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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…)

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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 15, 2017

Sicily: Via del Sale


A path between evaporating ponds at Riserva Naturale Orientata Saline di Trapani e Paceco.

Coastal highway SP21 between Trapani and Marsala Sicily takes motorists through a flat landscape of saline pools, mounds of salt, and decommissioned mulini or windmills. Conditions in this area of Sicily are ideal for the production of salt. Salt has been produced near Trapani for centuries. (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…)

Sardinia: Cagliari Street Art

Filed under: Europe, Italy, Photography, Street Art, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 1:32 pm

Good advice

With 150,000 people Cagliari is not quite large or artsy enough to have a full-blown street art scene equivalent to what you see in London or Paris. The density of street art is, to some extent, a measure of the urbanity of a city. That said, if you keep your eyes open there is some interesting pieces scattered through the city. (more…)

April 29, 2017

Sardinia: Cagliari

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 3:15 pm

Looking towards the Mediterranean from Cagliari’s port.

The port city of Cagliari, Sardinia’s largest metropolitan area and capitol, is situated in the southern portion of the Italian island. Our loosely planned route from Provence France to the island nation of Malta would take us down through the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. On this route Cagliari was an obligatory destination. There is only one ferry from Sardinia to Sicily; it runs just once a week from Cagliari to Palermo. On an otherwise minimally planned trip, we were sure to make reservations for this key overnight transportation link. (more…)

Sardinia: Su Nuraxi di Barumini


Looking up one of towers at Su Nuraxi di Barumini

On the way from Oristano to the southern Sardinia port city of Cagliari we paused to see Su Nuraxi di Barumini. (more…)

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…)

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