Sicily is something of a fashionable secret among Britons who enjoy sunshine holidays away from the crowds, but the Mediterranean island’s attractions are easy to understand.

Book Villas in Italy to use as a base for exploring Sicily during the summer months and you will be greeted by soaring temperatures and hours of sunshine almost every day.

You could choose to enjoy the weather by relaxing on one of the beaches or secluded coves that make up the island’s coastline. As well as working on your tan, you will be able to marvel at the beautiful sapphire sea.

There is plenty of other natural beauty to see on Sicily, including the magnificent Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. The island is also home to the Hyblaean Mountains, a range of slopes covered in woods and olive groves, giving Sicily a green feel.

You could choose to head out of your villa in Italy to explore some of the island’s many archaeological and historic sites. As Sicily was colonised by both the Greeks and the Romans before becoming a kingdom in its own right during the Middle Ages, there is lots of history to discover.

The fourth century Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina contains some of the finest examples of Roman mosaics anywhere in the world, while the Valle dei Templi close to Agrigento has a selection of ruins from temples dating back more than 2,000 years.

You can even see evidence of the island being inhabited before the arrival of the Greeks if you travel to the fascinating Necropolis of Pantalica on the outskirts of Syracuse.

Rent an Italy holiday villa close to Catania or Palermo and you will be ideally placed to experience the attractions of the island’s biggest cities – but don’t expect them to look anything like the identikit modern cities that are found across Europe.

Sicily has a distinct architectural style and you can see lots of examples of it in the two coastal cities. They are also home to a selection of fine restaurants selling traditional local seafood dishes and the mouth-watering desserts the island’s chefs are famous for.