Sicily is the very essence of the Mediterranean: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Normans travelled to the island, leaving vestiges of their magnificent civilizations behind. Truly captivating is the life that takes place behind palace walls just as it has for centuries- tables are lavishly laid with pastries made from ancient recipes, the fragrance of orange blossoms wafts from secret gardens, halls display extravagant baroque decorations. In Catania, a private room is still kept exactly as described by Goethe.