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September 26, 2017

Sicily: Palermo Street Art

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Italy, Photography, Street Art, The List, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:05 am

I gather that ENNE_ink is a tattoo artist.

Conditions in Palermo are ideal for street art. The city is large enough to support an art scene. At the same time, it is poor enough that the municipality can’t afford to remove every mark the walls that appears. Indeed, building owners sometimes solicit street art. It can be an improvement over the urban decay. (more…)

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September 25, 2017

Sicily: Cefalu


Duomo di Cefalù from the piazza.

Acknowledging the distinctive combination of Arabic and Norman architecture, UNESCO has designated the 12th Century Arab-Norman buildings in Palermo and Cefalu as a World Heritage site. The Normans were known as brutal conquerors. Less well known was their tendency to assimilate culture elements from the people they conquered. After the Normans ended Saracen rule in northwestern Sicily, they embraced Arabic architecture and constructed numerous distinctive buildings that combine the Norman and Arabic styles. UNESCO honors this cultural fusion with its World Heritage designation. (more…)

August 12, 2017

Malta: Valletta


Ricasoli East Breakwater

Malta’s jewel is its capitol Valletta. Valletta sits on a well-defended peninsula surrounded by its sheltered harbors. The fortifications and walls that ring the central city speak to Valletta’s military importance. Malta’s history reads like a “Who’s Who” of Mediterranean civilizations. The Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Saracens, Aragonese, the Napoleonic French, and the British have all left their marks on the island nation strategically positioned in the Mediterranean Sea to the southwest of Sicily. (more…)

Malta: Valletta, Saint John’s Co-Cathedral


Inside St. John’s Co-Cathedral

In 2016 we left Wanderlust to make tourist visits to various places around Europe. During the year we visited Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, Annecy, and Salins-les-Bains in France on three separate trips. In October we took the TGV and Eurostar to London for 6 nights. Another trip took us to Bern and Interlaken in Switzerland. Towards the end of the season we traveled to Corsica France, Italy (Sardinia, Sicily, and Genoa), and then to Malta. Just before we returned to the States we visited friends in Freiburg Germany. All told I count 27 overnight or longer stays in various European cities and towns. Add in the 21 places along the waterways that we stopped at as we took Wanderlust from Auxerre to Saint Jean de Losne and it seems we’ve did a lot of roaming in 2016. (more…)

July 16, 2017

Sicily: Scicli


San Bartolomeo, one of several attractive churches in Scicli Sicily.

I must admit to having a minor obsession with completing travel orientated lists. If I read an intriguing list of places to see, there’s a risk that it could become a goal. For example, several years ago Frommer’s published a list of the must see alpine passes in Switzerland. We’d planned on driving the southern route through Switzerland. Once I saw Frommer’s list, we added detours to our route so that we would visit all five passes Swiss passes mentioned in the article. As it turned out the passes were a worthy goal; the route is spectacular. Nevertheless, even if Frommer’s list was completely lame, it was unavoidable that we would visit all of the passes. Lists must be completed. (more…)

July 8, 2017

Sicily: Viadotto Guerrieri

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:48 pm

One of Sicily’s many road viaducts

As we left Modica Sicily last December we passed under a high viaduct. Pulling to rental car to the side of the road, we paused to take a few pictures. Latter, with a little research, we learned that we were looking at Viadotto Guerrieri, one of the oldest and highest viaducts in Italy. Completed in 1968 at a height of 394 feet it is notable even in a country that is quite fond of spectacles of civil engineer. (more…)

Sicily: Modica


Monochromatic Modica

Sicily’s southeastern corner is our favorite area of the island. This portion of Sicily includes a cluster of communes that UNESCO designated as a World Heritage site in 2002. Collectively UNESCO refers to this area as the “Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto.” (more…)

May 14, 2017

Sicily: Erice

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:39 pm

A composite picture of two sides of Segesta’s temple

After a twenty-minute search we found the boarding entrance for the Tirrenia ferry in Cagliari Sardinia. This overnight ferryboat would take us from Cagliari to Palermo Sicily. Though we were staying near the port and had walked by the car entrance several times, it was not clear where we were supposed to enter. Oddly the ferry car loading entrance was not well marked in English, Italian, Sardinian, or Swahili. It seems like they only expect regular travelers who know where they are going on this route. (more…)

April 29, 2017

Sardinia: Bosa

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:19 am

Bosa

It is true. Sometimes we stop at a place just because we want to take our own version of a picture that we’ve seen. So it was that we paused for a lunch and photo break in Bosa on our way from Alghero to Oristano. Lunch wasn’t very successful; every restaurant we tried was closed. On the other hand, we did find good places to take pictures. The pictures we had saw did not lie: Bosa is photogenic. (more…)

April 28, 2017

Sardinia: Alghero

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 8:24 pm

Alghero’s waterfront

Before we arrived we expected Sardinia to be much like Corsica. It seemed intuitive that the two adjacent Mediterranean islands would be similar. And they are similar, sort of. But they are also surprisingly different. (more…)

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