Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sicilia, Italy

Oct 14, 2017 - Last day in Sicily

Our last day in Sicily. The sun is shining as usual. Can’t believe the weather has been so fabulous. Saturday morning is busy here in Siracusa. Just a short walk over the bridge to Ortigia is the fresh food market. The fish are not as spectacular as Catania, but the fresh produce, dried goods and spices are gorgeous. We have bought 2 litres of water and some fruit, dried figs, almonds and a bit of dark Sicilian chocolate to munch on the 8 hour train journey tomorrow. Hopefully there will be vendors on the train selling coffee shots at steep...

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Oct 13, 2017 - Southern Sicily - Siracusa

After some delay of trains, we finally caught a train to Siracusa. We were entertained by group filming this baby sitting in a remote controlled convertible, looking a lot like a minature Grace Kelly. We passed through extensive gas,and oil storage areas. Floating oil investigation rigs moored at big jetties, along with many naval vessels. This part of the world was most significant in WW2. The Americans did a landing down here, and chased out the Germans and axis forces (Italians) from here. Catania is more old world, and gives a feel of...

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Oct 12, 2017 - Cruising in Sicily

A short taxi ride to the port in Reggio and we joined the queue, bought a ticket for the ferry to Messina in Sicily. The smooth 7 km ride takes 30 minutes across the Messina Straits. A short walk to the station and jumped on a train to Catania. Catania sits at the base of Mt Etna. She is puffing smoke, but has decided to be moody and hide under cloud for our entire stay in Catania. So the tour on an old train around the base is not worth it, neither is the 4 wheel drive all day excursion to the cone at the summit.. In 1669, Etna erupted and...

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Oct 11, 2017 - Food market

The photos are self explanatory. Just an amazing display of fresh food. I need a kitchen to start cooking now....... The fish mongers, mostly men, stand behind their stalls, cutting, gutting, even gutting and removing the spine of sardines with their fingers - no knife, whilst they talk amongst themselves. As you walk from stall to stall, this friendly market place smells of freshly chopped garlic and crushed herbs. After this mouth watering feast for your eyes, we took a hop on , hop off bus tour to see the sights of Catania. It was...

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Oct 11, 2017 - Catania

Just A few more foodie pics and others. After our market visit, we found this fab restaurant and they had an incredible array of food. And there were vegetables! Love Giana and Marco. Thanks to every one for the birthday wishes. I did have a splendid birthday in Calabria! Love Giana and Marco x

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Oct 3, 2017 - Messina, Italy

This morning we cruised by the Island of Stromboli and its village. Stromboli is an active Volcano so no sure why anyone would want to live on this tiny island, but they do. Then we made Port in Messina, Sicily and took a tour with three other couples that covered places the Godfather movies were filmed. Throughout the tour it rained on and off. We first went to the Village of Savoca (known as Corleone in the movie) and apparently bears no resemblance to the real village of Corleone. Visited Vitelli's Bar where Michael Corleone asks to...

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Trip Journal

Adriatic Cruise

May 19, 2017 - Erupting Etna and the G7 circus in Taormina

On my free weekend in Taormina, I went on a small group tour to visit Mt. Etna, the highest, and one of the most active, volcanoes in Europe. The group comprised five students from my language school (1 Spaniard, 1 Swiss, 1 Swede, 1 Argentinian and me) and another young woman who had booked with the same travel agency. Mt Etna is about 3,300m high, but because of recent eruptions in the last few months, it is currently only allowed to ascend to 2,700m. Some of you may have seen the video clip from March 2017 when a group of BBC journalists...

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May 14, 2017 - Torturing the Italian language in Taormina

I am at the 'work' end of my trip and have just finished my first week of Italian classes in Taormina (I'm studying here for two weeks). The Babilonia language school is in a lovely setting with its own private garden and restaurant/bistro, only two minutes walk from my AirBnB apartment. In addition to the classes, the school organises social activities including a film night (in Italian with Italian subtitles), seminars (recent topics have included slow food and Sicilian literature), a dinner on the first night and Friday night aperitifs....

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May 9, 2017 - Catania - at the foot of Mt Etna

Catania - May 8-14 After three weeks with our kids, grandkids and extended family in Italy, you would think that we would be more prepared for, and relishing, the quiet and solitude. Instead, we find ourselves wishing our kids and grandkids were still with us to experience this part of Sicily as well. After they were whisked off for their flight home from Palermo, we finished our packing and trudged to the train station in Palermo for the 3 hour train ride to Catania. Joanne had "the sads" and had quite a few moments with tears. Catania is...

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May 8, 2017 - Palermo - La Famiglia

Palermo - La Famiglia Victor was a little apprehensive about meeting up with all of his family in Palermo. Two sides of his family live in the area and it has always presented a challenge to visit with them all without offending anyone. Fortunately this time, Joanne booked an apartment that had plenty of room to host a number of relatives at one time. We set aside Saturday for Victor's mother's family and Sunday for other side of the family. Messages went out to the respective sides of the family with instructions on how to find us. We...

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May 6, 2017 - Sleepless in Siracusa

Hello, again, finally. I have been somewhat subdued (and sleepless) over my six night stay here in Siracusa as I have had a bad head cold. It hit me in Palermo, after almost three weeks on the road; my body just telling me that I needed to slow down. My Turkish bath experience in Palermo was, in part, an effort to sweat the cold from my body that was not successful. In Siracusa I have had the pleasure of the company for three days of my Melbourne friend, Gloria, and her American cousins (Frank and Teresa), all of whom are travelling around...

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May 5, 2017 - Palermo - Part 1

Palermo Part One - Before La Famiglia Our tour with Trafalgar ended in Palermo where we had an opportunity to see some sights before meeting with Victor's extended family. In Palermo, Victor has over 60 relatives from both his father's and his mother's sides of the family. Needless to say, it's going to be a challenging juggling act to see everyone and not offend anyone (something we always manage to do regardless of how hard we try not to!!). So, it was lovely to have a bit of time to explore the city. Most importantly, we took the...

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