Without Sicily, Italy creates no image in the soul: here is the key to everything.  (Italian Journey - Goethe)

If one has never seen oneself completely surrounded by the sea, one has no idea of the world and one’s own relationship with the world. As an artist drawing landscapes, that great simple line has given me completely new ideas. (Italian Journey - Goethe)
The view follows the long mountainous flank of Mount Etna, on the left lies the seashore, visible all the way to Catania, even Syracuse; and then the broad and panoramic picture is completed by the enormous smoking fire-mountain, it is, however, not a frightful sight, as the softening atmosphere makes it look more distant and milder than it really is.
(Italian Journey - Goethe in Taormina)