Here is what you will experience. 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 ever.
As Europe 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.