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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sicilia, Italy

May 9, 2018 - Agrigento

Tuesday 8th May: On to Agrigento. Luggage had to be out by 6.30am and we were on the road by 8am. First stop was the mountaintop village of Erice. This was another very well preserved medieval town with breathtaking views over Trapani and in all directions we spent an hour or so wandering the maze of cobbled streets before descending the mountain again in the bus. Nearby along the sea , we were taken to a huge salt mining area where old windmills were dotted around. These were used to move the sea water from one pan to another. The drive...

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May 7, 2018 - Palermo

Sunday 6th May: The hotel ran a shuttle to the airport every half hour so again it was a short ride back for our flight to Palermo at 10am. There we had to wait a short while for the airport bus into town and we bought our return ticket for next Sunday. The stop nearest our hotel, the Mecure, was Piazza Politeama, a very large and attractive square with a big theatre at one end. We trundled our way the few blocks to the hotel (thank goodness for traveling light!) and found our room. As we were not meeting our tour group until 6.30pm, we...

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Mar 18, 2018 - Syracuse:Sicily

Our unit in Plemmirio turned out to be in a great spot with just a two minute walk to a small beach directly opposite Syracuse. As this was our last stop in Sicily we wasted little time getting out to explore Syracuse, Catania, Avola and a fabulous old town with the odd name of Noto Antica. In ancient times it was known as Netun and has recorded history to 263 BC. Unlike many old towns, Noto was more open in its layout and the mainly Baroque architecture was in pristine condition. Avola on the other hand was cramped and full of scary...

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Trip Journal


the islands

Mar 13, 2018 - Palermo:Sicily

Our overnight ferry ride was perfect and the relatively easy boarding process was quite humorous. For something a little different all cars for this one had to reverse up the ramp and into position. For some that didn't go well. The expected double-bunk cabin turned into a spacious suite with all the facilities. We were ecstatic. To celebrate, we opted for the full bit and dined out with fillet steaks and mushrooms plus the necessary red vino. It was like we were on a real five star cruise liner. :-) :-) Once berthed at Palermo we set out...

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Trip Journal


the islands

Nov 17, 2017 - A few notes from John

My General Impressions of Italy By John We spent three days in Rome, three days in Naples, and then fourteen days in Sicily (on a Road Scholar trip) – twelve of those days in rural Sicily. In Rome, the major tourist destinations like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Roman Colosseum were overrun with tourists without much infrastructure to support them. For example, there were no public toilets in the area. Outside of these areas, Rome was not unpleasant, but the roads had more traffic than they could handle, and there were no...

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Nov 15, 2017 - Arrivederci Sicily

Our final two days on the Sicily tour. Belice, Mt Pispisa, and Segesta Written by John, edited by Lois On Tuesday November 14, the weather forecast was for 50 degrees and rain for most of the day. The original schedule called for an all day hike, so our guides put their heads together and came up with another plan. First we went to a former quarry where they found evidence of a civilization that dug a system of aqueducts several thousand years BC! The problem was the area had been in a grass fire a year ago and the trails had never been...

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Nov 13, 2017 - Lessons learned the hard way

A few short notes for both seasoned and novice travelers: 1. When stowing your stuff in the overhead compartment of an airplane, take the time beforehand to put everything into one bag. Do not throw in your practically new LL Bean fleece separately. John realized several days later that his jacket was left on the plane between Naples and Palermo. We hope that the person who found it enjoys the cozy warmth of the garment. 2. Take a complete change of clothing along in your carry-on luggage. Alitalia lost one guy's suitcase, and it took 6...

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Nov 12, 2017 - Two Days in Palermo

Lois writing: On Sunday November 12 we were driven about an hour to Palermo, where we had a long walking tour of the city, courtesy of our history guide, Viviana. Saw lots of churches, Norman architecture, some old parts of town, Muslim influences, shops, fountains, theaters, families out and about, boats in the harbor and skateboarding kids. Almost everyone wears black. A large lunch in a restaurant. There was a long discussion of the Mafia influence in Sicily; it is still quite prevalent nowadays. This is John writing now..... There are...

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Nov 11, 2017 - Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve- Hiking along the Coast

Saturday Nov.11 - Lois writing - a hiking day in a Nature Reserve that was the first of its kind in Italy. We traversed a trail that always was in view of the seashore, and although the forecast was not promising, it was sunny all day. It was really great to be able to do a point-to-point six mile hike, since the bus had to drive 40 kilometers between our trailheads. The scenery was fabulous, and Eduardo stopped often to tell us about a wide variety of plants and animals, plus some historical notes. For example, the Grotta del'Uzzo served...

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Nov 10, 2017 - Greeks in Sicily

Written by Lois Most folks think of Sicily as being part of Italy, but that was not always the case. This area has been inhabited for centuries by a variety of people who came here from all parts of the Mediterranean. It's only been "Italy" since the 1860s, when numerous regions were united to form the nation of Italy. Garibaldi was the "father of the country", and there are statues of him in every town. Usually a main street is named after him too. Sicilians have their own language and an ethnic heritage that is more diverse than anywhere...

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Nov 9, 2017 - Monte Cofano

Monte Cofano by John The first half of our trip is over. We checked out of our hotel in Trapani and moved to a hotel in Castellammare del Golfo, which is about 25 miles east of Trapani, and also on the coast of the Tyrrhanean Sea. For some reason, our first four or five meals with Road Scholar featured octopus, calamari, and sardines. Since then we have had veal, roast beef, and meat balls - and more vegetables, and we have been eating too much. It is very easy to eat more than you can walk off when you are our age. The hike today around...

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Nov 8, 2017 - Mozia & Marsala

Trying a new literary form - free association rather than sentences, which are overrated. Sunshine! Bus for 45 minutes, ferry from Marsala to Mozia (Mothya), new guides for the day: Frederica and Laura, lots of Phoenician ruins and artifacts, walking on unpaved surface 2 miles around the island felt better, Charioteer statue, lunch at winery, tour and tasting, walk around Marsala. Best dinner in Italy: amazing vegetable soup and tender roast beef with burgundy sauce. Busy packing to head to new hotel tomorrow.

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