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October 9, 2017

Sicily: Palermo’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
Cattedrale metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta, Palermo’s Cathedral, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

By the time we arrived in Palermo Sicily, we were definitively on our way back to France. Weather reports told us that it was cold and rainy up north. Being thin-blooded, we planned to shiver through France as quickly as possible. We would stop briefly to winterize our barge Wanderlust at her mooring on the Saone and then head to Paris for the flight back to the States. The 2016 European road trip was coming to a rapid close.

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October 7, 2017

Sicily: Palermo 2016

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Food, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:10 pm

Visitors tour the roof of Cattedrale metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta, Palermo’s cathedral.

Eight years had passed since we visited Palermo. Palermo was far from affluent in 2008. And when returned in December of 2016, it was clear that the intervening time hadn’t helped things. What was then a gritty and rundown city is now grittier and more run down. (more…)

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…)

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…)

July 16, 2017

Malta: Ferries


The catamaran ferry at the dock in Pozzallo.

Can you pick out the island nation of Malta on a map? (more…)

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…)

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