Category Archives: Sicily

Incredible Vino con Vista UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeastern Baroque Sicily

Modica

Modica (Photo credit: Francesco Di Martino)

Modica By Night

Modica By Night (Photo credit: Landersz)

Modica, Sizilien, Chiesa S.

Image via Wikipedia

Church of San Giorgio, Ragusa. Designed in 173...

Church of San Giorgio, Ragusa. Designed in 1738 by Rosario Gagliardi, it is approached by huge staircase of some 250 steps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illustration 3: A Sicilian belfry crowns Rosar...

Illustration 3: A Sicilian belfry crowns Rosario Gagliardi’s Church of San Giuseppe in Ragusa Ibla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modica

Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chiesa di San Domenico - Noto

Chiesa di San Domenico – Noto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coat of arms of Modica

Coat of arms of Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Castle of the Counts of Modica.

The Castle of the Counts of Modica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla.

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. John Church in (Sicily), built already in ...

St. John Church in (Sicily), built already in the 12th century, but rebuilt in the Baroque style in the 18th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illustration 10: The Cathedral of San Giorgio,...

Illustration 10: The Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Witness  the dramatic landscape, the enchanting wine regions and the historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto in Southeastern Sicily.  Southeastern Sicily is a “buon appetito” and Vino con Vista paradise. Culinary arts are truly appreciated in this region. They have mastered the art of merging a cultural kaleidoscope into delightful multi-cultural gourmet cuisine.

A baroque church in Modica

A baroque church in Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are eight towns in southeastern Sicily that were all rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli.  They are considered the “Pearls of Sicily” and are characterized by buildings with splendid facades and interiors. The devastating earthquake gave the architects a blank slate, so they selected the opulent Baroque style and built the structures using a local white limestone.  These UNESCO jewels are filled with gorgeous Baroque architecture. The buildings and churches are covered with ornate limestone that has a soft honey-colored patina from the sun.

1. Noto is the administrative center of the Noto Valley.  On the eastern side of Noto the Porta Reale (Royal Gate) was erected in 1838 for King Ferdinand II.  It offers a grand entrance to Piazza Municipio and Corso Vittorio Emanuel, Noto’s main streets. Visit the Church and Convent of San Francesco and the Church of San Carlo al Corso. The Church of San Domenico and the Palazzo Villadorta are also worthwhile.  Noto Antica was particularly significant during Arab domination.  Under Arab rule, Sicily was divided into three districts and Noto was a key player. The Sicilian Baroque Cathedral of San Nicolo is in the Piazza XVI Maggio. The cathedral recently received a new cupola.

2. Ragusa was built on two levels and is divided into two parts:  Modern and Ibla. Ragusa Ibla is cloaked with interesting medieval history.   In Ibla visit the Palazzo Bertini on Corso Italia 35.  It was built by the Floridia family in the 1700s.  The building is characterized by three interesting carved masks located in the keystones of the windows that represent three powers. These faces convey an interesting story about Sicily.  Visit the Palazzo Donnafugata.  The Palazzo houses an art gallery with canvases by Hans Memling, Ribera and Antonello Messina. In Ragusa the elaborate churches include Chiesa Giovanni Batista and the Cheisa de San Domenico with the majolica bell tower.  The Cathedral was named after St. John the Baptist and was built on top of the church of Saint Nicholas after the earthquake of 1693.

3. Modica is divided into two areas:  Modica Alta (upper Modica) and Modica Bassa (lower Modica).  Two noteworthy monuments are Saint George’s Cathedral in Modica Alta and Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Modica Bassa. Saint George’s Cathedral was built around 1350. It was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1613 and completely demolished by the devastating earthquake of 1693.  It was reconstructed at the start of the 18th century by Mario Spada from Ragusa and Rosario Boscarino from Modica in the Late Baroque style. The statues of the Apostles line the entrance to the church on Corso Umberto, the town’s main artery.

To enter Upper Modica (Alta) take Via Garibaldi from Saint Peter’s Church. Walk about 250 steps to the Church of Saint George with a panoramic view of Lower Modica. The rose-colored limestone church has twelve columns and five naves with a central dome and two lateral domes. In the church, admire the inlaid silver holy chest in front of the altar. It was made in Venice in the 14th century and donated to the church by the Chiaramonte earls.

To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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Easter and Holy Week Rituals in Sicily: Buona Pasqua

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica, Sic...

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica, Sicily, Italy. Français : Cathédrale San Giorgio, Modica, Sicile, Italie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Coat of Arms of Caltanissetta, Sicily...

English: Coat of Arms of Caltanissetta, Sicily, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Coat of arm of Sicily

English: Coat of arm of Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A baroque church in Modica

A baroque church in Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many towns in Sicily have a

 

Petralia Sottana, Sicily

Petralia Sottana, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

strong tradition of religious rites and ceremonies that date from the Spanish Domination of the 15th-17th centuries. These rites are demonstrated during mystic Holy Week celebrations.

 

On Good Friday at 5:00 p.m., the Society of the Passion of Christ  leaves their parish church and is joined by all the other Confraternities on Via Roma. They make their way to Chiesa dell’Addorlarato. The statue of  “Our Lady  of the Seven Sorrows” is carried to to the Cathedral where the Urn of the Dead Christ awaits her. At 7:00 p.m., thousands march in a solemn and silent torch-lit  procession behind men dressed in white hooded costumes. These costumes represent medieval fraternities of artisans and artists (Confraternities). Today there are 15 of the original 34 Confraternities still in existence. They take turns carrying marble statues of a deceased Christ and “Our Lady of Sorrows.” The group is accompanied by 24 symbols of Christ’s martrydom including the cross containing a reliquary of the “Crown of Thorns” and tools of flagellation.  Watch this video of Easter Rituals in Enna http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3kX-uGRec&feature=related.

 

Holy Week celebrations begin on Palm Sunday with the Procession of the Confraternities, the L’Ura  from their individual churches to the Duomo  in solemn Eucharistic adoration.  The Baroque Duomo was founded by Eleonora, the wife of the 13th century Swabian King Frederick II.  The Cathedral has a spacious 16th century interior. The Confraternities are accompanied by the town band on their way to the Cathedral.

 

On Easter Sunday the ritual involves “A Paci” when the statues of the Resurrected Christ and Mary are reunited in the Cathedral Square under a joyous celebration of ringing bells.

 

Some of the other towns in Sicily where you can witness elaborate Holy Week (Settimana Santa) and Easter (Pasqua) rituals include:

 

Modica http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ajKBBwQBtg&feature=related

 

Caltanissetta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYUq5jXAB-8&feature=related

 

Corleone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gMksfWbHhU

 

Vizzini http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SO-KekZSTY

 

and Petralia Sottana U “Ncuontru http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ePVTL00S3U

 

Petralia Sottana (PA), Panorama parziale.

Petralia Sottana (PA), Panorama parziale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Sicily go to  www.vino-con-vista.com.

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

 

 

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Filed under Easter in Enna Sicily, Easter in Rome, Holy Week in Rome, Italian Architecture, Italy Travel Guides, Pasqua in Sicily, Sicilian Baroque, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites in SIcily, vino con vista, Volcano, World Heritage Sites

My Glorious Vino Con Vista Weekend in San Diego

National Register of Historic Places listings ...

Image via Wikipedia

English: Imperial Beach, California The symbol...

English: Imperial Beach, California The symbol of this surfers’ community south of San Diego. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you follow my posts, you already know that I wax poetic about my on-going love affair with Italy. Basically every nook and cranny of the magnificent peninsula and surrounding islands take my breath away. But you probably didn’t know that my second love is San Diego. There are 33 beaches, and 70 miles of coastline stretching from Imperial Beach to Oceanside. There are about 267 glorious days of sunshine per year. No wonder San Diego is “America’s Finest City.”

English: San Diego's original Victorian-style ...

English: San Diego’s original Victorian-style railway depot, built in 1887 for the California Southern Railroad Company, is razed to make way for the opening of the new Santa Fe Depot in 1915. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: San Diego Cityscape looking down Harb...

English: San Diego Cityscape looking down Harbor Drive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IMG_3330 I love the Santa Fe Depot train station with its glorious mosaic domes. There are plenty interesting places to visit on the way to Los Angeles.

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In Little Italy, go to  Extraordinary Desserts for the most beautiful sweet treats you will ever witness.

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The city has a vibrant Little Italy neighborhood with outstanding restaurants and bars and plenty of gelato and Italian delis. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto on India Street is a Little Italy institution.

Here’s a Video of Little Italy http://youtu.be/beH01nziAIsSkyline in San Diego California

Sometimes, when  I yearn to be sun-kissed by the hilly landscape of Tuscany or transported to the  glistening  azure sea that surrounds the majestic cliffs of the Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast; I just plan a trip to San Diego.

Amalfi coast Italy 1

Amalfi coast Italy 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amalfi Coast Italy 6

Amalfi Coast Italy 6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cinque Terre in Italy

A Town in the Cinque Terre

If all I have is a long weekend, I escape to the www.vino-con-vista.com of San Diego. Did I mention that the weather is always perfect in San Diego? As a college professor, I have the luxury of a Fall Break and believe me, I thank God each and every day for all my blessings.

Chef prepaing glazed shrimp in San Diego

Chef prepaing glazed shrimp in San Diego

I always celebrate Columbus Day in what I consider to be America’s Amalfi Coast. I prefer to stay at the Marriott in the Marina District for a number of reasons. I love sun-bathing at the luxurious pool while listening to the soothing sound of the magical fountains as I sip a refreshing Miami Vice from the Tiki Bar. The Marriott is within walking distance of many of my favorite San Diego attractions and it is close to the trolley.

The city is great for biking and the hotel has a bike rental service. I like the food and the view from Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant. The rooms have outstanding views and balconies. I enjoy watching the jet skiiers and boating enthusiasts. It’s fun to watch people flying their kites in the park. Gazing at the Coranado Bridge and the sailboats is basically one of life’s simple pleasures.San Diego California Marina District Sea Port Village’s 14 acre outdoor plaza has a beautiful 19th century carousel. Grab a coffee at the Upstart Crow Bookstore and Cofeehouse at 835-C W. Harbor Drive. If you go in the summer, get tickets for the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops concerts in the Embarcadero Marina Park South (behind the Conference Center). The tickets start at $20. For more informationn visit: www.sandiegosymphony.com. I’m saw Michael Bolton and Burt Baccarack in the summer of 2013!

English: San Diego Symphony Summer Pops 2008 -...

English: San Diego Symphony Summer Pops 2008 – “Motown Magic with Mary Wilson” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sea Port Village in the Marina District in San Diego California

Rocks in Sea Port Village in San Diego

Sea Port Village in the Marina District in San Diego California

The Marina District of San Diego California

The tenth annual San Diego Wine Festival will be held in the park behind the Marriott Hotel  on November 20-24, 2013 at the Embarcadero Marina Park North. What a great “Vino con Vista” venue!! Some of the other festivals held in 2013 include: Taste of Gaslamp (June 8-9), Taste of Little Italy (June 19) Taste of Adams Avenue (June 30), Encinitas Wine Festival (June 1), the San Diego Spirits Festival (August 24-25) and the San Diego Festival of Beer (September 20), and Hillcrest City Fest on August 11th with 250 vendors. On June 15th there was a Carlsbad Beach Fest with water sport challenges. The Festival of Sail is when Tall Ships from around the world dock at downtown’s Embarcadero between August 30-September 2.

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

There are many other reasons why I like the Marina District. I like to watch the sea gulls strategically capture and devour left-overs from sleeping sun-bunnies. They really seem to love french fries.  I wonder if they have cholesterol issues? Sea Port Village in the Marina District in San Diego CaliforniaI adore watching the captivating sunsets from Seaport Village.

San Diego California Marina District

I can’t understand why San Diegans don’t celebrate the vistas with the same pomp and circumstance as the daily sunset festivals in Key West.

It’s an easy stroll over to the Port of San Diego. I like the USS Midway Museum with the longest-serving US Navy aircraft carrierod the 20th century. At the museum, you can “relive 50 years of world history by walking in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors” on Harbor Drive. There are 27 restored aircraft. For more information visit http://www.midway.org

Visit the “Greatest Generation Walk” that commemorates military heritage through art. My favorite WWII commemorative statue “is “Unconditional Surrender.”  This romantic 25 foot statue of a sailor kissing a nurse by J. Seward Johnson always makes my heart skip a beat.

Nurse and Sailor in San Diego California

Nurse and sailor in San Diego California

The  Marina District is also appealing because it is within walking distance to Horton Plaza, the Gaslamp District and Little Italy. These are some of my favorite San Diego destinations. Take some time to explore the bay on a Hornblower Cruise. I like the “Sights and Sips” Sunset Cruise. Pay for a reserved window seat when you purchase your ticket.

San Francisco 2012 616

My “Vino con Vista” San Diego adventure began in the Gaslamp District with a local wine event at the House of Blues.  Exhuberant dancers enjoyed the DJ’s classic Prince tunes. I was glad they were pouring Pinot Noir because I can be such a wine snob. We meandered over to the historic Grant Hotel at Broadway and 4th where a female San Diego attorney named Lynn Schenk broke the gender barrier at the Grant Grill restaurant in 1971. The sign at the entrance said “Men only until 3:00 pm.” The Hotel is celebrating their 100th anniversary. Long story short, the place was recently refurbished as an elegant Starwood Property and serves as a testiment to the Glory Days of San Diego. The live music was enchanting.

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The Gaslamp District has 94 historic buildings that have been  lovingly restored. Businessman Alonzo Erastus Horton spent $264 for 800 acres in 1867. These 16 blocks eventually became the Gaslamp Quarter. You can schedule a two-hour walking tour of the Gaslamp at the Historical Foundation at 619-233-4692. There are over 200 restaurants, bars and night clubs with a vast array of Happy Hour options including: Altitude Sky Lounge, Chianti, Currant, House of Blues, Hard Rock Hotel and McCormick & Schmicks.

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The next day, I had the good fortune of having lunch on the sun-drenched patio of the Hotel Del Coronado which is one of my favorite hotels in the world! I am also a big fan of Wentworth by the see near Portmouth New Hampshire.

View of Coronado and San Diego from the air.

View of Coronado and San Diego from the air. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I usually take the Coranado Ferry from the Broadway Pier behind the Convention Center when I want to visit Coranado. I put my bike on the ferry and ride down Orange Street to my final destination. I love the view of the skyline from the Coranado Ferry Landing.  Technically, the Silver Strand connects Coronado to the mainland so it really isn’t an island. It is technically an isthmus because it is attached to the mainland at the southern end of Silver Strand State Beach and is connected to Imperial Beach

English: The pier in Imperial Beach, Southern ...

English: The pier in Imperial Beach, Southern California. South of San Diego, very close to the Mexican border. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The beach at Coronado in front of the hotel is definitely the best beach in San Diego! Have brunch at the Hotel del Coronado’s Crown Room on Sunday at 1500 Orange Avenue. . You won’t be disappointed in this Victorian gem brimming with history.

Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego California

 I love the California Historic Landmark’s  photo montage of  the 1959 film “Some Like It Hot.”  The hotel was featured in the classic film with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. It reminds me of the pictures of “La Dolce Vita” that adorn the walls of the Hotel Majestic in Rome. I like all the cute retail-therapy shops on the lower level. One of the jewelry stores had an adorable ruby slipper necklace that I had to work really hard at resisting. I grabbed a business card just in case I changed my mind when I got home about the necklace. Although our plan involved feasting on one of the restaurant’s famous Ruben sandwiches, we realized that they had changed the menu. I ordered some delicious seared scallops instead. The breath-taking views of the beach, the Pacific Ocean and hilly peninsula of Point Loma reminded me of Mondello Sicily. If I win the lottery, I’m moving to Ocean Drive in Coronado or maybe I’ll move to La Jolla so I can be Mitt Romney’s neighbor.

After lunch, we went to the Cabrillo National Monument on the southern tip of Point Loma and paid hommage to the Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo who landed here on September 28,1542 when he anchored his “San Salvador” ship. This is agreat place to watch the sunset! Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego CaliforniaI never knew about the sandstone cliffs that surround the tide pools and precious pre-historic fossils in Point Loma, but they definitely peaked my interest. Tide pools are generally found on rocky shores that are covered and uncovered daily by ocean tides. They are best viewed at low tide when you may see an array of sea like including sea stars and urchins.

Point Loma San Diego California

Point Loma San Diego California

As I gazed at the fourteen foot structure of Cabrillo, I was magically transported to the “Monument to the Discoveries” in Lisbon that honors the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator with Magellan, Vasco da Gama and other notable Portuguese explorers lining the concrete prow of a caravel. I heard the sweet serenade of Fado music and envisioned the Manueline Belem Tower that protects Lisbon’s harbor. I remembered that I was in San Diego when I saw the lighthouse, North Island, military ships and the skyline. Senior Cabrillo looks like he was kidnapped from the monument in Lisbon. In Point Loma have a burger at Slater’s 50/50 at 2750 Dewey Road. One of my favorite lunch is Point Loma Seafoods at 2805 Emerson Street.

Point Loma San Diego California

We drove past the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery that was named after a Union General in the American Civil War. The tombstones made me think about my travels to Normandy.

Point Loma San Diego California

Then I thought about how much I missed my Dad. I remembered that someone from the army called me the day before his funeral to tell me that they were sorry to hear that they had lost another one of their WWII brothers. They came to his funeral and presented me with a folded flag and gave him a proper 21 gun salute. It brought  tears to my eyes. Weeks after his funeral, I received a certificate from the White House. President Bush signed a document that stated The United States of America honored my father’s memory. It says: “This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.”  I presume that the daughters of many beloved fathers buried at Rosecrans and other military cemeteries received the same document.

It was time for us to check out the newly-renovated Bali Hai Tiki Temple at 2230 Shelter Island Drive. Bali Hai was a famous show tune from Roger and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical “South Pacific.” Shelter Island in San Diego CaliforniaThe venue was lavishly adorned with maps and Polynesian artifacts. We sat at the bar for another incredible “Vino con Vista.” Instead of wine, I opted for a Polynesean cocktail that was so strong that  I had to dilute it with orange juice. I felt it was too early in the day to get hammered. I’m starting to sound like Ernest Hemmingway; most of his tales revolve around cocktail hour.

That evening, we went back to Banker’s Hill overlooking  Balboa Park  where the San Diego Zoo is located. We watched the 1937 film “Captains Courageous” based on a 1897 story by Rudyard Kipling. In the film, a young Spencer Tracy serves as a heroic role model for the arrogant son of a wealthy tycoon played by Freddie Bartholomew.  Rudyard Kipling‘s heart-warming tale is about vices and virtues. Spencer Tracy is a Portuguese fisherman who teaches the child about respect, valor and love. This tear-jerker is a must see for the over-indulged pre-teen in your family.

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The weekend was  filled with festivals. We walked over to the Saturday morning Mercado in Little Italy. I love the fresh flowers, farm-fresh produce and wide array of merchandise offered at this weekly event. Smilin’ Jack was playing Italian songs on his accordion. When you go to Little Italy, make sure you try some of the Happy Hour Venues. I like the Glass Door Restaurant and Lounge for a Vino con Vista overlooking the Bay. San Diego’s vibrant dining scene has more than 7000 options. There are also plenty of food trucks including Mangia Mangia Mobile and Miho’s Gastrotruck. In Little Italy dine at Bencotto Italian Kitchen at 750 Fir Street or Prep Kitchen for Happy Hour.

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Little Italy in San Diego California

san diego california

We hopped on the Trolley in Little Italy that transported us to the Art Festival in Old Town where I found the perfect blush-colored  pearl bracelet to wear to my son’s spring wedding. Then for about  $20, we took a cab to Prospect Street in downtown La Jolla. I had to re-visit the historic  La Valencia Hotel and climb the stairs at George’s at the Cove for a panoramic shot of the Pacific Ocean. George’s Chef Trey Foshee serves contemporary California cuisine with breath-taking views. There’s even a rooftop terrace. Another interesting dining option in La Jolla is Nine-Ten at 910 Prospect Street inside the Grande Colonial Hotel. Chef Jason Knibb’s seasonal cuisine is served in an elegant dining room. I love the pink La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla on Prospect with the hand-painted murals

San Diego California

We walked over to the Art and Wine Festival on Girard St. The festival was a school fundraiser. Wineries from Temecula were pouring $3 tastings. I found it interesting that the public school on Girard Street was located at the intersection of the Maserati Dealership and the Ferrari Dealership. That spoke volumes about the demographics in La Jolla.

San Diego California

San Diego California

Plan to attend the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest between July 31 and August 23, 2013. La Jolla has an annual festival of the Arts between June 22-23. I wanted to attend the Gourmet Festival in Del Mar but we didn’t have enough time. If you have time, check out the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla Village where Nancy Rubins’ large-scale, nautical inspired  artwork adorns the museum’s west side.

One of my favorite Fall Festivals is in Little Italy. I love this annual Columbus Day celebration called  “Festa” in Little Italy.

San Diego California

Live music permeates the neighborhood as the chalk artists work their magic on five- foot square sections of Date Street. Some of the chalk art is incredible!

Little Italy in San Diego California

Litte Italy reminds me of Cefalu Sicily with the historic tales of tuna fisherman, cute shops with imported Italian ceramics and charming outdoor Italian restaurants. I had some flavorful gnocchi from Buon Appetito’s food booth.

I made my mandatory trek to Fillippi’s for pine nut cookies. They offer the perfect blend  of almond paste and pine-nuts. I was too full to order a Caprese Sandwich at Mona Lisa, one of my favorite Italian stores on India. Have a perfect expresso at Caffe Italia at 1704 India Street. There’s a summer Film Festival in Amici Park Amphitheater on Saturday nights in the summer at West Date and State Streets.

Little Italy in San Diego California

In the evening, we went to Island Prime on Shelter Island and I ordered a yummy Ahi Tuna/crab meat appetizer that was drizzled with a balsamic infused apricot flavored glaze. It was just the right mate for my Cadillac Margarita with Gran Marnier. I savored the combinaton as I admired the billion-dollar views of downtown San Diego at night. The cruise ship was parked in the Port and the configuration of the ship’s red lights resembled the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Diego California

Then it was time for some  “Smooth Jazz” at Humphrey’s at 2241 Shelter Island Drive. .  I loved watching the people on the dance floor move to the rhythm of Marcus Anderson’s sexy saxophone. The passionate tatooed drummer was getting a cardiac workout.

Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is a great venue for dinner and a show during the summer months.

No weekend in San Diego would be complete without visiting the Gaslamp Quarter. Go to Bice at 425 Island for an outstanding Happy Hour. Everyone loves Searsucker with Top Chef Brian Malarkey’s grand slam at 611 5th Avenue. I absolutely love the Grant Grill at 326 Broadway inside the elegant US Grant Hotel.

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If you have extra time, there’s plenty of biking, hiking and walking trails. Go to Balboa Park, Lake Miramar, or the Grasslands loop if  you want short and flat terrain. Balboa  Park is the site of the 1915 and 1935 international exposition.

 I think my next book will be “Vino Con Vista San Diego.” Fortunately, my research will involve many return trips to my favorite American city. How appropriate that the local flowers are “Birds of Paradise.” If you wand to browse an event calendar visit http://www.sandiego.org/events

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ http://www.vino-con-vista.com

 

San Diego California

Mark your calendars for the San Diego Wine Festival in November. Here’s a YouTube Video overview that you might enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmEnsU3LsY

English: The city flag of San Diego, CA. Flag ...

Image via Wikipedia

Buon Viaggio–

 

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Taormina’s 60th Annual Film Festival 2014 in Sicily

View of Isola Bella from above the beach.
Image via Wikipedia

Explore the historical allure of Sicily’s Taormina SicilyVista opportunities. It is located in the Messina province.  The east coast of Sicily overlooks the Ionian Sea and is considered part of the Ionian Riviera.

Taormina

Taormina has inspired many famous authors. D.H. Lawrence wrote the erotic and scandalous book, Lady Chatterly’s Lover in 1928. This story involved an aristocratic English woman’s affair in Taormina. She was married to a wheelchair-bound World War I hero. Goethe recorded his love of Sicily in his travel diary in 1787, Journey to Italy. He stated, “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Siciy is the clue to everything.”

This beach town is a haven for sun worshippers. Take the funicular (motorized lift) to the beach or hop on a cable car to Mazzaro and enjoy the Isola Bella Beach and nature reserve. Travel to Giardini Naxos to view the excavations of Sicily’s first Greek colony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmWVpfz0wgs&feature=related.  This seaside resort has a great beach and is loaded with cafes and bars.

The Alcantara Gorge is outside Taormina.  Go for a boat ride to see waterfalls and remnants of Mt. Etna’s lava flow from about 1000 years ago; fascinating cliffs were formed by incisions cut into the volcanic rock.

As you stroll along Corso Umberto you will find charming cafes and restaurants.  Head over to Piazza IX Aprile, the main square of Taormina. Visit the 13th century fortress-like Cathedral of San Nicolo embellished with an 16th century rose window and massive bronze doors.

Visit the church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria with a Baroque interior built over a Hellenistic temple. Inside the church, the ruins of the ancient temple can be seen under the floor. Try to catch one of the local weddings that seem to take place daily.

Taormina’s lovely municipal gardens were designed by Florence Trevelyan and other women from England in the early 1920s. They are meticulously landscaped with beautiful structures, statues and fountains.

In this province of Messina Sicily, I love the well-preserved Greco-Roman Theater in Taormina. Built by the Greeks in 300 B.C. and remodeled and enlarged by the Romans, it is the second-largest ancient theater on the island. Visit Siracusa to see the largest one. The historic Greco-Roman amphitheater is carved out of the hillside and has a panoramic view of Calabria and Mt. Etna. It has a natural terrace, overlooking the sea. It is amazing to watch some of the summer performances that are still offered in this 3rd century B.C. theater.

Vino Con Vista Sicily

Vino con Vista Sicily

In June, the theater is the venue for the Taormina Film Festival. The 60th annual Taormina Film Fest will take place from June 14th to 21st,  in the with stars like Melanie Griffith, Eva Longoria, Isabella Ferrari, Valeria Solarino, and Vittoria Puccini, the Taormina Film Fest celebrated his sixtieth birthday with a “festival entirely dedicated to women, featuring Claudia Cardinale, the muse of Visconti, Fellini and Sergio Leone, as the godmother of the event.” You can attend screenings and previews. On June 17th there will be a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Food lin Sicily

 For details visit: www.taorminafilmfest.it
Sicilian Wine

To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides

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Celebrate St. Martin’s Day in Vino con Vista Sicily: Grape Juice becomes Wine

"Bacchus" by Caravaggio.

“Bacchus” by Caravaggio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Greeks brought grapes to Sicily in about 800 B.C. and the Phoenicians introduced grape crushing technology and new grape varieties. The island has the perfect micro-climate for growing grapes. Lots of sunshine, low rainfall, volcanic soil and wide temperature variations converge to transform grapes into the “nectar of the gods.”

Red wine grape variety in the Italian wine reg...

Red wine grape variety in the Italian wine region of Sicily. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

St Martin of Tours
 

Location of Pantelleria

Location of Pantelleria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image by jimforest via Flickr
Desert wine from the italian island of Pantell...

Desert wine from the italian island of Pantelleria (south of Sicilia). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, loves this Feast Day. In Sicily on November 11th, new wine is ready for consumption. “Il giorno di San Martino diventa vino” means on St. Martin’s Day, the grape juice becomes wine. St. Martin of Tours was buried on November 11th, 397 and is credited with spreading wine-making throughout the Touraine Region of France. He facilitated the planting of many vines and introduced the Chenin Blanc grape varietal to the region.

 

His Feast Day marks the end of field work and the beginning of the harvesting period in Sicily. Sicilians celebrate with vino novella and prepare regional sweets for the event including fritelle or il biscotti di San Martino in Palermo.  

 

Sicily’s diverse wine regions have distinctive appellations that produce delightful wines. Sicily’s wine renaissance is creating exciting wines with depth and elegance including: Alcamo, Etna Rosso and Bianco, Mavasia della Lipari, Marsala, Passito and Moscato di Pantelleria, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Rosato, Moscato di Noto and Nero d’Avola.

Michelangelo's Bacchus. Museo del Bargello, Fl...

Michelangelo’s Bacchus. Museo del Bargello, Florence, Italy (Bacchus with Pan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Sicily and wine read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides.

 

 

 

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Cefalu is Sicily’s Best Kept Vino con Vista Secret

The Christ Pantokrator.

The Christ Pantokrator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cefalù

Cefalù (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cefalù

Cefalù (Photo credit: girolame)

Cefalù

Cefalù (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cefalù, Sicily

Cefalù, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

is especially noteworthy

is especially noteworthy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The façade of the Duomo.

The façade of the Duomo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my recent trip to Italy, my bus driver was from Cefalu in Sicily.  I spent alot of time talking to him about how this delightful town located about 55 minutes east of Palermo exceeded my expectations. The Palermo-Messina trains stop in this charming town.

Christ Pantokrator in the apse of the Cathedra...

Christ Pantokrator in the apse of the Cathedral of Cefalù, Sicily, Italy. Mosaic in Byzantine style. Italiano: Cristo Pantocratore nell’abside della Cattedrale della città siciliana Cefalù (Italia). Mosaico in stile bizantino. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cefalu is a charming sea-side resort town nestled between the mountains and the glistening cobalt water of the sea. It is a short train ride from Palermo on the northern Tyrrhenian coast with outstanding beaches and a beautiful Norman cathedral with splendid mosaics.

Walk along the sea wall to La Calura and admire the ancient rocks named Tallarita, Baranello and Passarello. The Italians love to name the rock formations. The Temple of Diana is visible atop the mountains overlooking Cefalu.

Cefalu-bjs2007-03

Cefalu-bjs2007-03 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The magnificent twin-towers and the Norman Cathedral were built in 1131 by Roger II following his shipwreck along the coastline of Cefalu. The structural and architectural trappings of the cathedral are similar to Monreale.  It is adorned with lancet windows.

Cathedral of Cefalù (Italy), front view

Cathedral of Cefalù (Italy), front view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 20th century stained glass replacement windows are covered with abstract designs created by Michelle Canzoneri. The Duomo has spectacular mosaics and houses a magnificent Christ as Pantocrator. In the square, enjoy some delightful marzapan treats with your coffee.

English: Cefalu, Sicily, apsis & choir of Norm...

English: Cefalu, Sicily, apsis & choir of Norman cathedral (mosaic “Christus Pantocrator”) Italiano: Cristo Pantocratore nel mosaico della cattedrale di Cefalù (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the fun tourist attractions in and around Cefalu include:

1. The Public Lavatoio that is located in the center of town; precursor to the public Laundromat.

The Wash house in Cefalù (Sicily).

The Wash house in Cefalù (Sicily). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Drive up to the top of the mountain and visit the sanctuary of St. Gibilmanna in Pizzo San Angelo. This was the first church dedicated to the Madonna in Sicily. The monastery belongs to Cappuchin Friars. The sanctuary is located 2600 feet above sea level with a panoramic view of the majestic mountains. 

After visiting the local attractions, dine at LoScoglio Ubriaco overlooking the water. Plan your next day perched on a beach chair that you can rent at Beach Café del Moto. Think about taking a day trip from Cefalu to Sicily’s other exotic locations like Taormina or the Aeolian islands.

For a great Vino con Vista visit Filippino on Piazza Municipio.  E Pulera on via Isabella Conti Vainicher and the Kasbah Café on via Maurolico 25 offer outstanding food with pleasant outdoor seating. Purchase some local wine and cheese at Enoteca Le Petit Tonneau after you stroll along the water front and appreciate the natural beauty that this charming town exudes. In August, the town has an annual festival called Madonna della Luce which includes an evening boat procession along the coastline.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy.

Cefalù

Cefalù (Photo credit: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho)

To learn more about Sicily visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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Ten Reasons Why I Love Vino con Vista Palermo Sicily

Lion. mosaic in the Palatine Chapel within the...

Lion. mosaic in the Palatine Chapel within the Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, September 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palazzo dei Normanni a Palermo Sicily

Palazzo dei Normanni a Palermo Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

c. 1150

c. 1150 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cappella Palatina
Image via Wikipedia
The courtyard of Palazzo dei Normanni in Paler...

The courtyard of Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo, looking towards the Palatine Chapel. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, September 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Madonna and Child. 12th century byzantine fres...

Madonna and Child. 12th century byzantine fresco in the Palatine Chapel within the Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, September 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palazzo dei Normanni, one of the places that h...

Palazzo dei Normanni, one of the places that hosted Frederick’s Magna Curia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roger II of Sicily receiving his crown directl...

Roger II of Sicily receiving his crown directly from Jesus Christ, mosaic from Martorana, Palermo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palermo is a sumptuous open-air museum with Norman-Arab architecture. It is the capital and administrative center of the independent region that was established in 1847.  The city’s name is derived from the Greek “Panormus,” which means a large port.  It was through this port that the city came into contact with centuries of external influences and invaders. It was founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century B.C. Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Longobards, Byzantines, Arabs and Bourbons have left their marks on Sicily. These cultures have contributed to the eclectic splendor of the city. Here are some of the sights that I love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlCs66BO8Jc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbFYZPzvq30&feature=related

The various civilizations that have inhabited Sicily contributed to the magnificence of her art, architecture, viticulture, culture and cuisine. The city came under Norman rule in 1072. The Byzantine heritage is evident in the brilliantly decorated churches of the Martarano and the Palatine Chapel in Palermo.

There are many reasons why I love Palermo. These are the Top Ten:

1.  When I checked my grandfather’s “Certificato di Nascita” it said that he was born on Apriles 5, 1894 in Comune di Castronovo di Sicilia in the Provincia di Palermo. Castronovo di Sicilia is about 50 km southeast of Palermo. My grandfather Antonino’s parents were Illuminato and Colombo Coneetta, both from the same town. My dad was named after his grampa but everyone called him Lenny.  My dad was the best guy in the entire planet so I LOVE PALERMO!!!

2. The Porto Nuova is crowned with a majolica figure on the roof that represents the eagle of the Senate of Palermo. It is located at the beginning of Corso Catalafimi.  The archway is decorated with four telamons with turbins. The arch was built in 1583 to celebrate the triumphant entrance of Charles V into the city.

Palermo, Palazzo dei Normanni, the Yellow Room...

Palermo, Palazzo dei Normanni, the Yellow Room. Fresco by Giuseppe Patania (1830) with Roger of Sicily Receiving The Keys of the City. Italiano: Palermo, Palazzo dei Normanni, Sala Gialla. Affresco di Giuseppe Patania (1830) con Ruggero di Sicilia che riceve le chiavi di Palermo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palazzo dei Normanni, seat of the Sicilian Reg...

Palazzo dei Normanni, seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. The 17th century Palazzo dei Normanni is known as the Royal Palace and stands alongside the Porta Nuova. It was the seat of the rulers of Sicily. Since 1947 it has been the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. The main entrance is home to the majestic marble coat of arms.  The courtyards are lined with beautiful Byzantine mosaics.

The unique illuminating effect of golden tesse...

The unique illuminating effect of golden tesserae, Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily, 12th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. The piazza in front is dominated by the Baroque Monument to Philip V, surrounded by elegant gardens and palm trees. Palermo’s Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina) at the Royal Palace is adorned with mosaics, marble and gold.  The mosaic image in the apse of the chapel depicts a magnificent mosaic of Christ as Pantocrator in the classic Byzantine style surrounded by angels and the four Evangelists.  Work on the chapel began in 1130 when Roger II was crowned king of Italy and was completed in 1143.

Italiano: Fianco della Cattedrale di Palermo, ...

Italiano: Fianco della Cattedrale di Palermo, visto dal lato della facciata. English: Flank of the Cathedral of Palermo (Sicily), as seen from the facade side. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5.  The Cathedral of Palermo is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.  It was founded in 1184 and has been transformed over time into a magnificent blend of architectural styles from Norman to Gothic. The eighteenth century statue which crowns the fountain in the piazza represents Saint Rosalina, the patron saint of Palermo, defeating the plague in Messina. My aunt was named after Rosalina. The silver urn in the Chapel contains her mortal remains.

As a result of radical charges in the 18th century, the interior is primarily Neoclassical. It houses the tombs of famous Sicilian kings and emperors including Roger II and Henry VI who died in 1154 and 1197 respectively.  The Roman sarcophagus contains the remains of Constance of Aragon.  The Praetorian Fountain is from 1573.

Italiano: Fianco della Cattedrale di Palermo. ...

Italiano: Fianco della Cattedrale di Palermo. English: Flank of the Cathedral of Palermo (Sicily). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. The Museo Archeologico’s extensive collections are housed in a 17th century former monastery. Palermo is an intriguing city with a wide spectrum of art, entertainment and culinary options.  The museum’s collections provide an overview of the various contributors to the cultural spectrum from Phoenicians to Carthaginians and Greeks to Romans.

San Giovanni degli Eremiti, red domes showing ...

San Giovanni degli Eremiti, red domes showing elements of Arab architecture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of the bell tower.

Detail of the bell tower. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7.  San Giovanni Degli Eremiti (St. John of the Hermits) was built in 1132 under Roger II, the first medieval king of Sicily.  He spoke Arabic and had a harem. It may have been built over a mosque from the period of Arab domination. The cloister is part of an ancient Benedictine monastery with lush gardens. Climb to the top for a breathtaking view of Palermo.

San Giuseppe dei Teatini

San Giuseppe dei Teatini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8. Quattro Canti (Four Corners) is located in the heart of Baroque Palermo.  It was built as part of an urban planning effort during Spanish domination.  At street level, each corner has a fountain with a statue of the four seasons by Gregorio Tedeschi and Nunzio La Mattina.

DSC00456 - PA - Quattro Canti -1608-1620- - Fo...

DSC00456 – PA – Quattro Canti -1608-1620- – Foto G. Dall’Orto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Above the fountain, the niche contains a statue of Phillip II of Spain and Emperor Charles V sculpted by Giovanni Battista D’Aprile.  In the upper parts of the structures, the four guardian saints of the city Agatha, Christina, Nymph and Olivia, watch over the Piazza Vigliena. The Church of San Giuseppe Dei Teatini is located in the “Four Corners,” built in the 17th century.  It has a gleaming majolica dome built in the 18th century by Giuseppe Mariani.

9. The Piazza Pretoriais behind the Four Corners and was the seat of the local senate.  The Fontana Pretoria was sculpted between 1554 and 1555 by Francesco Camilliani for a Florentine’s Tuscan residence.  It was dismantled into 644 pieces and the allegorical and mythological figures were re-erected on this site in Palermo.  It is known as the “fountain of shame” because many of the statues are nude.

Palermo piazza pretoria

Palermo piazza pretoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Piazza Pretoria

Piazza Pretoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10. Mercato della Vucciria is glorious open-air market that carries everything from pigs, tuna, squid and sardines to eggplant and tomatoes. The ingredients are anxiously awaiting placement into those incredible Sicilian specialtieslike pasto con le sarde and Norma. This market was immortalized by Renato Guttuso in his 1974 panorama of the food market in central Palermo, “La Vucciria.” Guttuso was the most popular painter in 20th century Italy.

Market in Palermo, this stand is selling fish.

Market in Palermo, this stand is selling fish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: Palermo, mercato della Vucciria Engl...

Italiano: Palermo, mercato della Vucciria English: Vucciria market, Palermo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The annual “Il Festival delle Marionette” takes place during the month of December in the Museo Internazionale delle Marionette in Palermo on Via Butera. The event features puppets and marionettes from all over the world.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and  Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

Mercato Ballarò a Palermo, Sicilia - Ballarò M...

Mercato Ballarò a Palermo, Sicilia – Ballarò Market at Palermo, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Sicily visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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Viva Palermo e Santa Rosalia: Festino in Vino con Vista Sicily

English: St Rosalia Chapel

English: St Rosalia Chapel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Santa Rosalia in Monte Pellegrino San...

English: Santa Rosalia in Monte Pellegrino Sanctuary, Palermo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy-2131 - Chapel of Saint Rosalia

Italy-2131 – Chapel of Saint Rosalia (Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis))

Chapel of Saint Rosalia, Cathedral of Palermo,...

Chapel of Saint Rosalia, Cathedral of Palermo, Sicily (Photo credit: travfotos)

Detail from the flank of the Cathedral of Pale...

Detail from the flank of the Cathedral of Palermo (Sicily), showing the statue of Saint Rosalie in the forefront and the church tower behind. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, September 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A statue of St. Rosalia being carried through ...

A statue of St. Rosalia being carried through the streets of Bivona, Sicily. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: Bancarella di "calia e simenza&...

Italiano: Bancarella di “calia e simenza” a Palermo (festino di Santa Rosalia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watch this video to see how important Santa Rosalia is to the residents of Palermo Sicily:

English: Santa Rosalia (particolare) in Monte ...

English: Santa Rosalia (particolare) in Monte Pellegrino Sanctuary (Palermo) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.festinosantarosalia.it/

If you travel to Palermo Sicily, you will see the Patron Saint of the Palermitani guarding the Cathedral of Palermo.

La statua di Santa Rosalia, la "Santuzza",  e la Cattedrale di Palermo.

Santa Rosalia and the Cathedral of Palermo

Monte Pellegrino

Monte Pellegrino (Photo credit: ingirogiro)

If you travel to Monte Pellegrino, perched at the top of the mountain you can visit the cave-shrine of the holy hermit where the sanctuary of Saint Rosalia is located.  Monte Pellegrino offers spectacular views over Palermo and the Conca d’Oro. The cave is covered with zinc which helps collect the dripping water from the cave walls. This water is considered to have miraculous healing properties.

Detail from the flank of the Cathedral of Pale...

Detail from the flank of the Cathedral of Palermo (Sicily), showing the statue of Saint Rosalie in the forefront and the church tower behind. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, September 28 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saint Rosalia is celebrated in with a massive culinary street party in July in the streets of Palermo: Festino de Santa Rosalia to celebrate the end of the Plague in Palermo. Her emblem is a crown of roses and a skull. In 1630, Pope Urban VII established two holidays for Santa Rosalia: July 15th to commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of her relics and September 4th, the day of the death of  “Santuzza” and her official ecclesiastical feast day.

She died on September 4, 1160 and was canonized on 26 January 1630 and was adopted as the patron saint of Palermo. An annual procession of Palermo’s beloved patron saint starts at the  Palace of the Normans and travels along the ancient road of Cassaro to the sea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jhat6b_fVc&feature=related

The relics of the Santuzza are paraded through the town with the festival culminating in the cheering crowd chanting “Viva Palermo e Santa Rosalia!” Her triumphal chariot passes through Porta Felice and ends with fireworks at the Marina.

Italiano: Festino di Santa Rosalia a Palermo, ...

Italiano: Festino di Santa Rosalia a Palermo, carro delle rose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Feast is a very popular event with many Vino con Vista opportunities. It consists of carretti Siciliani, performances, exhibitions, traditional culinary and Sicilian wine options and concerts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDYMM6ZxY8s.

The Festival begins the first day of July and ends with the religious procession on July 15 to celebrate the miraculous victory over the Plague. This annual event has been celebrated since 1625.

When the city of Palermo was ravaged by the plague, Santa Rosalia appeared to a sick woman and later to a hunter. She revealed the location of her remains in the cave and told him to bring her bones down to Palermo. These relics were found on  July 15th in 1624. When Rosalia appeared in the dream, she described where her remains could be found,  in the cave on Monte Pellegrino. She indicated in the dream, that if her remains were brought to Palermo and carried through the quartined city in a procession, the plague would end. When the relics were found, they were paraded through Palermo on 15 July in a procession. The archbishop was followed by all the clergy, the senate and notable citizens of Palermo. In a few days the city was liberated from the plague.

Santa Rosalia

Santa Rosalia (Photo credit: Palazzo Isnello)

In 1625 the relics were placed inside a silver reliquary and guarded inside the Archbishop’s Palace and every year they are part of the procession that includes many confraternities. The “Confraternita di Santa Rosalia dei Sacchi” (Brotherhood of Santa Rosalia of bags) was founded in 1635 by barbers and cobblers (and varberi Scarpari). The brotherhood, which takes its name from clothing used during the procession, has the task of carrying the effigy of the Saint. During the year it is kept in the Church of Professed House of the Society of Jesus in Palermo.

Let’s all salute Santa Rosalia: “Viva Palermo e Santa Rosalia”

.

Here’s the link to the program: http://www.festinosantarosalia.it/

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides.To learn more about Sicily visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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The Feast Day of Santa Lucia in Syracuse Sicily

Caravaggio, Burial of St. Lucy 1608
Image via Wikipedia
English: Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Italy Italian...

English: Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Italy Italiano: Santa Lucia da Siracusa, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deodato Guinaccia peinture Martyre de sainte L...

Deodato Guinaccia peinture Martyre de sainte Lucie, église de Santa Lucia alla Badia, Syracuse Sicile. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapel of the burial place of Saint Lucy at Sy...

Chapel of the burial place of Saint Lucy at Syracuse, Italy. The former grave of Saint Lucy, now empty, but embellished by reliefs dating from the Norman period and by a rich baroque wood frame. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, May 20, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapel of the burial place of Saint Lucy at Sy...

Chapel of the burial place of Saint Lucy at Syracuse, Italy. The former grave of Saint Lucy, now empty, but embellished by reliefs dating from the Norman period and by a rich baroque wood frame. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, May 20, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Relics of 8th/9th century byzantine frescos in...

Relics of 8th/9th century byzantine frescos in the catacombs of Saint Lucy at Syracuse, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, May 21, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa Lucia (St. Lucy) was born in Siracusa (Syracuse) in 283. Syracuse became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sicily in 2005.

St. Lucy is the virgin martyr of Siracusa. She is also the patron saint of the blind and the patron saint of authors.

Mario Lanza

Cover of Mario Lanza

Listen to Mario Lanza sing her song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpP7heFjr0g. Here’s my favorite version by Elvis Presley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsCBZxpoqIc&feature=related

Altar of Saint Lucy's chapel, in the Cathedral...

Martyrdom of St Lucy (predella 5)

Martyrdom of St Lucy (predella 5) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year on December 13th in Siracusa, the procession starts at the Piazza Duomo in Ortiga. A 16th century solid silver statue of Saint Lucy is brought from the Piazza del Duomo to the Basilica del Sepoloro outside the walls of the old town of Ortigia. This Basilica was built by the Normans in the 11th century. Adjacent to the Basilica, a baroque temple houses the burial place of Saint Lucy. Her holy relics were housed here intil 1039, when the Byzantine General Georgio Maniace took her remains to Constantinople as a tribute to Empress Theodora.

Gregorio Tedeschi, Saint Lucy, a 1634 statue i...

Gregorio Tedeschi, Saint Lucy, a 1634 statue in the Chapel of the burial place of Saint Lucy at Syracuse, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, May 20, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the 4th Crusade, the Venetians transported her remains to Venice and they are housed in the Church of Saints Geremia and Lucia. After the procession, the statue of Saint Lucy remains at the Basilica del Sepoloro for eight days and then it is returned to the Piazza del Duomo. Many devotees of Santa Lucia participate in the procession in bare feet to honor her.

13th DEC | Saint Lucy's Procession

Image by Toni Kaarttinen via Flickr

According to legend, she was born in the town of Syracuse on the island of Sicily, to a wealthy family. As she grew older she choose to live her life like that of St. Agatha, who was a revered saint in Catania. She vowed to remain a virgin and give her possessions to the poor and needy.

The name Lucia means light and is linked to her virtues; virginal rectitude.  She lived prior to the Edict of Milan in 313 which allowed Christians the freedom to profess their religion. Prior to that time, Christians were persecuted for their belief in Christ.

Lucia was very generous and brought food to the many Christians who hid in underground tunnels. To find her way she would wear a wreath with candles while carrying the trays of food.

Her mother found a suitor for her to wed, but marriage was not in her plans.  When she rejected her future husband, her whistle-blower fiancee reported her to the authorities and according to Diocletian‘s Law she was persecuted and stabbed in the throat with a spear for being a Christian on December 13, 304.

see filename

see filename (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Sicilians pay tribute to a miracle performed by St Lucy during a famine in 1582. At that time, she brought a flotilla of grain-bearing ships to starving Sicily, whose citizens cooked and ate the wheat without taking time to grind it into flour. Thus, on St. Lucy’s Day, Sicilians don’t eat anything made with wheat flour. Instead they eat cooked wheat called cuccia.”

Bloomingdale’s Christmas Tree

To learn more about Sicily visit www.vino-con-vista.com 

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Magical Mondello Sicily and the Sanctuary of Saint Rosalia

Santa Rosalia in Monte Pellegrino Sanctuary, P...
Image via Wikipedia
Italy-2219 - Grotto of Santa Rosalia

Italy-2219 – Grotto of Santa Rosalia (Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis))

English: Palermo: Monte Pellegrino (Mondello) ...

English: Palermo: Monte Pellegrino (Mondello) Italiano: Palermo: Monte Pellegrino (Mondello) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monte-Pellegrino-map-bjs

Monte-Pellegrino-map-bjs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy-2187 - View of Mondello

Italy-2187 – View of Mondello (Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis))

Italy-2242 - Mount Pellegrino in the distance

Italy-2242 – Mount Pellegrino in the distance (Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis))

Take a short bus ride from Palermo to the delightful resort town of Mondello where wealthy Palermitani erected splendid art nouveau villas.  It is surrounded by Monte Gallo and Monte Pellegrino.  The 15th century watchtowers protect the bay. Here’s a link to an interesting video about the area

http://www.5min.com/Video/Visit-Palermo-in-Sicily-256546491

Dine on the terrace of Ristorante Charleston in Mondello on Via Regina Elena overlooking the bay for an incredible “Vino con Vista.”  Order the “Risotto ai Sapori di Sicilia” (Sicilian flavored risotto) and earn your Buon Ricordo plate covered with hand-painted citrus fruits.  Have a glass of Bianco D’Alcamo as you gaze at the incredible Conca d’Oro hills that curve around the bay. Go to the beach and swim in the delightful azure water. There is an annual beach festival in the second week of May.

Riserva naturale Monte Pellegrino Palermo, Sic...

Riserva naturale Monte Pellegrino Palermo, Sicily Scuderie Reali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DGJ_2131 - Chapel of Saint Rosalia

DGJ_2131 – Chapel of Saint Rosalia (Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) OFF)

Monte Pellegrino

Monte Pellegrino (Photo credit: ingirogiro)

Then travel to Monte Pellegrino. Perched at the top of Monte Pellegrino you can visit the sanctuary of Saint Rosalia.  Her statue welcomes visitors to the sanctuary that was erected over a cave where she lived and prayed.  She dedicated herself to a life of prayer and penance.

golden saint rosalia.

golden saint rosalia. (Photo credit: gr0uch0)

Monte Pellegrino in Palermo (Riserva naturale ...

Monte Pellegrino in Palermo (Riserva naturale Monte Pellegrino) Monte Pellegrino in Palermo (Riserva naturale Monte Pellegrino) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She died in 1166 and was beatified and adopted as the patron saint of the city of Palermo.  One of the miracles attributed to her is the end of the Plague that ravaged Sicily in the 17th century.  It was brought in by a Tunisian ship in 1624.

26.08.2000 - Palermo, Monte Pellegrino, Santa ...

26.08.2000 – Palermo, Monte Pellegrino, Santa Rosalia (Photo credit: cercamon)

Faithful followers climb to the sanctuary every September 4th on a pilgrimage.  The water that drips from the cave is believed to be miraculous.  The marble figure of the Saint is clothed in a golden cape donated by Charles III of Bourbon.  An annual procession in July carries Saint Rosalia through town. Her statue is carried on a float drawn by oxen from Monte Pellegrino into town.

Italiano: Monte Pellegrino

Italiano: Monte Pellegrino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Sicily Travel Guides and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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Filed under ebooks, IPad, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Mondello, oenogastronomic, Palermo, Restaurants in Sicily, Saint Rosalia, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, St. Rosalia, Travel and Tourism, vino con vista