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Sicily. Outline. Introduction Part I. Historical background a. Ancient times b. Modern times Part II. Attractions a. Major cities b. Landmarks Conclusion References. Introduction.

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Outline

  • Introduction

  • Part I. Historical background

  • a. Ancient times

  • b. Modern times

  • Part II. Attractions

  • a. Major cities

  • b. Landmarks

  • Conclusion

  • References


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Introduction

  • Sicily (Sicilia), the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, in southern Italy, is separated from mainland by the Strait of Messina

  • Area of 25,707 sq km; population (2000) 5 million

  • Agriculture is still the predominant occupation of Sicilians

  • Tourism is also an important economic contributor

  • Sicily has a rich and complex history

  • Many landmarks and all kind of influences: Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Muslim, French, Spanish, Austrian, etc…


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I. Historical background

  • a. Ancient times

  • The earliest Greek colony, Naxos, was founded about 734 BC

  • In 210 BC Sicily became a Roman province

  • Conquest by the Vandals under Gaiseric in AD 440

  • Cession of the island to the Ostrogoth leader Theodoric

  • Recovery by the Byzantine general Belisarius in AD 535 for the Byzantine Empire

  • Saracen occupation in 827

  • In 1061 the Normans, under Robert Guiscard and his brother Roger I of Sicily, began the conquest of Sicily, completed in 1091

  • In 1194 the Norman rule was succeeded by that of the house of Hohenstaufen

  • Charles I, count of Anjou and the brother of Louis IX of France, seized control of the kingdom in 1266


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I. Historical background

  • b. Modern times

  • Sicily became independent and chose as king Pedro III, king of Aragon in 1282

  • The island was given to the Spanish crown and after to Austria

  • In 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte conquered the Kingdom of Naples and placed his brother Joseph on the throne (reign in Sicily)

  • Sicily was incorporated into the new kingdom of Italy in1861

  • Mussolini launched a ruthless campaign to destroy the Mafia in 1922

  • In 1943, Sicily was invaded from North Africa by American, Canadian, and British forces

  • Under the constitution of 1948 Sicily became a locally autonomous region of Italy


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II. Attractions

  • a. Major cities

  • Siracusa (Syracuse)

  • On the south-east coast of the island

  • Ortigia (Ortygia) island, linked by a bridge to mainland Sicily with medieval streets and a Baroque appearance

  • The modern town characterized by a regular square urban layout

  • Founded by Greek settlers in the 8th century BC.

  • Greek theatre (3rd century BC.), Roman amphitheatre (3rd century BC.), Temple of Apollo (7th-6th century BC.)

  • Famous People: Theocritus (poet, 310-260 BC.), Archimedes (mathematician, 285-212 BC.), Epicarmo (writer, 5th century BC.)


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Cathedral of Syracusebaroque cathedral built over a temple to Athena


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II. Attractions

  • Palermo

  • North-west coast of Sicily

  • Founded by the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC as a port

  • The city was part of the Roman Empire from 253 BC

  • Ruled by the Goths before becoming a Byzantine possession in 552

  • Palermo was conquered by the Arabs in 831 became capital of the independent emirate of Sicily

  • Norman rule in 1072; part of Italy in 1860

  • Cathedral (12th century), Palazzo dei Normanni…

  • Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Norman and Arab influence on architecture



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II. Attractions

  • b. Landmarks

  • Valley of the Temples

  • archeological area in Agrigento

  • Ruins of numerous temples, necropoli, houses, streets

  • great temples of ancient Akragas: Hera, Hercules, Olympian Zeus, Castor and Pollux and Vulcan

  • Most of the temples at Agrigento are in ruins

  • Part of the Temple of Juno built around 450 BC still intact

  • The Temple of Concord built around 440 BC, in good condition

  • a Unesco world heritage site since 1998



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II. Attractions

  • Mount Etna

  • At approximately 3350 meters, it is Europe's highest active volcano

  • Sicily's greatest natural attraction is also its highest mountain

  • To the ancient Greeks, Etna is the realm of Vulcan, god of fire, and the home of the one-eyed monster called Cyclops

  • The first recorded eruption of Mt Etna was in 1500 B.C.

  • During 1999-2001 spectacular eruptions occurred at the summit craters of Mt Etna

  • Other famous volcano: Stromboli, volcanic island in the Italian Lipari Islands in the Adriatic Sea, north of Sicily



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Conclusion

  • The process of industrialization in Sicily has made many Sicilians migrate to northern Italy, Germany, Switzerland, North and South America and Australia

  • At the same time, Sicily has experienced a resurgence of the Mafia, which has become a serious problem throughout modern Italy

  • Sicily has become famous in American movies as the land of the Mafia (The Godfather)

  • But Sicily has above all one of the richest concentration of art in the world

  • A bridge is about to be built between Sicily and the continent


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References

  • http://www.bestofsicily.com

  • http://www.sicily-photos.com

  • http://www.sicilytravel.net/Palermo_tours.htm

  • http://www.sicilytravel.net/Agrigento_tours.htm

  • http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~boris/ETNA.html

  • http://encarta.msn.com/find/search.asp?search=sicily

  • http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/current_volcs/etna

  • http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/613.html


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