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With its rustic landscape and smoldering volcanos, Sicily is loaded with natural beauty and an equally rich history.

More than 25 centuries of foreign domination have left an abundance of art and culture on this island surrounded by aquamarine water.

Known for its status as the birthplace of the Mafia, corruption and poor infrastructure, Sicily can be a bit of an acquired taste. To experience the best of Sicily’s offerings, arrive with an open mind and hearty appetite.

This photo essay explores the charm of Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage site and arguably Sicily’s best example of baroque architecture with its gold-colored sandstone structures; the colorful and exciting markets in downtown Catania; and the awe-inspiring ruins of Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples.

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