Wild and Wet, Plemmirio, Sicily

 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.  Plemmirio SicilyThis is the view from our AirBnB.  Scuba off the coast Pledmmirio

Scuba Plemirio

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.

Plemmiro BeachesPlemirro Beaches

Public beach area a short walk from our Airbnb

Sunset Plemirro

Every night sunset!

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A small church Santa Maria della Rocia del Plemmirio was packed on Sunday

Sunrise Plemmirio

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

http://www.plemmirio.it

Here is a very short video of the sea in action

From  Youtube here is a  video from the Plemmirio web site

One Hundred Of The Best Things To Do In Italy From Jen Reviews

MAP OF ITALYH

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  :

 

https://www.jenreviews.com/best-things-to-do-in-italy/

 

Here is a list of the table of  contents of Jen Reviews The 100 Of The Best Things To Do In Italy

Contents 

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
83 83.Bergamo
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

 

https://www.jenreviews.com/best-things-to-do-in-italy/

 

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!”

 

 

 

 

La Canonica, Catania Sicily a great ristorante.

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My wife Angela took this one at La Canonica in Catania Sicily.  Angela has a great eye for composition.

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My eye heads for food. Antapasti is my desire when we are in Italy.

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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.

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Of course, seafood is plentiful on the island.

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I highly recommend this ristorante.  We enjoyed the food and the service. In the center of Catania.  Just off Via Vittorio Emanuele.

At the beach La spiaggia 

Knowing that we would most likely be in an August heat wave, we have tried to stay  close to the water. 

We are about 50 feet above the sea and 50 feet away. The views are stunning. Temps have been in the upper 80s and the sun is intense. Really intense. Fa caldo.

This is the perfect spot for diving and snorkeling. When we were in the water yesterday small fish kept checking out our legs.

Access to the beach is free, but if you wish the comforts on a lounge chair, and umbrella you must pay. In this case it was 25 euro for the day, and well worth it. Today we will bring an umbrella from our apartment and give it a try on the cheap side. Means no fresh water shower and sitting on the rocky shore on a borrowed towel. We will see. The water is so clear you can see the bottom  in 6 ft depths.  Fish swim by and not plastic or pollution is in evidence. A note about the beach lounge chairs. They are far superior to the ones found in the US. If you wish to lean back, there is a line with a hook that releases the chair to find a comfortable position. What I really like is the folding sun screen to keep the sun our of your face. Wish they were available in Florida. 

Some scenes from last night as the sun set.

I love the middle photo my wife took took through the window last night.

Below shows where we are in relation to the town of Siracusa in Sicily. 

Saving Money On Car Rentals

Car rental rates have soared in the last several years.  Even using  sites like Kayak and Priceline you tend to get some high rates.  Some time ago I saw a reference in the New York Times to a site called Autoslash.com.   I tried it earlier this summer and was able to get a very reasonable rate for the July 4th week in Hartford, Connecticut.   previously my best rate for the week was about $400. I ended up paying $241 and got the car from Hertz. That was a substantial savings thanks to AutoSlash.

I have booked a 21 day rental in Sicily and did quite a bit of shopping.  I searched Hertz, Auto Europe, and Avis.  Each gave me rates that were in the  $800 range. AUTOSLASH 2 2017-08-11 at 4.04.39 PM.jpgAUTO SLASH SAVINGS.jpg Hertz got down to about $760 and it was looking better. I got a quote from AutoSlash and found that they could get me a $747 rate for the same period and they would continue to search for updates to the rate. Hertz is the provider.

Now  for the really good news! We leave on Tuesday and today I got an email saying they checked rates and it went from $765.51 to $305.89.  This is a substantial savings.  Note the original quote I got was $747 but Hertz raised it. When I brought this to the attention of AutoSlash they contacted Hertz and got the rate reduced.

Give AutoSlash a try and compare with other search engines. Hotwire, Hotels.com, Kayak have been helpful to me in the past, but not have reduced the rates after booking.

You do not pay up front!  Also keep in mind many credit card companies will cover your CDW which can save you several hundred dollars on a rental.

I have no affiliation with any site mentioned above. P1010826.jpg

Always good to have some tape. In Palermo a driver strayed into my land and hit the mirror. He then continued as if nothing had happened.  Luckily I had some tape and we survived.  I rented with Europcar and got it through InItaly.com.  They covered the damage  but still charged me $100.   That is why credit card CDW is better. BUT read your credit card agreement throughly.

 

Sicily Land of Myth from Julien Zolli

I found this wonderful video on Facebook and could not stop watching. it is short about five minutes but conveys the emotion my wife and I feel when we return to Sicily.

Julien Zolli is a French film maker who can be found on Vimeo and YouTube

Here is the link to this amazing video from a very talented individual. You can Google him to see more videos he has produced.

 

TODAY IN THE WASHINTON POST: The Ape celebrates 70 years.

What you say is an APE, not an ape, but the ubiquitous little combination of a motorcycle and pickup truck that plugs along all of Italy’s roadways.

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Credit photo and text above from the Washington Post.

The Ape hauls almost anything, from buildng materials to fruit and fiish. fullsizeoutput_d66d.jpegA clasic Ape in Toscanafullsizeoutput_d66f.jpegNothing elegant about this baby, plain  and simple, it does the job.fullsizeoutput_d66a.jpegThis one was at an Airbnb in Montepulciano.

fullsizeoutput_d664.jpegfullsizeoutput_d665.jpegfullsizeoutput_d666.jpegNot only did he sell fruit and vegetable, he serenaded the streets with his words on the health of his produce.

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This fruit vendor was in Cefalù, Sicily.   (fruttivendolo)

Some info from  Wikipedia:

At the end of World War II, most Italians, badly affected by the war, lacked means of transport and, more importantly, the financial means to acquire and maintain full-sized four-wheeled vehicles. In 1947, the inventor of the Vespa, aircraft designer Corradino D’Ascanio, came up with the idea of building a light three-wheeled commercial vehicle to power Italy’s economical reconstruction, an idea which found favour with Enrico Piaggio, the son of the firm’s founder, Rinaldo. The very first Ape model and the mark immediately following it were mechanically a Vespa with two wheels added to the rear, with a flat-bed structure on top of the rear axle. The early sales brochures and adverts referred to the vehicle as the VespaCar or TriVespa. The first Apes featured 50 cc,[3]125 cc or 150 cc and more recently 175 cc engines.

It is hard to imagine a 125 CC engine pulling a big load.

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