Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sicily...

... a beautiful island off the southernmost tip of Italy and one of the few places that can genuinely be called 'unspoilt'. Oh it was lovely. We've holidayed in Italy many times, tending to go back to the same resorts but this was different as it was a tour. We stayed at two resorts and was able to take in quite a bit of sightseeing, something we wouldn't have been able to do if we were travelling independently.

We travelled to the pretty resort of San Leone which overlooks the picturesque harbour eight miles from Agrigento which was founded by the Ancient Greeks. After a  three hour trip from the airport we were delighted to find our hotel was virtually on the beach. The sea was literally the other side of our pool where we were able to relax after our journey. We stayed here for three nights.




The following day we felt refreshed and ready for the short drive to the Valley of the Temples where we had a guided walking tour of this site full of amazing Greek remains





Nine in total, situated largely on a ridge looking out to sea



They must have made a statement of absolute power to any passing mariner or shepherd, leaving none in doubt as to who were the masters



The best of them, Concordia, similar in design to the Parthenon in Athens, is almost perfectly preserved with just the roof missing.



Sicily's scenery possesses a natural and varied beauty that truly is breathtaking - rugged sometimes snow-capped mountains interspaced with lush, green meadows adorned with wild flowers and an abundance of citrus and olive groves.




We decided to give the Palermo trip a miss in readiness for our long journey the next day to our next resort where we stopped at the small town of Piazza Armerina to visit a 4th century Roman villa which was possibly owned by one of the Emperors and because it was buried by a landslide for centuries, you can still see the remains of the frescoes and mosaics showing animals and hunting scenes. It was simply amazing. This palatial building, complete with its baths gives us an insight into the high standard of living of the Roman elite.



This was always going to be a cultural journey for us, fired by our passion for archaeology and architecture and Sicily did not let us down. I won't overload you now - so our last four days to follow soon ....

Welcome to my new follower Julie@dragonfly - nice to have you on board and look forward to keeping in touch.
See you soon x

27 comments:

  1. I had the privilege of visiting Sicily a few years ago and loved it too. Did you go to the beautiful ancient Greek theatre in Taormina near Mount Etna? Thanks for sharing your pics and your trip :-)
    xx

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  2. We've just started to explore Italy recently, but haven't got to Sicily yet. It looks wonderful!
    Kathyx

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  3. What a lovely trip this must have been! I can feel the warm air by looking at your pictures. I have been to Sicily once but not long enough.

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  4. Your photos are lovely. What a stunning place.Glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. Wow - so full of history - glad you enjoyed it - it must have been quite something to see all those wonderful places.

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  6. It looks so beautiful and interesting too, you must have had an amazing time - thank you for showing us your photos:)

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  7. Beautiful photos and it sounds like a wonderful holiday and very interesting places to visit. I haven't been to Italy but I'd love to! I'll look forward to the next post.

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  8. How absolutely fabulous to visit an ancient Roman villa - HB and I love history too, and watch all the archeology TV shows. All your photos are amazing - it looks like a great holiday. Look forward to the next post.

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  9. Beautiful photos, Patricia. My husband always wanted to see southern Italy and Sicily and I would readily go there for the natural beauty and the history. A guided tour sounds like a good way to enjoy new and interesting experiences.

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  10. What a truely lovely place, I bet you had a fabulous holiday.

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  11. Dear Patricia - so pleased that you had a lovely trip to the beautiful island of Sicily. You must have been ready for a relaxed break after all of your studies.
    We visited Sicily last March and were based in the ancient town of Cefalù with its wonderful Norman Cathedral built by
    King Roger ll. It is an island I could happily return to with so much ancient history and wonderful architecture.

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  12. Sicily looks like such a beautiful place! Our friends from England had just been there a month before they came to visit us, and were telling us about how much they enjoyed it. Now, after reading your blog post, I am starting to think I need to add it to my list of "must see" places.

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  13. Lovely, lovely photos, Patricia, thanks for posting them. I love Italy, have only been twice and both times to Tuscany, but have a desire to visit Sicily some time. Our holidays seem to be taken up with getting to New Zealand every other year to see our family, so not much time or dosh for other holidays, but maybe one day! Looking forward to the next instalment. Lx

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  14. One of the many reasons that I want to move to the UK is to be closer to Europe, I want my children to experience some of the wonderful things that this beautiful world has to offer... This was an amazing piece, I loved reading it and seeing all of the gorgeous photos. Italy is now on my bucket list!
    Much love,
    Tammy

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  15. What gorgeous photos of a beautiful place. :)

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  16. I'm already looking forward to your next posts. What amazing views and it looks like you had the perfect weather for it too.

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  17. Sicily looks a wonderful place to visit, we have had it one our list of places to visit. The sky loves so blue against the ancient ruins.
    Sarah x

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  18. Patricia, I see you had very interesting holiday!
    You're right: the Romans had "the high standard of living", I saw in Cyprus, mosaics of Paphos. I love these Sicilian mosaics, nice photos. I wait for your next post!

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  19. What a beautiful island. A perfect place to relax. The sea and the countryside look lovely. To be able to visit places with amazing ruins and mosaics would be wonderful.
    Look forward to seeing more of your holiday.
    Betty

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  20. Hi Patrica, Wow!!! I love tagging along on your fabulous journeys:)
    I think that making a family history altered book would be creating a treasure. It would be something that becomes a family heirloom and a very creative way to keep family memories alive and unforgotten. I hope you include it in your posts :)
    Have a wonderful day and congratulations on being through with school.
    Your blogging sister,
    Connie :)

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  21. Oh, that looks wonderful, and those blue blue skies, heaven! X

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  22. I am happy for you that you were not disappointed Patricia..
    Sicily is one place i would love to go to.
    The Romans were truly civilized.
    It all sounds so beautiful..
    Trying to get back on track Patricia..
    hope you are well.
    best wishes val.
    valrosa59blogspot.com.. vals alentejo..../ bloglovin

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  23. Oh, Sicily, how lovely, one of the places I keep meaning to visit and haven't yet managed to. Such super photos of those amazing archaeological remains and your weather looked perfect, Patricia. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

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  24. Dearest Patricia..
    I wrote a quick note on my old blog today.. it has come back.. dont know how.. so you will find me again.
    Perpetua has been helping.
    I did leave a comment about your trip to Sicily..
    at the moment my bloglovin is not set up.. but I am here.
    happy Monday Patricia..
    xxxx val

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  25. Very beautiful photos, Patricia ! I visited Sicily a few years ago and I was disappointed to see how complicated it was to organize things ourselves to get to different destinations (and I speak fluent Italian !); it spoilt our trip . I think a tour must be the only way to ensure everything goes smoothly.xxx

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  26. Amazing photos. Looks like you had a really nice vacation.

    Hugs from Holland ~
    Heidi

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