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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sicilia, Italy

Jun 10, 2018 - heading for the Adriatic

Wednesday 30 May After completing some provisioning and chores, we left Palermo and headed for Cefalu. Had to motor as there was little wind. The coast line, if you can see it through the humidity is really quite stunning – mountains and greenery. Coming in towards Cefalu you see the old medieval town with it’s imposing cathedral. The little cove in which we anchored off from the marina is truly stunning with its rocks (which the remains of a fortress) and surrounds. Even though there are holiday resorts around the cove it was still...

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our 2018 adventure

Jun 3, 2018 - continuing on.....

Wednesday 23 May Left mid morning and headed for Trapani where we hope to get some good provisioning in and access to chandlers and most importantly have the outboard looked at. Took up a morning near the boat services and the proceeded to investigate what is available. There was a Mercury service centre which we got directed to. We had problems finding it at first but then a kind mechanic drove us to the place, which we would never have found on our own. Gen described the problem (and in the process learned a few more technical terms in...

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Trip Journal


our 2018 adventure

May 15, 2018 - Old sights and old friends in Siracusa

The cave was named by Italian painter Caravaggio after the Greek tyrant Dionysius I who ruled Syracuse from 432 to 367 B.C. According to legend, Dionysius used the cave as a prison, spying on his captives from the small opening at the top of the cave where even whispers from the cavern below could be clearly heard. Recent investigations, however, have found this myth to be implausible; though the amplifying effects of the cave’s shape are indeed impressive, they don’t account for the resonance which garbles even the best enunciated speech....

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May 12, 2018 - Palermo

Saturday 12th May: Back to Palermo. Today we had the long trip back to Palermo so another early start. However, as we drove inland we detoured south past Piazza Armerina to visit the famous Roman Villa del Casale, another UNESCO site. This very large villa was completely covered by a landslide and lay hidden for 700 years before being rediscovered in 19th century. The mosaics are extraordinarily vivid and deal with many subjects from mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life. Near Piazza Armerina, we stopped for lunch at a lovely...

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May 11, 2018 - Siracusa

Friday 11th May: Today was an optional tour to Siracusa which we decided not to miss. So we were on the bus again by 8am. On reaching Siracusa the first stop was the Neapolis Archeological Park where we met our guid, Elisabet. She took us through the park and showed many remains from ancient Greek rule. The Greek Theatre was similar to that in Taormina, although bigger seating 15000, in that it was carved out of the rocky hillside. It is still used today for Greek tragedies and comedies. Further along the path was the remains of the...

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May 10, 2018 - Taormina

Thursday 10th May: On top of Mt Etna. Once again Flavia had us up very early for the drive up Etna as far as 2000m. Along the way she explained the history of the volcano and pointed out the various lava flows. We arrived at the Silvestri Craters which formed with the eruptions of 2001. It was an eerie and awe-inspiring experience to walk around and down into these craters and to see how close the flows came to buildings there. It was cold and bleak on the mountain adding to the atmosphere and Flavia’s early start was brilliant as not only...

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May 9, 2018 - Agrigento

Tuesday 8th May: On to Agrigento. Luggage had to be out by 6.30am and we were on the road by 8am. First stop was the mountaintop village of Erice. This was another very well preserved medieval town with breathtaking views over Trapani and in all directions we spent an hour or so wandering the maze of cobbled streets before descending the mountain again in the bus. Nearby along the sea , we were taken to a huge salt mining area where old windmills were dotted around. These were used to move the sea water from one pan to another. The drive...

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May 7, 2018 - Palermo

Sunday 6th May: The hotel ran a shuttle to the airport every half hour so again it was a short ride back for our flight to Palermo at 10am. There we had to wait a short while for the airport bus into town and we bought our return ticket for next Sunday. The stop nearest our hotel, the Mecure, was Piazza Politeama, a very large and attractive square with a big theatre at one end. We trundled our way the few blocks to the hotel (thank goodness for traveling light!) and found our room. As we were not meeting our tour group until 6.30pm, we...

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Mar 18, 2018 - Syracuse:Sicily

Our unit in Plemmirio turned out to be in a great spot with just a two minute walk to a small beach directly opposite Syracuse. As this was our last stop in Sicily we wasted little time getting out to explore Syracuse, Catania, Avola and a fabulous old town with the odd name of Noto Antica. In ancient times it was known as Netun and has recorded history to 263 BC. Unlike many old towns, Noto was more open in its layout and the mainly Baroque architecture was in pristine condition. Avola on the other hand was cramped and full of scary...

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the islands

Mar 13, 2018 - Palermo:Sicily

Our overnight ferry ride was perfect and the relatively easy boarding process was quite humorous. For something a little different all cars for this one had to reverse up the ramp and into position. For some that didn't go well. The expected double-bunk cabin turned into a spacious suite with all the facilities. We were ecstatic. To celebrate, we opted for the full bit and dined out with fillet steaks and mushrooms plus the necessary red vino. It was like we were on a real five star cruise liner. :-) :-) Once berthed at Palermo we set out...

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Trip Journal


the islands

Nov 17, 2017 - A few notes from John

My General Impressions of Italy By John We spent three days in Rome, three days in Naples, and then fourteen days in Sicily (on a Road Scholar trip) – twelve of those days in rural Sicily. In Rome, the major tourist destinations like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Roman Colosseum were overrun with tourists without much infrastructure to support them. For example, there were no public toilets in the area. Outside of these areas, Rome was not unpleasant, but the roads had more traffic than they could handle, and there were no...

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Nov 15, 2017 - Arrivederci Sicily

Our final two days on the Sicily tour. Belice, Mt Pispisa, and Segesta Written by John, edited by Lois On Tuesday November 14, the weather forecast was for 50 degrees and rain for most of the day. The original schedule called for an all day hike, so our guides put their heads together and came up with another plan. First we went to a former quarry where they found evidence of a civilization that dug a system of aqueducts several thousand years BC! The problem was the area had been in a grass fire a year ago and the trails had never been...

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