Blogs from Sicily, Italy, Europe - page 9


Europe » Italy » Sicily October 2nd 2011

We woke up early this morning to get a head start on our long drive to the northern part of Sicily. We ate a quick breakfast at the Cavalongo and checked out of our beautiful villa. We really enjoyed our stay at this resort in the country. It was so beautiful and peacefully quiet that we would highly recommend it anyone looking for a base location in southern Sicily. We punched in the name of Cinisi into Bonnie our GPS and hoped that she would get us there without any problems. She calculated a 4 hour drive from the Ragusa area to Palermo in northern Sicily. Cinisi is a small town just on the west side of Palermo where we plan to stay for our last week of holidays. Off we go with no problems until ... read more
Scopello Area
Old Tuna Factory near Scopello

Europe » Italy » Sicily October 1st 2011

Today we all decided to take a day off from sightseeing and stick around the villa to do some laundry and catch some rays by the pool. Dan got an early start by hiking the hills of the Parco before the hot sun came out and he got some great photos of the countryside while I putz around the villa starting to pack up for our next week of adventure. Later in the day, we decided to run into Ragusa for our final southern Sicilian supper and drove to the Centro and main piazza. We knew we were too early to eat yet as it was only 6:30 pm, and the sun was starting to set. Lissa wanted to take some photos of the sunset but we noticed that the sky was getting dark fast. A ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily September 30th 2011

Today we hopped in the car bright and early for a 2 hour drive to Agrigento, a seaside city in the heart of southern Sicily. Agrigento is the site where the Greeks landed and created a new community of temples, homes, shops, roadways, bridges and underground aquifers and cemeteries while they tried to conquer the island of Sicily from the Normans. The ruins are very well preserved high up on a hilltop and you can get a sense of what the daily life in ancient Greece would have been like. It was a fabulous morning of walking through the ruins until that sun came out. It was about 32 degrees by the time we left the Valley of the Temples. At this point, we decided to head for a famous beach just west of the temples ... read more
Temple of Hercules
Valley of the Temples
Ancient Roadway

Europe » Italy » Sicily September 29th 2011

Today we ventured off to the Donnafugata Castle which is located about 15 minutes from the Parco Cavalongo. In the mid-19th-century, the Baron of Donnafugata built the Neo-Gothic castle onto the 17th-century extant core. A half-century later, the southern facade was broken through to insert a replica of the Venetian Gothic arcade of the Palace of Popes at Viterbo. A Neoclassical temple was added in the garden. This fascinating amalgam of styles is further confused by the lush, gilded, trompe-l’oeil Baroque interior. The four of us wandered around the castle and grounds for quite some time enjoying the warm sunshine and fresh smells of the country air. The grounds definitely need some TLC but it looks like they’re working on it. Ron & Dan decided to enter the stone maze in the garden, only to find ... read more
Entrance to Castle
Old Carts

Europe » Italy » Sicily September 28th 2011

Wednesday marks a full week since the start of our Italian holiday. A week ago we were flying high on our way to Amsterdam to catch our connecting flight to Florence. Today's agenda was to visit the vineyard of Planeta located about 15 minutes from the villa. Ron & Lissa have had their wines before and found online that the vineyard had just opened its doors to visitors this past April. Before we left for Italy they had booked us a private wine tasting and tour with a lunch to follow. We met with a gal called Victoria a Sicilian born English major who specializes in wine. She took us on a quick tour of the grounds and informed us that this particular property is one of many on the island belonging to this family run ... read more
Italian Statement
Tasting Session

Europe » Italy » Sicily September 27th 2011

Today our agenda is to visit another Baroque town called Noto. After having a quick breakfast and heading out the door, we drove the one hour drive to Noto through small winding towns and crazy morning traffic. Driving in Italy is crazy! You have to be very aggressive otherwise you wouldn’t get anywhere at all. No one seems to stop at signs or lights, and if you do do the speed limit, you’re going too slow. Cars fly by us as if we’re standing still which makes you wonder when you see all the roadside memorials. Noto is the queen of southern Sicily’s Baroque cities. The earthquake of 1693 also destroyed much of this town as well and had to be re-built in the valley below. The old town is abandoned to its lonely hilltop. All ... read more
Main Palace Noto
Candid Shot in Noto
Strange Cars

Europe » Italy » Sicily September 26th 2011

Today we decided to visit the ancient hillside town of Ragusa. Ragusa is the capital city of the region and is supposed to be absolutely spectacular. We hopped in the Peugeot and punched in the coordinates into “Bonnie”….Ron’s GPS. Now that she is working better, we had more confident in her that she would show us the way. After a quick 20 minute ride down the crazy Italian highway (it’s like the Indy 500 without the yellow flags), we were guided by Bonnie through the busy narrow streets of Ragusa looking for the “Centro”. We have never seen so many cars parked on either side of the street with inches between us and it. There’s a reason why all the cars in Sicily are damaged and their mirrors are all scratched up or attached with duct ... read more
Main Square in Ragusa
Garden Stroll

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Ragusa September 26th 2011

Day 5 Up bright and early and down to the restaurant in the villas for breakfast as we didn't have time last night to stop and get any groceries. As usual it was the Italian way for breakfast but alot more than in Florence. Fresh pasterie's, meats, cheeses and lots of fruit. Capo's to start the morning and it was time to program Bonnie get on the road to Ragusa for our first day. Weather today is 25 and chance of rain. Wondered into Ragusa and found the car park and started the walk up into the town center and up to the Piazza. First stop one of the many churches along the way. As we where in the church the rain started and rain it did, slow at first and then it picked up steam. ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily September 25th 2011

Ciao from Sicily! The journey to get to Sicily was quite the adventure. In Florence, we woke up early, packed up and went for a quick breakfast while we waited for Ron & Lissa. At 10:00 am we checked out of our hotel and asked reception if they could call us a taxi so we could get to the airport to catch our flight out to Sicily. The fellow at reception called a taxi company and was informed that no taxis were running in the area due to a marathon that morning. Yikes! What to do? So reception told us we could walk a few blocks down this tiny alleyway ... read more
Our Villa
The Patio
Our Bitch'n Ride!

Europe » Italy » Sicily » San Vito Lo Capo September 23rd 2011

Jenn and I met up with Laurie in San Vito lo Capo, Sicily just in time for the 14thannual Couscous Festival. For this 6 day festival, the town streets were flooded with people from all over the Mediterranean visiting tents that showcased wines, cheeses, olives and specialties from various countries throughout the region. There were street vendors set up selling knock off handbags, jewelry, and clothes of all sorts and men called “marquinos” trying to sell their random goods as they walked from person to person. The streets were also filled with live muscisians. In the Piazza, in front of the church, a large stage was set up where comedians, musicians and talk shows took place throughout the evenings. This particular year the theme for the Couscous Festival was Peace. Couscous is a staple food in ... read more
San Vito Lo Capo
Cous Coue
Photo 21

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