Capo di Milazzo Hidden Treasure In Sicily

We first discovered Milazzo and Capo Milazzo in 2011. We arrived hoping to take the  ferry to the Aeolian Islands the next day.  Since our trip is spontaneous we were finding our lodging on a daily basis. This evening all hotels were booked. I continued to drive from Milazzo to  the the point which looked promising but we did not find anything. Like any good tourist does, I said lets stop and have dinner.  Now or luck turned. A couple sitting next to us heard our conversation and said they were staying close by and had rented an apartment. We could follow then and they would introduce us to the owner. How kind they were.

Long story short: The owner said we would be able to have an apartment tomorrow, as it was vacant but not cleaned. I said give me a broom, clean sheets and we will make it work.  It was a bargain, 50 euros a night and we had a place. See the photos and you know why we  extended  our stay to four nights.DSC_3560.JPGOur apartment with a pool. Even had a washing machine! DSC_3590.JPG Down town Milazzo is inviting in the evening, but not crowded.

DSC_3597.JPGThis is where it starts to become such a thrilling place to visit. I followed the signs.DSC_3598.JPGMare, the sea awaits with a natural piscina, or swimming pool. DSC_3615.JPGThe walk started high up above the rocky shores below.

DSC_3622.JPGI think there was over 160 steps to get down.fullsizeoutput_d63d.jpegA slow descent.DSC_3632.JPGThe piscina awaits.DSC_3633.JPGDSC_3637.JPGCrystal clear water protected from the sea. P1010496.JPGFamilies  came to visit. fullsizeoutput_d65d.jpegThe lighthouse or faro. Below are some of the flowers and sights. P1030438.JPGDSC_3539.JPGfullsizeoutput_d656.jpegP1010480.JPG

I think if you visit Sicily, this make a great place to stop. Visit the Capo, cape, and visit the islands by boat. The city is not too big, but has enough to keep a shopper happy and a food lover content.

La bella lingua Learning Italian

Our first trip to Italy was without the benefit of any knowledge on my part of Italian. My wife with he Sicilian parents had a knowledge of some words and phrases.  I realized this was a disadvantage but not the end of the world.  So much English is spoken in Italy most people can get along. Most restaurants in the tourist areas have dual or triple language menus. English, German, and Italian are  prevalent.

I want to go further and speak to people and know what the road signs say. Not having access to  an Italian teacher, I took another route.  Pimsleur had a CD course in Italian.  I bought the course and ripped the CD’s to my iPod. That was the beginning. It is a good way to learn conversational Italian. Eventually I  progressed from levels 1 through 5 which encompasses about 48 hours of  lessons. I did enjoy it as I was able to listen while driving or riding my bicycle.

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Beyond this I also used  duoLingo. This is a free program with excellent content.
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Exercises progress from basic to upper intermediate.  It is easy and I have been using if for about 6 months now. You can progress at your own pace and go back to. From time to time you may be asked to donate, but this is minimal.  An excellent program for iPhone, tablets, and Android products. You must have WiFi or cellular data connected.

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There are many exercises to improve listening and writing skills.  Voice recognition is available for pronunciation practice.

Next there is Rosetta Stone. This is my least favorite method.  The program has five levels and retails for about $200-250 on Amazon.  It is available for PC and MAC.  It does a good job of teaching vocabulary and grammar, but I find it painful obtuse. In many cases you have to decipher a photograph and  answer questions based upon your interpretation of the picture. 

Some times the photos are not clear and you may give a wrong answer.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 10.59.37 AM.pngTOOLS.jpgnouns, of  places in nature.jpgIt is your choice on Rosetta Stone, I just find it slow. But the content is good.  It has voice recognition to help you with pronunciation.

.  There is also a subscription version. Te computer version is copy protected to one PC or Ma and can not be used on another until it is deactivated.

There are other programs out there. Transparent Language as a program for phones and tablets. It is subscription based.  Seems ok. They offer a free blog with the word of the day.   Michelle Thomas has CDs for many language and they are priced reasonably.

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Buona fortuna!   or as they say: In bocca al lupo

Hidden Gems: Milazzo and Capo Milazzo, Sicily

Almost by accident we found the gem of Capo Milazzo and its natural piscina while looking for a place to stay  before going to the Aeolian Islands just of the coast of Milazzo.  It’s striking beauty and amazing terrain made it irrestiable.  We continue to return here.  Lodging can be limited to try Airbnb or make hotel reservations in advance. Great town to walk and eat.

CLICK THE BLUE LINK TO VIEW THE VIDEO

Milazzo and Capo Milazzo

The Naples of Elena Ferrante

Naples is a frenetic city with an amazing charm.  I found this out the first time I drove in this city and did not speak any Italian. I jumped on the Tangenziale, Naples answer to the Long Island Expressway. Immediately I found I was in a war zone and in over my head. Slowing for an accident someone clipped my mirror and sped off.

As time went on I discovered Naples and it people are amazing.   In a Fratelli Pellone I was invited to make pizza. In the markets we found bargains and amazing foods. Walking the streets we felt comfortable even at night.  My wife and I have been back several times and always enjoyed our visits. Whether it was a musuem visit, or just talking to people we felt at home.

The novels of Elena Ferrante usually take place in the neighborhoods, the quartiere. Those are the streets we walked.  The series of books tells the stories of Elena and Lila from their childhood to adulthood as they progress through the challenges the Neapolitan society and continual changes.

fre·net·ic
frəˈnedik
adjective
  1. fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way

DSCN4641.jpgThe Naples waterfront from a Hotel Paradiso high up on the hillside.DSCN3773.JPGBoats docked in the harbor.DSCN8539.JPGOn the street heading to the market.DSCN8542.JPG
All kinds of seafood.DSCN8543.JPGDefinitely not the A&P.fullsizeoutput_9ff8.jpegMuscels, Cozze. fullsizeoutput_9ff9.jpegThese did not travel 3000 miles.DSCN8553.JPGIt is not the wash, it is ART.

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La Galleria Umberto

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Evening  at the harbor

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At Pizzeria Pellone, they let me make a pizza. You don’t walk in to a pizza parlor in the US and have them invite you to help in the kitchen.  That is what makes Naples great. The people.  We were staying in a hotel in the business area of town. There were no open restarunts near us. I stopped and asked someone for advice on where to go.  He brought me to a small alimentari, grocery store , and asked his boss.  That kind man walked us halfway to the pizza place and made our evening special.

P1030999.JPGIt goes in the oven and with the high heat from the wood fire, 5 minutes is all it takes.P1040004.JPGHere it is ready to eat. This was a tomato pie. P1040003.JPGP1040005.JPGMy wife and I joined the crew.  What a treat. P1040010.JPGPizzeria Pellone, Via Nationale, 93 Napoli.   It is great Pizza.

P1030991.JPGIf you vist Naples, be sure to stop here.

Some times just some photos say a lot.

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St Peters

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A cat resting in an Amalfi store

DCP00456.jpgCapri, Faraglioni, the rocks that make the viewfullsizeoutput_1055.jpegSeafood vendor in Napolifullsizeoutput_701.jpegFruta in AmalfiCIMG5609.JPGVerona, the opera with the lighting of the candels prior to the performance

CIMG5612.JPGPerformance the the Opera House of VeronaDSCN3969.JPGSome locals having lunch in San Giovane in Fiore ( Calabria)

CIMG0785.jpgCaserta, royal palace gardensfullsizeoutput_4d6.jpegSan Gorgio Maggiore, Vence Island from the bell tower fullsizeoutput_9c40.jpegCheese (formaggio ) at the market in Napoli DSCN8510.JPGSome boats in Messina Sicly

The Doors Of Italy

From Sicily to the lakes. From Venice to Vernazza, the doors of Italy are always interesting. Some ornate, others plain. Run down. Beautiful.  Always they catch my eye. fullsizeoutput_d5d0.jpeg

A door in Verona.

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This was the door and an agritourisimo in Apulia.

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She was putting out the laundry in Sicily and gave me a wave.

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Our Airbnb in Montepulciano.fullsizeoutput_d5d3.jpeg

Harmony BnB in Palermo.  Great place. Free parking and we just walked and walked.fullsizeoutput_d610.jpegJewlery Store in PienzaIMG_0521.JPG

Art Galery in Cortona. Under The Tuscan Sun land.

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Thats it for today,  more door in the coming days. The photo avove shows the Cinema Salamandra in Siracusa.  I had been closed, then reopened, and closed again. Could only look through the doors and think what it must have been like.