Category Archives: Sicily Travel Guides

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

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under ebooks, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy ravel, Italy Travel Guides, Modica, Noto, Ragusa, Saint George, 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, World Heritage Sites

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.
 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments Off on Easter and Holy Week Rituals in Sicily: Buona Pasqua

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

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under ebooks, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Sicilian WIne, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Taormina, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites in SIcily, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 Comment

Filed under Cefalu, ebooks, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy ravel, Italy Travel Guides, Monreale, Palermo, Sicilian WIne, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Uncategorized, vino con vista

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

Filed under Baroque Art, Cefalu, IPad, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Mondello, Palermo, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, St. Rosalia, Things to do in Palermo SIcily, Top Ten sights in Palermo Sicily, Travel and Tourism, Uncategorized, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

2 Comments

Filed under ebooks, Festivals in Palermo Sicily, IPad, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Mondello, Monreale, Palermo, Saint Rosalia, Sicilian WIne, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, St. Rosalia, Travel and Tourism, vino con vista, Viva Palermo e Santa Rosalia

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 

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 Comment

Filed under Buon Natale, Buon Natale Italy, Caravaggio's altarpiece the Burial of Saint Lucy, Christmas in Italy, ebooks, Italian Architecture, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Saint Lucy of Syracuse Sicily, Santa Lucia of Siracusa, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, The Feast of Saint Lucy in Siracusa, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

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

Celebrate the Feast Day of Saint George in Vino con Vista Ragusa Sicily

English: Dome of the cathedral of Ragusa Ibla ...

English: Dome of the cathedral of Ragusa Ibla Italiano: Cupola del Duomo di San Giorgio a Ragusa Ibla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ragusa

Ragusa (Photo credit: Gustavo Caprioli)

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla.

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

Ragusa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sicily. It is divided into two parts:  Modern and Ibla.  Ragusa Ibla is the lower part of the town and has medieval remains and elegant Baroque buildings and monuments.

In Ragusa, visit the beautiful churches near Piazza Duomo.  The imposing Cathedral of St. George (San Georgio) with the majestic neo-classical dome is one of the most significant works of Baroque Sicilian.  The church was built on top of the church of Saint Nicholas after the earthquake of 1693. Climb 250 steps to see the beautiful church that was designed by Rosario Gagliardo and completed in 1775.

Saint George is the patron saint of Ragusa. The feast of Saint George is celebrated on the last day of May when his statue is carried out of the Basilica and paraded through the streets with a Holy Chest (Santa Cassa) in a lively procession http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVjihqlF-x4&NR=1.

On his annual feast day, the statue of Saint George, the dragon-slaying knight, has an event packed day. He watches the fireworks in Ragusa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvf–DqSJmQ&feature=related before he returns to his noble post inside the church.

In Ragusa 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 masks located in the keystones of the windows which represent three powers.  The first mask represents the poor deformed man with his tongue sticking out with some missing teeth.  This mask represents the power of he who has nothing has nothing to lose.  Another mask represents a tradesman with a turban and moustache.  This mask symbolizes that he who has everything and can do anything thanks his money.  The central mask symbolizes the nobleman, sculpted in the frontal position.  This represents that he who can do anything, even if it is illegal, represents the power of the aristocracy.

I love the detailed balconies in Ragusa

On Piazza Duomo there is a lovely fountain and the Palazzo Donnafugata.  The Palazzo houses an art gallery with canvases by Hans Memling, Ribera, and Antonello do Messina.

There are many Vino con Vista opportunities in the province of Ragusa: dine at Il Duomo, a Michelin-rated favorite on Via Capitano Bocchieri 31 or Locanda Da Serafino on Via XI Febbraio 15.

Bagglio la Pergola on Contrada Selvaggio is a great place for lunch in Ragusa.  The scacce and mpanate are little stuffed pizzas.  The Ragusans love their pasta and serve it many ways. Pasta a picurara, brood di maiale, trippa alla ragusana, maccarunedda, Mpanatigghi, and cuccia are all regional specialties.

Toast to the delightful cuisine with a glass of  red Cerasuolo di Vittoria or enjoy some of the dessert wines like moscato, solicchiato, perpetuo or stravecchio Siciliano.  There is an excellent Pasticceria on Corso Vittorio Venato where you can stock up with sweets.

There is an 18th century farmhouse “Ermeo Dell Giubiliana” on the way to Marina di Ragusa that is an interesting agriturismo option.  Or consider staying at The Mediterraneo Palace on via Roma 89 or Rafael on Corso Italia 40.

These enchanting towns are isolated by the Iblean Mountains. Unfortunately, they are still at risk of eruptions from Mount Etna and earthquakes.

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

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments Off on Celebrate the Feast Day of Saint George in Vino con Vista Ragusa Sicily

Filed under IPad, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Cheese, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Michelin Restaurants in Italy, Ragusa, Saint George in Ragusa Sicily, Sicilian Baroque, Sicilian WIne, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites in SIcily, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

A Splendid Week in Sunny, Sultry Sicily

Comune di Palermo
Image via Wikipedia
Sicily 2009

Sicily 2009 (Photo credit: mad_76)

English: View of Mt. Etna - Taormina, Italy

English: View of Mt. Etna – Taormina, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Description: Topography of Sicily, created wit...

Description: Topography of Sicily, created with GMT 4.1.3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Mount Aetna from Taormina 1844 by Tho...

English: Mount Aetna from Taormina 1844 by Thomas Cole. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Mount Etna, Sicily, topped in snow It...

English: Mount Etna, Sicily, topped in snow Italiano: La cima dell’Etna era coperta di neve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Etna

Mount Etna (Photo credit: jaroslavd)

Coat of arm of Sicily

Coat of arm of Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sicily is a magical destination; kind of like going to heaven. So it makes sense to go to Sultry Sicily for Easter. Sicily was an independent kingdom prior to the unification of Italy.

Spend at least a week in Sicily after you cross the congested two-mile Strait of Messina from the mainland. The best way to get around the island is to rent a car of hire a private driver if you hope to see all the fabulous sites in a reasonable amount of time. There are also plenty of bus tours and boat rides available through tour companies in the major cities like Palermo and Taormina.

Sicily is the largest Mediterranean Island. It is characterized by mountainous terrain and arguably some of Italy’s most flavorful cuisine.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna (Photo credit: bee721)

Mount Etna Volcano Vulcano Volcan Sicilia Sici...

Mount Etna Volcano Vulcano Volcan Sicilia Sicily Italia Italy. I took this picture while flying from Catania to Rome. When you roughly get over Messina flight altitude is not yet too high. Usually there is a cloud over the Etna because of its sudden high altitude found by atmospheric conditions. I was lucky to find low clouds and no high clouds over the crater of the volcano right before the sunset. Otherwise this photo would not be possible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You probably want to see Mt. Etna; the highest active volcano in Europe. It dominates the Ionian coastline from Catania to Taormina. Take a jeep excursion to the summit of this majestic volcano to witness the dramatic landscape of Sicily.

Mount Etna (Sicily) viewed from the Greek amph...

Mount Etna (Sicily) viewed from the Greek amphitheatre in Taormina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna is almost 11,000 feet high. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps; located on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. There is a beautiful view of Mt. Etna from Taormina’s Greek Amphitheater.

Mount Etna seen from the town of Taormina.

Mount Etna seen from the town of Taormina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it erupts; it sends a billowing plume of smoke and ash into the sky. It has already erupted four times this year. The eruptions foster fertile volcanic soils that support agriculture. There are many vineyards and orchards across the lower slopes of the mountain.

The city of Lipari, Sicily

The city of Lipari, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vulcano Island

Vulcano Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the heart of Sicily

the heart of Sicily (Photo credit: Chiara Marra)

A baroque church in Modica

A baroque church in Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can fly into Palermo or Catania or take a ferry from the mainland to Messina.  Depending on your itinerary, visit the sites around Palermo, including the Palermo Cathedral, San Cataldo’s Church, Chiesa della Martorana, and San Giovanni degli Eremiti (St. John of the Hermits) near the Palazzo dei Normanni. The Palace is incredible example of Norman architecture and houses the famous Cappella Palatina.

Go to the beach town of Mondello, near Palermo for a spectacular Vino con Vista.

Then travel to the gorgeous cathedral of Monreale.

The Cathedral of Monreale

The Cathedral of Monreale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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)

Visit the shrine of Santa Rosalia near Monreale. Santa Rosalia is like a rock star saint in Palermo. Saint Rosalia is the patron saint of Palermo.  On 14 July, people in Palermo celebrate the Festino, the most important religious event of the year. The Festino is a procession in the main street of Palermo to remember the miracle attributed to Santa Rosalia who freed the city from the Black Death in 1624. The cave where the bones of Santa Rosalia were discovered is on Monte Pellegrino.

Italiano: Santa Rosalia incoronata dagli angel...

Italiano: Santa Rosalia incoronata dagli angeli di Van Dyck, custodita presso la galleria regionale di palazzo abatellis a Palermo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The residents of Palermo have a massive culinary street party in July  in the streets of Palermo called Festino de Santa Rosalia.  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.

Cefalu Sicilia, the beach

Cefalu Sicilia, the beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then take the train from Palermo to Cefalu; one of my favorite beach towns. Visit the Norman Cathedral and admire the gorgeous mosaic “Pantocrator.”

Cefalù

Cefalù (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deutsch: Christus Pantokrator in der Apsis der...

Deutsch: Christus Pantokrator in der Apsis der Kathedrale von Cefalu auf Sizilien (Italien). Mosaik im byzantinischen Stil. English: 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)

View to Cefalù, Sicily Italiano: Vista del por...

View to Cefalù, Sicily Italiano: Vista del porto di Cefalù dalla Rocca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can get a great view of “La Rocca” in Cefalu. In the center of town, walk over to see where the women washed there clothes in the public laundry facility built into the ground.

Ancient washing house (antique and medieval ag...

Ancient washing house (antique and medieval ages). Cefalu (Sicily) Français : Lavoir antique et médiéval à Cefalù (Sicile) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taormina 05

Taormina 05 (Photo credit: Giovy.it)

If you go to Taormina, there are also plenty of incredible places to stay. I like the Grand Hotel Timeo perched high above the Strait of Messina, that opened in 1873.

Taormina, Sicily

Taormina, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The clientelle has included Oscar Wilde, Catherine Deneuve  and Robert Di Nero. Have a lemon cello from the Library Terrace for an incredible Vino con Vista. I also love the San Domenico Palace Hotel with multiple terraces, four restaurants and a great pool area. The hotel is housed in a former 14th century monastery. The chef is famous for his regional menu.

Etna from Taormina 2006

Etna from Taormina 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They've got sun in Sicily! WOW!

They’ve got sun in Sicily! WOW! (Photo credit: Nia [So let’s go!

Cathedral of Cefalù (Italy), front view

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

Cefalu, Sicily, apsis & choir of Norman cathed...

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

Cefalu, La Rocca

Cefalu, La Rocca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cefalù, Sicily

Cefalù, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: Fianco della Cattedrale di Palermo. ...

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

Palermo, Taormina and Modica are my favorite places to use as a hub in Sicily.  Explore the magical Aeolian Islands of Lipari and Stromboli with an organized tour.

Pietra Lunga, SW of Lipari, Aeolian Islands, S...

Pietra Lunga, SW of Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Sicily, TItaly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also love the beautiful Baroque UNESCO towns in Southeastern Sicily of Modica, Avola and Ragusa.

Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla.

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

Panorama of Ragusa

Panorama of Ragusa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virgin of the Annunciation, Palazzo Abatellis,...

Virgin of the Annunciation, Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sicily has nine Vino con Vista provinces: Palermo, Messina, Catania, Syracuse, Ragusa, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Enna and Trapani. The island has experienced successive invasions and conquests. The Phoenicians colonized Northwestern Sicily around 800 B.C. including Palermo. The Greeks arrived in Southeastern Sicily at about the same time, establishing Naxos near Taormina.

There are wonderful Easter and Holy Week Rituals in Enna Sicily: Buona Pasqua. Click on the link and you can witness Holy Week celebrations all over Sicily. Goint to  Sicily for Easter is definitely on my bucket list!

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

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

Flag of the Sicilian Region Italiano: Bandiera...

Flag of the Sicilian Region Italiano: Bandiera della Regione Siciliana Sicilianu: Bannera dâ Riggiuni Siciliana Deutsch: Flagge der Sizilianischen Region (oder der Autonomen Region Sizilien) Français : Drapeau de la Région Sicilienne Español: Bandera de la Región Siciliana Polski: Flaga Regionu Sycylia Português: Bandeira da Região Siciliana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 Comment

Filed under Agrigento, ebooks, Greek Theater, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Lipari, Mondello, Mount Etna, Palermo, Roman Architecture, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Siracusa, Spend a Week in Sultry Sicily for Easter, Taormina, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites