Lexicon of Sicily, from Ispica to Isola delle Femmine

Sicilian encyclopedia for travel and knowledge

Ispica is a small city on a hill on the eastern edge of the Monti Iblei, in the south of Sicily, 30 km from Ragusa, 50 km from Syracuse, and 90 km from La Valletta, Malta, and its territory is essentially exploited by intensive agriculture (tomatoes, olives, vineyards) which is the main economical activity. The territory includes 10 km of coasts, most of which of sand and dunes, and an island (Porri island) at 2 km from the coast. The name of the ptown until 1935 was "Spaccaforno", which may come either from "Ispicae fundus" which means the territory of the river, or from "Speca-furnus" with reference to caves in the form of ovens.

Isola Bella (Taormina) itself is a lovely nature reserve. This rocky little island also once belonged to Florence Trevelyan, who built a small house and planted bushes here. Tours and activities such as snorkelling can be booked. For the energetic it's possible to descend on foot, either to the bay at Mazzarò or that of Isola Bella (from the Belvedere on Via Luigi Pirandello) or at Villagonia, near the railway station (using steps descending from Via Bastione).

Isola delle Femmine is a town in North-Western Sicily, administratively part of the province of Palermo. It has about 6,500 inhabitants. Despite its name, which can be translated in English as Females' Island, the town is located in mainland Sicily; the "island" the name refers to lies in front of the town territory, but it is not inhabited anymore. The etymology of the name is uncertain: a story claims the origins of the name from a females' only prison supposedly located in the island in the 1500s. Birth place from the parents of Joe di Maggio.