Susafa: About the Destination

Located in Sicily, Italy

Sicily is an island rich in cultural heritage and natural treasures, located south of the Italian Peninsula in the sun-soaked Mediterranean Sea. The landscape is awash in vivid colors, from the bright green of lush grasslands to the shining gold of ripe wheat and the sapphire hue of warm Mediterranean waters. The rocky outcrops of the Madonie mountains, where Susafa is located, shelter dense woodland and sweeping farmland, as well as secluded rural towns and the scattered ruins of Roman villas.

Wildlife and Natural History

Sicily’s terrain is rugged and mountainous, dominated by the snowcapped summit of Mount Etna, an active stratovolcano and the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. The island was once almost entirely wooded, but early human habitation transformed the landscape into a patchwork of pastures and farms. Where the forests are protected, ancient trees still stand—some, like the Hundred Horse Chestnut on the slopes of Mount Etna, are believed to be almost 4,000 years old. A rich variety of wildlife range through the woodlands and fields, including roe deer, wild boar, crested porcupine, and hedgehog, while soaring cliffs provide nesting sites for golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and many seabirds.

People and Culture

Cave paintings believed to date back to 8000 BC set the known start date for human history on Sicily, and the subsequent millennia have seen an extraordinary variety of conquests and cultural influences. Greeks colonized the island beginning around the 8th century BC, establishing cities such as Akragas and Syracuse. Wars between Rome and Carthage were fought on Sicilian soil, as the island’s rich grain fields were a coveted resource. Over the centuries, control of the island passed between Germanic tribes, Byzantine emperors, Arab rulers, Viking chieftains, and French kings, until the unification of the Italian peninsula in the 19th century made the island a part of Italy. Today, Sicilian culture is a unique blend of countless historic and modern influences, founded on vibrant folk tales and festivals, a distinctive Sicilian language, and a delightful cuisine beloved across the globe.

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