Sicily Italy 10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Sicily Italy 10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti! Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel.  Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Sicily, Italy.  It is one of 20 Italian Regions in Southern Italy.  Watch the video and continue reading below.  Also, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.

1 Serradifalco, Sicily, Italy

Serradifalco in the province of Caltanisetta is home to the first bicycle manufacturer in southern Italy.  Montante Cicli is one of the world's elite brands of bicycles established in 1925 by Calogero Montante.  They are famous for their outstanding quality and innovtive bike designs.

2 Bronte, Sicily, Italy 

Bronte is a small town on the slopes of Mount Etna near Catania. It is famous for its pistachio production. The Romans originally brought the pistachio tree from the middle east to Sicily. Bronte pistachios are harvested every other year around September.

Surprisingly, pistachios are not only used in Sicilian desserts.  You can find Bronte pistachio’s in savory dishes too.  These precious pistachio's are in pesto, cheese and cured meats. They are also used as a filing for Arancini.

3 The Godfather was filmed in Sicily, Italy

The town of Corleone was too developed for the scenes in the filming of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic film, the Godfather.  Instead, the scenic hillside villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro in the province of Messina were used instead. In Savoca, you can take the same walk as Michael and Apollonia did after their wedding from the church to Bar Vitelli.  Today, artificacts from the filming of the bar scene are on display.

4 Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily, Italy

Piana degli Albanesi in the province of Palermo was founded by a large group of Albanian refugees in the late 15th century. It is home to the largest colony of Arberesche in Sicily. The community is bilingual and maintains traditional costumes which they wear on special occasions.  The Arberesche folk music is deeply tied to thier religious traditions.

5 Punta Secca, Sicily, Italy 

Montalbano, the TV series based on Andrea Camillieri’s popular crime novels, is filmed in various locations in the province of Ragusa.  Punta Secca, a seaside village with a lighthouse and small harbor, is where you can find Inspector Montalbano’s apartment.
Offseason, it is a busy B&B with a terrace that overlooks the sea.  Also, on the trail of Montalbano are Ragusa Ibla, Scicli, and Donnalucata.

6 Avola, Sicily, Italy home to Nero d'Avola

Avola in the province of Siracusa is the origin of Sicily’s Nero d’Avola wine.  The Sicilian town of Avola is where the first grafting and cultivation of the vine happened.  It is the most widely planted grape variety in Sicily and creates a deep dark red wine with fruity notes.   

There are also three kinds of almonds that grown in Avola.  The Pizzuta and Fascionello almonds are used mostly for making candied almonds, granita, and almond milk.  The highest quality almond, Romana, is used only for pastries and bakery products.

7 Poggioreale in Eastern Sicily

The 1968 Belice Valley earthquake devastated 14 historical centers in Eastern Sicily.   Poggioreale Antica was one of them.  The natural disaster drastically changed the way people lived in the immediate years following the natural disaster.  There was no disaster relief planning at either the local or provincial levels.  So, hundreds of people displaced from Poggioreale Antica were left living in tents and shacks for years after the earthquake.

8 Lampedusa, Sicily, Italy

Lampedusa is the southernmost island in Italy and the largest of the Italian Pelagie Islands with a population of about 6000.  Surprisingly, It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Island of Lampedusa received electricity and phone lines.

Since the early 2000s, Lampedusa has become the main entry point to the EU for African immigrants from Libya.  In 2017 an oscar-nominated Italian documentary film called Fire at Sea was filmed in Lampedusa addressing the migrant crisis.

9 Scala dei Turchi near Agrigento, Sicily

Scala dei Turchi or Stairs of the Turks is a chalky white cliff on the coast in the province of Agrigento.  It has the shape of a natural staircase overlooking the sea between two sandy beaches.  It is a great place to watch the sunset after a fun day at the beach.

10 Museo del Contadino Piazza Armerina Sicily

Tucked away in the small town of Piazza Armerina in the province of Enna there is a charming Museum called Museo del Contadino.  It is a typical farmhouse packed with furniture, appliances, and toys that you would expect to find in a century-old farmhouse in the south of Italy.  It represents a realistic view of how a typical family of contadini lived.

Do you know any other fun facts about Sicily?  Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Also, be sure and watch our other fun fact videos on Italy’s 20 regions and read our blog posts on Italy’s 20 regions. Thanks for watching and reading 10 fun facts about Italy.  A presto!

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I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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