Monthly Archives

January 2020

Travel

Enjoy Your Vacations In Sicily 

January 24, 2020

What’s the best time to visit Sicily? Sicily is full of places where you want to jump and dive into the Mediterranean for a while during those months from May to October. When asked if you know Sun Island, a few would say yes or probably yes. How many would know the answer to the question about the largest Mediterranean Island? Perhaps a little more respondents. In both cases, it’s about the same ancient land: Sicily. Find the most beautiful villas in Sicily by the sea and keep reading to discover its secrets.

Sicily Sea: The Most Beautiful Places

Cava Grande near Cassibili in Southeastern Sicily 

On hot days you can swim in the cooling water of the river in the Cava Grande. This massive gorge lies near the town of Cassibili. In the valley, the river has eroded natural pools. You can swim here or play in the water and then let yourself dry on the rocks in the warm Sicilian sun.

The Necropolis of Pantalica. 

In Byzantine times thousands of graves were carved into the rocks here

The small river Anapo has carved out a deep gorge near the village of Sortino. In Byzantine times, thousands of graves were carved into the rock walls of the canyon. Nowadays the canyon is a beautiful nature reserve where you have the chance to see different animals. With 8000 graves, Pantalica is the largest necropolis of Sicily.

Syracuse, Sicily

Archimedes, known from physics class, was born in Syracuse in the year 287 BC. At that time, Syracuse already existed for 500 years. The Greeks founded a colony here on Sicily as early as 733 BC.

The peninsula Ortygia is the historical center of Syracuse, surrounded by water. In ancient times, the port city was a real ‘hotspot.’ In Ortygia, you will find beautiful squares, old buildings, and charming streets. Enjoy a terrace or an Italian ice cream sandwich.

On the outskirts of Syracuse, you will find Neapolis where you can see a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheater, and the Ear of Dionysius.

World Heritage: Noto

After the massive earthquake of 1693, the town of Noto had to be rebuilt entirely, resulting in today’s Noto, a beautiful baroque city. Via the Porte Reale, you walk straight into Corso Vittoria Emanuelle. In this main street, you walk along with all the impressive palaces, churches and other buildings that Noto is rich. Together with seven other baroque cities in southeastern Sicily, Noto is on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Ragusa sights

Ragusa was founded in ancient times when inhabitants fled from Greek settlers and moved inland. The Sicilian city is about 25 km from the coast and has about 60,000 inhabitants. The town consists of 2 parts. The ‘new’ Ragusa that was rebuilt in the 17th century after the great earthquake in baroque style and the quieter Ibla.

Ragusa is the baroque part of the city and has wide streets. Ibla is the old lower town and has, in contrast to Ragusa, small streets and charming squares.

Worth seeing are the baroque Duomo San Giorgio in Ibla and the San Giovanni Battista cathedral in Ragusa. Ragusa is on the Unesco world heritage list.

In the vicinity of Ragusa are long sandy beaches with beautiful fine sand.

Modica        

The old town of Modica is also on the Unesco World Heritage List. The town is about a 15 km drive from Ragusa. Modica Alta lies on the hill and is connected by stairs to the lower Modica Bassa. Here you need to try the famous Modica Chocolate: yes, Sicilian cuisine is also this!

Travel

5 Best Places to Plan a Last-Minute Warm Getaway This Holiday Season

January 2, 2020

For many Americans, the holiday season marks the start of cold weather and snow. It’s hard to get into the holiday spirit when you’re bundled in three layers of clothes and shoveling snow out of the driveway.

If the weather outside is frightful, give yourself the gift of a last-minute warm holiday getaway this holiday season.

1. St. Augustine, Florida

An affordable getaway right on the coast of Florida. St. Augustine has beautiful beaches, friendly locals and a rich history. It is, after all, the oldest city in the nation.

Visit the iconic St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, or book a sailing adventure. Enjoy an afternoon of fishing, or play a round at Anastasia Miniature Golf. At Black Raven Adventures, you can be a pirate – or just act like one – on their interactive cruise.

History buffs will love the Colonial Quarter, Fountain of Youth, Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas. 

Whether you’re looking to escape the big city or enjoy a weekend of adventure, St. Augustine has something for everyone.

2. Pensacola, Florida

Offering beautiful beaches, a rich history and diverse culture, Pensacola is the perfect place to escape winter weather. Enjoy their world-famous beaches – and have them all to yourself. With tourists gone for the winter, Pensacola is much quieter. You won’t have to fight the crowds to enjoy all this city has to offer.

Go snorkeling or sailing at Pensacola Beach, or climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse.

Downtown Pensacola has a laid-back vibe, with a diverse culture and fascinating history. During the holiday season, you’ll find many fun events to enjoy. At night, take a stroll downtown to see the city illuminated by 400,000 lights.

Pensacola is an affordable, last-minute getaway that will please the whole family.

3. Miami, Florida

Miami has the warmest winter weather on the mainland U.S. Highs in December range from 75-77F, with evening temperatures hovering around 60F.

Unlike other beach destinations, winter is one of the busiest times of year for Miami. The roads are the most crowded – as are the beaches and hotels.

Miami is probably your best bet for a warm holiday, but you’ll need to book fast. Expect to pay more to travel to this bustling city.

The city’s art deco buildings and beautiful beaches won’t disappoint. With vibrant nightlife, a thriving art scene, tropical gardens and award-winning restaurants, Miami is the place to go if you want to see and be seen.

4. Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston is a popular cruise port of call, but it’s also home to stunning beaches. Winter flights are cheap, and hotels start at under $100 a night. 

The barrier island is just 30 miles long and 3 miles wide. Beaches are far less crowded, and the locals are warm and friendly.

The city hosts many holiday-themed events. The 36-block historic district will sparkle with lights and lasers. The Grand 1894 Opera House will host several events, including The Nutcracker, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Christmas Carol.

Texas is a big state, and Galveston Island is all the way south – not far from Houston. If you’re planning a road trip to Galveston, be prepared for traffic. In one recent year, 262 billion miles were traveled in Texas. Although winter is off-season, you can still expect to hit a lot of traffic on your way to town.

5. Savannah, Georgia

Romantic and historic, Savannah has great weather this time of year. And because most of the tourists have gone home, the city is quieter and more accessible. 

Visit the 22 squares in the city, each offering its own piece of history. Savannah is home to many wonderful monuments, statues and beautiful places to sit. Check out the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, known as the “Sistine of the South.”

Visit some of the many art galleries in town, or jam out at a music festival. Savannah hosts several music festivals throughout the year.

If you’re up for a drive, you can head over to Tybee Island – just 20 minutes from Savannah. The island has beautiful beaches, great shopping and excellent food.