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Founded by the Phoenicians in the seventh century . B.C. with the name of Ziz , flower, was conquered by the Romans who gave her the name Panormus (from the greek , all port ) that, with a few modifications ( Arabic Balharm ) has come down to us. The happy time the city began under Arab rule ( ninth century . AD). when it becomes one of the major Islamic centers in the West. The city will expand and rise to new urban neighborhoods beyond the boundaries of the historic center said Cassaro (from Al Qasr , the castle , the ancient name also the main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele today ) . In particular, near the mouth of the sea the Kalsa (from the Halisah the chosen one) , fortified district and residence of the Emir . In 1072 the city fell into the hands of the Norman Count Roger , but the transition does not take place in a violent way : the merchants, artisans , and more generally the Muslim population (but also of other races and religions ) is allowed to continue to live and practice their profession . And 'This is what allows the spread of the style then told the Arab-Norman , a beautiful mixture of reasons both architectural and decorative . The prosperous city and is enriched by the contributions of different cultures. Roger II , son of the " Count " , a lover of luxury, built everywhere Gardens Oriental style with luxurious palaces ( the Zisa , Cuba ) and surrounds himself with writers , mathematicians, astronomers and intellectuals from every where. After a brief period of turmoil and decay , Palermo and Sicily passed into the hands of Frederick II of Swabia ( 1212 ) , under which the city regained its centrality and force . This was followed by the Angevins , expelled at the end of the so-called War of the Sicilian Vespers , the Spanish and , in 700 , the Bourbons of Naples who dress the city of Baroque palaces .
The nineteenth century marks the opening of the city to businesses and relations with Europe. The entrepreneurial middle class is the new economic power and the new " customer ." And the city expands its boundaries . Inauguration of the Liberty Avenue , continuation of Via Maqueda, and the neighborhood that there is around is enriched creations liberty . And it is unfortunately the last flicker , followed by a period of stagnation that sees the series World War II bombings , the earthquake of 1968 and a slow but corrosive degradation of the medieval quarters . Today, however, a new impulse to the revaluation , the restoration and reuse of the magnificent monuments of the center is trying to awaken this magnificent giant of the East still asleep .


Its geographical location and ' strategically important : the city ' and ' put on a dominant position on the fertile plain known as the Conca d'Oro , with the center situated on a bay surrounded by Monte Pellegrino and Capo Zafferano cha acts separation between the Gulf of Palermo to Termini Imerese.
The area is' poured out on the Tyrrhenian coast , geographically important element that contributes to the charm , the beauty and the tourism industry of the province .
The island's capital includes common ottandadue that contribute in a decisive way to enhance the historical, cultural , social and nature of this important area of Sicily.


THE FEAST OF SANTA ROSALIA , as the festival is called , is in fact a fixture since 1624 for Palermo as for all Christians is Christmas : the feast of the patron of the city falls July 15 but starts two days earlier.
The climax of the event is the procession of July 15 , with the release of a fabulous wagon pulled by oxen or other animals ( even in the seventeenth century were Elephants ) leading in triumph the statue of Santa and his remains along the historical path goes from the Cathedral of Palermo at the Foro Italico along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele said Cassaro at the time when it happened deliverance from the plague .
At the head of the procession is the Archbishop of Palermo, which together with the Mayor of the city lead the procession . Hundreds of thousands are participants who completely fill every inch of space of the streets in the parade .
Each year a new theme is proposed the procession which also includes allegorical outdoor events and shows taking place all around the wagon : a show in which exudes all the folklore and culture of Palermo, definitely not to be missed for anyone traveling to Palermo in those days!
Spaghetti with tuna bottarga grated
Pasta with sardines
Eggplant rolls
Sardinian warbler
Cassata and Cannoli
Pasta with sea urchins
Pie Lasagne


Monte Pellegrino
14 km to the north. The road, crossed by a wide paved path that goes back much steeper at the end of '600 (usable for walking ) offers beautiful views of Palermo and the Conca d' Oro. During the ascent you pass on the left the Castle Utveggio . pink massive building visible from the city. When you reach the Shrine of St. Rosalia (XVII cent.) , Built around the cave where according to legend, the saint lived . It is also said that here, in 1624 , would have found his bones , are carried in procession through the city , they would have freed from the scourge of the plague , after this event S. Rosalia became the patron saint of Palermo . The cave is covered with zinc gutters are used to collect the water that oozes from the walls and is considered miraculous .
11 km north . The street is dominated by the slopes of Monte Pellegrino . Elegant resort , the town was "discovered " at the beginning of the century by the wealthy Palermo who decided that a place where you can spend weekends and short vacations . Here are rising so many beautiful villas of which there are still many examples on the waterfront, along the avenue Prince of Scalea ( Villa Margherita at No. 36) , in Margherita di Savoia (especially in the initial section ) and in the streets behind , such as the No. 7 via Mosto ( cottage Lentini) .
The waterfront has a beautiful turn of the century bathhouse still working (even if partially used as a restaurant and private club ) .



Climate: The climate in Sicily reflects the location of the Mediterranean with mild winters (average di Palermo 11-14 ° C) and rainy (over two thirds of the take on average 700 mm of water per year) and very hot summers and dry (average of Palermo 25 ° C with the exception of the summer with peaks, with the sirocco, which can reach even 40 ° C). However there are many microclimates, especially leaving the coast. Remembers very cold in winter the internal area of the province of Enna, the area and the volcanic mountains Peloritani, Nebrodi and Madonie. 
Geology: The island appears divided into two tectonic plates: the Euro-Asian, including the northern part of the island and connected with the rest of the continent, and African, on the southern part of the island. The interaction between the two plates (the African Union, which dips under the Euro-) resulted in the creation of mountain ranges and Sicilian today due to sporadic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the late Miocene probably due to increased tectonic activity, the Mediterranean is completely isolated from the Atlantic Ocean, being followed by an 'increase of evaporation with consequent increase in the concentration of salt, carbonates and sulfates are deposited on the seabed in large quantities, whose traces are the mining of gypsum and rock salt mines in Agrigento, Caltanissetta and Enna. Located at two major horse was tectonic, Sicily is rich in volcanic activity. The three are active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano, characterized by several different types of eruptions: eruptions of basaltic lavas interspersed with periods of calm Etna, and continue with fountains of lava and the Stromboli explosive type of volcano or governing characterized by long periods of calm followed by a violent explosion. There are three mountain ranges that characterize the backbone: the Peloritani, and I Nebrodi Madonie. I Peloritani a continuous Appennino Calabro, are a group crystal with the highest peak on the Great Mountain (1374 m). I Nebrodi are more wooded (Mount Soro 1847 m). Calcareous and rich in karstic are Madonie (pizzo Carbonara 1979 m). All the chains look the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Alcantara valley, with its Cold River, mountain ranges separated by the volcanic edifice of Etna. Coastline over 1500 km. Bathing the three seas (Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Mediterranean) is also a different morphology. To the north very rugged and full of coves and bays with white sandy beaches, south mainly long sandy beaches red clay, while on the Ionian coast rocks (volcanic zone Catania) with beaches and volcanic gravel. For the rest prevail hills and mountains (see the plateau Ragusano and leveled most of the Belice Valley). The only large plains is the Plain of Catania, on the slopes of Etna, with its 430 sq. km. 
Landscape: Sicily is, even in the variety of its landscape, as an island full of hills (61.4%), although there are also reliefs of some significance (24.5%) and discrete plains (14.1% ). The mountain range is made up of the Sicilian 'Appennino siculo, continuation of the mountainous mainland, from Nebrodi from Peloritani, the mountains and Erei Iblei. To the south-east is Mount Etna or Mongibello (3343 m), the largest active volcano in Europe. The plains are of alluvial origin, the two are the most fertile Conca d'Oro, or the plain of Palermo, now largely urbanized, and the plain of Catania, rich in gardens. The rivers are short and all ongoing torrential regime, among them we recall the Alcantara and Simeto at Etna, and the Salso Platani at Agrigento. There are several bays: Castellammare, Palermo, Termini Imerese, Patti, north of Milazzo, Catania, Augusta and Noto east of Gela on the south. 
Location: With its 25,710 sq km, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Located at the heart of the Mediterranean and is separated by a short stretch of sea (less than 3 km) and distant from Africa about 140 km (Canale di Sicilia), it is washed to the north by the Tyrrhenian Sea, east by the Ionian and south-west from the Mediterranean. Sicily belong to several smaller islands and archipelagos: the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands or Lipari and Ustica in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the archipelago of the west Egadi, Pantelleria and the Pelagie south of the Channel of Sicily. 


Agriculture: The favorable conditions of soil and climate of the coastal plains have favored the Sicilian agriculture, absorbing part of the working population and assuming a prominent position in the national scene. Among the main products include: Cotton, grown on the plain of Gela, in Sicily which is the largest Italian producer, citrus fruits, especially in the plains of Acireale and Catania, oranges, lemons and mandarins, but also bergamot, cedar, and mandarine grapefruit. Artichokes in niscemese, a leading European products. The cereals, including wheat in its variety of durum wheat, important in the preparation of pasta. The Indian fig and carob. Dried fruit such as almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios (among them those of Bronte), according to the local sweets, like the prized chocolate modicana. Olives, from which we get an excellent oil. Vegetables, especially in the southeast, which, thanks to greenhouse cultivation reached a number of growing markets. Among these precious tomatoes of Pachino or lupine (legumes). The red onion of Valle del Belice. The screw, which allows the preparation of liqueur wine renowned and appreciated abroad. Among the best known: the Moscato di Pantelleria, Malvasia di Lipari, the Nero d'Avola, Il bianco d'Alcamo, the Zibibbo the Marsala in the province of Trapani. , But also for the production of table grapes, raisins that Italy, with large production between Agrigento and Caltanissetta. In Victoria, this is the biggest fruit and vegetable market of Italy. Recently, cultivation are once exotic species, such as the kiwi, a banana and mango in the area around Fiumefreddo, and precious flowers such as orchids, which reach the European markets. Madonie mushrooms, where you are trying to start the production of truffles. 
Farming: Goats, horses and sheep are reared in discrete quantities, and even cattle, of which he found in the past an obstacle in the lack of forage, are more widespread today. The breeding of cattle is concentrated mainly in the province of Ragusa, where there are animals modicana, which produce milk very substantial, albeit in smaller quantities than other breeds, used to produce provole of piacentino inhabitant of Enna or caciocavallo Ragusa (PDO label). Famose are Modicana Vacca, large producer of milk, and Cinisara, now in a few species adapted to arid land with little pasture and became a protected species. Among the outstanding horses of the horse race sanfratellana originating country on dell'omonimo Nebrodi (Sanfratello). 
Industry: The industries are located close to Termini Imerese, Augusta, Gela and Milazzo, this chemical processing industry, energy and oil. At Termini Imerese is a Fiat car factory. The sulfur mines once present in the provinces of Agrigento, Caltanissetta and Enna, were closed from mid-900 because just become profitable, and so does the extraction of gypsum and potassium salts, which were used in agriculture as fertilizer. The extraction of oil between the provinces of Caltanissetta Gela and represents approximately 90% of Italian production. There are also platform in the sea. 
Fishing: Fishing has always been an important resource for Sicily. Equipped with numerous ports, as Licata, Porto Empedocle, Portopalo, Pozzallo, Mazzara del Vallo and Sciacca, Sicily has a large fishing fleet. Mazzara del Vallo in fact, is the largest fishing port in Italy. Fishing is very blue fish (anchovies, sardines, mackerel), but the tuna (about 80% of national production), and swordfish around the Straits of Messina, useful to the canning industry for the production of canned fish and smoked. Developed the industry of frozen. Trapani is produced in the roe of tuna exported abroad. 
Tourism: Over three million tourists a year. The tourism industry represents an important slice of the Sicilian, which is beneficial to many archaeological sites such as the valley of the temples of Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta, and the natural park of Etna or Madonie. There are four regional parks and reserves about eighty, still continues to grow. Other parks are: that of the river and Nebrodi dell'Alcantara. Ustica the first protected marine reserve in Italy (1986). The largest marine area of Italy is that of the Cyclops coast between Catania and Taormina. Remember the subject of rabbits, the Pelagian, for the famous turtle Caretta caretta, where he continues to lay their own eggs. Many Sicilian city annually to serve the popular destinations such as Acireale, Agrigento, Caltagirone, Cefalù, Messina, Monreale, Palermo, Siracusa, Taormina. Sicily is the Italian region established the largest number of UNESCO heritage of humanity: Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina (1997), Archaeological Park and landscape of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (1997), Aeolian (2000), Otto municipalities in the Val di Noto: Caltagirone, Catania, Militello in Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa, Scicli (2002), the historic center of Syracuse and Pantalica Valley (2005).


5000 a.C. Develop communities to agriculture and livestock, are abandoned caves as places of residence in favor of huts protected by moats. ceramics and appears in Lipari is used obsidian. 
3000 a.C. There is a technological revolution (favored by cultural exchange with the Aegean populations) following the discovery and processing of metals, small objects appear in copper. Muta the funeral rite; to individual burials and pit you prefer collective burials in tombs carved in the rock Grotticella, sometimes communicating with each other as nell'Ipogeo of calafornia (Ragusa). 
1800 - 1400 a.C. You increase trade between the Aeolian Islands and the greek Mycenaean world. Sicily begins to become the bridge between the central and southern Europe and North Africa. 
1400 - 1200 a.C. New traditional investing hours across Sicily. Ceramic painting, dating back to the previous successor monochromatic, dark and glossy. The tombs in the cave take hours monumental forms and complex. The villages are proto-urban areas through new forms of huts (square instead of circular). 
1200 - 900 a.C. There is a deep cultural and ethnic upheaval due on arrival of new populations such as Italic Ausoni, Morgeto and Sicilians, rejecting the Sicani (probably Hispanic origin) in the western part of the island. 
VIII sec. a.C. The service is great emigration Greek settlers founded new poleis on the coast: Zancle (Messina), Naxos (Giardini Naxos), Catania, Leontini (Lentini), Himera (Termini Imerese) Iblea Megara, Gela and Syracuse. Greek colonization in Sicily brings the use of iron, the alphabet and writing, handicrafts of exquisite, but especially the idea of an urban civilization, organized rationally within the circle of walls. 
608 a.C. Panaetios, with a coup d'etat in Lentinoi, becomes the first tyrant of Sicily. From here begins the slow separation from the mother country.
VII sec. a.C. It consolidates the Punic presence in the western part of the island, by the axis Mozia - Palermo - Solunto.
VI sec a.C. There is a widespread urban development, artistic and architectural. They minted the first coins, there are the first large stone temples in Doric order in Syracuse and Selinunte, the sculpture appears. 
415 a.C. Syracuse beat the Athenian fleet, 50,000 Greeks the fallen, the Syracuse 12000. 
V sec. a.C. The indigenous Hellenistic centers adopt (albeit with reservations) the model of classical Greek, as the temple of Segesta, with its peristyle of fluted Doric columns not. 
In this optimistic scenario, Syracuse city itself as hegemonic in the Sicilian scene, witnessed by the victory over the Carthaginians Imera (480 BC) and the defeat of the Athenian expedition to Syracuse in 413 BC 
212 a.C. Syracuse was conquered by Rome at the end of the Second Punic War and became the Roman province of Sicily. Of this period are some tombs of the Hellenistic and Roman imprint which tomb of Archimedes at Syracuse. Overall the city retain a culture of Hellenistic mold. 
The first imperial age shows a substantial recovery campaign and dissemination of large estates. 
The late empire was characterized by an economy latifondistica which is reflected in the imperial villa at the time, discovered and excavated since 1950 (including the splendid villa at Piazza Armerina Mosaic). This is offered with a vast mosaic carpet floor covering and vast environments of the villa is decorated with mythical subjects, hunting scenes and circus games. The bill probably is due to mosaicists Africans. 
468 a.C. The Vandals conquer Sicily. Shortly after arriving the Goths. 
535 a.C. Belisario Giustiniano sends to conquer Sicily. In short, the island becomes a Christian. 
IX - XII century after the Arab conquest of Sicily (827-902) and until the subsequent occupation Norman (1061-1091), there is a general reorganization: the city is repopulated, are made new crop land and make their appearance new cultivation techniques. With the Norman conquest of Sicily falls to be part of Western Christian. major cities and especially Palermo, soon became centers of intense trade, encouraged by the key position of the Mediterranean. Another important deal in this period, the cathedrals and abbeys, impressive in size and monumentality. 
1061 Thanks to the great military works of Ruggero d'Altavilla, Sicily back under Christian domination.
Roger II in 1130 establishing the first parliament allowing Latins, Greeks, Jews and Arabs to be judged according to its own law. 
1186 Marriage between constancy of Altavilla, aunt of William II and Henry VI, son of Barbarossa. They will come one of the most charismatic figures for Sicily: Richard II. 
1250 at a time of strong autonomous movement of the city died Federico II, King of the Normans, better known as the Stupor Mundi.
1258 the new King Manfredi, son of Frederick II, married the daughter constancy to Peter of Aragon. Begin relations with Spain.
The 1266 French Charles of Anjou defeated Manfred becoming king of Sicilia.Ha be a boost to rifeudalizzazione which will be maintained in the Aragonese period and will affect not just the island's subsequent history (eg in the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers). 
The Sicilian Vespers in 1282. Sicily hunting Angevins the benefit of the Spaniards. The kingdom will go to King Frederick II of Aragon. 
XVI. The large coastal cities (Palermo, Messina, Catania, Siracusa, Trapani) are protected by mighty walls of new construction in response to the rising pressure of the Turkish fleet. These cities are also shipping the big changes in urban construction of new streets, squares, convents and Jesuits aristocratic building.
1535 Charles V Stay in Sicily.
XVII-XVIII sec. This is a period of major cities riproggettazione (significant in the case of Catania, reconstructed with modern criteria following the disastrous earthquake of 1693 that hit) and in a reached artistic maturity, no more need of external influences. 
Second half of the eighteenth century. The walls were built before forgiveness important, cities are more open and tend to develop extra-moenia prevalent in the achievements of this period is the neoclassical taste. 
Nineteenth century. They felt the new trends in restoration, with particular attention to building a collective target social housing and public construction fell aristocratic and ecclesiastical. The administration Bourbon strives to modernize and improve the communication routes of the great Sicilian city. Symbol of the new urbanism, released from feudal bonds, is the way of Liberty in Palermo, designed in the revolutionary climate of 1848. The British influence is immediately evident in the design of the gardens and the importance given to liquor for export and to manufacture iron. 
1713 The War of the Spanish Succession. Sicily to Savoy. Will then be transferred to Austria for Sardinia. 
1735 The War of Polish Succession. Sicily to the Bourbons. 
At the time of unification in 1860 the national urban resumed Sicilian continental models, with the advent of railways, planning and overall modernization of the Sicilian cities lose their conforming to the specific national situation. 
The 1908 Messina earthquake is about 80,000 victims. 
1943, 8 September, on the south - eastern Sicily the Allies landed. 
1946 Sicily has its own status of regional autonomy. 
The 1968 earthquake destroyed many of the Belice agricultural centers. Start the bureaucratic battle that will lead to the construction of futuristic Gibellina (TP). 
1992 Mafia murders of judges Falcone and Borsellino, which creates a shock lead in the fight Antimafia in recent years. 
1997 - 2002 Agrigento, the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, the Aeolian islands, the Val di Noto, Syracuse and are incorporated by Pantalica 'Unesco as a World Heritage Site. 

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