Sicily has a unique history and the inhabitants of the island sometimes consider themselves separate from the rest of Italy.
While this is true for many regions of Italy, which only became a unified country in 1861, Sicily is a special case. As an island, it has a degree of physical separation from the mainland as well as a complicated history of conquest by a string of different cultures.
This left Sicily with a distinct language, customs and traditions. The Sicilian language is not as common as it once was, but there is a movement to revive its use. It can be hard for Italians to understand the Sicilian language, and even when Sicilians speak classic Italian they have a distinctive accent that marks them out from the rest of the country.
The food is also a key difference, with a focus on seafood as you might expect. There is also the culinary legacy of those different rulers, resulting in a rich series of dessert dishes famous throughout Italy.
Cultural differences also led to some discrimination from northern Italians. As the country developed, economic disparities opened between the increasingly industrialized north and the agricultural south. These continued differences only served to strengthen a sense of Sicilian identity.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
It’s one of a traveler’s worst nightmares to stay in a hotel where the beds are infested with bed bugs. These tiny creatures aren’t always visible to the naked eye, but they can completely ruin a vacation and leave hotel guests itching and scratching for weeks. Here are a few ways to ensure where you lay your head at night isn’t also where bed bugs lay their own.