the historical and aesthetic richness as well as the multi-layered heterogeneity of Sicilian literature and culture have been first grasped methodologically and coined with the term of transculturality by German scholar of Italian studies Dagmar Reichardt who, after having published an extensive study on the literary work of Giuseppe Bonaviri , [] was awarded the International Premio Flaiano "Italianistica" for a trilingual English, Italian, German collection about the European liminality of Sicily, Sicilian literature and Sicilian Studies.

Today in Sicily most people are bilingual and speak both Italian and Sicilian , a distinct and historical Romance language. However the use of Sicilian is limited to informal contexts mostly in family and in a majority of cases it is replaced by the so-called regional Italian of Sicily , an Italian dialect that is a kind of mix between Italian and Sicilian.

by Enzo Lauretta

Sicilian was an early influence in the development of the first Italian standard, although its use remained confined to an intellectual elite. This was a literary language in Sicily created under the auspices of Frederick II and his court of notaries, or Magna Curia , which, headed by Giacomo da Lentini , also gave birth to the Sicilian School , widely inspired by troubadour literature. Its linguistic and poetic heritage was later assimilated into the Florentine by Dante Alighieri , the father of modern Italian who, in his De vulgari eloquentia , claims that "In effect this vernacular seems to deserve a higher praise than the others, since all the poetry written by Italians can be called Sicilian".

Catania has one of the four laboratories of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare National Institute for Nuclear Physics in which there is a cyclotron that uses protons both for nuclear physics experiments and for particle therapy to treat cancer proton therapy. In the Observatory of Palermo the astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the first and the largest asteroid to be identified Ceres today considered a dwarf planet on 1 January ; [] Catania has two observatories, one of which is situated on Mount Etna at 1, metres 5, feet. Syracuse is also an experimental centre for the solar technologies through the creation of the project Archimede solar power plant that is the first concentrated solar power plant to use molten salt for heat transfer and storage which is integrated with a combined-cycle gas facility.

All the plant is owned and operated by Enel. It was founded by the physicist Antonino Zichichi in honour of another scientist of the island, Ettore Majorana known for the Majorana equation and Majorana fermions. The island has a long history of producing a variety of noted cuisines and wines, to the extent that Sicily is sometimes nicknamed God's Kitchen because of this.

Cassata is typical of Palermo although available everywhere in Sicily, as is Granita, a Catania speciality. The ingredients are typically rich in taste while remaining affordable to the general public. The most well-known part of Sicilian cuisine is the rich sweet dishes including ice creams and pastries. Cannoli singular: cannolo , a tube-shaped shell of fried pastry dough filled with a sweet filling usually containing ricotta cheese , is strongly associated with Sicily worldwide.

Like the cuisine of the rest of southern Italy, pasta plays an important part in Sicilian cuisine, as does rice; for example with arancine. Parsley is used abundantly in many dishes. Although Sicilian cuisine is commonly associated with sea food, meat dishes, including goose , lamb , goat, rabbit, and turkey , are also found in Sicily.

It was the Normans and Swabians who first introduced a fondness for meat dishes to the island. The most popular sport in Sicily is football , which came to the fore in the late 19th century under the influence of the English. Some of the oldest football clubs in Italy are from Sicily: the three most successful are Palermo , Catania , and Messina , which have played 29, 17 and 5 seasons in the Serie A respectively. No club from Sicily has ever won Serie A, but football is still deeply embedded in local culture and all over Sicily most towns have a representative team.

Palermo and Catania have a heated rivalry and compete in the Sicilian derby together. Although football is the most popular sport in Sicily, the island also has participants in other fields. Amatori Catania have competed in the top Italian national rugby union league called National Championship of Excellence.

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They have even participated at European level in the European Challenge Cup. Competing in the basketball variation of Serie A is Orlandina Basket from Capo d'Orlando in the province of Messina , where the sport has a reasonable following. Various other sports that are played to some extent include volleyball, handball , and water polo. Previously, in motorsport , Sicily held the prominent Targa Florio sports car race that took place in the Madonie Mountains, with the start-finish line in Cerda.

This sailing race featured, among other entrants, all boats that took part in the America's Cup. Each town and city has its own patron saint, and the feast days are marked by colourful processions through the streets with marching bands and displays of fireworks. Sicilian religious festivals also include the presepe vivente living nativity scene , which takes place at Christmas time. Deftly combining religion and folklore, it is a constructed mock 19th century Sicilian village, complete with a nativity scene, and has people of all ages dressed in the costumes of the period, some impersonating the Holy Family, and others working as artisans of their particular assigned trade.

It is normally concluded on Epiphany , often highlighted by the arrival of the magi on horseback. Oral tradition plays a large role in Sicilian folklore.