The Provinces of Sicily
Sicily is surrounded by many smaller islands, such as Ustica, the Eolie or Lipari group (also called the Seven Sisters), comprising two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, then the Egadi group, Pantelleria and the Pelagie Isles.
History - Antiquity
By the 11th century BC the Phoenicians had established in western Sicily flourishing trade centers, such as Palermo, Mezia and Solunto, which gradually came under the power of Cartage, the most powerful Phoenician colony, while in the east the glorious Greek colonization began with the foundation of such cities as Naxos, Catania, Megara Hyblaea, Syracuse, that soon were equal to the Greek cities in power, wealth, art and culture. After the defeat in the Punic wars, Cartage abandoned its colonies and soon the Romans conquered the whole island, making it a Roman Province.
History - the early Middle Ages
History - the late Middle Ages
In the following centuries Sicily was occupied by the Anjou and then after long wars by the Aragonese with Alphonse who in 1442 united under one crown the whole Southern Italy and had himself called "rex utriusque Siciliae" (King of the Two Sicilies). On the death of this king in 1458, Sicily became a colony of Spain, and a period of great decadence and riots began, which ended only in 1713 with the War of Spanish Succession, when it was given to the Savoy Duke Vittorio Amedeo II, who during his 16 years of power greatly improved the administration, trade and culture.
History - Modern Times
Unfortunately the Piedmontese rulers tried to impose their fiscal systems in a land which had a great administrative tradition, with a twofold negative consequence: rebellion, which took the form of brigandage, whose ruthless repression only engendered more hostility to the State, and later organized crime. The never resolved problems of Sicily then gave rise in the early 20th century to a massive exodus towards the American and later Australian continents.
Where to stay
Sections on Italian Genealogy
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