Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sicilia, Italy

Nov 8, 2018 - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Since we were at sea this morning sailing to Sicily, we had a lecture on the Mafia. Very interesting how crime syndicates can rule a country. You will see a "Godfather" t-shirt we saw in a shop. It was a beautiful sunny day!! Finally!! We had a walking tour through the city; visiting a beautiful cathedral. Siracusa was part of a Greek colony in the eight century BC. Before the colony settled in what we know as Siracusa today. Europe's oldest ritual baths can be found in the Jewish quarter. And of course, Silvia had a surprise for us again....

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Sep 26, 2018 - Messina, Sicily

We woke up Wednesday morning to pretty iffy weather – no rain, just iffy – and while Dave and Kathy met up with a friend of theirs that lives in Messina, the 4 of us shared a cab with a couple from Ireland and headed to Taormina, about 45 minutes south. All of the cruise ships offer an excursion to Taormina for a couple reasons. First, there ain’t much to see in Messina, secondly it’s near where the Godfather movies were filmed and lastly, because it is just awesome. It is exactly what you would expect to see in Sicily...little shops along...

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Sep 25, 2018 - We’re heading home!!!

Today we start our epic journey home. Whilst we’ve enjoyed our time in Italy and Sicily and feel we’ve become accustomed to their manic lifestyle, we miss home and our fur babies. The first leg of our home bound trek will consist of two trains and two planes.. hmm reminiscent of the start of our journey when leaving home!! We’ll be taking the regional train from Taormina to Messina, switching at Messina (hopefully with more time for Karen to tackle the stairs with her luggage) then Messina to Palermo. The next bit will be interesting as we...

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Sep 25, 2018 - At sea enroute to Sicily

Tuesday was our first sea day – I love me some sea days – as we cruised east between Sardinia and Tunisia and on to Messina, Sicily. If you remember back to high school geography class, you might recall that mainland Italy is shaped like a boot and right at the toe of the boot is the island of Sicily and if the boot were to kick Sicily, that is where Messina is. There will be a test later so remember that. Ken, Lisa and Michele took advantage of their sea day to attend a glass blowing class on board...conducted by a company from...

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Sep 23, 2018 - Last day in Sicily... a recap

As we come to the time to say arrivederci to Taormina Sicilia (Sicily) we thought we’d reflect on our time spent in Italy enjoying the solitude at the beginning, embracing a new culture in the middle and having a few laughs overall. Our (re) introduction to Italy was not what we had expected. We challenged ourselves by getting from Rome to Florence by our own instincts straight after 22 hours of flying but we did it! Our highlight in Florence was walking around the city first thing in the morning with hardly anyone else around. Our...

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Sep 22, 2018 - Simpleee..... Hotel Villa Angelo

We have arrived, alive and kicking, after chasing our runaway suitcases down the driveway. We can see the waterfront from our balconies (yes, plural.. we have two balconies!) The glittering prize after our arduous trip was sipping on wine whilst taking in the views. No doubt we’ll join the breakfast club at 8am on the terrace before taking the shuttle into town. We’ve already seen some sights with an amazing guide after our fleeting visit last week. We keep referring to all the things she said about the love story of Bianca. You could...

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Sep 22, 2018 - Simpleeee.... Taormina

We’re getting the knack of train travel in Italy/Sicily. After our Boot and Ball Tour ended yesterday, we treated ourselves to a bit of a sleep in.... about 30mins 𯘕 our train was not due to depart until 10am so extra 30min lie in won’t hurt lol. Their intercity trains are quite snazzy. The one we got today had a full table between the seats which included power points for charging, you won’t find that on any Newcastle to Sydney trains. We had to change trains in Messina, which we were prepared for however as we got closer, the...

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Sep 22, 2018 - Trapani and Marsala

Our guide met us at 8 for a guided walk through the town of Trapani which is an important port and was the first landing of the Phoenicians. The name of the town is derived from the word for sickle - the shape of the harbour. Once again this is a city showing its history in the buildings and the various occupants and of course it suffered damage in World War II. The Jesuits had a college here but they were sent away with the unification of Italy in 1860. We then travelled along a coast road toward Marsala to an area where salt is collected...

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Sep 22, 2018 - Photo Time

The Internet in Italy works to its own time. It will upload...when it uploads. Give or take a few minutes 𯘀 Therefore the photos are not in chronological order. The phone is in our current hotel in Taormina. Actually works. The mini prickly pear garden is from the markets in Palermo. The markets are in the same alley as when they originated - centuries ago. Thankfully the food is fresh daily. Seafood stalls were throughout the alley which their smells overwhelmed the fresh fruit and veg. The church from Monreale was magnificent. The scene...

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Sep 21, 2018 - Highlights from the Boot and Ball Tour

As we finish our Boot and Ball Tour and gear up to traverse back across Sicily to spend a few relaxing days and nights at Jim’s place, we’ve uploaded some photos from Debra’s phone to highlight the tour. Will post some highlight photos from Karen’s phone later.

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Sep 21, 2018 - In Palermo for the day

Bags packed and loaded onto the bus, we headed to Monreale, originally planned for the afternoon but there was to be a wedding in the church this afternoon. Our guide explained that September is a very busy month for weddings as it is when the feast of St Rosalie is celebrated. Again this is a mix of the Norman and the Arab and the exterior clearly shows this mix. Inside the wonderful mosaics show a variety. Those around the altar are of the Byzantine style - more like icons. The paintings on the inner area shownscenes from the Old...

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Sep 20, 2018 - Palermo

The 165 k journey from Agrigento to Palermo took 3 hours- combination of winding roads and many road works to delay but I enjoyed the slower travel with the chance to see the countryside now preparing for sowing crops. Palermo is crowded with cars competing for space and many traffic jams, but some of its main streets are car free. Siesta is the rule here from 1to4 but not in the tourist part of the city where there are so many shops competing for the tourist dollar but more sadly people from the Middle East or Africa with small tables set...

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