The Mediterranean island of Sicily entrances with its diverse, sun-soaked landscapes, multi-layered cuisine and wealth of cultural treasures. Its location, just off the “toe” of Italy’s famous boot, has meant that it has long been considered the “crossroads of the Mediterranean”. Explore it for yourself on one of our Sicily cruises, starting at Agrigento’s Concordia Temple in the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exceptionally well-preserved relic of Classical heritage. Visit the capital, Palermo, to admire an eclectic mix of influences – from Arab domes to Byzantine mosaics. All of that walking is bound to help you build up an appetite, and there’s no better way to satiate it than with a steaming bowl of pasta alla Norma. This time-honoured dish brings together magma-red tomatoes, silky aubergines and salty ricotta. Take the pace down a notch by paying a visit to one of Sicily’s many beaches. You’ll find Mondello close to Palermo. Fine white sand, twinkling blue waters and distinctive pastel coloured beach huts await. Elsewhere, in hilly Taormina, you’ll find a scattering of sandy beaches hidden in craggy cliffs. Taormina also connects to the secluded Isola Bella (an island and nature reserve) via a narrow strip of sand.