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Tag: Normans Page 1 of 2

Gratteri – Holy Grail and Normans

Gratteri is a small village of 850 inhabitants, located in the mountains above Cefalu. On the rocks forming a Holy Grail form looking from the right angle.

Normans dominated this area and built a fort, many churches and planted a socio-economical system. It became a multi ethical society. It is one of the most beautiful Sicilian mountain villages to visit.

Forza D’Agro – Godfather, failed investments and Normans

Forza D’Agro is a small village of 890 people and sadly depopulating. Famous for its Godfather movie scene with the wedding between Michael Corleone and Apollonia.

Also Normans has been here building a large castle on the mountain peak with loopholes and a secret passage. Unfortunately the panorama gets ruined due to a failed real estate investment where all equipment is just left there high and low.

Savoca – Godfather and the Normans

Savoca is a small town with 1700 inhabitants located north of Taormina. Famous for the Godfather trilogy with Bar Vitelli and the church where Michael married his Sicilian wife Apollonia.

Also the Normans has been here with traces seen on one of the city gates still standing and remains of the Norman castle on the hill top.

Aidone – Medieval mountain town with Norman based dialect

I try to visit these Sicilian mountain towns as much as possible. For their history, best foods, views and also the sad fast depopulation.

Aidone is a small town with 4000 inhabitants, founded by Normans where the dialect is Norman based. The peak is the Norman castle at 889 m.a.s.l. with breathtaking views to Etna, lake Ogliasto and the Sicilian nature.

Messina – Norwegian aid dish, harbor & imaginary bridge

The highlight of Messina is the main church with a astronomical clock tower offering a clock show everyday at 12:00. 1908 the city was struck by an 7,1 earthquake and Norway sent two ships of cod as aid and Messina’s main dish Stocco alla Messinese was created. In the video I also visit the imaginary bridge area and best view sites.

Messina is a city with 236000 inhabitants where the the harbor connects Sicily with Calabria by mafia controlled ferry traffic. Will the bridge ever be built?

Polizzi Generosa – D&G hometown, Scorsese and Madonie in the Norman footsteps

Polizzi Generosa was named by Norman king Federico II due to the territory’s richness. He also created a free and independent town thanks to his laws supporting equality and justice.

These areas are depopulating fast, now only 2900 inhabitants remained. Hometown of designer Domenico Dolce D&G, Martin Scorsese’s grandparents and a door to the Madonie mountains.

Piazza Armerina – World’s richest mosaics & Old town in the Norman footsteps

I have made a new video about Piazza Armerina, but YouTube share link does not work to share it here this time. So just klick here, or copy and paste this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_xAI8-EANM

Here visiting Piazza Armerina with 20,000 inhabitants and famous for the Roman mosaic villa, Villa Romana del Casale. Largest, richest and most varied mosaic collection in the world covering 3500 m2. Also visiting the old town sadly many skip to visit. Very up and down hills, but with very interesting history specially for us Normans as Piazza Armerina was developed by Normans.

Caltagirone – The colourful Arabian “pot castle”

Caltagirone is famous for its ceramic and if you are going to buy original Sicilian ceramic, it has to be signed Caltagirone. Filled with Sicilian baroque, but has arabian origins with town name qal at-ghiran, meaning “The pot castle”.

Highlight is of course Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte. Filled with ceramic stories from all eras passing this area. 142 steps takes you to a wonderful view. Main reason I stopped here was to visit my favourite Ragu restaurant, but it was closed for vacation. So I get a new chance to pass by again!

Monreale – Golden stories on the walls, in the Norman footsteps

The highlight in Monreale is the main church, Cappella del Duomo di Monreale. Built as a political statement and artistic show off, and is the most important Norman architectual monument in Sicily as it represent the whole Norman kingdom. 6340 m2 of mosaics to follow stories from the old and new testament. Built by William II.

Palermo tour part 2 – Mosaics & Markets, strolling in Norman footsteps

This tour takes us to one of the most important places for us Normans, the Norman Palace with Cappella Palatina. After that random strolling in Palermo excluding the old markets as honestly they are not like before, but found a very nice food market close to the courthouse where I eat the classical Sicilian Anellini pasta on Sunday.

This walking tour goes: Porta Nuova – Palazzo Dei Normanni with Cappella Palatina and Giardini Reali – Porta Felice – Market – Courthouse – Market

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