During spring and for the whole summer, that this year seems to confirm a positive trend in tourist accommodation, Sicily is going to give hospitality to lots of tourists from all around the world. Everybody had the chance to meet North European tourists, with caps and sunglasses, ravished from Sicilian architectural and natural beauties and sometimes worried about the burning sun and the hot temperatures in our summer days.
Not mentioning they are into ecstasies over the wine and food delicacies which our provinces can offer. North European tourists, above all from Germany and France, represent an important market for tourism and this tradition has been lasting for several centuries. What is known nowadays as Tour in Sicily, one of the precursor of Sicilian Secrets route which involve most important cities and places of our Island, was born as Grand Tour, a journey undertook by Central European literates and nobles discovering Humanism and Renaissance of our country and Sicily’s natural beauties. Grandtourists started the journey in Central Italy to improve and deepen the knowledge of Italian literature origins.
But the suggestive and uncontaminated places of our land and the unknown and almost mythological volcanic phenomena, make Sicily one of the best destination of XVI century Grand Tour. Goethe, Stehndal, Toqueville and many others were the firsts which described our Island’s beauties. Generally journey started with a visit of Etna, following towards Segesta, Selinunte, Palermo a city in vogue among last century nobles, Syracuse and Agrigento where tourists were touched by the massive archaeological sites. Termini Imerese and Sciacca were chosen for the spa benefit and, finally, Taormina that was already able to offer comfort and deluxe services, very appreciated by aristocratic.
With the Grand Tour starts the touristic phenomenon in Italy and since that time Sicily was one of the best destination thanks to the beautiful sea, rich of archaeology and priceless monuments. “The point of i of Italy, the rest of peninsula seems to me as a stem for a wonderful flower ” as Friederich Hessemer defined Sicily.