Tag Archives: Sicily

First Timer’s Guide to Taormina

First Timer’s Guide to Taormina The southern island of Sicily holds many quaint tourist spots. Perhaps one of its most beautiful attractions is the many medieval towns that dot the area. Among these is the picturesque town of Taormina, which is situated just above the hills overlooking the Ionian Sea. Ever since the 19th century, it has already been recognized as one of the country’s most popular tourist spots. And it’s no wonder that Taormina is hailed as a prime tourist destination in Italy – it has everything from majestic beaches to centuries old cultural landmarks. Places to Visit Perhaps one of the oldest and most prominent historical monuments found in Taormina is perhaps the Greek-Roman Theater. Believed to have been built by the Greeks in the middle of the third century BC, it shows influences of both ancient Greek and Roman architecture. It is frequently used as a venue […]

Sicily in the Eyes of the Godfather

Sicily in the Eyes of the Godfather There are only a handful of films that can rightfully consider themselves to be an enduring classic, and The Godfather is one of them. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released in 1972, it starred big name actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall. It had the honor of being the highest grossing picture ever made, for a time, and won three Academy Awards. It remains, unanimously, one of the greatest American movies of all time. In today’s video we’ll be talking about some of the most famous tourist sites around Sicily tied to The Godfather movie series. As iconic movie settings go, Sicily has definitely left its mark on Hollywood’s cinematic landscape. With its rich culture and beautiful backdrops, it’s no wonder why it made the perfect home for The Godfather movies. This presentation is also available as […]

Upcoming Italian Festivals this February 2015

Upcoming Italian Festivals this February 2015 As we begin a new month in 2015, the festivities around Italy are just beginning. February is a month filled with lively festivals that locals and tourists can certainly enjoy. Considering that this is pre-Lenten season, expect to see a lot of Carnival events happening around country. It may be difficult to keep track of which festival or event you want to attend during this time, so we’ve listed a few of the more notable celebrations that happen during this month. Carnevale di Venezia Considered as one of most elegant Carnival events in the world, the Carnevale di Venezia is an elaborate spectacle that brings people back to a time of elite parties full of opulence and historical ambience.  It is distinct from other Carnivals due to its more formal air. The wearing of masks or maschera also has principal importance throughout the event, […]

World War 2 Historical Sites in Italy, Part 1: Allied Forces

World War 2 Historical Sites in Italy As we all know, Veteran’s Day was recently celebrated in the US, honoring the many veterans who have fought in wars in order to protect the freedoms of others. In view of this, we’re running a two-part series on the various locations in Italy that have been witness to significant events during one of the major wars of the past century, World War II. In this part, we’ll be talking about the route that the Allied forces took as they made their way to Rome in order to recapture the capital from the dictator Benito Mussolini. For travelers, retracing the steps of the valiant troops, and visiting these various historical sites in Italy will allow them to relive some of the key moments of this huge event. Due to its role in the Second World War, Italy’s landscape is dotted not just by […]

Looking for the Best Cities in Italy for Nightlife

Best Cities in Italy for Nightlife     Nightlife in Italy varies according to season. Outdoor entertainment is popular from the May to September months, when the weather is hot enough to allow for it, then close down when autumn arrives and remain so for the duration of the winter season. Many nightclubs operate two versions to accommodate the changing seasons as well, with one catering to the summer and the other for the winter. Tourists fill up the clubs in the beach towns in the summer months. Rimini and Riccione on the eastern coast particularly come to mind. Across the country in Tuscany, Forte de’Marmi also has an excellent reputation for nighttime fun and activity. Any city and town that has a close proximity to the sea comes alive in the summer. Milan There are tons of nightclubs in Milan that can be confidently counted as the best in […]

Vacation with the Kids: Three Exciting Water Parks in Italy

Three Exciting Water Parks in Italy Summer vacations in the beautiful country of Italy is always a fun and memorable adventure, as one gets to experience the history, the culture, the food, and the wonderful atmosphere of its countryside. However, it may be a slightly different story if you’re traveling with the kids. While we may appreciate the subtle differences in various types of Italian cheeses, or marvel at the work of master Italian artists, for small children, it might not make quite a difference. And as every parent knows, there are few things more stressful during a vacation than a bored child. One of the best ways to keep your kids entertained during the summer would be to bring them to the beach. But there may also be some issues that you may encounter, such as overcrowded beaches, algae in the water, or perhaps the nearest beach to you […]

What You Should Know about Holy Week Traditions in Italy

Any visitor in Italy during Holy Week would do well to know a bit about the rich traditions that surround this occasion. With Roman Catholicism being considered as the largest religion in the country in which the Vatican can also be found, a number of Holy Week traditions in Italy, from practices to rituals still prevail, particularly in the southern regions. The beginning of Holy Week is on Palm Sunday, and it lasts for the rest of the week up until Black Saturday, before ending in joyous Easter, or “Pasqua”, celebrations. Take note that the Monday right after Easter (“Pasquetta”) is also a holiday, so plan your trips accordingly. On Palm Sunday, the faithful normally flock to the churches where a mass and possibly processions are held. There are also baskets of olive branches and palms which are then blessed by the priest and are handed out to the congregation. […]

Home Sweet Home: Aphrodite Statue Returns to Sicily

This is a fascinating story that spans centuries and continents. The famous Aphrodite statue is now on display in Aidone, Sicily, after a decades-long odyssey involving the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles and Italian prosecutors. The statue of Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of love, was taken from the archeology-rich region of Morgantina, near Enna, 30 years ago, in an illegal excavation, acquired by the Getty and, after a criminal investigation, repatriated to Italy in the spring of 2012. The story is the subject of a  book, “Chasing Aphrodite,” by Los Angeles Times reporters Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. For the article and podcast, click HERE. Experts now believe the returned statue represents the goddess Persephone or her mother, Demeter, who were worshipped in the ancient city, Morgantina. Persephone and Hades are closely associated in Greek mythology. Hades abducted Persephone at Largo Pergusa, not far from Morgantina, and required […]

Sicily, Cover Story in Saveur Magazine

On newsstands now: Saveur Magazine’s current issue focuses on Sicily, that scenic and alluring island at the tip of Italy. Sicily’s culinary riches span sweet and savory, from cannoli to caponata. Seafood is king, and the region’s wine is wonderful, too. If you aren’t familiar with Saveur, the magazine focuses on home cooking, home and abroad, it’s really worth checking out if you like to cook (and eat and travel!). Here are links to some of Saveur’s articles on Sicily: The Soul of Sicily. (With amazing black and white photos!) and The Freshest Catch: The Fish Market in Catania, Sicily. Of course, the articles include recipes, sweet and savory. I might just try this Sicilian Easter dish, Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes, or Cosciotto di Agnello con Patate, leg of lamb is roasted over a bed of potatoes. Tour Italy Now offers several vacation packages to Sicily. Click HERE […]