As usual, Sicily was nothing like I imagined. I can't even describe what I did expect. The mafia springs to mind, of course. So does wine, and hot, dry, rocky slopes covered with olive trees. Old stone buildings covered with vines and old people sitting in the shade, sipping coffee were in there, somewhere. Or was that Greece? I have no idea if we met anyone from the mafia, but we did see all the rest, and more besides.
Sicily was very different to the little I'd seen of mainland Italy. In Rome and Pompeii I could see the history, dated from such-and-such. It was old because someone told me. Sicily, on the other hand, felt old. The winding roads and small towns perched high on the hilltops like remnants from an older, feudal age and fitted the landscape perfectly. Maybe it's because the Roman Empire collapsed, was torn down then built over. Maybe, during all that time, Sicily just kept on going.