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Homes in Sicily

Long summers, spectacular landscapes and super-friendly people are just three things to entice you to Sicily. A vast range of property options – including some of Italy’s most affordable homes – should be another, says Fleur Kinson.

LIVING ITALIA!

Sitting like a big, bold triangle perched at the toe-tip of the Italian boot, Sicily is the Mediterranean’s largest island. It packs some astonishingly lovely landscapes into its 10,000 square miles, many of the most arresting being found along its 920 miles of coast. Sicily generously offers seaside-lovers a choice of white, gold or black beaches (the last made of fine volcanic grains), in long expanses or studded like gems in rock-girt coves. The island offers fruit-growing hills, brooding highlands, romantic offshore islets and a couple of fiery but harmless volcanoes. Its settlements, meanwhile, encompass tiny timewarp villages spilling prettily down hillsides, handsome Baroque towns carved out of warm-toned sandstone, sleepy fishing ports bobbing with boats, elegant beach resorts full of delighted holidaymakers, and bustling cities that abound with zest and colour.

Like all islands, Sicily has a particular character that is all its own. Some visitors say the island isn’t really Italy at all but something very separate and unique. Others, such as 18th-century writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, suggest that, “Without Sicily, Italy leaves no image in the soul. Sicily is the key to everything.” Clearly this is an island that makes a strong impression on those who come here.

The coastal town of Cefalù is a popular tourist destination

One thing Sicily certainly possesses is an intriguing mix of cultural influences, which undoubtedly contributes to the island’s special – if not unique – look and feel. History’s every bunch of Med-crossing traders and invaders seems to have dropped in on Sicily at some point in the past and left behind them a lasting legacy. The Ancient Greeks and Romans built towering temples here, the Normans and Spaniards carved exquisite cathedrals, and the Arabs and North Africans mixed all sorts of exotic ingredients into the island’s varied and distinctive cuisine.

SOCIABLE AND HOSPITABLE

Befitting an island with a long history of passers-through, Sicilians are a distinctly sociable and hospitable people. You’ll be warmly welcomed and quickly made to feel at home here. One of the things we non-Italians so often admire about Italy is the strong sense of community seen in villages, towns and cities. Local people tend to feel loyal to their locality, identify with fellow residents of all ages, know their neighbours and look out for each other. Such instinct for community is particularly strong in Sicily. The islanders have a powerful tradition of forging and maintaining social bonds.

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About Italia!

Making the most of the Italian summer is what the magazine is all about this month, with a zesty mix of inspiring features and beautiful photography to transport you to your favourite destinations.