July 14th, 2017, 10:51 AM
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Sicily A report from Andalucia, July 2017
Giovanni Drogo writes
On Wed, 12 Jul 2017, tim... wrote:
a van). The islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Panarea and Stromboli are the ones
I visited, the others are farther) are definitely worth visiting.
I hadn't really considered visiting the Islands
The ferries don't seem to be overly helpful when visiting for a day
trip, but accommodation on the islands is so limited that you really
have plan ahead to get it right
spending 3 or 4 days on these islands definitely works against
touring by car
You won't need a car except perhaps on Lipari which is a bit large to
be walkable (some 6 km across and hilly), if you want to collect pumice
Actually there are no cars at all at Panarea (we walked from the
harbour to the archeological site), and I'm not sure about Stromboli
(the two inhabited points should not be connected by road). Even
Vulcano should be walkable.
As far as I know the boat and hydrofoil service should be acceptable.
Problem can be rough weather. We were in an organized tour with a small
group. We went by van from Catania airport to Milazzo (getting an
impressive thunderstorm on the motorway just as we left the shade of
Etna), and found all boats were cancelled. Our guide found an hotel at
Capo d'Orlando, and found that the morning after there was a boat from
there to Vulcano and Lipari (Italian Touring Club guides usually have a
budget to cater for situations like these).
We did a day trip to Vulcano by regular service boat (it's just across
the strait), and another to Panarea, and Stromboli coming back in the
evening, but I guess this was a chartered boat (not just for our small
group, we weren't alone). It stopped off Panarea to let people have a
swim, and after dinner toured a bit around Stromboli to see
Strombolicchio and the Sciara (the incline where lava gets down into
the sea). We had a van to go round Lipari (not the one we left on the
mainland), and came back by hydrofoil.
And don't get me started on maps that are orientated the wrong way round
Don't tell me. I cannot stand the hybrid stuff ATM (the Milan transport
agency) has placed at tram stops. They are not linear line DIAGRAMS,
and they aren't regular maps, north up, but sort of Peutingerian maps,
long and thin, made cutting pieces of regular maps and joining them
"rectified" along the tram route.
I've never visited Marsala, the saline (salt flats) and the western
didn't know of the salt flats
Uh, actually I had to look up the word, so I may have got the wrong
one. We call them "saline" (plural, sing. "salina"). They are flat
areas where they let sea water in to evaporate, and then collect the
The main ones still in use for commercial purpose should be in Puglia.
I guess the ones near Trapani are also still active, but part of them
is a museum/park. So for the smaller ones near Cervia (northern
Adriatic), which produce a particularly sweet salt (I am not sure if
depends on the concentration of which oligo-element). Some amateurs
supporting the salt museum in Cervia run "manually" a salina in the old
way, and this salt is for sale at the museum.
I heard there are also salt mines in some place in the interior of
Sicily (should date back to the "Messinian salinity crisis" when
Gibraltar strait closed and the Mediterranean evaporated)
The railway line to Castelvetrano (on the southern coast) should have a
stop near the Segesta temple (but I guess a fair walk).
would that be the stop called Segesta tempio?
the name makes sense, I cannot locate it on google maps. I'll try
openstreetmap (rather good at computing walking paths though
underestimates walking time) or openrailwaymap
hmm, according to openrailwaymap that's tagged "abandoned track", but
Calatafimi looks near, wikipedia lists Segesta Tempio as in use, but
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrovia_Palermo-Trapani says "service
Hmm ... actually zooming in on openrailwampa one sees that the
"abandoned track" goes south through "Calatafimi-Segesta", but
Calatafimi station is on the east and Segesta Tempio to the north of
the archeological area ... but on the suspended service line ! :-(
Some other site quotes a "Tarantola Bus" company.
Oh, looking on DB I see that all the Trapani services are via
Castelvetrano, so the direct line's not still open
I tend also to use a DB site to get railway timetables across all
Europe, though one has to use the Trenitalia site to get tickets (but
that mainly for Le Frecce, "the arrows" i.e. the high speed trains,
which haven't got south of Naples), but I found instead useful this site
http://www.rfi.it/rfi.html (RFI is the owner of the infrastructure,
rails and station). If you click on "Quadri orario online" you can get
a pdf of the arrival and departure timetables of each individual
stations, exactly the ones present in the station.
http://www.viaggiatreno.it is instead the utility to get real time
situation of trains (both long distance, and by region). For Lombardy,
where Trenord runs regional train, the qeuivalent service is
Just a thank you to you and others in this thread for all the