Italian islands and islets
Island Italy is a vacation for every taste. There is a place here for desperate misanthropes – for this there are uninhabited small islands where you can become a Robinson for a while, until you return to love for people and civilization.
Continental Italy is far from all of Italy. These are also islands, the largest and most famous of which are Sicily and Sardinia. But there are also small islands – small in size, but not in significance and beauty. The largest of the small Italian islands (this is its unofficial name) – Elba, with an area of 223 sq km, belongs to the Tuscan archipelago. The closest major city on mainland Italy is Florence. 28 thousand inhabitants of the island are engaged in agriculture and tourism industry. The first association with the name of the island is, of course, Napoleon. He was there in 1814, and since then Elba has become a place of pilgrimage for fans of the great emperor, and just tourists who are always interested in historical places. One of the six tourist routes is called Napoleonic Elba. It includes a visit to the residence of the deposed emperor and his sister Pauline Borghese Palazzini del Mullini, his library (thousands of volumes were brought here from Fontainebleau), on the island there is a church where Napoleon’s bronze posthumous mask is stored. And since the Italians are a vibrant nation, they could not do without a holiday in honor of Napoleon, which is held every year on the Elbe on May 5. Our compatriots will certainly be pleased to know during a trip to the summer residence of the emperor Villa San Martino that it was once bought by the Russian prince Anatoly Demidov. Foreigners often think that Sardinia got its name from sardine fish. But its name does not owe the island to fish, but to the nephew of Hercules Sardus.
However, the story of Elba did not begin, of course, with Napoleon. Initially, the Etruscans lived here, then the Romans, who already then chose the island for relaxation and enjoyment, evidence of this is the Roman villas that have survived to our times. A beautiful panorama of the island opens from Mount Sarappe with a height of 1019 meters, where there is also an excursion route. The main city of the island is Portoferraio, from which all excursions begin, including on a yacht around the island. Elba is perfectly adapted for recreation and tourism.
The largest island in the Mediterranean is Sicily (25,460 sq km). Around it are a number of small islands: the Limar Islands and Ustika in the north, the Aegadian Islands in the west, the Pelagic Islands and Pantelleria in the south. For many centuries, Sicily was owned by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, some succeeded others or existed together. That is why in Sicily you can find traces of ancient Greece, Romanesque and Gothic buildings, Byzantine mosaics. To travel around the island, it is best to rent a car.
The main resort areas are located in the north near the capital of the island of Palermo and in the east near the cities of Catania, Messina and Syracuse. Both coasts of the island are green and picturesque. As for hotels, there is a choice for every taste. But if you want to enjoy the famous Etna volcano in the mornings, the entire territory of which is declared a national park, then it is better to settle near Catania. And for those tourists who intend to often visit the capital, where there are many attractions and good shops, it is better to stay in the northern part of the island. There are quite a few large club hotels in Sicily. For example, 30 kilometers from Palermo on an area of 27 hectares built a tourist complex Citta del mare – “City on the Sea.” The most famous resort of Sicily is considered Taormina, located on the east coast, between Messina and Catania. Taormina is a luxury of a natural landscape, mountains descending to Cano Sant Andrea, the wonderful beaches of Mazarro and Isola Bella, palm groves, orange and lemon gardens.
A mulberry tree, introduced hundreds of years ago by Arabs, grows in Sicily. There was even silk production on the island, and now they are making mulberry ice cream – gelso.
For a secluded holiday, the Limar, Aegadian, Pelagic Islands or Ustika and Pantelleria are more suitable, where you can easily find a small hotel. Italians prefer to relax in such places.
The second largest island in Italy, Sardinia, is famous for the beach of Romadzino and the elegant resort of Porto Cervo, where a sophisticated and fashionable audience gathers. And although there are few special historical and cultural attractions on the island (the most interesting are in the museums of Cagliari, the administrative center of the island), however, the local cuisine and the works of artisans that can be bought as souvenirs are wonderful. A popular sightseeing place and a small island near Sardinia is Caprera, where he spent the last years of Garibaldi’s life. Now his house has been turned into a museum.
Everything for pleasure and enjoyment can be found on the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. Ischia, the largest of the islands near Naples, is famous for its hot mineral springs.