The Greeks colonized Sicilia in the 8th century BCE with the two most-important colonies established at Syracuse and Messina. The island was a late addition to the Roman Empire, as it was not incorporated until approximately 200 BCE. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantines took control, but it was later taken over by the Muslim Caliphate. Many of the older buildings that still stand on the island are reminiscent of this period of Muslim control.
Several iconic dishes are associated with Sicilia. First and foremost is the cannoli, a crispy wafer wrapped around a sweet crème filling and typically dusted with powdered sugar. Then, impossible to forget, is the Sicilian pizza, a thick, square-shaped pizza pie covered with cheese, tomato sauce, and all manner of foodstuffs. Also synonymous with Sicilia is the eggplant-based dish caponata, which has been gaining international popularity.
Sicilia is another Italian wine-producing area that is better known for its DOC wines than for its DOCG wines. The island’s only DOCG is for the rosé Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG. Nero d’Avola and Etna Rosso DOC have both been impressing wine critics for their high quality and relatively low prices. The fortified Marsala wine is also made in Sicilia.