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Sunday, 31 May 2009

Seven Days in Sicily - Page 2

Written by Jonathan Hiltz
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The island of Sicily is a stunningly diverse destination, filled with an incredible mixture of different cultures. This is evident in many aspects of life there, particularly visible in the region’s food, architecture and art.

Seven Days in Sicily, travel sicily, travel italy, Sicilian, Taormina, Teatro Greco, Greek Amphitheater, Mount Etna, Villa Angela, Jim Kerr, Cefalu, Palermo, Palazzo Dei Normanni, Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, Agrigento, Valley Of The Temples, La Scala Dei Turchi, Catania, Jonathan HiltzThe most awesome feature of Taormina however, is by far the colossal Mount Etna. Driving up the side of the volcano can be a bit steep at times and the drastic change in elevation is evident as your ears pop like a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s. That aside, the extraordinary view at the top is something every traveler should have on their life’s ‘to do’ list.

Standing on fields of black volcanic ash, surrounded by craters, it can easily feel like you’re on some distant planet. While driving to the top, there are several areas alongside the mountain that contain debris and even the skeletons of burned down housesSeven Days in Sicily, travel sicily, travel italy, Sicilian, Taormina, Teatro Greco, Greek Amphitheater, Mount Etna, Villa Angela, Jim Kerr, Cefalu, Palermo, Palazzo Dei Normanni, Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, Agrigento, Valley Of The Temples, La Scala Dei Turchi, Catania, Jonathan Hiltz that fell victim to lava, at some point in history.

 

It wouldn’t be Italy if food wasn’t found almost everywhere, and Etna has a number of Italian bakeries and cafes lining the top of it. These quick stops serve treats such as pastries made from pistachio nuts that are grown right on the sides of the volcano.

Cefalu

Seven Days in Sicily, travel sicily, travel italy, Sicilian, Taormina, Teatro Greco, Greek Amphitheater, Mount Etna, Villa Angela, Jim Kerr, Cefalu, Palermo, Palazzo Dei Normanni, Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, Agrigento, Valley Of The Temples, La Scala Dei Turchi, Catania, Jonathan HiltzAbout 100 kilometers away, the coastal town of Cefalu sits filled with tourists and locals lining the incredibly long beaches, eating ice cream and enjoying the hot sun. This is a perfect place to spend a few hours before heading for Palermo. For the beach-loving traveler, it wouldn’t hurt to spend the night and wake up to the spectacular sunrise.

Palermo

The city of Palermo at first glance is indiscernible from many other urban centers across Europe, as it is a mixture of modern age metropolitan meeting old world design.

Trendy clothing stores employ the insides of three hundred year-old buildings, while traffic whizzes by historic monuments and popular cafes. But Palermo is packed full of things to see and do for the curious traveler, and it’s best to spend at least two or three days exploring the Sicilian capital.

Seven Days in Sicily, travel sicily, travel italy, Sicilian, Taormina, Teatro Greco, Greek Amphitheater, Mount Etna, Villa Angela, Jim Kerr, Cefalu, Palermo, Palazzo Dei Normanni, Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, Agrigento, Valley Of The Temples, La Scala Dei Turchi, Catania, Jonathan HiltzFascinating historical sites such as the Palazzo Dei Normanni, Teatro Massimo and Quattro Canti offer a detailed look at art and architecture from a variety of different cultures over the last several hundred years. The Teatro Massimo front steps were where the end of the Godfather trilogy was filmed.

For a macabre afternoon try the Capuchin Catacombs, which is an underground graveyard filled with hundreds of the most preserved bodies on Earth, due to advanced techniques used by early embalmers and monks.

On your way out of Palermo, make sure to visit the region of Monreale. It’s a bit of a drive, but Monreale has an incredible Cathedral and a town bustling with outdoor vendors and people.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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