Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is the triangle at the toe of the boot-shaped land that is Italy. It is a place of the old and easy-going and the ancient and angry.
The Old and Easy-Going
Sicily has a high number of people 100+ years old. In fact, in three villages in the mountains, 15 people are aged 100-107 out of 10,000 people. The usual age for Italians is 2.4 centenarians (as people 100+ are called) out of 10,000.
Even more startling is that the people do not show signs of old-age diseases or of loss of mental abilities. As the common phrase goes, they are “sharp as tacks.”
Scientists believe the main reason for so many centenarians in Sicily – and, to a lower rate, in Italy itself – is the Mediterranean diet. Sicilians eat lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains such as wholewheat bread and brown rice. They almost never eat meat except for seafood and chicken, and they cook with extra virgin olive oil. In addition, they generally live happy lives with little stress.
The Ancient and Angry
In contrast to the people who live there, Sicily itself is angry.
Lava flows have been slowly moving down the slopes of Mount Etna. In November 2022, the volcano spewed a pillar of ash 7.5 miles into the air. But that is nothing compared to the volcano’s earlier eruptions.
Rising 10,000 feet high and with a base that is about 26 miles wide, Mt. Etna has been erupting for 500,000 years and is still active today. It is the most active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world.
The Mediterranean Sea is like a tectonic puzzle, where the African and Eurasian plates meet. That confrontation gave birth to the Alps. Around Sicily, the African plate is forced under the Eurasian plate. The result is a volcanism that is both dangerous and beautiful. Etna is 2.5 times larger than Vesuvius, the Italian volcano that wiped out the city of Pompeii during Roman times.
Sicily Activity 1
Fix any unclear pronouns.
1. Sicily has many centenarians and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This makes Sicily very interesting.
2. It is both dangerous and beautiful.
3. In three villages in the mountains, 15 people are aged 100-107 out of 10,000 people. The usual age for Italians is 2.4 centenarians out of 10,000. Even more startling is that they do not show signs of old-age diseases or of loss of mental abilities.
4. Aetna might be very destructive, but they are working on the problem.