Sicily is a variegated and colourful mosaic, a multitude of hues and tantalizing sceneries, an array of natural, evocative landscapes. Undulating hills, covered with olive trees and rows of vineyards stretching out towards fertile plains, sprinkled with orange trees with sweet-scented blossom, roll down towards the coast with its crystal-clear blue sea, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs that hide delightful gravelly beaches, from which to enjoy picturesque sunsets. Then there is majestic Etna, Europe’s largest volcano with its volcanic rock, trails of fire and slopes with breathtaking lava flows, a sight to move even the hardest of hearts. Sicily is also well known for its islands. The Aeolian Islands, of volcanic origin, rise up between the sea and the sky, where Aeolus, the god of wind, and Vulcan, the god of fire, are said to have lived. Ustica, the “solitary pearl” with its wonderful sea floor, is an absolute must for scuba divers. The Egadi islands (Levanzo, Marettimo and Favignana) have one of the Mediterranean’s largest tuna fisheries, recently converted into a museum and finally, far out to sea, lies the Pelagie archipelago (Linosa and Lampedusa) and further still, beautiful and solitary Pantelleria.
For lovers of nature and green tourism, Sicily abounds in flora and fauna in its luxuriant parks and nature reserves: from the Zingaro nature reserve (a natural paradise still miraculously surviving in its extraordinary and primitive beauty) to the salt pans of Trapani (a magical landscape characterized by windmills); from Vendicari (where flocks of migratory birds find refuge on their long journey towards Africa) to the Torre Salsa nature reserve; from the lush greenery of the Nebrodi mountains to the enchanting lakes at Tindari (four salt-water lakes surrounded by sand dunes); from mount Etna to the canyons of the Alcantara river; from the Madonie mountains to the botanic gardens of Palermo (famous throughout Europe for its variety of rare plants and centuries-old trees).
Areas of natural and cultural interest
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