Checking out Sicily Wineries

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Sicily Winery Visits Whenever we are in any area with wineries, of course we need to visit them. Although we attend many wine events in San Francisco, actually visiting a winery is much more helpful to teach us about the various wine regions and grape varietals. Our exposure to Sicilian wines has been extremely limited. [Read more …]

Mt Etna Italy

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Although Taormina is a pretty little town in Italy, we went there primary for its proximity to Mt. Etna. The 11,000 foot volcano not only dominates the northeastern part of Sicily, it also created it. As of the mid-17th century Catania was a large city and the 30-mile coastline between Catania and Taormina was a [Read more …]

Taormina Sicily Italy

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Taormina is a resort town perched on a mountainside that is about 660 feet above the rocky beach that draws many of its tourists. The town itself consists primarily of one, long, narrow pedestrian street that is lined with tourist shops, restaurants and gelaterias. It has three premier sites: Teatro Greco, remnants of a 2,300 [Read more …]

Catania Sicily Italy

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Catania is largely an industrial and shipping city. Like most of the other southeast Sicilian towns, it has suffered more than its share of devastation; certainly from the huge (7.4) 1693 earthquake that destroyed many cities in the area, but especially from numerous Mount Etna eruptions. Also like its neighbors, it has come back, most [Read more …]

Syracusa Italy

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Syracuse, Syracusa, Siracusa are just a few of the spellings we have seen of this ancient, 2,800 year-old city that was one of the largest (home to 300,000 people) and most prosperous Greek cities five centuries before the birth of Christ. Home to famous dictators (such as Dionysius), philosophers (including Plato until Dionysius exiled him [Read more …]

Noto Sicily

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Noto is another Sicilian town in Italy that was destroyed by the huge (7.4) 1693 earthquake, which was the most powerful in Italian history and destroyed many cities. It is the showcase for Baroque of Val d Noto architecture. For a relatively small city, it has been graced with a number of beautiful buildings, as [Read more …]

Ragusa Italy

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Ragusa is an ancient town in Sicily Italy that was leveled by a massive 1693 earthquake (the same earthquake that destroyed hundreds of square miles of Southeastern Sicily). It was one of cities rebuilt in so-called Baroque of Val di Noto style. We made a fast stop in the center of the historic section of [Read more …]

Agrigento and Valley of the Temples

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Agrigento Our interest in going to Agrigento was primarily because it was close to the Valley of the Temples. The old town of this moderately-sized, southern Sicilian city has some interesting medieval streets and 13th century churches such as its Duomo, Santo Spirito and Santa Maria del Greci (the later of which was built on [Read more …]

Amalfi Coast: Ravello

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Unlike Positano, Priano and Amalfi, Ravello is high up. Founded in the fifth century, Ravello grew wealthy on the basis of its wool processing industry and its Mediterranean trading capabilities. While its fortunes, like those of many of its neighboring towns, foundered around the 13th century, its beautiful setting overlooking the coast and its once-grand [Read more …]

Amalfi Coast: Amalfi and Priano

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Priano Right near Positano along the Amalfi Coast, is Priano. Our plan was to leave that morning for a hike along the Path of the Gods. Given the rain we received overnight and into the morning, and the forecast for more of the same, we decided to postpone the hike for a day and to [Read more …]