Explore Sicily with a Cicerone guidebook
Walking in Sicily
Short and long-distance walks by Gillian Price
This handy guidebook contains detailed route descriptions for 46 graded routes in Sicily, including the Madonie and Nebrodi mountains and Mount Etna. The routes range from easy strolls suitable for all the family to walks akin to Alpine treks. The terrain varies considerably from river valleys to ancient ruins to volcanoes and mountain peaks. More...
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Literary works from Sicily are valuable in building up an essential background for a visit. Recommended writers whose works are available in English translation include Danilo Dolci (Racconti siciliani), Carlo Levi (Le parole sono pietre), Leonardo Sciascia (Il giorno della civetta) and Elio Vittorini (Conversazione in Sicilia). The 1984 film Kaos, by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, is a tragic and exhilarating version of short stories by prolific playwright Luigi Pirandello.
Riveting factual Mafia books in English include the excellent Cosa Nostra by John Dickie (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2004), along with studies by Pino Arlacchi and assassinated magistrate Giovanni Falcone, amongst others. In contrast mythological matters are amply covered in Salvino Greco’s Miti e leggende di Sicilia (Flaccovio Editore 1993, Italian only), while several episodes in Homer’s The Odyssey make for curious reading.
A beautiful personal account of life in Sicily is found in Mary Taylor Simeti’s On Persephone’s Island (Vintage, New York, 1995), while Peter Robb’s Midnight in Sicily (Harvill Press, London, 1998) explores many a murky alley in the island’s affairs. J.W. von Goethe enthuses about the Sicilian climate and just about everything else in his Italian Journey (1786–1788), D.H. Lawrence left poetic accounts in Sea and Sardinia, while a precious find for Italian readers is Delle cose di Sicilia: testi inediti o rari, vol. I, ed. Leonardo Sciascia (Sellerio, Palermo, 1980).
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Birds of Britain and Europe by Bertel Bruun et al. (Hamlyn, London, 1992), Mediterranean Wild Flowers by M. Blamey and C. Grey-Wilson (Collins, 1993), or the classic Flowers of the Mediterranean by Oleg Polunin and Anthony Huxley (Chatto & Windus, London, 1987), not to mention the comprehensive Guida alla natura della Sicilia by Fulco Pratesi and Franco Tassi (Mondadori, 1985, Italian only).