Blogs from Catania, Sicily, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania September 7th 2018

This morning we met our local guide, Salvatore and he is quite the character! He is just over 80 years of age and as fit as a fiddle - very knowledgeable about the area and Sicily as a whole and quite the comedian. He has also written a book and produced a CD! Salvatore joined us in Catania and would be our guide for the entire day. Our first destination this morning would be Mt Etna, which I was pretty excited about. To give you an idea of what our day with Salvatore was like, as we were driving on the main highway out of Catania he told us that he needed us to wave to his sister, and he would tell us when we needed to do it. So we are driving along and he ... read more
One of the crsters, although not the one my glasses flew into!
The building that was kissed by lava
The window shut by the lava flow. You can see the lava behind it.

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania September 6th 2018

We all wished we could stay another night in Ibla, Ragusa but unfortunately it was not to be. This morning we were back on our bus and our first stop was the town of Noto. Noto had once been destroyed by an earthquake and when the town was rebuilt, a conscious decision was made to rebuild it all in the baroque style, which made all the buildings fit together really well. The result of this is Noto is now one of the finest baroque towns in Sicily and another UNESCO World Heritage site. We wandered up the main street, marvelling at the grandeur of all the buildings. There was the cathedral Catterdrale dei San Nicolo which has a special story to tell. The Main dome actualky collapsed into the cathedral in 1996 and it took 9 ... read more
The cathedral of Noto
The Town Hall
The bells on the roof top

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania March 31st 2018

Saturday March 31 2018 - Another good day. I got up close to 8am, and my host offered me some cookies and tea. Not a healthy breakfast, but it tasted good. I got packed up and headed out for another walk around Ortigia. This time I found my way back and forth much easier. I spent a couple hours walking around and then headed back. I did a few internet things and then had to wait for the preteen to exit the bathroom so I could use it and get on the road. My drive was only an hour, and I was driving through the city, then on a weird forgotten backroad of dubious quality that had me driving under bridges through narrow gaps in the support. Finally I ended up on the highway and passed ... read more
A truly round church - Siracusa
This Mary is walking up the wall - Siracusa

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania August 4th 2016

We had only a small distance to drive to reach Catania. We wanted to stay there to see mount Etna. On arriving at the B&B in Catania we heard there was no parking and they had no idea where we could park. That was not on the sheet from According to that there was parking. We told them and left for we needed parking. We went in the direction of Mount Et na in the hope we would find something. Half way up we had to return there was no fuel anywhere as in Nicolasi. By doing so we found also a place for the night. Checking in they told us we had plenty of time to see Mount Etna. The road to Mount Etna was very good it was winding that slows you down. ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania July 31st 2016

Op tijd opstaan, want we gaan Catania bezoeken, daarna Milou ophalen en dan door naar Cefal├╣ aan de noordkant van het eiland. Na het ontbijt schrijven we nog even iets in het gastenboek met een speciale vermelding voor "Manfreddi", dat heeft hij wel verdiend. We laden de koffers in en zitten al snel weer op de weg naar Catania. We zijn van plan dezelfde parkeerplaats te nemen als de vorige keer, aangezien we alle spullen in de auto hebben liggen. Bij aankomst bij Blu Car Parking checken we of dat mogelijk is is. De medewerker deelt wel mee dat ze tussen 13.00 en 18.00 dicht zijn, omdat het zondag is. Dus moeten we op zoek naar een andere mogelijkheid en dat is niet makkelijk. De eerste de beste parkeergarage ligt in een ietwat lugubere buurt en ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania July 28th 2016

Vanmorgen op tijd opgestaan, want om 9.15 moeten we bij het station van Catania staan voor de pick-up voor de excursie naar de Etna. Gelukkig is de ontbijtzaal 5 minuten eerder open en kunnen we om 7.55 even een bliksembezoek brengen om een yoghurtje, jus d'orange en broodje te verorberen, want op een lege maag kunnen we natuurlijk niet wandelen. Om 8.05 rijden we de poort van Fondo Cipollate uit om via de snelle route naar Catania te rijden. Timemanagement blijkt weer een pluspunt van ons te zijn, want om 9.10 staan we op de afgesproken plek. Gelukkig hebben we ook een punctuele gids, Marco, want hij komt exact 5 minuten later aanrijden. Samen met een Deense vader en zijn twee zoontjes stappen we in de jeep, voor een warme rit naar het bezoekerscentrum op de ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania July 27th 2016

Om 12.00 uur staan Lex en Ingrid voor de deur, gebracht door Elisa, want dit jaar gaat alleen Milou nog mee. De andere kids gaan allemaal zelf op vakantie, dus dat is wel even wennen. Om half een zetten we in de Volvo koers naar Eindhoven AirPort, waar we om half twee ruim op tijd arriveren. Dus op ons gemak aan de koffie met een broodje en een beetje bijkletsen voordat we naar de gate gaan, waar al snel ons Ryanair vliegtuig arriveert. Na een rustige vlucht landen we na een 2,5 uur op Catania AirPort. We halen 'even' de auto op, maar dat blijkt al een eerste hobbel te zijn. Een half jaar geleden hebben we, volgens ons, een Opel Astra station gereserveerd, maar bij aankomst is in die categorie alleen nog een FIAT 500L ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania October 29th 2014

Geo: 37.503, 15.0881We were so glad to wake up and find it was sunny in Sicily after the rain we had in Turkey. We had thought about hiring a taxi and going to Syracuse which has some ancient Roman ruins but in the end we caught the shuttle bus and went into Catania town. There are only so many Roman ruins you can see and after Ephesus none of them are as good.Catania has previously been destroyed by earthquake and volcanic eruption and was mostly rebuilt in the Baroque era. It has loads of lovely old baroque buildings but as the bad economic climate has set in, a lot of the buildings were suffering from neglect which is a real pity. We walked through the town via the usual Duomo and down to the Fish Market ... read more
fish mkt
fish market
fountain by fish mkt

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania October 10th 2014

Well Ryanair lived up to its advertising. As the stewardess said when I asked for water - honey we sell everything. And they did plus you were encouraged to buy throughout the flight - lottery charity tickets, duty free perfumes, snacks, water, etc . Now some flights do this as well but Ryan likes to announce each one of these buying opportunities. There is no entertainment except watching them go up and down the aisles. Thankfully I was busy doing the Madrid blog so didn't notice so much until I paid for a cup of tea. Ross slept through most of it. Thankfully it was less than 3 hours. All other airlines needed a connection in Rome to get from Madrid to Palermo, Sicily. At the airport in Palermo trouble ensued. We bussed off the plane ... read more
check out the sprayer
rooftop terrace
start of the lava fields

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania September 19th 2014

Geo: 37.503, 15.0882We were leaving France today so spent the morning having a late breakfast at the hotel and checking out. The staff at the Ibis have been really great. At midday we caught the bus into Aix-en-Provence to do some last minute shopping of items we had spotted earlier in the week. I bought THE BEST BOOTS EVER after thinking about them for a few days. Had an excellent lunch of Moules‑frites (mussels with a cream white wine sauce and fries). Yummo. And more Rose of course. The friendly waiter (see photo) plied us with some apple flavored spirit following lunch, nice but strong (the drink). We then picked up the car and drove to Marseille airport for a no frills flight with Ryanair to Catania, Sicily that night. The terminal was very basic however ... read more
Lunch Aix-en-Provence
Cheeky boys on Aix

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