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Greek Sicily | Giardini Naxos

This “winter” day in Sicily takes us to Giardini Naxos. Very well known tourist destination, but more important the first Greek colony in Sicily founded 734 B.C. We walk from the beautiful train station all the way to Nike statue. A walk of circa four km. The train station has been in at least two movies; Godfather part 3 and The Big Blue.

Svenska

Denna “vinter” -dag på Sicilien tar oss till Giardini Naxos. Mycket välkänt turistmål, men viktigare som den första grekiska kolonin på Sicilien 734 f.Kr. Vi går från den vackra järnvägsstationen hela vägen till Nike-statyn. En promenad på cirka fyra km. Tågstationen har varit i minst två filmer; Gudfadern del 3 och The Big Blue.

Catania Fish Market

The coolest place in Catania is not doubt the fish market. Largest fish market in Italy open Monday – Friday 07:00 – 12:00, Saturday 07:00 – til sold out. Less crowd than usual caused by Lock Down, but life goes on.

Den coolaste platsen i Catania är ingen tvekan fiskmarknaden. Italiens största fiskmarknad öppen måndag – fredag 07:00 – 12:00, lördag 07:00 – till slutsåld. Färre människor än vanligt orsakat av Lock Down, men livet går framåt.

Central Sicily | Leonforte (the fountain)

Sicily in lands are stunning with amazing scenery and hidden mountains villages and towns where you see another side of Sicily than tourist destinations. I always recommend guests to do a small road trip in Sicily, then you find the real treasures of this island.
Saw a photo of a very special fountain and located it to a small town in central Sicily, Leonforte with 13,000 inhabitants. Had to see it with my own eyes. After two hour drive from Catania on winding mountain roads I finally arrived. Amazing is that the water is drinkable.

Siciliens inland är fantastisk med vackert landskap med dolda bergsbyar och städer där du ser en annan sida av Sicilien än turistmålen. Jag rekommenderar alltid gästerna att göra en liten bilresa på Sicilien, då hittar du de verkliga skatterna på denna ö.
Såg ett foto av en mycket speciell fontän och lokaliserade den till en liten stad i centrala Sicilien, Leonforte med 13 000 invånare. Tvungen att se den med egna ögon. Efter två timmars bilresa från Catania på slingrande bergsvägar kom jag äntligen fram. Fantastiskt är att vattnet är drickbart.

Design you own shoes in Catania

This is an amazing shoe fabric in Catania city where you can design your own shoes, Luciana Cavalli. On the second floor they sell shoes made in the fabric and accessories in Sicilian style. She got some problems from the famous designer Roberto Cavalli due to the same last name, but won the case as in Italy you can not change your name as we can in Scandinavia.

This fabric i definitely worth a visit if you are here. Fine quality of materials and all hand made on spot. I am a shoeholic, so I guess this is the place that will drive me to bankruptcy. More photos after the Swedish text.

Svenska

Detta ?r en fantastisk skoverkstad i Catania d?r du kan designa dina egna skor, Luciana Cavalli. P? andra v?ningen s?ljer de skor tillverkade i fabriken och accessoarer i Siciliansk stil. Hon fick lite problem med ber?mda designern Roberto Cavalli p? grund av samma efternamn, men vann eftersom i Italien kan du inte ?ndra ditt namn som vi kan i Skandinavien.

Denna fabrik ?r definitivt v?rt ett bes?k om du ?r h?r. Fin materialkvalitet och allt handgjort p? plats. Jag ?r skoholist, s? jag antar att det h?r platsen som kommer att leda mig till personlig konkurs.

The Sicilian baroque wonder

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Can highly recommend a tour in one of the Sicilian baroque wonders, the Biscari Palace in Catania. Today was offered an exclusive tour guided by the prince himself, Principe Ruggero Moncada. The prince has a beef with us Swedes as his wife almost ran away with a Swedish man once.
The palace attracted many famous writers like Goethe and Brydone. One the painting you can see the Princess with a hole in her stomach. This happened cause during WW2 the big dancing sala was used as a tennis court by soldiers, and the accident happened. The family decided not to repair the damage as it became part of the history.
The part that I Iove the most is the baroque stairs by the ball room. The palace was finished 1763. Sadly it is quite run down, but it is privately held and just to repair one Murano chandelier costs ?12,000.

I’ve been here couple of times for masquerades and other events, but for a tour it was the first time. Una meraviglia!

More photos after the Swedish text

Svenska

Kan starkt rekommendera en rundtur i ett av de sicilianska barockens underverk, Biscari-palatset i Catania. Idag erbj?ds en exklusiv turn? guidad av prinsen sj?lv, Principe Ruggero Moncada. Prinsen har liten gnabb med oss svenskar eftersom hans fru n?stan smet iv?g med en svensk man en g?ng.
Palatset lockade m?nga k?nda f?rfattare som Goethe och Brydone. I en m?lning kan du se prinsessan med ett h?l i magen. Detta h?nde under andra v?rldskriget d? den stora danssalen anv?ndes som tennisbana av soldater, och olyckan intr?ffade. Familjen beslutade att inte reparera skadan eftersom den blev en del av historien.
Den del som jag gillar mest ?r barocktrappan vid danssalen. Palatset blev f?rdigt 1763. Tyv?rr ?r det ganska slitet, men det ?r privat?gt och bara f?r att reparera en Murano-ljuskrona kostar ?12 000.

Jag har varit h?r n?gra g?nger f?r maskerader och andra evenemang, men f?r en turn? var det f?rsta g?ngen. Una meraviglia!

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Over the roof tops from Chiesa Badia Sant’Agata

Did you now that only in Catania city there are 23 Unesco sites? Here visiting the Badia Sant’Agata church where you can take the elevator to the roof enjoying a splendid view over the city and magnificent Etna. Not to miss when you are in Catania!

Svenska

Visste du nu att bara i Catania stad finns det 23 Unesco platser? H?r bes?ker jag Badia Sant’Agata kyrkan d?r du kan ta hissen till taket och njuta av en fantastisk utsikt ?ver staden och magnifika Etna. Inte att missa n?r du ?r i Catania!

Quattro Canti

Quattro Canti in Palermo is also known as Piazza Vigliena, built between 1608-1620 in Baroque style. The piazza has four sidea, a form of a octagonal with four streets crossing. The four facades are identical and has fountains and statues of the four seasons, four Spanish kings of Sicily and four patronesses of Palermo.

Svenska

Quattro Canti i Palermo ?r ocks? k?nd som Piazza Vigliena, byggd mellan 1608-1620 i barockstil. Piazzan har fyra sidor, ?ttkantig form med fyra gator som korsar. De fyra fasaderna ?r identiska och har font?ner och statyer av de fyra ?rstiderna, fyra spanska kungarna p? Sicilien och fyra beskyddarinnorna av Palermo.

The moving clock tower in Messina – Everyday at 12pm

And the fires continues in Sicily

We have had many fires in Sicily this year, more than last year and the fires are lit by locals; Messina, Ragusa, Taormina, Giardini-Naxos, San Vito Lo Capo and so on. So why do the locals want to burn their own land? Yes, it has to do with some typical local thinking “If I start some fires, I get more money in my paycheck”. You look only in to your own home and income, and do not care about other people getting effected by damages, healt issues caused by smoke, putting other peoples lives in danger, damaged properties, ruined businesses, burnt animals and so on. It is the mafia way of thinking.

Active in the tourist industry we follow these fires and the problems closely to see if our guests will be effected and if they need to be evacuated, like this hotel complex in Letojanni / Taormina that is one of the largest on the island had to be evacuated last friday. Reason is the same, locals started a fire just under the hotel. When fire fighters needs to have their contracts renewed, it is the same story we start fires to show the government that our jobs are needed, the locally famous forestale issue.

The fires starts normally the days it is very windy, like last friday the temperatures started to drop from over +40 ?C close to +30 ?C and late morning this fire was started. The wind was very strong and the fire grew very fast.

Italy is the country with most fires by far in the whole Europe and almost all of them are started by humans. Sicilians do not like very much to talk about the issue and say it is just few people doing this, but almost 50 people has been arrested this far and majority of the perpretrators are never found. This does effect also the tourism industry as guests choses other european destinations for their vacation because of these fires. I was personally shocked to see peoples reaction of anger learning to know that foreign media has written about these issues. Wouldn’t one be more worried about all the people who gets effected of these fires?

Last year many parts of Cefalu had to be evacuated because of one of the largest fires in Sicily in a long time, also this started by locals. The area had an immediate drop of a tourist and many local business suffered economically, many went bancrupt.

Article about 15 fire fighters arrested in Ragusa because they have started fires: Firefighters in Sicily accused of starting blazes for cash. For more information please use Google.

 

Do not be afraid to book your vacation here, Italy has the best crises team in the world, hotels are well prepared and foreign tourist offices are used to handle these issues very well. We have not been effected by any of these fires thanks to good preparation and observation.

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Svenska

Vi har haft m?nga br?nder p? Sicilien i ?r, mer ?n f?rra ?ret och br?nderna startas av lokalbefolkningen; Messina, Ragusa, Taormina, Giardini-Naxos, San Vito Lo Capo och s? vidare. S? varf?r vill lokalbefolkningen br?nna deras egna land? Ja, det har att g?ra med ett typiskt lokalt t?nkande Om jag startar br?nder f?r jag mer pengar i min l?necheck. Du ser bara om ditt egen hem och inkomst, och inte bryr sig om att andra m?nniskor p?verkas av skador, orsakar h?lsoproblem p? grund av r?k, s?tter andra m?nniskors liv i fara, skadade fastigheter, f?rst?rda f?retagsverksamheter, br?nda djur och s? vidare. Det ?r mafia s?ttet att t?nka p?.

Som aktiv i turistindustrin f?ljer vi dessa br?nder och problemen n?ra f?r att se om v?ra g?ster kommer att p?verkas och om de ska evakueras, som detta hotelkomples i Letojanni / Taormina, som ?r en av de st?rsta p? ?n, var tvungen att evakueras i fredags. Anledningen ?r densamma, lokalbefolkningen startade en brand precis under hotellet. N?r brandm?nnen har behov av att f? sina kontrakt f?rnyade, ?r det samma sak, vi startar br?nder f?r att visa regeringen att v?ra jobb ?r n?dv?ndiga, det lokala ber?mda forestale problemet.

Br?nderna b?rjar normalt de dagar det ?r v?ldigt bl?sigt, liksom i fredags b?rjade temperaturerna sjunka fr?n ca +40 ? C till n?ra +30 ? C och sent p? morgonen startades elden. Vinden var mycket stark och elden v?xte v?ldigt snabbt.

Italien ?r landet med mest br?nder i Europa, och n?stan alla ?r startade av m?nniskor. Sicilianare gillar inte att prata om problemet och s?ger att det bara ?r f? personer som g?r det h?r, men n?stan 50 personer har arresterats s? l?ngt och majoriteten av mordbr?nnarna hittas aldrig. Detta p?verkar ocks? turistindustrin d? g?ster v?ljer andra europeiska destinationer f?r sin semester p? grund av dessa br?nder. Jag var personligen chockad ?ver att folkets reaktion p? ilska var n?r vissa fick veta att utl?ndska medier har skrivit om dessa br?nder. Vill man inte vara mer bekymrad ?ver alla m?nniskor som p?verkas av dessa br?nder?

F?rra ?ret evakuerades stora delar av Cefalu p? grund av en av de st?rsta br?nderna p? Sicilien under l?ng tid, ?ven denna startades av lokalbefolkningen. Omr?det hade en omedelbar dropp av turister och m?nga lokala f?retag drabbades ekonomiskt, vissa gick i konkurs.

Artikel om 15 brandm?n arresterade i Ragusa f?r att de har startat br?nder: Firefighters in Sicily accused of starting blazes for cash. F?r mer information anv?nd Google.

 

Var inte r?dd att boka din semester hit, Italien har det b?sta kristeamet i v?rlden, hotelln ?r v?l f?rberedda och utl?ndska turistbyr?er ?r van att hantera dessa problem mycket bra. Vi har inte p?verkats av dessa br?nder tack vare god f?rberedelse och observation.

Taormina a military zone for G7

22nd to 28th May Taormina is closed for visitors and only residents and workers with a pass can get in. Everything is been carefully searched before they let you in with a pass and by the metal detectors by Porta Messina and Porta Catania the queues are very long. All his for the G7 meeting to be held 26th and 27th May, this weekend. The road entrances to Taormina looks like the border from Palestina in to Israel (yes, I have seen them myself). G7 is highly excessive.

I has been stressful times for us working here in the tourism sector as the information has been close to zero from authoroties and so many rumours has been circuling like “they will close the highway” and “internet and telephones will be closed down!”, which are silly rumours but typical for Sicily to create more mess than necessary. Roads has been closed an opened with not much pre warning so much has had to be solved in last minute to understand how to get e.g. guests to the hotels. It is not the works or events like G7 and Giro Italia, that passed here a week ago, that disturbes, it is just the bad organisation and lack of information. It is quite fascinating to see how adult men in leadership positions do not manage to do more than create more mess of a mess and the mayor crying in the media that he is the most hated man. Well, you are not respected that for sure as an german five year old could have done the work much better. So please take in outside competence the next time you even think of organizing a big event here again.

Some words has wispered in the ear that the company that got millions in euro to renovate all the streets in Taormina is Renzis friend who just opened a VAT number this year to be able to get the contracts. Well, I can believe that is true as it is the Italian Style. Atleast we have new nice roads, roads signs, renovated bridges that got damaged from last years tropical rains, new walls…until the first rains comes as they have also managed to cover the drainings. Who live will see! And then Black Bloc will demostrate in Giardini Naxos this weekend and you probably remember how their demostration went in northern Italy 10 years ago with coma and death. Nobody understands how a mayor can allow them … but that’s how it is when the money talks.

For women who love men in uniforms it will be in total of two weeks of drooling and vet dreams as only 9,000 military soldiers has arrived and even more cops. Champagne cork to be fired towards the sea when all this is over 28th afternoon! Ciao from Taormina!

Svenska

22-28 maj ?r Taormina st?ngd f?r bes?kare och bara boende och arbetare med ett pass kan ta sig in. Allt blir noggrant genoms?kt innan de sl?pper in med ett pass och vid metalldetektorerna vid Porta Messina och Porta Catania ?r k?erna mycket l?nga. Allt detta f?r G7-m?tet som h?lls den 26 och 27 maj, denna helg. V?garna till Taormina ser ut som gr?nserna fr?n Palestina in till Israel (jo, har sett dem sj?lv). G7 kraftigt ?verdrivet.

Vi inom turistsektorn har haft stressiga tider eftersom informationen har varit n?ra noll fr?n auktoriteter och s? m?nga rykten har cirkulerat som “de kommer att st?nga motorv?gen” och “internet och telefoner kommer att st?ngas!”, dumma rykten men typiska f?r Sicilien att skapa mer r?ra ?n n?dv?ndigt. V?garna har st?ngts och ?ppnats med inte s? mycket f?rvarning s? mycket har varit tvunget att l?sas i sista minuten f?r att f?rst? hur man f?r till exempel g?sterna till hotellen. Det ?r inte arbeten eller h?ndelser som G7 och Giro Italia, som passerade h?r f?r en vecka sedan, som st?r utan det ?r bara den d?liga organisationen och bristen p? information. Det ?r ganska fascinerande att se hur vuxna m?n i ledarpositioner inte lyckas g?ra mer ?n att skapa mer r?ra av en r?ra och borgm?staren gr?ter i media att han ?r den mest hatade mannen. Ja, du ?r inte respekterad f?rvisso eftersom en tysk fem?ring kunde ha gjort jobbet mycket b?ttre. S? sn?lla ta in extern kompetens n?sta g?ng du ens t?nker p? att organisera en stor h?ndelse h?r igen.

Vissa viskningar i ?rat har sagt att f?retaget som fick miljoner i euro f?r att renovera alla gatorna i Taormina ?r Renzis v?n som just ?ppnat ett momsnummer i ?r f?r att kunna f? kontrakten. Tja, jag kan tro det ?r sant d? det ?r den italienska stilen. I allra h?gsta grad har vi nya fina v?gar, v?gskyltar, renoverade broar som har skadats under det senaste tropiska regnen, nya murar … tills de f?rsta regnen kommer d? de ocks? lyckats att t?cka avloppen. Den som lever kommer att se! Och sen ska Black Bloc demostrera i Giardini Naxos till helgen och ni minns s?kert hur deras demostration gick i norra Italien f?r 10 ?r sedan med koma och d?d. Ingen f?rst?r hur en borgm?stare kan till?ta dem…men det ?r v?l s? n?r pengarna talar.

F?r kvinnor som ?lskar m?n i uniformer kommer det att vara totalt tv? veckors dr?ggel och v?ta dr?mmar d? endast 9000 milit?rer har anl?nt och ?nnu fler poliser. Champagnekorken ska skjutas mot havet n?r allt detta ?r ?ver den 28:e p? eftermiddagen! Ciao fr?n Taormina!

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