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Showing posts from September, 2017

Taormina ... the British Legacy

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Taormina has always been renowned as a destination for British visitors ever since the 18th Century with many leaving a legacy of history and romance giving the town a quintessential British touch. From the Grand Tour to poets, writers, movie stars and pop idols you can find evidence of the British Isles everywhere. It all started with the The Grand Tour ..... In the 18th century British aristocracy would embark on what was known as 'The Grand Tour' visiting all of continental Europe enjoying the culture and embarking on purchasing fine works of art and antiques. Taormina was an obligatory stop on The Grand Tour and has played host to foreign visitors ever since. Being the last stop on the tour many decided to stay and make Taormina their home. Visitors chose Taormina for its peaceful location and beautiful landscapes with many drawing inspiration for paintings, poems and novels. They enjoyed Taormina’s glamourous way of life, with afternoon teas and soirees in beautiful

Nelson's Castle

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The English Gardens Nelson's Column in London is one of the most famous monuments in the world, but have you ever heard of Nelson's Castle? Well, it exists, and it is in Sicily! One autumnal day, we decided to take a road trip to seek out Castello Nelson also known as  Castello di Maniace . Off the beaten track and tucked away in the shadow of Mount Etna, the castle is located near the beautiful town of Bronte and takes approximately 2 hours by car from Taormina passing through the stunning Alcantara Valley and the medieval towns of Francavilla di Sicilia, Castiglione di Sicilia, Randazzo and of course Bronte which is famous for its pistachio production. It is a spectacular drive through fruit orchards, olive groves, past vineyards and pistachio trees, often having to stop to let shepherds with their herds of cows, goats or sheep pass by, a traffic jam Sicilian style. On arrival as we pulled into the car park everywhere looked abandoned and closed. W

The Coast of the Cyclops

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The coastline from Aci Castello just north of Catania to Aci Trezza, south of Taormina is called Riviera dei Ciclopi (The Riviera of the Cyclops) and it is an area of outstanding beauty, full of myths and legends. Whenever we fancy a short road trip this is one of the places we head for and sometimes when we drive home from a shopping trip to Catania we forego the autostrada and take the coastal road home, it takes a lot longer but it is well worth it for the dramatic views. The coastline of North Eastern Sicily is also known as the Riveria of Lemons, given the significance of citrus groves. The coastline rises to dizzying heights of 120 meters at the nature reserve Timpa di Acireale, just above the coastal villages of Santa Maria La Scala and Santa Tecla. Aci Castello Starting from Catania, Aci Castello is a seaside village built around a picturesque square, where an ancient Norman castle is perched on a rock overlooking the sea. Built by King Tancredi in 1189 on Rom