You will find that Sicily is more than an island! Discover
Sicily and discover the world. We Torontonians who live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world could learn many
lessons from the world's first multicultural society. Sicily is Italy's (and Europe's) most historically cosmopolitan region,
having been ruled by Asians, Africans and Europeans. Sicily is black and white and a million shades of gray. There's no other
place on Earth like Sicily.
In the beginning were
the Greeks, who dominated Sicily for five hundred years and its architecture is still visible after 2,000 years. Protagonists
from three continents: the Romans from the Italic peninsula occupied Sicily for six hundred years, followed by the Vandals
and Goths from northeastern Europe and the Byzantines from westernmost Asia. Then Muslims from North Africa came to Sicily
and diffused their advanced culture and agriculture. The Normans from what is today
northwestern France introduced the Sicilians to feudalism and to the ideas of parliament and responsible government.
A scion of the Normans, Frederick, while king of Sicily was also Holy Roman Emperor and one of Europe's most complex sovereigns
developed nation-states, the aggrandizing Spanish occupied Sicily. The houses of Savoy and of Hapsburg ruled Sicily for, brief
periods, and then the Spanish took over again as the Bourbon dynasty. Giuseppe Garibaldi won Sicily from the Bourbons and
made it part of a new Kingdom of Italy. After World War II, Sicily was ruled briefly by, the Americans and the British - that
was a novelty for the Americans, though the British had been instrumental in running Sicily off and on for centuries.