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Peoples of Sicily

What they you are saying about Best of Sicily

We get more than 200,000 serious readers (not just "visitors") during a busy month, and research indicates that most of you are among the world's most sophisticated (the top 10% in terms of general knowledge and education). A London journalist described Best of Sicily as "the Web's greatest destination guide." Our Sicily blog is the easiest way to join the conversation and we're also on Facebook. Here's what some of you think about Best of Sicily:

I bumped into your site looking for info on the underground salt mines. What a great site and I think I must now visit Sicily.
      — Russell, USA

Just a quick word to say how impressed I was with your site, particularly the daring way it deals with real history rather than pushing the usual clichés about the country. I look forward to reading more on the site and its associated blog, about the undoubted wonders of your island which you are clearly confident can be appreciated without having to pretend that Italy is some sort of medieval theme park where it's considered bad manners to wonder why certain things are as they are.
      — Paul, UK

I am glad I discovered this site. This will keep me busy reading and studying until I leave for Sicily in February next year! (I know - I am one of the odd ones who travels in the Winter too. But I hope to meet more Sicilians and fewer tourists this way.) My Sicilian holiday will be party independent travel, partly a Rick Steves tour from the US. Best wishes from Denver, Colorado and thanks again for the great resource!
      — Ross, USA

Thank you very much for the best possible information on Sicily I have ever found.
      — Alla, Russia

I would like you to know how informative your website is. I traveled to Sicily for the first time last year. One day I ventured to find the hometown of my grandparents. I spent a wonderful day there. This year I am returning for five weeks and bringing my family to see the country that has such an amazing history and hospitality. My father, born in America, would often put both hands together and say "Sicily is the cradle of civilization!" As a child, I thought he was just bragging. Who knew I would learn that it was true! Your site is the most comprehensive, educational and reliable place to get accurate information about the history and peoples of Sicily. It is a great resource for me to share facts with my grandchildren while we vacation there. Thank you!.
      — Jane, USA

This has to be the best tourist site that I have come across for a high traffic vacation spot. Tons of information in one spot all detailed and cross linked! You guys should start web page building classes for the rest of the Web! Some people could definitely use the help! Thanks for preparing me for what I know will be a great vacation! I'll think of you on the beach!
      — Bruce, USA

I just discovered your site and am extremely impressed with the wealth of information and the quality of the writing! I am an American, but lived in Italy for two and a half years, working as a journalist in Rome. Congratulations on a wonderful site. I intend to visit it often.
      — Janet, USA

I was thrilled that I came by chance to your site. I cannot tell you what pleasure I have experienced sitting glued to this computer for the past three hours reading every word, enjoying very aspect of your efforts.
      — Anna, Italy

This is by far the best site on Sicily I have found. I've been digging through the Internet for about three years (how did I manage to miss this site all that time?) and haven't found anything as thorough, insightful, and well put together. In fact, I would rate this one of the Top Ten websites I've ever encountered (and I'm a veteran Internet user). The site was easy to use, easy to load and incredibly thorough!
      — Anonymous, USA

A well-done site! I'm visiting Sicily next week, and I really was glad to find your site. Congratulations.
      — Antal, Hungary

I'm Sicilian originally but I live in the United States. I have always wondered about Sicily's history. When I found this website I couldn't believe how it answered all the questions I ever had. I particularly appreciate the candor that the writers show in regard to their own people. It's very refreshing and quite frankly needed.
      — Patricia, USA

Your site is, as you well know, a real pleasure to visit, so I just had to make a link to you.
      — Peter, Germany

Thank you so much for your wonderful site. My mother and I have just returned from a trip to Palermo and Taormina. Your site provided a terrific introduction and a great source of research, from travel guides, to opera tickets, to restaurants. It helped us make the most of our time. Perhaps most importantly, it educated us to the realities of Sicilian life. We weren't expecting paradise and yet, I cannot wait to return!
      — Tim, USA

You have much information on this site! Thanks so much. I have really enjoyed it, as I am of Sicilian heritage and very proud of it. Will visit again and again. Love your magazine also. Cannot say enough about it. Mille grazie per questo sito!
      — Marianne, USA

Not only the best website on Sicily, but one of the very best travel sites on the internet. Easy to use, superbly organized, comprehensive in its coverage, eminently readable and nicely illustrated, it's the handiwork of an independent service which aims at providing "the most accurate, complete, practical information possible... with no misleading public relations puffery." And it does just that, with information grouped not only by locality but also by sights to see (beaches, medieval palaces, villas), as well as an exhaustive, candid list of frequently asked questions about Sicily. The restaurant reviews are based on unannounced visits, and the links page (with concise, insightful reviews) delves into the heart of Sicilian culture, from cooking to the cinema. A fabulous site.
      — Islands.Com

This is the best travel site I've ever seen, not just for Italy....
      — Robert, USA

I used it to plan my vacation.
      — Melinda, Canada

Thank you for your excellent website. It has addressed countless issues and questions of mine that other guidebooks and websites had ignored.
      — David, USA

Thank you for the information. It made me think about visiting places that were not indicated in the other guides I have read.
      — Akiko, Japan

I found your site quite helpful in planning my trip, especially the FAQs (the parts about shops refusing to change large bills and the ghost town appearance of cities between 1-4 PM can not be overemphasized!) and book sections. It was one of the few places on the internet that provided useful information about Sicily and I appreciate your efforts. Thanks.
      — Jenny, USA

By far and away the best introduction to a region on the Web (and I would guess in print as well). The diversity of information and the perspectives that the well-traveled, well-educated native writers offer is so very welcome. As a well-travelled person planning a trip to Sicily for the first time, I feel I have a better idea of what to expect and insight into the culture of today and ancient history than for any trip I've gone on before (including 5 trips to Italy). I've dreamed of going for 11 years and I can't wait to visit! Thank you.
      — Anne, USA

I'm Sicilian and I am writing just to say that all of you have done really good work. Your site is, in my opinion, very good indeed... I think most of you are Sicilian, aren't you? I've put your site in my favorities. Nuovamente, Complimenti!
      — Maria, Italy

Your website has been extremely helpful. It was through a link on your site that I was able to obtain hotel information that I could not find elsewhere.
      — Arlene, USA

We went to Sicily two weeks ago... Thanks to your site we found two delightful restaurants. And we knew just which sights were worth a long drive. This is the first time I have used a web site and I am very grateful.
      — Mary, UK

Many thanks for helping me to plan a marvelous trip to Sicily. We just got back and can't thank you enough for the excellent, practical information.
      — (Anonymous)

Just a brief compliment from a travel/golf journalist to say that Best of Sicily is simply one of the most complete sites I have had the pleasure to visit.
      — Carla, Spain

"The Place" on your home page is one of the best written pieces I have seen in a good while. Please pass on my kudos for a job well done.
      — Al, USA

What a great site and magazine!! I am a Sicilian-American and love reading about Sicily.
      — Linda, USA

I just wanted to say thank you for the best website that I will ever find on Sicily! I am English and my boyfriend is from Sicily. Thank you for all the information that I have found on your website. Particularly the part on weddings! I just wanted to encourage you for your excellent site. You have obviously worked really hard to make this. Thank you!
      — Sheona, UK

Just returned from Sicily two weeks ago. Your site (all of the sections) was very helpful in organizing our trip. My family is from Patti.... I could not get over how stunning Sicily is!
      — Tony, USA

Your site is the best and most thorough one I have found about Sicily. It's the best site of any on a given area anywhere!
      — Peter, USA

I want to congratulate you on an excellent web site. As a great admirer of Sicily and its people, I have thoroughly enjoyed traveling through Best of Sicily. The magazine section is extremely interesting. It represents a wonderful cross section of articles. Thank you so much for putting together such an informative and enjoyable site.
      — (Anonymous)

Your site completely changed my idea of Sicily. I plan on visiting next year to see Sicily and visit Alia, the town my grandfather came from.
      — Karen, Canada

I just want to say that this online magazine is just so wonderful! My parents are both from Catania, and I was born there, and it is so refreshing to see actual correct statements, and recipes from Sicily. I have lived in the U.S. for sixteen years and I am going to recommend your magazine to my family, friends, and whomever else I encounter from home!
      — Stephanyia, USA

Thank you for a unique site. It helped my daughter find information on ancient Greek architecture for a paper she was writing for school.
      — Rebecca, USA

Fan f- - -ing tastic!!! I spent almost two hours reading it.
      — Jim, USA

As much as we love Sicily, we'd never say that our favorite island is perfect. Here are comments on some of our pages dealing with real life here:

I'm an American who has lived in Catania for eight years and after stumbling upon your web site, I felt compelled to give you my opinion regarding the "Jobs in Sicily for Foreigners" page. After years of struggling in the practically non-existent job market here (I feel I could write a book about it), I was struck by how wonderfully (and refreshingly) accurate your information is on this subject. Too often I read glossed-over accounts of job possibilities for foreigners written by self-interested tourist board-sponsored organizations, which never paint the real picture of just how excruciatingly difficult it is for a foreigner to make a living in Sicily. One thing I might suggest you add to your info: In addition to the overall difficulty of finding a job and the low pay, one should also be informed that there are quite a few unscrupulous employers and sometimes just getting paid is a problem!
      — Sean, USA (by way of Sicily)

The only way I am able to define your website is that it is a miracle. Please do not think that I'm exaggerating. I never bother to write comments to editors or even fan letters, mainly because I wouldn't expect them ever to be read, much less answered. However, I feel I have to this one time because it is right that you know how important the work you do is, and I really, really hope someone reads this. I have lived in Sicily since December 1999. Born in Turin to Sicilian parents, I grew up in the United States, first in Chicago, then in Los Angeles, where I studied and eventually became a part-time college English instructor. My parents' and older siblings' descriptions of this Island and her people nurtured in me an inordinate pride in my cultural identity, as well as a sense of longing for this place. At this moment, I don't know how else to describe it, but any of you who have been immigrants would know what I mean. I moved to Sicily for a number of reasons, not the least of which being to satisfy this lifelong yearning. At the end of September, however, I am moving back to Los Angeles, again for a number of reasons, and with mixed feelings. If I had known about your website when I first arrived, I think that my transition into Sicilian life would have been less painful, difficult, and frustrating. What I needed then was an unbiased, honest, reliable, understandable explanation of what lay ahead of me regarding living and working here. How sad that I've discovered your website now that I'm going away. It is, without a doubt, the best website I've seen about Sicily - in any language.

I haven't yet read all the good information in it, but I will tell you that what I have read is really impressive. As only one example, the magazine article on the University of Palermo struck a chord because it confirmed what I have always known but could never argue confidently. At the same time, your sections on our history, culture, and contemporary life remind me why my pride in my Sicilian-ness has never lessened, but increased. I love Sicily too. Your greatest strength, in my opinion, is your honesty: you cast a glaring light on our flaws while you exalt our strengths. And you do it all in good clear English. That alone puts you way above other tourist information guides published here.

So please keep doing what you do. I leave Sicily with a bit of a heavy heart because I did not find the Elysium I was looking for. Then again, for all her flaws, much of the stuff that makes Sicily great still exists here, and I doubt I will be able to stay away for long. Thank you for the mirror you hold before us. I will advertise your website every chance I get. Once back in the States, I will count on you to keep me informed on this exasperating, magical, beautiful culture we share. Anch'io sono sicilianissima!
      — Giovanna, USA (by way of Sicily)

Congratulations on an informative web site. Especially your candid discussion of Sicily's unattractive side. This is so rarely mentioned. I have been visiting Sicily every few years since my early teens, at first accompanying my parents, and later alone and then with my wife and children.

My parents were born in Sicily, and emigrated to Australia. Of my extended Australian family about twelve were born in Sicily, and emigrated to Australia between the 1920s and just after World War II. None of those born in Sicily went further than a grade 3 or 4 primary school education. Their Australian born children and grandchildren include lawyers, doctors, engineers, business people, and two politicians (one in federal parliament). Something which would have been unlikely if they remained in Sicily.

You could offer each of those born in Sicily a couple of million dollars if they were to return permanently to live in Sicily, and each would flatly reject the offer. While many of them still visit Sicily occasionally for a couple of weeks at a time, none of them would live there, for all of the reasons you discuss in your site, including corruption, crime, lack of opportunity, social injustice, etc.

My Sicilian cousins operate businesses around the Mount Etna area, and they all pay protection money to the Mafia. It's not a nice place to live and do business. We enjoy it for its history, art, etc., and to visit family and friends, but we would never live there, let alone do business there.
      — Robert, Australia

Sono un ricercatore Siciliano che è emigrato all'estero per fuggire dallo schifo della (sigh) nostra terra. Cercando alcune info per amici che venivano in Sicilia mi sono imbattuto nel vostro sito ed improvvisamente ho ritrovato le parole che da sempre uso per descrivere ai miei amici stranieri i problemi della Sicilia e della Mafia, compresa la figura inutile e mangiasoldi del progettista (non sapevo però della Saatchi & Saatchi). Non ho avuto modo di vederlo tutto ma l'ho già aggiunto ai favorities. E' difficile incontrare ancora ragazzi con un pò di coscenza critica e davvero non politically correct! Continuate così anche se qualche "cieco e sordo" vi accuserà di vilipendio alla Sicilia Bedda!
      — Enrico, Sicily, by way of the UK

We welcome your comments (either flagrant flattery or constructive criticism). The best way to send these is by sending us an email or visiting our Sicily blog or Facebook.

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