This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph
Published: 05:29 EST, 9 December 2012 | Updated: 07:59 EST, 12 December 2012>
When I was invited to drive around Sicily in a 1913 car to retrace the route of the notorious Targa Florio race, I thought it was too crazy, even for me.
The race was one of the most important in the motor-racing calendar in the Twenties, but by 1977 was abandoned after a series of deaths on its twisting mountain tracks.
So gallivanting around the island covering more than 600 miles, much of it along dirt roads, in a car that could only go as fast as a tractor did not seem like a smart idea!
Road trip: Francesco and co-driver on a Sicilian mountain road during their rally in the vintage Nazzaro
But at least I would see Sicily close-up and at a speed that would permit me to really appreciate the wonders of the land and its people. I really can’t remember the first time I came to Sicily, so – without a clear beginning – it feels as if I’ve always been coming here.
My mother was born in the capital, Palermo, where she lived until she married and, every year, normally for the Christmas holidays, we went back to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and the wider network connected to our family in Venice.
We would travel by car to Naples and there catch a ferry to reach Palermo the next morning. In the 18th century many aristocratic families built grandiose villas in Palermo – competing to outshine one another in displays of wealth.
My rally started at one of them – in the garden of the Villa of the Prince of Trabia. I took the wheel of a Nazzaro car, designed and built by the early 20th century Italian race ace Felice Nazzaro.
The modern-day event is the Giro di Sicilia, a four-day rally that keeps the spirit of the Targa Florio alive. At the starting line – and later in every town, village or cafe we passed – there were scenes of wild celebration as the locals greeted us.
No place like dome: Palermo revels in hundreds of years of history
From outside, these cars seem slow but when you’re in one, above wheels that are like bicycle tyres, it really seems like flying. Leaving Palermo and all its traffic was an undertaking, particularly as my mind filled with memories of all those places that formed the backdrop to my youth, mingled with the long-remembered smells of baking bread and chickpea panelle.
Just beyond the city, with the sun and Mount Pellegrino on the horizon, we passed the beach at Mondello where they serve bathers sea urchins and white wine. Driving west, we came to Mozia, an ancient Phoenician town established in the 10th century BC.
Today, windmills and small hills of sea salt drying under tiles punctuate the horizon. Time seemed to slow down when we arrived at Bar Mamma Caura in Marsala.
This restaurant belongs to the Whitaker Foundation, established by a rich family of Yorkshire entrepreneurs who, with other English families – Woodhouse, Hopps, Ingham and Pyne – moved into Sicilian society during the 19th century.
The Whitakers played a significant role in the unification of Italy, influenced the culture of the era, and became involved in ornithology, sport and archaeology (many of the discoveries they made are housed in the Whitaker Museum at Mozia).
Still standing: A mid-5th century BC temple in Selinunte, a settlement left behind by the Ancient Greeks
One of our stages took us to Selinunte, one of the most important Ancient Greek settlements in Sicily, which also include nearby Agrigento and Segesta. Selinunte was named Selinus by the Greeks, a word that derives from the parsley that still grows wild here.
The city was relatively short-lived, surviving for barely 200 years, during which its population grew to 100,000. Its ruined state today is not only a result of Carthaginian destruction, but also earthquakes, centuries of neglect and extensive pillage.
Among the fallen temples of Selinunte, echoes persist of the brutal Carthaginian massacre of 409 BC when 16,000 citizens were slaughtered and 5,000 taken as slaves. Indeed death and decay are always present in Sicilian life, and the people have found ways of dealing with it.
Sicilians treat death like a boring relative – not much fun to be with, but since a visit is inevitable, one might as well make the best of it. On Sundays, they go to the cemeteries, a social event as much as an opportunity for mourning.
Amazing find: The Villa del Casale is home to the best preserved Roman mosaics on the planet
Until only a decade ago, when it was outlawed, it was common for families to have picnics on their ancestors’ graves. Like most people, I am afraid of death. However, being in a cemetery with all the flowers and chit-chat, it doesn’t seem so bad.
But there’s something underneath Palermo that’s enough to make anyone nervous – a tunnel system full of dead bodies. For the past 400 years, the embalmed remains of Capuchin monks have been laid to rest in catacombs.
At first, only monks were buried here. But then their benefactors wanted to be buried here too, so new sections were opened – for men, women, professionals and priests. Sicily’s volatile landscape is not only destructive, it can be a preservative as well.
In the 12th century, a landslide filled a valley in the centre of the island, covering the remains of a luxurious Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, also on our route. It remained lost for seven centuries, its magnificent treasures intact.
The floors of the building – the Villa del Casale – are covered with the best preserved Roman mosaics in the world. They give us a wonderful window into ancient Roman culture, featuring mythological scenes, comic fantasies and snapshots of contemporary life.
On the tiles: Francesco checks out the perfectly preserved mosaics at Villa del Casale
The highlight is a single, 200ft-long hunting scene in Africa – men with poles and nets stalking great beasts. They are not killing them, but capturing them to take back to Rome. The Roman people liked nothing more than watching wild animals being slaughtered during gladiatorial contests.
Up in the mountains, we had passed through the quiet little villages of Sicily that I love. They are secluded and timeless. Stray cats and dogs stalk the streets, children play football and old women make lace while their husbands play cards all day at the bar.
And there may be only one shop – selling puppets! When I came to Sicily for the holidays as a boy, my cousins, my brother and I, like many Sicilian children, waited impatiently for the puppeteer to show up.
Strings attached: A Sicilian puppet-maker puts the finishing touches to a model knight
It was a magical experience, though the stories told in Sicilian puppet theatre are nearly always the same: Christian knights battling Muslim warriors.
Next stop was on the east coast of Sicily, as I took a kind of architect’s pilgrimage. Like every architect, I dream that one day I might be able to build a town from scratch. At Noto in 1693, after an earthquake, Duke Giuseppe Lanza was given that opportunity.
He saw his new Noto as a stage set, where the nobility could parade before beautiful churches and palaces. Gaps between the buildings offered stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Balconies were supported by carvings of strange creatures and cherubs. But Noto was doomed from the start. It was built from the local Iblean stone that is good for carving but soft and fragile – and within 200 years, Noto was falling apart.
It is now covered by dense scaffolding and plastic canopies. In 1996, the cupola of the cathedral collapsed. Back in Palermo, our journey over, I couldn’t help but think how important the volcano of Mount Etna is to the island.
Etna is life and death to Sicilians. It is the source of the fertile land that has made Sicily prosperous, yet it constantly threatens destruction as one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
Etna played a key role in classical mythology. It was populated by the gods and, for the Greeks, was the gateway to the underworld. I went to the top and it was both scary and beautiful. Being so near the power of nature, I think I can understand the way of life of the people of southern Italy. Or at least some of them.
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It is said that a Milanese industrialist on a visit to Palermo struck up the following conversation with a local man fishing on the quay: ‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m fishing, enjoying the sun.’ ‘But if you organised yourself better, you could catch more fish and make more money. Then you could buy a boat, and really catch fish.
‘With the money you make you could buy a second boat,’ the Milanese businessman insisted. ‘And you could put skippers in charge of your fleet, so you could go off and bask in the sun undisturbed.’
The fisherman replied: ‘Well, until you came over here, isn’t that what I was doing?’
Sunvil Discovery (020 8758 4722, www.sunvil.co.uk) offers a range of holidays to Sicily. Seven nights at the four-star Hotel Centrale Palace, Palermo, costs from £822 per person in June, including breakfast, return flights from Gatwick to Palermo and transfers. The next Giro di Sicilia will take place from June 6 to 9, 2013.
This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2245378/Sicily-holidays-Italy-Racing-2000-years-ancient-history-classic-car.html