In 1713, with the peace of Utrecht, Sicily, taken away from Spain, came assigned to Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, with title and dignity of kingdom. 
His brief reign was characterized by the struggle with the pope for the rights of ecclesiastical legation (privilege for the sovereign to practice the jurisdiction also in ecclesiastical subjects). In June 1714, Vittorio Amedeo II came to visit Taormina with his wife, Ann of Orleans. 
During the domination of Savoy, Spain was just about to reconquer Sicily. To prevent the Spanish occupation Vittorio Amedeo II promoted an alliance among Austria, England and France. Austria agreed to undertake but with the condition that, defeated Spain, Sicily would have passed to the dominion of the Hasburg's kingdom. To compensate the loss of Sicily, the Savoy's reign would have had Sardinia in exchange for it. 
A bloody war followed, that ended, in 1718, with the defeat of the Spanish reign. 
Thanks to the accord among the allies Sicily passed to the Hasburg's reign. The Austrian occupation in the island lasted around 3 years.