Sicily - the island where rain falls very rarely and the sky is perfectly blue.
The history of Sicily has seen Sicily usually controlled by greater powers—Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman,Hohenstaufen, Catalan, Spaniard—but also experiencing short periods of independence, as under the Greeks and later as theEmirate then Kingdom of Sicily. Although today part of the Republic of Italy, it has its own distinct culture.
Sicily is both the largest region of the modern state of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its central location and natural resources ensured that it has been considered a crucial strategic location due in large part to its importance for Mediterranean trade routes. For example, the area was highly regarded as part of Magna Graecia, with Cicero describing Syracuseas the greatest and most beautiful city of all Ancient Greece.
The economic history of rural Sicily has focused on its "latifundium economy" caused by the centrality of large, originally feudal, estates used for cereal cultivation and animal husbandry that developed in the 14th century and persisted until World War II.
At times, the island has been at the heart of great civilizations, at other times it has been nothing more than a colonial backwater. Its fortunes have often waxed and waned depending on events out of its control, in earlier times a magnet for immigrants, in later times a land of emigrants.
Tomorrow about Sicilian food.