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The Italian city of Palermo is located in the north west of Sicily, by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city has a reputation across the world for its history, gastronomy, culture and architecture with a its origins dating back over 2,700 years. Many visitors flock to the city and it has become Sicily's main hub for culture, commerce and tourism. The city's centre has many examples of fine palaces and churches which give way to areas whose way of life doesn't seem to have changed for centuries. This is perhaps most evident in the markets in Palermo, whose Arabic origins can still be seen today thanks to the noise, aromas, colours, narrow streets and with the excellent array of produce on offer and the general 'souk's atmosphere.
From the city's port, ferry services operate to destinations include Genoa, with a crossing time of 21 hours, Civitavecchia, 14 hour crossing time, Naples, 10 hours and 30 minutes, and Tunisia, 10 hours. It is recommended that foot passengers check in 1 hour prior to departure and vehicles 2 hours prior to departure. For all departures to Tunisia check in should be 4 hours prior to departure.
The Italian island of Filicudi is one of the Aeolian Islands and lies off the north east coast of Sicily and is popular with scuba divers. A large part of the volcanic island is now designated as the "Natural Reserve of Filicudi Island". The island is made up of several layers of lava with oldest being located in the sea in front of 'Fil di Sciacca' with the largest being 'Fossa delle felci' and the most recent being 'Montagnola'. The island's slopes tend to be steep and rocky with houses located around the "Porto Pecorini" and "Valdichiesa" where the Church of St. Stephen, the island's patron saint, can be found.
To the north of the island is the spectacular “Punta Zucco Grande” (with ten layers of lava) with the eastern side of the island being a less harsh environment. Perhaps the most beautiful landscapes on the island are the “Punta Perciato” and the giant boulders of the “Rupi delle Sciare” ["Cliffs of the ‘Sciara’”], which are steep vertical cliffs overlooking the sea.