I will be adding this blog to my website. Www.gregsitlay.com. Hope you will follow my posts
My wife’s cousin posted on Facebook an article of Plemmiro as small town near Siracusa, Sicily. Last summer we spent 10 days in this seaside paradise. This is an area of lava and coral with a crystal clear sea. This location is short drive from Siracusa. It is very small town with 2 small grocery stores, a pizza place, and a restaurant. That being said, we had a ball. This is the view from our AirBnB.
Scuba divers in the water across from our rocky beach area. Do not let the rocks deter you. You can go to public beaches a short walk down the road in either direction and pay a small fee to have umbrellas and beach chairs. They all serve food and beverages.
Public beach area a short walk from our Airbnb
Every night sunset!
A small church Santa Maria della Rocia del Plemmirio was packed on Sunday
Here is the web site for Plemmirio. If you visit Siracusa make this a day trip or stay with one of the BnBs in the area
Here is a very short video of the sea in action
From Youtube here is a video from the Plemmirio web site
I am not sure how we stumbled on the town of Vieste, but we were very fortunate. We visited Caserta and needed a change. Vieste is on the Adriatic and has many beach areas.
We arrived mid afternoon and found a good sized village on the coast which seemed very inviting. The photo shows the major landmark, Pizzomunno, a vertical monolith standing about 82 feet high on the Spiaggia del Castello. Castle Beach
A link to a short YouTube video I did after one of our visits:
There are many areas for swimming in Vieste. We enjoyed the warm waters of the Adriatic.
The Vieste Lighthouse, or Faro di Vieste is llluminated day and night. You see it from the beaches and the restaurants which are plentiful.
This is a fishing town, many boats are seen in the harbor. Sailboats are plentiful, and charters are available.
The town is built on a hill and the views from the top are incredible We attended the festival of the bitter stone, Chianca Amara which had surprising origins. It recalls the 5,000 people who were beheaded when the Turks sacked Vieste in 1554. Not really a happy time, but the festival recounts much more and has many artistic performances. Some photos below depict the activities.
After the festival we enjoyed the restaurants in the area.
Like many Americans, we end up being early. At 7:30 pm we were the only ones there. By the end of dinner the place was full.
Our real interest lies in gelato. So many choices.
We enjoyed the evening walks and the streets and piazzas were full of people.
Love the name of the restaurant “Sapore di Mare” “Taste of the Sea:
It was world cup time , il mondiale di calcio Along with the festival crowds, people flowed out from the bars and restaurants which placed TV outside to view the action.
You can find a lot of information on Trip Advisor, Wikipedia, and Google. There are additional sights nearby. The National Park is a short drive. Driving is not a problem but do not speed as cyclists are pedestrians will be on the shoulders.
Night time on the waterfront.
The faro at night.
Views we saw as we entered the Vieste area.
our first trip we stayed in a hotel directly across from the beach. Next to this wonderful pool, we found the country just a few feet away.
You can hear the cow bells at the pool
The beach was included with our hotel and it was a short drive to Vieste.
From Naples figure about 3 1/2 hours using the Autostrada. From Rome about 4 1/2 hours on toll roads. You can visit the National Park of Gargano and Monte Sant’ Angelo. Also San Giovane Rotondo to visit the church of Padre Pio.
I think the money I spend to get the premium version to Scott’s Cheap Flights is worth every penny. My only problem is I get so many emails with travel bargains, I want to go to all the destinations.
Here is an email I got today. No Florida origins, but east coast to west coast are here. You may consider signing up for their email alerts. The Rome price from NY is lowest I have seen lately.
PS: I do not work for them.
The Europe deals keep coming. Not mad about it.
No bag fees, etc. All prices roundtrip.
All prices are for roundtrip flights and in USD unless otherwise stated.
TO: Basel (BSL)
Boston (BOS) – $484
Chicago (ORD) – $484
Denver (DEN) – $499
Las Vegas (LAS) – $491
Los Angeles (LAX) – $484
New York City (JFK) – $445
New York City (LGA) – $449
San Francisco (SFO) – $484
San Jose (SJC) – $499
TO: Brussels (BRU)
Boston (BOS) – $458
Chicago (ORD) – $480
Denver (DEN) – $462
Las Vegas (LAS) – $462
Los Angeles (LAX) – $480
San Francisco (SFO) – $480
San Jose (SJC) – $490
TO: Geneva (GVA)
Boston (BOS) – $490
Chicago (ORD) – $490
Denver (DEN) – $505
Las Vegas (LAS) – $500
Los Angeles (LAX) – $490
New York City (LGA) – $449
San Francisco (SFO) – $490
San Jose (SJC) – $505
TO: Luxembourg (LUX)
Boston (BOS) – $468
Chicago (ORD) – $468
Denver (DEN) – $482
Las Vegas (LAS) – $478
Los Angeles (LAX) – $475
San Francisco (SFO) – $468
San Jose (SJC) – $482
TO: Paris (CDG)
Boston (BOS) – $441
Denver (DEN) – $441
Los Angeles (LAX) – $500
New York City (JFK) – $428
New York City (LGA) – $429
Newark (EWR) – $443
San Francisco (SFO) – $443
San Jose (SJC) – $443
TO: Rome (FCO)
New York City (JFK) – $426*
Newark (EWR) – $430
San Francisco (SFO) – $445
TO: Zurich (ZRH)
Boston (BOS) – $464
Chicago (ORD) – $464
Denver (DEN) – $464
Las Vegas (LAS) – $464
Los Angeles (LAX) – $464
New York City (JFK) – $411*
San Francisco (SFO) – $464
San Jose (SJC) – $495
* – nonstop / direct
WHEN: Generally August through mid-December 2018, including Thanksgiving for most routes.
NORMAL PRICE: $850+
AIRLINE: Air France, Delta, KLM
BUY BY: We think these fares will last 1-2 days
HOW TO BOOK
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Amalfi, Feast of Sant Andrea
I just received a copy of Jen Millers 100 Best Things to do in Italy and was fascinated by the diversity of the list. Almost every day we are bombarded with the “10 Things You Must Do” that usually link to a bunch of JUNK. This is not that type of list.
Of the 100 items on the list, I have only visited 39 that I can recall. That leaves quite a bit to see and do. Here is the link to Jens site which is entitled Jen Reviews. Take a look at it and you may wish to subscribe. This is not just a travel site, she does reviews on various products for he home and other items you may find of interest. Give it a look.
Here is the link to the list :
Here is a list of the table of contents of Jen Reviews The 100 Of The Best Things To Do In Italy
1 1. Colosseum (Rome)
2 2. Pompeii (Naples)
3 3. Venice Gondola Trip
4 4. Duomo Milan
5 5. Sistine chapel
6 6. Climb Mt. Vesuvius (Naples)
7 7. Leaning tower of Pisa
8 8. Solfatara (Naples)
9 9. Cinque Terre (La Spezia)
10 10. Vatican City (Rome)
11 11. Blue Grotto (Naples)
12 12. Trentino Winter Sports
13 13. Gardaland Fun Park
14 14. Nuraghi Sardinia
15 15. Murano glass factories (Venice)
16 16. Medici Villas and Gardens (Florence)
17 17. Arona/Lake Maggiore
18 18. Tremiti Islands
19 19. Siena
20 20. Catacombs (Rome)
21 21. Assisi
22 22. Ferrari Museum (Maranello)
23 23. Sicily
24 24. Sibillini National Park
25 25. Bridge of Sighs (Venice)
26 26. Bolzano
27 27. Castellana Caves (Bari, Puglia)
28 28. Museo Nazionale dell’Alto Medioevo (Rome)
29 29. Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Stadio San Siro, Milan)
30 30. Alberobello
31 31. Aqualandia Jesolo (Venice)
32 32. Napoli Sotterranea (Naples)
33 33. Kite Festival Cervia
34 34. Civita di Bagnoregio- The Dying Town (Orvieto)
35 35. Pantelleria (Sicily)
36 36. Trevi Fountain (Rome)
37 37. Chocolate Festival Perugia
38 38. San Galgano (Siena)
39 39. Valley of the Temples (Agrigento, Sicily)
40 40. Lake Garda
41 41. Rabbit Beach (Lampedusa) and Rabbit Island
42 42. Valcamonica Rock Drawings
43 43. Etnaland (Belpasso, Sicily)
44 44. Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan)
45 45. Gran Paradiso National Park (Aosta)
46 46. Palazzo Reale (Palermo)
47 47. Rainbow Magic Land Valmontone (Rome)
48 48. Acquario di Genova (Genoa)
49 49. Medici Aqueduct (Pitigliano)
50 50. Safari Park Pombia
51 51. Archiginnasio (Bologna)
52 52. Castel Nuovo (Naples)
53 53. Treviso Talking Tree Park (Venice)
54 54. Walk the Via Francigena
55 55. Capri
56 56. Ostia Antica (Rome)
57 57. I Sassi di Matera
58 58. The Pantheon (Rome)
59 59. Venice Carnival
60 60. Abano Terme (Padua)
61 61. Bioparca di Roma
62 62. Byzantine Mosaics Ravenna
63 63. Verona
64 64. Cinecitta Studios (Rome)
65 65. Santa Maria in Trastevere (Rome)
66 66. Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti (Rome)
67 67. Riserva naturale orientata dello Zingaro
68 68. Porta Palatina (Turin)
69 69. Peggy Guggenheim Museum (Venice)
70 70. Lucca (Pisa)
71 71. Galata Museo del Mare (Genoa)
72 72. Orto Botanico (Padua)
73 73. Castelmezzano
74 74. Castle Moncalieri (Turin)
75 75. Positano (Naples)
76 76. Parma
77 77. Caserta
78 78. Amalfi Coast
79 79. Dozza (Bologna)
80 80. Campo del Ghetto (Venice)
81 81. San Lorenzo Cathedral (Genoa)
82 82. Portofino
84 84. The Ruins of Paestum
85 85. Rialto Bridge (Venice)
86 86. Nora (Cagliari, Sardinia)
87 87. Punta Prosciutto and Torre Lapillo (Porto Cesareo)
88 88. Anzio (Rome)
89 89. Italia in Miniatura (Rimini)
90 90. San Leo (Rimini)
91 91. Tropea
92 92. Cortina d`Ampezzo
93 93. Museo Stibbert (Florence)
94 94. Zoological Gardens, Pistoia
95 95. Basilicata Adventure Parks
96 96. Frasassi Caves
97 97. Sorrento Ice and Pizza Cooking Course
98 98. La Scala Theatre and Opera House, Milan
99 99. Regata Storica (Venice)
100 100. The Chianti Wine Trail
The introduction from Jen Reviews
“It is difficult – if not impossible – to limit a list of things to do in Italy to 100, and even more difficult to put them in order of descending significance or entertainment value: home to Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans, with islands as diverse as dour Sicily and African-influenced Pantelleria and cultures as far apart as Renaissance Venice and the prehistoric Trulli in Alberobello, Italy is a vibrant and colorful hotch-potch, a land of stark and passionately defended contrasts.
Famous for its ice-cream and its wine and with such characteristic culinary specialities as pizza and pasta (to name but a few), Italy is a land of lovers, of (often tragic) romance, of beautiful churches, ancient ruins and smoking volcanoes, of vendettas and grand opera. It is very child-friendly – Italians love children – and very relaxed with regard to organization and punctuality, which means there is no point getting upset when your train fails to show up. When in Rome, do as the Romans do; take a siesta and enjoy La Dolce Vita. If you are travelling by car, be aware that this cocktail of attributes shows up in their driving, too. Rules are made to be broken, signalling is haphazard and you will rarely see a car without dents. That said, there are few countries better equipped as a holiday destination for all tastes. Buon viaggio!”
This is a short video of our day trip to Lipari and Vulcano. We were staying in Milazzo, a beautiful town in itself. The day trip well worth it.
Aeolian Island Trip From Milazzo Sicily from Greg Speck on Vimeo.
My wife Angela suggested a visit to the island of Ischia, which is a short ferry ride from Napoli. At first I did not know what to think about this. Having never heard of it I began to do some research. The online photos looked good and we have always liked islands. Getting there was an adventure for us as we have to drive from Napoli to the suburb of Pozzuli. We were bring our rental car as this is a good size Island. There were no problems and a pleasant voyage with a quick stop at the island of Procida. This is also a place Iw Ould like to visit when we return to Napoli. Spend time at the beaches and enjoy the warm waters. Find a spa with hot springs feeding it. Walk or take the bus. This island is doable. Scenes from the movie, “the Talented Mr. Ripley” were filmed in Ischia. Also “While We Were Here” with Kate Bosworth. See all the films that used ischia as a location https://www.ischiareview.com/ischia-in-the-movies.html
THE ISLAND OF PROCIDA
ISCHIA MAP IN CERAMIC TILE
Once on the Island we started to explore. At on time we were on a small dirt road when it got narrower and narrower. Eventually had to back up and work our way into town,
HOT SPRING MINERAL POOL
Ischia is know for its hot spring fed mineral pools. The springs feed the pools and they are drained out each night and left to fill overnight. At least in the case of our hotel.
HOT SPRINGS FEEDING THE POOL
The Old Butcher Shop Selling Everyting
Ristorante Lo Scoglio, Sant’ Angelo d’Ischia
We headed out to dinner and found Lo Scoglio. It is located in Sant’Angelo and proved to be an excellent choice. The name translated to THE ROCK.
Photo from the restaurant web site.
View from the dining room
My wife’s choice, fruit dal mare.
Lo Scolgio in the daylight.
The teenagers had no problem diving off the rocks.
View from our hotel.
Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of Ischia. It is definitely a destination not to miss in Italy https://wikitravel.org/en/Ischia
In September I will be returning to Italy and taking a bike tour from Bolzano through Lake Garda and on to Venice. I began thinking about my cell phone. I had used all the credits and in the past had to renew through recharge my sim. de but alas they are no longer in business. So lets look at your options. TIM has a very simple plan called TIM FOR VISITORS. Google the link and click on the English Flag to change language. it is not a bad deal. For 30 Euro you get 4 GIG data, and 100 min of talk. You can purchase the voucher in the US an bring it to any TIM store. I used the one at Fiumicino, Leonardo da Vinci, Rome;s main airport. It took less than 15 minutes to get me up and running and have the attendant set up my phone. You can purchase the voucher using your US credit card.
OK, now it is time to take about recharging your card. You can go through your minutes quickly and until recently you could not recharge your sim with an foreign credit card. First go to https://www.tim.it
You will get the Italian language screen, best thing is to use Google Chrome or install the translate extension in Safari. Right click and you will get the English language translation. Keep in mind TEXT MESSAGES ARE NOT FREE. You can use iMessage or other apps that will allow you to text for free on the data. Also consider installing Skype for calls back to the US. I have had excellent results with Skype.
ITALIAN, Ricaica means recharge.
English translation. Click recharge after you use pull down to select amount.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE BOX MARKED FOREIGN CREDIT CARD
At the bottom, you can select the receive email notification. It will come to your email account of choice. There os also a box to insert a TEXT which will be sent to your cell to confirm all is working.
Here is my email confirmation.
Ti confermiamo la presa in carico dell’ordine nº xxxxxxxxx del 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Numero: xxxxxxxxx Data e ora: 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Metodo di pagamento utilizzato: CDC
Costo a pagare: 10.00 Euro
Importo ricarica: 10.00 Euro
Numero ricaricato: 339xxxxxxx
N.B. La ricarica sara’ immediatamente resa disponibile come credito telefonico e comunque non oltre le 48 ore dal momento della richiesta.
Ti ricordiamo che sul sito tim.it puoi attivare altre offerte o servizi, acquistare prodotti e Ricaricare. Inoltre, accedendo alla sezione MyTIM Mobile del sito potrai:
verificare il tuo credito residuo
verificare lo stato delle offerte attive sulla tua linea
modificare il tuo profilo tariffario
consultare lo stato dei tuoi acquisti online
There are other options, Vodafone has a similar plan. Google Vodafone Holiday for information.
Keep in mind none of the plans have everything you may need. You need an unlocked cell phone with GSM capabilities. You will always need your passport when purchasing from a Tim or Vodafone store.
I have paid a lot to travel to Italy and I have also gotten some reasonable fares. Recently I subscribed to a site called Scott’s Cheap Flights. There is a free version and a paid version. I got an email last week and found a Euro sale. I looked at Milan for $400 and thought this was a bargain.
I then went to Google Flights, and MATRIX AIRFARE SEARCH
The Air Italy popped up with a $423 Fare from Miami Non Stop to Milan. Amazing. The fare actually was $407 with out bags. I ended up booking a flight for $488 with bags and online check in. I was planning a bike tour and needed to bring slightly more than my cary on would permit. My total price was Total amount passenger $488.06. To put things in perspective, in 2004 I flew to Naples for $875. .In 2006 I paid $710 for the same flight On 2011 the flight cost $762.
Air Italy is a division of Meridiana. This is the same company that operated Eurofly USA several years ago.
I highly recommend Scott’s Cheap Flights and feel the $32 per year to get al their updates is well worth it. My blog is not commercial and I get no remuneration from them.
Here is their web site https://scottscheapflights.com
Here is a sample fare to Rome from Miami, non stop also.
My wife Angela took this one at La Canonica in Catania Sicily. Angela has a great eye for composition.
My eye heads for food. Antapasti is my desire when we are in Italy.
I can not remember how many times I have consumed Pasta Alla Norma. My favorite from Sicily. Egg plant ( melanazanie) and salted ricotta plus tomatoes and some spices make this a favorite of mine.
Of course, seafood is plentiful on the island.
I highly recommend this ristorante. We enjoyed the food and the service. In the center of Catania. Just off Via Vittorio Emanuele.