Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and belongs to Italy. In addition, Sicily is also an autonomous region of the republic Italy and counts several smaller islands in its area.
In the south-western part of the “toe of the boot” of Italy is the splendid vacation island Sicily. The Etna volcano is important here. It should be mentioned that here one stands on the remains of the connection between Europe and Africa. Overall, the area extends over an area of 25,703 square kilometers and currently offers space for around 5 million residents. Sicily is made up of nine provinces and has Palermo as its capital, which is also the largest city in the region.
Landscape and life in Sicily
More than 80 percent of the island consists of mountains or hill country. The plains of Sicily are in the hinterland of Catania. The Mediterranean climate with the hot and dry summers as well as the humid but mild winter months make the whole area extremely attractive for vacationers. The favorable location in the Mediterranean Sea and the wonderful beaches of course also promote this. On average, the temperatures reach values around 19 degrees in summer and 5 degrees in winter. In the coastal regions, where most of the tourism takes place, the temperature is 26 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter.
Flora and fauna in Sicily
The residents of the island have greatly reduced the area’s lush forest cover over the centuries. The wood was cleared for shipbuilding or to gain useful land. Today only a very small part of the original forest area is left. Today, forest areas can be found cork oaks, beeches, pines and even, quite untypically for the region, firs. The carob trees thrive particularly well in Monti Iblei. In addition, you will find over 3,000 different plant species here, especially the wildflowers are very diverse. Among other things, bougainvillea, jasmine, mimosa and even magnificent orchids grow here. There are also numerous wild herbs and capers. In addition, tropical and subtropical plants such as rubber trees, bananas and papyrus plants have made their home here.
The beautiful vines and olive groves are not only visually attractive, but also form an economic factor for the region. Durum wheat has also grown here since the Romans.
Since the forest areas were ruthlessly cleared, the important habitat of native animals was destroyed at the same time, which subsequently became extinct. The population of red deer, wolves, foxes and wild cats is so reduced that these species will soon become extinct. In the past, extensive hunting was carried out on the few animals that were left, which led to a further decline in the population. The animals living in the sea, on the other hand, are present in large numbers. Fish such as tuna and swordfish are widespread here. Furthermore, large numbers of crustaceans live here.
There are also sea turtles that are now under species protection. Numerous migratory birds and water birds also rest or nest here in the coastal region.
The importance of the ports in Sicily has changed again and again in the past. The coastal region was a base for shipping and trade early on. In order for a port to be built, flora and fauna had to give way.
Today Sicily has become a culturally diverse unit. The influences from the different epochs of bygone times are visible and palpable everywhere.
Palermo in Italy
Palarmo is the capital of the Autonomous region Sicily in Italy. It is also the capital of the Province of Palermo. The city is on one picturesque Bay on the north coast of Sicily. Palermo was founded in the 8th century and has an eventful past. The different rulers of the region were Arabs, Normans and Staufers. As the fifth largest city in the country, Palermo is now home to around 660,000 residents. In addition, the cultural and political center of Sicily is located here.
Landscapes of Palermo
The typical landscape of northern Sicily is characterized by Monte Pellegrino and Monte Catalfano, which border the Palermos region in the north and east of the island. The area between these two mountains is also called the “Golden Shell”. This name probably goes back to the lush orange groves, which bathed the landscape in a golden color in the summer months during the Arab rule.
Palermo’s direct neighbors are Altofonte, Belmonte Mezzagno, Ficcarazzi, Isola delle Femmine, Misilmeri, Monreale, Torretta and Villabate.
The history of Palermo
The city was founded by the Phoenicians. It served as a trading post in the 8th century BC. At that time, however, Palermo was still called Ziz, which means the flower. This is due to the fertility of the soil, on which a particularly large number of flowers thrived. Palermo owes the actual and current city name to the Greeks who described the natural port of Palermo as a whole port with the word Panhormos. But Palermo was always able to assert itself against the Greek powers and never came under their rule. By Augustus an important city and an important trading point in Sicily is Palermo.
When the Vandals invaded Sicily several times, Palermo lost its importance. It was not until 831 that Palermo became more important again and regained its position. At that time, the area developed into a growing region for orange and citrus tree plantations, which was used by the Arabs. Even in ancient times, Sicily was seen as the breadbasket of the world and the fertile agricultural and arable land was in great demand in the Middle Ages.
Economy and tourism in Palermo
A particularly important economic sector in Palermo is the service industry, also due to the steadily increasing tourism. The sectors that are directly involved in the expansion of tourist facilities benefit from this growth in particular. The construction industry is also booming due to the increasing interest in the landscape around Palermo. Because, of course, tourists not only want to be well looked after, they also want to live well.
The industry in Sicily is also growing. Palermo is a location for various industrial companies from the chemical industry, vehicle construction and shipbuilding as well as the textile industry.
Also the fertile soil will be especially for Orange and citrus plantations used. The cultivation of vegetables was also greatly expanded, so that Palermo plays a particularly important role in this area.
However, there is a heavy burden on the citizens of the entire region in and around Palermo. Because although the region is steadily recovering and the city is experiencing a slight economic boom, and things have been steadily “up” here since the end of the 20th century, the population suffers from very low wages. In addition, compared to the rest of the country, Palermo is one of the cities with the highest youth unemployment.