Sicily by Giuseppe Lazzaro Danzuso
To summarize Sicily and its history is not a simple task. Whereas other regions are typified by arts from particular historical periods expressed in their more important monuments, the situation is much more complicated in this island because nearly every palace, castle, and church has been rebuilt or modified on several occasions; they form a motley of various cultures. Every Sicilian monument is therefore a palimpsest - an old parchment that has been erased and written over - in which the old names, faces, uses, beliefs and religions have been lost in the past to make way for the new. However, if you scratch away at the surface, you can go back in time and reveal what was hidden, which, at times, turns out to be a treasure of knowledge. In fact, the whole of Sicily can be thought of as an endless palimpsest layered with monuments, each of which can be scratched away to discover the successive strata that formed the cultural expressions of her various peoples.