I'm back from Sicily.
I enjoyed it a lot. Sicily has a lot of history; being a fertile island, it was invaded by everyone you ever heard of: Phoenicians, Saracens, Normans, French, Spanish, Muslims. The only people who didn't invade it were the Jews, and they were probably getting up an expedition when Garibaldi unified Italy.
Remnants of all these cultures remain. The Normans were a little peevish about the Muslims, and tore down about 300 mosques. I believe it was the last time anyone tore down anything on the island. The place is full of abandoned farmhouses, apartment houses, Greek temples, Roman villas, viaducts and God knows what else. Unlike the Americans, when Sicilians abandoned a place they didn't tear it down and replace it with an Acme or a Walmart. These just left it to fall down by its ownself and form a picturesque ruin.
Stuff I noticed:
There appear to be no traffic rules, no traffic lights, no stop signs. I don't know how Sicilian drivers know when to stop, but they sometimes do. You can't count on it, though. Palermo is full of graffiti and dirty, but charming nevertheless. There's an amazing fountain at the city center and several beautiful churches there or nearby. There also appeared to be a lot of young people, even though Italy has a declining birth rate.
No matter how small the town, the inhabitants tend to live on top of each other in apartments. No lawn-mowing for the Sicilians. They do have gorgeous roses, though.
Taormina is one of the most beautiful towns on earth. It's on a hillside overlooking a bay, and picturesque as all getout.
No matter which ancient people inhabited a place, they tended to place buildings of interest on top of steep hills. Perhaps this was in order to see who was coming to attack them next.