Cultures collide in the historic Sicilian capital where you’re never more than a few feet from tempting street snacks, a stunning church or a refreshing ‘aperitivo’
When to go Once a rich Mediterranean power, Sicily has been invaded by just about every neighbouring state, leading to a heady mix of Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman and Spanish (and more) influences in its food, buildings and outlook on life. Its capital Palermo, founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century and awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status in 2016, wears its own rich history well. It’s a year-round destination, but the hottest (and therefore busiest) months are June to September. This year Palermo is the Italian City of Culture, and will also host the 12th Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, from 16 June to 4 November (m12.manifesta.org). Accordingly, there is a host of events planned. For more information, see turismo.comune.palermo.it
Read more from source: How to spend a weekend in Palermo: where to stay and what to do in the Sicilian capital
After two days in the Cinque Terre National Park, a part of Italian Riviera in the northern part of Italy, the village of Levanto, with a population of some 6,000 people, feels like a big city.
The Cinque Terre, or Five Lands, is a territory with five villages that have no public transport besides local trains, and the air there is filled not with the din of modernity, but with the sounds of crashing waves and seagull cries.
The five villages, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, which are located three hours by train south of Milan, have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997.
Not only are these villages quiet, but they are beautiful, too, with their houses built on the cliffs and painted in rainbow shades. Millions of tourists flock here every year — to relax, and to enjoy fresh seafood, including shrimp, squid, fish and more.
The villages are connected by train lines, and it takes five minutes or less to get from one village to another.
Read more from source: World Traveler: Leave the bustle behind in Italy’s picturesque Cinque Terre | KyivPost
It should come as no surprise to even the most casual traveler that Italy is home to some of the world’s grandest and most beautiful churches. They can be found across the country from Sicily in the south to the most northern reaches of the country. Built centuries ago without the modern tools of today, the craftsmanship and attention to detail are unlike anything built in the modern era. Designed by the greatest architects of their time, and often built over periods lasting from decades to centuries, these cathedrals stand today much as they did in medieval times. While they are all still a place to worship, many contain amazing works of art drawing visitors from around the world. The seven cathedrals listed here are only the ones that I have had an opportunity to personally visit, certainly there are others waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
7 Grandest Cathedrals in Italy
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
Cathedral of Milan
St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice
Duomo of Florence
Cathedral of Siena
Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily
Cathedral of Pisa
1. St. Peter’s Basilica
Read more from source: Visiting the Grand Cathedrals of Italy
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN DOUBLE GARAGES, hardwood floors, and granite countertops were not the priority of homeowners. What they really needed was a place to gather, eat, and sleep with a solid roof over their head to keep the weather at bay and walls to keep dangerous animals out. But although their needs were simple and their tools limited, men and women built traditional houses with beautiful aesthetics in mind. From round structures to odd roofs, here seven of the coolest-looking traditional houses from around the world.
1. Trulli, Italy
You’ll need to travel to the heel of the Italian boot to get to see these strange-looking houses. More specifically, the town of Alberobello (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in the region of Puglia is the spot to hit to see a large number of well-preserved trulli, some of them dating back to the 14th century.
The inhabitants of this region of Italy used what was available to them at the time to build these unusual homes.
Read more from source: 7 of the coolest-looking traditional houses around the world
Caput Mundi: Rome loves its ancient reputation as the capital of the world, and rightfully so. For more than two and half millennia, the Eternal City has accumulated innumerable and incredible antiquities, and extraordinary and endless galleries of Renaissance and Baroque art. An open-air museum, the city has an ever-growing list of spectacular (and visitable) archaeological sites and monuments, gilded churches filled with paintings by Italy’s top master artists, exquisitely sculpted fountains, and beautifully manicured public parks.
But you don’t get to be the Eternal City without keeping some pace with the modern world. Sure, the warmest of the European capitals has plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel—but when you visit Rome, the most irresistible quality may be how its modern-day trattorias and sleek coffee bars happily co-exist with ancient treasures, and how even hallowed spots like the Pantheon come to life with chatter and espresso drinkers at all hours.
Read more from source: Rome Travel Guide
Gumbo was visiting an old Roman Villa in Sicily. Congratulations to Professor Abe and George G who successfully solved this week’s travel puzzle.
I like to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites when travel allows because they are uniformly interesting. Villa del Casale is no exception as it has some of the best preserved and most extensive Roman mosaics anywhere. The place is situated off the main tourist path in the central hills of Sicily and was a little hard to find, but the lovely well-preserved floor mosaics make it worth a little effort to get to. It’s about 3 km from the town of Piazza Armerina.
Villa Romana del Casale was built in late Roman Empire, around the middle of the 4th Century AD, as a hunting lodge for a wealthy Roman (whose name is unknown). The overall architecture is similar to many villas of the era — including courtyard, baths, private apartments, etc. It is thought the complex was inhabited for the better part of two centuries.
Sure, Florence has world-famous art museums housing Renaissance masterpieces, medieval churches, incredible shopping and plenty of amazing restaurants, but to truly understand Tuscany, you’ve got to get out of the capital and explore the countryside.
Many villages are accessible by regional trains, but for the most autonomy, rent a car and map out a road trip through the region’s rolling hills, stopping in these picturesque towns in Tuscany along the way.
Pisa may be more famous for its leaning tower, but San Gimignano is known throughout Italy for its incredible collection of medieval towers. Out of the 72 towers that once existed, there are 14 still intact, and they create a skyline of medieval skyscrapers.
Wandering through the city center—a UNESCO World Heritage site—feels like stepping back in time. After all, it’s one of the best preserved medieval towns in all of Italy.
Thirty miles south of Florence, the medieval city of Siena is a charming maze of narrow streets that all seem to lead to Piazza del Campo, the picturesque main square.
Read more from source: These are the 8 Most Charming Towns in Tuscany | Marriott Traveler