Mondello on Sicily

25 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-2.0

Mondello is a small borough of the city of Palermo in the autonomous region of Sicily in Southern Italy. Its beach lies between two cliffs called Mount Gallo and Mount Pellegrino. The town was originally a small fishing village situated on marshland, but at the end of the 19th century it grew into a tourist destination. A number of Liberty style villas on the seafront promenade have made it one of the gems of Art Nouveau in Europe.   read more…

Theme Week Friuli Venezia Giulia – Muggia

24 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Zyance/cc-by-3.0

© Zyance/cc-by-3.0

Muggia is an Italian town and comune in the extreme south-east of the Province of Trieste in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia on the border with Slovenia. Lying on the eastern flank of the Gulf of Trieste in the northern Adriatic Sea, Muggia is the only Italian port town in Istria. The town’s architecture is marked by its Venetian and Austrian history, and its harbour hosts a modern 500-berth marina for yachts (Porto San Rocco). Muggia lies in northern Istria. Its territory, limited on the sea-side by a shoreline of more than 7 kilometres (4 mi) featuring a coastal road and on the border side by a hill system, Monti di Muggia, including Mt. Castellier, Mt. S. Michele, Mt. Zuc and Monte d’Oro, that dominate over a vast landscape of Triestinian and Istrian coast, is characterized by a rich sub-continental vegetation of both Karstic and Istrian type. It has a border crossing, known as San Bartolomeo, with Slovenia and the extreme east of the comune at Lazaretto. The Slovenian border crossing is called Lazaret in the Municipality of Koper.   read more…

Holy Land

24 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Star of Bethlehem in the Church of Nativity © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0

Star of Bethlehem in the nativity grotto of the Church of Nativity in Betlehem © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term “Holy Land” usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the State of Palestine, western Jordan, and parts of southern Lebanon and southwestern Syria. Jews, Christians, and Muslims regard it as holy. Part of the significance of the land stems from the religious significance of Jerusalem, and the location of the First and Second Temples), as the historical region of Jesus’ ministry, and as the site of the first Qibla of Islam, as well as the site of the Isra and Mi’raj event of c. 621 CE in Islam.   read more…

Theme Week Friuli Venezia Giulia – Gorizia

23 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, European Capital of Culture Reading Time:  20 minutes

Gorizia and the castle © T137

Gorizia and the castle © T137

Gorizia is a town and comune in northeastern Italy, in the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is located at the foot of the Julian Alps, bordering Slovenia. It was the capital of the former Province of Gorizia and is a local center of tourism, industry, and commerce. Since 1947, a twin town of Nova Gorica has developed on the other side of the modern-day Italian–Slovenian border. The entire region was subject to territorial dispute between Italy and Yugoslavia after World War II: after the new boundaries were established in 1947 and the old town was left to Italy, Nova Gorica was built on the Yugoslav side. Taken together, the two towns constitute a conurbation, which also includes the Slovenian municipality of Šempeter-Vrtojba. Since May 2011, these three towns have been joined in a common trans-border metropolitan zone, administered by a joint administration board. The name of the town comes from the Slovene word gorica ‘little hill’, which is a very common toponym in Slovene-inhabited areas. In 2025 both cities will be the European Capital of Culture together as one.   read more…

Porquerolles on the French Riviera

23 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: French Riviera, General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Espirat/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Espirat/cc-by-sa-4.0

Porquerolles, also known as the Île de Porquerolles, is an island in the Îles d’Hyères, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. Its land area is 1,254 hectares (12.54 km²; 4.84 sq mi) and in 2004 its population was about 200. Since 2010, the island also hosts a jazz festival each summer (“Jazz à Porquerolles”).   read more…

Theme Week Friuli Venezia Giulia – Pordenone

22 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Palazzo Ricchieri - Museo Civico d'Arte © Geobia/cc-by-sa-4.0

Palazzo Ricchieri – Museo Civico d’Arte © Geobia/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pordenone is the main comune of Pordenone province of northeast Italy in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The name comes from Latin Portus Naonis, meaning ‘port on the Noncello River’. The town has many mansions and palaces, in particular along the ancient “Greater Contrada”, today Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (wonderful example of Venetian porticoes and called by some small “waterless Grand Canal”). The urban conglomerate of Pordenone is characterized by the presence of the ruins of the industries dating back to the nineteenth century, examples of industrial archeology.   read more…

Portrait: Salvador Dalí, world renown Spanish surrealist

22 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  9 minutes

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress - Roger Higgins

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress – Roger Higgins

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí of Púbol was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work. Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Spain in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his “nuclear mysticism” style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism, and recent scientific developments.   read more…

Theme Week Friuli Venezia Giulia – San Vito al Tagliamento

21 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Sirleonidas/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Sirleonidas/cc-by-sa-4.0

San Vito al Tagliamento is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Pordenone in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Trieste and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of Pordenone.   read more…

Sunny Isles Beach in Florida

21 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  9 minutes

Oleta River State Park and the skyline of Sunny Isles Beach © panoramio.com - Richard Mc Neil/cc-by-3.0

Oleta River State Park and the skyline of Sunny Isles Beach © panoramio.com – Richard Mc Neil/cc-by-3.0

Sunny Isles Beach (SIB, officially the City of Sunny Isles Beach) is a city located on a barrier island in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The city is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west. Sunny Isles Beach is an area of cultural diversity with stores lining Collins Avenue, the main thoroughfare through the city. It is renowned for having the 14th tallest skyline in America despite its relatively low population.   read more…

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