Augusta on Sicily

30 March 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Baia Arcile © Angelo Pappalardo/cc-by-sa-3.0

Baia Arcile © Angelo Pappalardo/cc-by-sa-3.0

Augusta is a town and comune in the province of Syracuse, located on the eastern coast of Sicily. The city is one of the main harbours in Italy, especially for oil refineries (ExxonMobil and others as part of the complex Augusta-Priolo) which are in its vicinity. The city is situated 35 km north of Syracuse and faces the Ionian Sea.   read more…

Theme Week Sicily – Syrakus

26 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage



Syracuse is a historic city and the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Siracusans. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12 as Paul stayed there. The patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy; she was born in Syracuse and her feast day, Saint Lucy’s Day, is celebrated on 13 December.   read more…

Theme Week Sicily – Ragusa

20 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© Okkiproject/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Okkiproject/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ragusa is the capital of the province of Ragusa with around 75,000 inhabitants. It is built on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys, Cava San Leonardo and Cava Santa Domenica. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The economy of the surrounding province hinges mainly on light industries, agriculture (horticulture, olives), farming, tourism, light manufacturing and small oilfields.   read more…

The port city of Marsala

10 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Salt evaporation ponds Ettore Infersa at Stagnone Marsala © - Alun Salt

Salt evaporation ponds Ettore Infersa at Stagnone Marsala © – Alun Salt

Marsala is a seaport city located in the Province of Trapani on the island of Sicily in Italy. The low coast on which it is situated is the westernmost point of the island. It is best known as the source of Marsala wine. The town is situated on the Mediterranean coast. The Arabs gave it its present name “Marsala,” which perhaps is derived from the Arab “Marsa Allah” (Port of Allah). The huge ancient harbor that lay on the northeast was destroyed by Charles V in the 16th century, to prevent its occupation by pirates. The modern harbor lies to the southeast.   read more…

The island of Stromboli

8 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Stromboli Island © Steven W. Dengler

Stromboli Island © Steven W. Dengler

Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the three active volcanoes in Italy. It is one of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic arc north of Sicily. This name is a corruption of the Ancient Greek name Strongulē which was given to it because of its round swelling form. The island’s population is between 400 and 850. The volcano has erupted many times, and is constantly active with minor eruptions, often visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, giving rise to the island’s nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”. The last major eruption was on April 13, 2009. Stromboli stands 926 m (3,034 ft) above sea level, but actually rises over 2,000 m (6,500 ft) above the sea floor. There are three active craters at the peak. A significant geological feature of the volcano is the Sciara del Fuoco (“Stream of fire”), a big horseshoe-shaped depression generated in the last 13,000 years by several collapses on the northwestern side of the cone. Two kilometres to the northeast lies Strombolicchio, the volcanic plug remnant of the original volcano.   read more…

Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

11 February 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Catania - Cathedral Sant' Agata © Berthold Werner/cc-by-sa-3.0

Catania – Cathedral Sant’ Agata © Berthold Werner/cc-by-sa-3.0

Val di Noto is a geographical area of south east Sicily; it is dominated by the limestone Iblean plateau. The Val di Noto owes its fame to the reconstruction which underwent after the year 1693, when the entire area was decimated by an enormous earthquake. Following the earthquake, many towns were rebuilt on entirely new sites, such as Noto and Grammichele. The rulers of the time, the kings of Spain, accounted the nobleman Giuseppe Lanza with special powers, which allowed him to redesign the damaged towns based on rational and scenographic town plans.   read more…

Quattro Canti in Palermo

11 October 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Piazza Quattro Canti © - Michele Ursino/cc-by-sa-2.0

Piazza Quattro Canti © – Michele Ursino/cc-by-sa-2.0

Quattro Canti, officially known as Piazza Vigliena, is a Baroque square in Palermo on Sicily in southern Italy.   read more…

Theme Week Sicily – Messina

24 May 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Duomo Messina © Pinodario

Duomo Messina © Pinodario

Messina is the capital of the province of Messina. It is the 3rd largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 252,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, has close ties with Reggio Calabria.   read more…

Theme Week Sicily – Corleone

22 May 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Palazzina Ficuzza © Azotoliquido/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palazzina Ficuzza © Azotoliquido/cc-by-sa-3.0

Corleone is a small town and comune of approximately 11,000 inhabitants in the Province of Palermo. It is located in the valley between the “Rocca ri Maschi”, the “Castello Soprano” and the “Castello Sottano”. Corleone is the “city of the 100 churches”. Within the territory of Corleone, a short walk from the historic center of the city is the ” Natural Park of the cascade of two fortresses .” After going through a series of narrow streets in the district San Giuliano you come in front of a small church dedicated to Our Lady of precisely two fortresses. To the left of this church ‘ winds a path that leads between the poplars, willows and elms to the falls. Comfortably seated on the ancient square blocks in the shade of mulberry trees, nuts and frassinisi one can have the enchanting view of the waterfall.   read more…

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