Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Italy Sicily

Sicily, May 2012

From time to time there is a possibility to fly to Sicily for only 10 euros return ticket for a weekend.
Renting a car for 2 days isn’t so expensive. With the full insurance with Hertz it cost around 100 euros. This time I decided to visit places close to Trapani.

This is a small town on the hill and I called it the town of marzipan. To the town leads a winding road giving  passengers a lot of amazing views. Of course, other option is the cable car from Trapani. The town is very old and majestic. Streets are paved and winding and made out of stone. A lot of people visit Erice to relax and contemplate.

We found here a lot of shops with marzipan. The marzipan sweets were perfect, they created sweets in a shape of oranges or cherries and they were incredible.

We parked our car near the ‘Porta Spada’. When we entered the town we turned right and we spotted old stairs. We decided to have a picnic on the wall with an amazing view. Close was and old church, the first one from many in Erice. In the town centre there are a lot of shops with souvenirs. For us it was important to pay by credit card and there were only few shops accepting this method.

There is also the castle Venere which was closed but it looked incredible. We didn’t eat anything in the town because we decided to go to the Zingaro Nature Reserve.
Zingaro Nature Reserve
This reserve has two entrances, one from the San Vito Lo Capo and other from Scopello. A parking place is free but the ticket costs 3 euro per person. The reserve is quite big inside with many paths, beaches and museums. It is a green place with small hills and clear water for swimming. We decided to have a small walk and then relaxed in the sea.
The water was so refreshing and there were a lot of fish. We had  bread so it was a good fun because the fish were eating the bread almost from your hand.

I spent a whole day in Palermo which is a very busy and dirty city. The main street leads to the ‘Quatro Canti’, a crossing of two streets with 4 fountains. In the city there is a problem with a free parking. I know a free place near the Via Maqueda. This is a one way street and near the building no 70 there is the Via Fiume street where I parked without any charge.

It is worth to see the Vucciria Market with the Garraffello square where is an old building of the National Bank and other destroyed building integrated with refurbished ones. In the evening this is a magic place with a small local bars and local people. The main attraction in the centre is The Cathedral of Palermo, a free entrance. Due to a long history of additions and restorations the cathedral is characterized by the presence of different styles.
If you are not afraid of macabre and bizarre you should visit Capuchin Catacombs. My travel company wasn’t interested to visit this place so I haven’t been  there yet.
There is a lot to see in Palermo, many churches and some markets. The Hermits church of St’John’s from 12th – century, this Norman church is recognizable because of 5 Arab inspired red domes. The entrance costs 4,50 euro. What I can really recommend is that you should spend an evening somewhere near the market place. We were on Ballaro where Piazza Ballaro crossing with Via Casa Professa. We bought  local beer called FORST and ate local food.

The tourist information is working from Monday till Friday and the office is on the Castelnuovo square.

San Vito Lo Capo
This small town close to the sea is a tourist spa. Clear and nice with a few walk routes is a good place for climbers and for someone who would like to stay on the sandy beach. We decided to go to the for a small, 1h long walk to the ‘Cala Mancina’ which is a cave. When we were walking we saw a yacht wrecked on the rock. The yacht was quite new, probably during bad weather the crew had an accident. The cave wasn’t very big but the walk was fantastic and there were a lot of places to swim.

The old city of Segesta was probably founded by the Elimi and destroyed by the Syracusan in 307 BC. Now there is a museum with not finished temple and a theatre on the hill. The entrance fee is 6 euro and the bus to the theatre 1.50 euro. They close it at 6pm. Inside there is a parking place for cars, a picnic area and a very nice old buildings.

Around 1 km from this place there are  thermal springs. There is SPA nearby   but if you want to have a romantic evening with wine and candles there is a place near the commercial one.
If you have a GPS navigation, follow this direction
The place where you need to turn left and the SPA are here:
but if you do not have one and you found the SPA you need to turn left into a  small road. I was there with Fiat Panda and the road was ok, but you need to watch out. See the picture below. 

The thermal springs are around 60 degrees hot and it is a perfect place to relax.

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