Friday, April 27, 2012

02- Erice - Sicily

3 - Old EriceErice is a small town in the province of Trapani. Erice is in the north west of Sicily, in Italy. Erice is located on top of Mount Erice, or Monte de San Guiliano, which lies at 751 m above the sea level. 

The town originated as a settlement of an ancient Sicilian tribe – The Elyrir – and was fortified by the Phoenicians and contested by the Carthaginians and Romans. 
A rest and a sandwich in Erice

Our group in Erice

Almond sweets

Lemons from Erice
Erice is famous for its temple dedicated to the nature deity Venus Erycina. The principal church is the Chiesa Matrice (1314). 
Trapani from Old Erice
The views of Trapani from the old little town of Erice are really overwhelming 

 This information about Erice was found in Encyclopaedia Britannica by Alfonso, Luis R and Sara. Thanks!!

04 - Strait of Messina

The Strait of Messina

Strait of Messina, Italian Stretto di Messina, ancient (Latin) Fretum Siculum, channel in the Mediterranean Sea separating Sicily (west) and Italy (east) and linking the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas. The strait is 20 miles (32 km) long, 2 miles (3 km) wide in the north (between Faro Point and the Rock of Scylla), and 10 miles (16 km)wide in the south (between capes Alì and Pellaro); it is 300 feet(90 m) deep at the northern end.
04 Souvenirs from Sicily
The Trinacria, the symbol of Sicily
The strait was greatly feared by sailors in antiquity, mainly because of the rocks and whirlpools known as Scylla and Charybdis, which were personified as female monsters in Greek mythology. The strait’s currents do, in fact, present considerable difficulties. The main current runs from south to north, but a subsidiary current flows in the reverse direction. These usually alternate every six hours, and the water falls 6 to 8 inches (150 to 200 mm) during the main current; especially strong currents tear seaweed from the bottom and sometimes throw up fish with atrophied or abnormal eyes and with organs for the production of phosphorescence. The frequent sighting of a mirage, called Fata Morgana (see Morgan le Fay),consisting of an apparent vertical elongation of an object on the shore, helped maintain the legends of the strait.
“Vos et ipsam civitatem benedicimus”
The major ports along the strait’s scenic banks are Messina and Reggio di Calabria. The coastal regions are noted for archaeological remains and resorts, and the strait is rich in fish and plankton.
This information was found in Encyclopaedia Britannica
by Ramiro, Carlos and Jose M Ruiz

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Photo Gallery-03 Mesina Taormina

Taormina is in the Messina province, in the eastern Sicily, Italy. It is situated on a hill rising almost perpendicularly from the sea at the foot of Monte Tauro between Messina and Catania. 
The ancient Tauromenium, which took its name from Monte Tauro, the site was originally occupied by the Siculi, an ancient Sicilian tribe, who were resettled there by Dionysius I, who was the Elder of Syracuse. It was made a colony by the emperor Augustus but it was destroyed by the Arabs and rebuilt by the Christians.  

Our kind guide, Renata, told us many interesting things about this old theatre in Taormina

The most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina is the ancient theatre which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily. This theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily (after that of Syracuse); it is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts.

The village of Taormina is perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian sea. Besides the ancient Greek theatre, it has many old churches, lively bars, fine restaurants, and antique shops.

Our group

Beautiful views from Taormina
Sara loves Sicily!

Mesina Harbour
It has popular beaches on the Ionian sea, which is remarkably warm and has a high salt content. Just south of Taormina is the Isola Bella, a nature reserve; and further south, situated beside a bay, is the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Tours of the Capo Sant' Andrea grottos are also available.

This information about Messina and Taormina was found in

Encyclopaedia Britannica by Blanca - Thanks!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Photo Gallery - 01

Here we are

  In Valencia Harbour,  ready to get on board The Grand Mistral.

Still in good conditions, but not for too long!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012