Today Mr. Arno, sophomore Gaia Arno’s dad, joined us in Italian IV to talk about Sicily, the Italian region where he was born and raised. Mr. Arno’s spoke to the class in Italian and his timely visit represented the conclusion of Italian IV unit on Italian history and geography. Mr Arno told students that “who we [Italians] are is shaped by geography, history, and regional culture.” This is particularly true in the case of Sicily which, due to its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, was sought after and dominated by a number of civilizations. Each one of these civilizations (the Phoenicians, Saracens, Greeks, Romans, Normans, French, and Spanish) left its mark. This can be seen in the region’s architecture, food, traditions, and even in the language. “Sicilian,” the dialect spoken in Sicily, is a mixture of different languages and cannot be understood in other parts of Italy. Mr Arno characterized Sicilian identity not only as diverse, but also as full of contradictions: surrender and revolution, insularity and cosmopolitanism. Today, next to its ancient, glorious past, Sicily has built a modern facade. Mr. Arno, who is a mechanical engineer specialized in nanotechnology, talked to the class about the largest manufacturer of semiconductors in Europe which is build at the foot of Mt. Etna. We are very thankful to Mr. Arno for taking the time to come to our class.