Sicily has long been a crossroads and crucible of Mediterranean culture, and the island today is a fascinating palimpsest in which Greek temples, Norman churches and Baroque palazzos emerge from the rich fabric. But it also has natural wonders aplenty, from the smoking craters of Mount Etna to the still relatively undiscovered beaches of the southern coast.
With parts of the island on the same latitude as the North African coast, Sicily has a mild climate that makes it an attractive destination for much of the year: spring and autumn are sheer delight and though high summer temperatures really do soar, sea breezes in coastal areas take the edge off the heat.
Bear in mind that Sicily has a much longer warm-weather season than northern and central Italy. If you’re lucky, it’s possible to sunbathe and swim in the sea well into November, and spring starts early: in many areas, the ground is carpeted with wild flowers at the end of February.