For decades, what have you thought of Sicily? Barren earth, old women dressed in black, Mafiosi, unemployment, an impenetrable Italian dialect, and an almost medieval village way of life. But there is another isle, a land of villas and vineyards, with UNESCO-designated archeological sites, Baroque churches; sandy beaches, a unique cuisine, attracting everyone from back packers to sophisticated travelers. My name is Sabrina Tavolacci and I love Sicily. I think I fell in love with it in the summer of 1996. I was 26, I’d just graduated and I needed some money to get away from Sicily. So, I started to work as a tourist guide and, all at once, I discovered how wonderful Sicily was.

An isle with its rich and varied landscape, from the dizzying heights of Taormina to the salt flats near Trapani, a lush mix of forests, farms, terraced hills, vineyards, lemon and orange orchards, olives, quince, almonds – ringed on the coast by charming cities, beautiful beaches and fishing villages. Medieval towns perched atop craggy hills, breathtaking vistas and, as the Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans and Spanish Bourbons – among other invaders — well knew, a network of rivers and safe harbors along the Ionian and Mediterranean coasts. And the looming presence of Mt. Etna (almost 11,000 feet and Europe’s most active volcano), which dominates the landscape. You are in Sicily. The Paradise is a step away