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Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina June 14th 2019

June 10, 2019 Monday - Siracusa to Taormina - left June 15 We had decided it was time to leave Siracusa and head up the coast to Taormina (still on the east coast of Sicily) but even though we set the alarm for 5:30AM for a 6:30AM departure we always take one last look at a weather update (just in case). It still looked fine, but in fact if we were “real sailors” and not just travelers who sail we would probably wait until tomorrow as there is more wind, BUT we are also looking at the calendar and all the places we still want to get to and decided “let’s go today”. Our main sail and anchor was up and we were heading out of the harbor at 6:23AM – a good start. Once out ... read more
Dolphins Visited Many Times on This Passage
We Had A "Guest" For About 2 Hours On Our Bow
Views on Our Way - Notice Mt. Etna

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa June 9th 2019

It was finally time to leave Malta and head for Sicily – what we figured would be a 12 hour passage. As a result we wanted to get an early start so we could arrive in Sicily during daylight – always a good idea when going into a port that you have never been to before. A bonus of early starts is the beautiful sunrises that you are treated to. We got our anchor up at 5:50AM and were on our way with clear skies and a flat sea. Looked more like a motoring day for a while, but the forecast promised some more wind later in the day. Unfortunately we had to go through a period of time with 3’ foot swells which are not the best as with little wind they do not help ... read more
A Few of the Lighthouses Seen on the Way
It Was A Little Cool For the Captain & Crew
Sometimes It Is Like a Millpond & Other Times Not!

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina May 30th 2019

INTRODUCTION TO 2019 MEDITERRANEAN DIVE TRIP Hello Readers…it is sunny and warm here in the Mediterranean. I am fifteen days into my 2019 dive trip. The holidays were over, ski season was finished, and the school year was winding down, and I was wondering when and where I would go this year. Then a Turkish friend at my Monday dance (recreational ballroom) extolled her beautiful summer home in Bodrum, Turkey. When she said she swam every morning in the sea, and often went to the opera, and plays I said, “OK…I think I will visit you this summer.” She was gracious and didn’t say she didn’t want company. I was half kidding, but soon I was seriously thinking about going. Gulen invited me to lunch and we talked a bit more about me visiting her in ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily December 3rd 2018

1st Day – Friday 23rdNov 2018 – Not that much happened!! Flew to Venice (40min delay due to fog) and arrived at AirBnB about 8.15pm. Usual stresses about journey but nothing too bad! Learnt that you buy a bus ticket ON the bus from the airport to Corso de Poppola BUT you need to buy a ticket in a Tourist Office for travelling into, and around Venice. Supermarket shopping across the road, then went to a lovely atmospheric bar around the corner for tapas and drinks – Hostaria Vite Rossa. Wonderful little find! (AirBnB Corso del Poppolo 84B) 2nd Day – Saturday 24th November 2018. The best 8 Euros we spent was on a pair of plastic wellingtons!! We had seen some Japanese girls wearing orange ones and thought nothing of it – other than they ... read more
Chris feeding the seagulls
Costa Deliziosa

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 » Ragusa September 5th 2018

Happy birthday David! 8:30 departure this morning as we had quite a bit of driving today. Our first section, as he headed to the UNESCO World Heritage listed site of Villa Romana del Casale, took around 2 hours. Michele used this opportunity, when he has us as a captured audience, to give us really interesting facts and stories about Sicily or the next site we are heading to. Villa Romana del Casale is located in Piazza Armenia and is a large and elaborate Roman villa that was constructed in the first quarter of the 4th century AD on the remains of an older villa. The whole structure was covered by a landslide and floods and was abandoned in the 12th century AD, and remained this way for the next 700 years. Excavations have revealed one of ... read more
These men fighting were almost life size
The gymnasium - women in bikinis!
Beautiful Modica

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Agrigento September 4th 2018

Today was a fabulous day as we travelled to the small town of Sant'Angelo Muxaro to meet up with our local guide and discover more about this beautiful region. Sant'Angelo Muxaro is one of those villages you see perched up on top of a mountain, that from a distance it makes you wonder how you could possibily get up there! Sure enough the drive to the top did require a few nail biting moments! On arrival we met our local guide and we walked along the cobbled streets to the main square. There were a couple of little cafe's on the square so we chose one and had a coffee like a local. What was absolutely so special about this day is we were the only tourists in town - this is where Back Roads Tours ... read more
With Maria, sampling her bread
Our pasta being freshly made
The bakery of Giovanni and Maria

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Agrigento September 3rd 2018

Today we didn't need to leave our accommodation until 10am, which meant a more relaxing start to the day. The reason for this was to avoid being at our tour destination this afternoon, in the heat of the day. So off we headed for our drive to our next destination - Agrigento. Along the way we stopped to take photos of the Turkish Steps (Scala dei Turchi). The steps are sparkling white rocks, juttimg out into the Mediterranean Sea and from where we stopped to take photos they looks like steps. It has a similar look to it like Pamakule in Turkey although the story goes that it was named the Turkish steps as it prevented the Turks from invading this area. Anyway, it is a stunning sight! It is illegal to walk along them as ... read more
The Valley of the Temples
The Concordia Temple
The Concordia Temple

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Marsala September 2nd 2018

We left our hotel in Palermo at the reasonable time of 9:15 and headed out along the coast, towards our first destination of Erice. Along the way we climbed a mountain that gaves us a great view back over the coast and pulled over for a photo stop. It was already about 27 degrees at this stage and quite humid. We continued on our way and then had this amazing climb up to the top of another mountain to the town of Erice. We arrived around 11:30 and walked through the pretty cobbled streets of the town. Our first stop was a pastisserie that made different types of almond biscuits and sweets. This area of Silicly is known for pistachios and almonds and we tried many different samples of sweets and biscuits. It was a timely ... read more
Walking in the town of Erice
Arincini Caprese with Nastro Azzurro for lunch

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