Story and photography by Catherine Roscoe Barr

Sicily sits just three kilometres across the Strait of Messina below mainland Italy and only 160 kilometres northeast of Tunisia in Northern Africa. Its central position in the Mediterranean Sea has made the island a hot commodity since it was first inhabited 13,000 years ago, the flux of different ethnicities seasoning it with many flavours.

At just over 25,000 square kilometres and 5,000,000 citizens, Sicily is half the size of Nova Scotia with more than five times the population. Its agricultural inhabitants are ample, too, with over 50 per cent of its land area used to raise livestock and grow crops, not to mention countless family gardens brimming with the likes of tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant.

A Mediterranean climate and divergent landscape—primarily rolling hills and soaring mountain ranges, most notably the 3,350-metre Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe—provide numerous fertile microclimates that support a wide range of plant life, much of it delightfully edible.
— Montecristo Magazine, Winter 2015

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