From Mongerbino to the beauty of Sicily

This is a video about Sicily by Alessandro Liggio. What made me happy was to find in the first seconds  ( from – 3.50 to – 3.20 ) images of the coast of Mongerbino and Capo Zafferano, the view we have from the terrace of Villa Laura Marie. All the rest is the beauty of Sicily .
Visit Sicily this year!

 

Mondello – the favourite beach for the city

Mondello – the favourite beach for the city

In this beautiful image ( by Groucho on Flick-r ) you see Mondello. This beautiful beach very close to Palermo is the easiest place where you can go to breathe sea air and swim even in Spring and Autumn. We consider it a part of the city, the perfect place for a walk for us, the Sicilians, used to enjoy being by the sea. With its ArtNoveau villas and pier Mondello has always a certain charm ; a big part of the beach is private but it’s possible to rent at a reasonable price loungers and umbrellas . The clear sand creates this limpid turquoise water that you can find all year except only for July and August when too many people use the beach.
This beach is at 41 Km from Villa Laura Marie and at 10 Km from the center of Palermo.

The link to this image on Flick-R is :  Mondello by Groucho on Flick-R

Cefalù – a little town you can not miss in western Sicily

Cefalù – a little town you can not miss in western Sicily

Cefalù, at 72 Km from Palermo, built under a rocky crag and with a picturesque center offers a variety of attractions. From the cathedral, built by the Norman king Roger II in 1131 and part of the Unesco World Heritage site, to the beautiful beach right in the center of the little town and the medieval cloyster to name a few.

As written in the “Lonely Planet” guide, : “the town is perfectly suited to slow pedestrian exploration. The little port is lined with fishing boats and populated with fisherfolks ….the ‘lungomare (seafront promenade )is popular for the ‘passeggiata’ ( evening stroll ) as is the main street, Corso Ruggero.


I personally find Cefalù really enjoyable, easy to reach from our house ( 57 Km and about 45 minutes by car ) , full of little shops and restaurants ( try some of them that are not too touristic !). I wouldn’t miss sitting at a table in piazza Duomo, just in front of the church, to have a Sicilian dessert or an “aperitivo” ; and what about having lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants with a sea terrace ? Go during the week if you prefer a quiet visit or viceversa on the weekend if you like to see a lot of life.

A landmark in Palermo – the fountain of Piazza Pretoria

A landmark in Palermo – the fountain of Piazza Pretoria

 

The fountain of Piazza Pretoria, situated in front of the City hall, can be considered one of the major landmarks of Palermo. Designed by Francesco Camilliani for a Tuscan villa, was brought in our city in 1573. Note its concentric circles and the number of tritons, nymphs, gods and youths. For this abundance of nude statues this square was nicknamed    “Piazza della Vergogna”   ( the Square of Shame ) .

fontana.vergogne

One of the photos and the video are taken last October during “Le Vie dei Tesori” ; during all the weekends of this month more than one hundred sites  ( Palaces, churches, gardens, museums etc. ) are open to the tourists  with guided tours. . For our climate and this opportunity, October is an excellent month to visit Palermo and Sicily.

 

Delicious Sicilian pastries

Delicious Sicilian pastries

 

Here are two photos taken in Cefalù in a pastry shop near the Duomo .

In one of the photos there is a tray of cannolis  ; this is a typical Sicilian dessert made with tube shaped fried pastry shells cannolis and fresh ricotta ( this means Sicilian ricotta produced the same day ) usually  filled at the moment . In Sicily ricotta is made from sheep milk and you can have the best  in autumn, winter and spring. You can find cannolis in other Italian cities and in other countries but for sure ( I know for a fact ! ) here it’s the best due to the ricotta.

The colored little fruits are Marzipan; we call them also “frutti di Martorana” because they were originally prepared by the nuns of a church in Palermo called the Martorana . Marzipan  is made with almond and what is more typical reshapes into miniature fruits and vegetables. Sicilian desserts are of course really good and always esthetically beautiful.

Cefalù is  worth for sure a visit, but you have also a lot of pastry shops in our area . I would mention for now “Don Gino” and “Bar Ester” in Bagheria; more information in another post.

 

Palermo Italian Cultural Capital for 2018 – A view from a drone

I wanted to post some of the activities ( exibition, concerts, events etc . ) that will take place in our city this year, being Palermo the Italian Cultural Capital for 2018. I figured anyway it would have been difficult for someone who has never been in Palermo to imagine these activities without an idea of the context; so why not a short video that gives a general idea  of the topic places and does it from the sky.

You will see the Palermo Cathedral, the Duomo of Monreale and its cloyster, all part of the Unesco site . Too bad that day the weather was not so good !

 

 

 

 

Unesco sites in Sicily – we begin with the last one

Cappella PalatinaThere are seven Unesco sites in Sicily which is not bad for an Island of 25.712 square Km. The last site to be inscribed on the list in 2015 is the “Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale” . We are not speaking of a single monument but of churches, palaces and cloysters built in the 11th and 12th century situated in nine locations in Palermo, Cefalù and Monreale.

It’s interesting to read some of the reasons that brought the Unesco to this choice: “The whole of the buildings that constitute the property of ‘Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale’ represents a material example of coexistence, interaction and interchange between different cultural components of heterogeneous historical and geographical origin” . In other words the originality of these monuments is this mix of styles and cultures present in Sicily at that time; Byzantine ( you will see this influence in the mosaics ), Islamic, Latin elements at the time of the Norman kings.

Palermo, that hosts the majority of these monuments can be the ideal starting point for this visit; Monreale which is a “must” for its mosaics is at few kilomethers from the town, while Cefalù is at less than 45 minutes by car but it’s worth an entire day being a beautiful and pictoresque village by the sea  .

In the bigger  photo the Palatine Chapel, the little church inside the Royal palace with its bizantine mosaics; on the top the Cathedral of Palermo and the Churches of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio and San Cataldo.

A nice video about Sicily

I posted a few months ago a video of Julien Zolli about Sicily . He posted now a very beautiful video about our island and its diversity which is probably a work in progress for “Sicilian Secrets” . I really like it and I think it communicates some emotions; it’s enough for me to drive some curiosity about Sicily . So … enjoy it in full screen ( it’s friday  😊😊😊) !

Travel Tip created by Antonio DF in association with Vacation Soup

Sicilian literature – Il Gattopardo ( the Leopard ) and other books

I really like the idea of preparing your trip to Sicily reading a book . We have so many alternatives and also your contribution would be useful . Right now I would begin with a classic for Sicily which is Il Gattopardo ( The Leopard ), here in the list that “Local Italy” has posted of books to read that “will transport you to Italy” . Written by Giuseppe Lanza Tomasi it
“documents the decline of the island’s aristocracy” in this historical novel, “set in the Risorgimento period which led up to the unification of Italy”; this work was published posthumously in 1958.
What is your favourite book written by a Sicilian novelist? Did you ever read something by Pirandello, Sciascia, Bufalino, Camilleri to name a few ?

https://www.thelocal.it/20160609/five-italian-novels-you-should-read-to-understand-italy

 

 

Flash mob at airport Falcone Borsellino in Palermo

To welcome people coming in Palermo for Christmas a music association organized a flash mob with players and dancers at airport Falcone Borsellino. Enjoy it, feel part of this feeling and come to Sicily!
P.S. the piano is really always there at arrivals and departures for whoever wants to use it

#Palermo Si balla… Il flash mob organizzato con l’associazione Swing & Shot #aeroporto

Geplaatst door Aeroporto Internazionale di Palermo "Falcone Borsellino" op zaterdag 23 december 2017