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A report from Andalucia, July 2017



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 10th, 2017, 03:54 PM posted to rec.travel.europe,talk.politics.european-union
Simon Laub[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

Have just returned from a trip to Andalucia.
Lots of impressions to pass on, but, sadly, not much activity
in rec.travel.european these days? I.e. not that many
to pass the story on to?
Nevertheless, I'll give it a go:

Shortly: Andalucia has certainly been influenced
by a lot of people over the centuries.
From roman emperors, onwards to muslim caliphates,
followed by Viking raids (Vikings who later settle in the
area, selling cheese) and forward to Spanish kings,
who started expeditions to the rest of the world from
the Andalician heartland.
Between all the wars you certainly don't get the impression
that the past was such a glorious time of stability
that you sometimes see it portrayed as in the media ...

But, well, the land is still there.
And well worth a visit.

You can see some pictures from my trip he
http://www.simonlaub.net/Fortunecity...017/index.html

best wishes
-Simon


  #2  
Old July 10th, 2017, 08:46 PM posted to rec.travel.europe,talk.politics.european-union
poldy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 783
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On 7/10/17 7:54 AM, Simon Laub wrote:
Have just returned from a trip to Andalucia.
Lots of impressions to pass on, but, sadly, not much activity
in rec.travel.european these days? I.e. not that many
to pass the story on to?
Nevertheless, I'll give it a go:

Shortly: Andalucia has certainly been influenced
by a lot of people over the centuries.
From roman emperors, onwards to muslim caliphates,
followed by Viking raids (Vikings who later settle in the
area, selling cheese) and forward to Spanish kings,
who started expeditions to the rest of the world from
the Andalician heartland.
Between all the wars you certainly don't get the impression
that the past was such a glorious time of stability
that you sometimes see it portrayed as in the media ...

But, well, the land is still there.
And well worth a visit.

You can see some pictures from my trip he
http://www.simonlaub.net/Fortunecity...017/index.html

best wishes
-Simon



When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places evoked
similar responses.

--
Serenity Now!
  #3  
Old July 10th, 2017, 09:27 PM posted to rec.travel.europe,talk.politics.european-union
Ken Blake[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:46:56 -0700, poldy wrote:

When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places evoked
similar responses.



A pretty similar kind of sigh. The Ponte dei Sospiri is a bridge
connecting the Palazzo Dogale with the prison cells. It's not called
the "bridge of sighs" because of any sighs of people sighing when
looking at it from the outside.It has a small window in it, and
prisoners were said to sigh as they crossed the bridge, looked out the
window, and saw their last glimpse of daylight before being locked up.
  #4  
Old July 11th, 2017, 09:32 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
Surreyman[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 299
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Monday, July 10, 2017 at 9:27:50 PM UTC+1, Ken Blake wrote:
On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:46:56 -0700, poldy wrote:

When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places evoked
similar responses.



A pretty similar kind of sigh. The Ponte dei Sospiri is a bridge
connecting the Palazzo Dogale with the prison cells. It's not called
the "bridge of sighs" because of any sighs of people sighing when
looking at it from the outside.It has a small window in it, and
prisoners were said to sigh as they crossed the bridge, looked out the
window, and saw their last glimpse of daylight before being locked up.


"Vikings who later settle in the area, selling cheese"?
Well, that really enhances our historical knowledge of the del Sol.
I agree, though, that sadly this group has largely lapsed.
We've just returned from a fascinating first amble around Sicily, but I doubt if anyone is interested .............. ?
  #5  
Old July 11th, 2017, 10:42 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
tim...[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017



"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Monday, July 10, 2017 at 9:27:50 PM UTC+1, Ken Blake wrote:
On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:46:56 -0700, poldy wrote:

When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked
out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places evoked
similar responses.



A pretty similar kind of sigh. The Ponte dei Sospiri is a bridge
connecting the Palazzo Dogale with the prison cells. It's not called
the "bridge of sighs" because of any sighs of people sighing when
looking at it from the outside.It has a small window in it, and
prisoners were said to sigh as they crossed the bridge, looked out the
window, and saw their last glimpse of daylight before being locked up.


"Vikings who later settle in the area, selling cheese"?
Well, that really enhances our historical knowledge of the del Sol.
I agree, though, that sadly this group has largely lapsed.
We've just returned from a fascinating first amble around Sicily, but I
doubt if anyone is interested .............. ?


yes please :-)

tim



  #6  
Old July 11th, 2017, 08:35 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
tim...[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017



"Martin" wrote in message
news
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:42:36 +0100, "tim..."
wrote:



"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Monday, July 10, 2017 at 9:27:50 PM UTC+1, Ken Blake wrote:
On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:46:56 -0700, poldy wrote:

When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked
out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places
evoked
similar responses.


A pretty similar kind of sigh. The Ponte dei Sospiri is a bridge
connecting the Palazzo Dogale with the prison cells. It's not called
the "bridge of sighs" because of any sighs of people sighing when
looking at it from the outside.It has a small window in it, and
prisoners were said to sigh as they crossed the bridge, looked out the
window, and saw their last glimpse of daylight before being locked up.

"Vikings who later settle in the area, selling cheese"?
Well, that really enhances our historical knowledge of the del Sol.
I agree, though, that sadly this group has largely lapsed.
We've just returned from a fascinating first amble around Sicily, but I
doubt if anyone is interested .............. ?


yes please :-)


Me too!


to be clear that I'm not just asking in order to keep the group alive ...

I first (and only) visited Sicily in 82 when I was working a year in Italy

This was pre internet, without a guide book, flying by the seat of my pants
stuff

I knew a few places that I had to go to: Mt Etna, Agrigento, Palermo etc

I scheduled a two week holiday which I spent in the very south of Italy and
on the Island - travelling by train. It was November BTW, glorious weather
all week, though it did **** down the previous week when I had been in
Naples :-(

I'm sure that I missed some places. I remember that I got the train to
Enna, fully expecting that if the station wasn't in the town centre (it
isn't by about 5 km) there would be as bus as the had been at *every* other
random Italian town that I had visited. But there wasn't and still isn't
(actually I found a web site that says that there us, but there are no bus
stops on street view!) - and there isn't even a sign of a taxi rank, though
no doubt there's now a phone number on the wall that you can ring with your
mobile - something that I, of course, didn't have in 82.

Now, with 35 years of traveling experience behind me, I think I should go
back and fill in the gaps.

I'm minded to hire a car, but I am concerned by the overly cheap prices that
are charged and whether it is possible to avoid all the scams that you read
of to bump up the costs when you get there.

Or I can again go by train (and bus) though this time using the internet to
plan properly.

Or I could see if I can add on some organised day trips from hotels in the
mains towns - I don't rate that option much, but sometimes it works.

or there is this:

http://www.secretitalia.it/tours/sic...lendours-tour/

but plus flights (and therefore no obligation on the tour company to help
you if the flights are late/cancelled) the price is just silly

So am generally interested in how you travelled around and any out of the
ordinary places that you visited.

tim



  #7  
Old July 11th, 2017, 09:42 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
Ken Blake[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:35:25 +0100, "tim..."
wrote:



"Martin" wrote in message
news
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:42:36 +0100, "tim..."
wrote:



"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Monday, July 10, 2017 at 9:27:50 PM UTC+1, Ken Blake wrote:
On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:46:56 -0700, poldy wrote:

When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked
out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places
evoked
similar responses.


A pretty similar kind of sigh. The Ponte dei Sospiri is a bridge
connecting the Palazzo Dogale with the prison cells. It's not called
the "bridge of sighs" because of any sighs of people sighing when
looking at it from the outside.It has a small window in it, and
prisoners were said to sigh as they crossed the bridge, looked out the
window, and saw their last glimpse of daylight before being locked up.

"Vikings who later settle in the area, selling cheese"?
Well, that really enhances our historical knowledge of the del Sol.
I agree, though, that sadly this group has largely lapsed.
We've just returned from a fascinating first amble around Sicily, but I
doubt if anyone is interested .............. ?

yes please :-)


Me too!


to be clear that I'm not just asking in order to keep the group alive ....

I first (and only) visited Sicily in 82 when I was working a year in Italy

This was pre internet, without a guide book, flying by the seat of my pants
stuff

I knew a few places that I had to go to: Mt Etna, Agrigento, Palermo etc

I scheduled a two week holiday which I spent in the very south of Italy and
on the Island - travelling by train. It was November BTW, glorious weather
all week, though it did **** down the previous week when I had been in
Naples :-(

I'm sure that I missed some places. I remember that I got the train to
Enna, fully expecting that if the station wasn't in the town centre (it
isn't by about 5 km) there would be as bus as the had been at *every* other
random Italian town that I had visited. But there wasn't and still isn't
(actually I found a web site that says that there us, but there are no bus
stops on street view!) - and there isn't even a sign of a taxi rank, though
no doubt there's now a phone number on the wall that you can ring with your
mobile - something that I, of course, didn't have in 82.

Now, with 35 years of traveling experience behind me, I think I should go
back and fill in the gaps.

I'm minded to hire a car, but I am concerned by the overly cheap prices that
are charged and whether it is possible to avoid all the scams that you read
of to bump up the costs when you get there.

Or I can again go by train (and bus) though this time using the internet to
plan properly.

Or I could see if I can add on some organised day trips from hotels in the
mains towns - I don't rate that option much, but sometimes it works.

or there is this:

http://www.secretitalia.it/tours/sic...lendours-tour/

but plus flights (and therefore no obligation on the tour company to help
you if the flights are late/cancelled) the price is just silly

So am generally interested in how you travelled around and any out of the
ordinary places that you visited.




Places: Palermo, Monreale, Segesta, Erice, Agrigento, Selinunte,
Siracusa, Taormina.

I've always rented a car when I went to Sicily, and that's what I
recommend.

I have just one other recommendation. If you are going to be in
Naples, instead of taking a train to Sicily, you might want to take
the overnight ferry to Palermo or Catania, and then return to the
mainland from the other. I haven't checked the prices recently, but
the last time I went, the cost was about the same as staying in a
hotel, which means that it costs nothing extra for that night. And
since you will be asleep for most of the trip, it doesn't take any
time out of your overall trip, the way a train would.
  #8  
Old July 12th, 2017, 09:23 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
tim...[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017



"Ken Blake" wrote in message
...
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:35:25 +0100, "tim..."
wrote:



"Martin" wrote in message
news
On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:42:36 +0100, "tim..."
wrote:



"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Monday, July 10, 2017 at 9:27:50 PM UTC+1, Ken Blake wrote:
On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:46:56 -0700, poldy wrote:

When I think of Andalucia, I remember the story about the Puerto del
Suspiro del Moro, the way the sultan left Granada after being kicked
out.

Then of course there's the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.

Different kind of sigh but interesting that two different places
evoked
similar responses.


A pretty similar kind of sigh. The Ponte dei Sospiri is a bridge
connecting the Palazzo Dogale with the prison cells. It's not called
the "bridge of sighs" because of any sighs of people sighing when
looking at it from the outside.It has a small window in it, and
prisoners were said to sigh as they crossed the bridge, looked out
the
window, and saw their last glimpse of daylight before being locked
up.

"Vikings who later settle in the area, selling cheese"?
Well, that really enhances our historical knowledge of the del Sol.
I agree, though, that sadly this group has largely lapsed.
We've just returned from a fascinating first amble around Sicily, but
I
doubt if anyone is interested .............. ?

yes please :-)

Me too!


to be clear that I'm not just asking in order to keep the group alive ...

I first (and only) visited Sicily in 82 when I was working a year in Italy

This was pre internet, without a guide book, flying by the seat of my
pants
stuff

I knew a few places that I had to go to: Mt Etna, Agrigento, Palermo etc

I scheduled a two week holiday which I spent in the very south of Italy
and
on the Island - travelling by train. It was November BTW, glorious
weather
all week, though it did **** down the previous week when I had been in
Naples :-(

I'm sure that I missed some places. I remember that I got the train to
Enna, fully expecting that if the station wasn't in the town centre (it
isn't by about 5 km) there would be as bus as the had been at *every*
other
random Italian town that I had visited. But there wasn't and still isn't
(actually I found a web site that says that there us, but there are no bus
stops on street view!) - and there isn't even a sign of a taxi rank,
though
no doubt there's now a phone number on the wall that you can ring with
your
mobile - something that I, of course, didn't have in 82.

Now, with 35 years of traveling experience behind me, I think I should go
back and fill in the gaps.

I'm minded to hire a car, but I am concerned by the overly cheap prices
that
are charged and whether it is possible to avoid all the scams that you
read
of to bump up the costs when you get there.

Or I can again go by train (and bus) though this time using the internet
to
plan properly.

Or I could see if I can add on some organised day trips from hotels in the
mains towns - I don't rate that option much, but sometimes it works.

or there is this:

http://www.secretitalia.it/tours/sic...lendours-tour/

but plus flights (and therefore no obligation on the tour company to help
you if the flights are late/cancelled) the price is just silly

So am generally interested in how you travelled around and any out of the
ordinary places that you visited.




Places: Palermo, Monreale, Segesta, Erice, Agrigento, Selinunte,
Siracusa, Taormina.

I've always rented a car when I went to Sicily, and that's what I
recommend.


and what should one pay for this.

I have just one other recommendation. If you are going to be in
Naples,


why would I be in Naples on this trip?

I shall be flying from London

I was only in Naples the previous time because I got the overnight train
from Milan,

instead of taking a train to Sicily, you might want to take
the overnight ferry to Palermo or Catania, and then return to the
mainland from the other. I haven't checked the prices recently, but
the last time I went, the cost was about the same as staying in a
hotel, which means that it costs nothing extra for that night. And
since you will be asleep for most of the trip, it doesn't take any
time out of your overall trip, the way a train would.


is there no longer a night train for that journey?

(Google, google)

yes there is:

ICN35455

Thanks





  #9  
Old July 12th, 2017, 09:58 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
Surreyman[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 299
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

Well, it's the long version or the short version! We'll keep to the latter pro tem.

Our normal travelling is usually very much DIY. So, based in the east in Taormina, we had sketched out two weeks in May of moving around most sights in the island.
However - thank you travel industry - we were advised with far too little notice that G7, of which we'd never heard, was causing a lockdown and cancellation of all hotel reservations in Taormina for the duration.

We wanted to stay with the hotel carefully chosen (within all this was a family celebration) so we ended up in Taormina a month late, and in uncustomary heat and humidity (even for Sicily!) that foreshortened too much activity.
So we stayed centred in the east, cut our various overnighting stays planned in the west and, in the reduced 'charging around' time relied on conducted tours more than we usually would.

Here's a precis of some notes I sent to a friend who's also shortly visiting for the first time.

Aeolian islands: Beautiful. Get cruises for the day from the port near Messina. Do include the version that stands off at sea in the dark of the evening so that you can watch Stromboli erupting - we saw 4 good bangs/flames within 45 minutes. Great stuff!

Etna: Can't be missed - we were very lucky and apart from heat haze had exceptional views. Depending on your preference you can stop at the end of the road access (with views up towards the main craters, plus small old craters nearby to look at), or go on the cable car rather higher, and then take 'jeep coaches' higher still, and then move as high as the guides will let you trek depending on volcanic action. Your choice! We saw copious smoke action from two top craters plus some black ash eruption. Marvellous day!

Syracuse: Its history is rather more interesting than what is left (!) but nevertheless well worth walking around if you have spare time. Good stuff from ancient Greek to Roman/Byzantine/Norman and later, but relatively sparse. A half-day conducted walk would ensure you saw the highlights.

Taormina: Our base, which proved exceptionally good for that, and very attractively sited below Etna. It appears on numerous excursions from other parts of Sicily, but I wouldn't have thought it was worth any significant diversion by travellers unless close anyway, but it's certainly very pleasant, with several good mediaeval piazzas.

Mountain-top villages/towns: One of the unpublicised delights we discovered, so we went to many off our own backs (by hired car, mainly - buses available but took too much time). Usually, massive scenic drives up to them, great views from them (usually from bar/restaurants!), and usually you're well looked after by mine hosts since tourists were relatively rare. Often they'll have a good castle, too.

Hot heat: For Sicilians to complain because of a heat wave is rather unusual - it's always xxxxxxx hot anyway! - but we went right into one, always in the higher 90s (in June), and sometimes humid (which wasn't supposed to happen in Sicily). So prepare. That's one of the reasons we escaped into the hill villages so often.
So, also, disappointingly, we curtailed some of the planned longer trips - Agrigento (temples) and Palermo (Monreale). A shame, but they would have been physically suicidal (and, as you know, we're used to deserts' heat)!
If you're nearer to those sites and your temperatures/humidity prove more sensible, then obviously go, as we did to our more nearby Syracuse.

Food: Italian, of course. Better than average, we found the pizzas, the street food (arancini especially), Aperol spritzer (a Sicilian sour orange cocktail liqueur) and, massively, the out-of-this world fresh seafood in all its guises (but avoid the thick cheese/breadcrumb coatings, which Sicilians love but which kills the seafood taste). And watch out for 'spaghetti with (whatever)' descriptions - the (whatever) is often just there in powdered breadcrumb form, which Sicilians love but we found tasteless! Check that you're going to get whole pieces of (whatever). And, one of the best, is the Sicilian form of bouillabaisse, which I gorged on!!! Also, the 'mixed fried fish' - lightly battered and whole. We ate a lot!!

Don't try and find any decent beer (from my point of view) although if you favour your USA light gassy 'lager' stuff, there are bottles of that type all over - such as the Dutch Heineken, which I found they do and which I could just about tolerate.
Wines are as mixed and variable as all over the rest of Italy. I didn't find any really excellent ones to suggest but, personally, I avoided Nero (which the bars sometimes push) - it's their local red one from the Etna slopes.. I found it rough and slightly effervescent. Generally, I just had house reds and dry whites - they were mostly fine. Prosecco we get too much of in the UK already, and I detest the stuff! For one meal I found a Barolo on the list, which I'll always devour!

The people we found excellent, unfailingly cheerful and helpful, and never encountered the reserve sometimes present further north.

Rather shallow, I'm afraid, since Trump upset much of our original plans, but happy to dwell further on any specifics as far as I can if you have questions.
  #10  
Old July 12th, 2017, 10:08 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
Giovanni Drogo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 811
Default Sicily A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Tue, 11 Jul 2017, tim... wrote:

I first (and only) visited Sicily in 82 when I was working a year in
Italy


Well, as far as tourism is concerned when I was in Sicily I did it with
organized tours, except when I was there for work (but that was just in
Palermo and Catania, and Erice which is a conference place ... the
conference organizers, there and in Catania, took care of appropriate
tours)

I do not consider it a public transport friendly place. Recently a
disable friend (in wheelchair) wanted to spend a weekend in Palermo
(without hiring a car as sometimes the person who accompanies him does),
and I guess he missed some places like Monreale.

I scheduled a two week holiday which I spent in the very south of
Italy and on the Island - travelling by train.


You were very brave (*). The sicilian railways have poor fame (slow and
unfrequent), apparently the locals prefer buses.

(*) or are you a railway fan ? The actor Marco Paolini and the
journalist Paolo Rumiz did a full railway tour of Italy using only local
trains and starting just from Sicily if I remember well. The book is
called "L'Italia in seconda classe" (Italy in 2nd class, I do not know
if it was translated)

I'm sure that I missed some places. I remember that I got the train
to Enna, fully expecting that if the station wasn't in the town centre
(it isn't by about 5 km) there would be as bus as the had been at
*every* other random Italian town that I had visited. But there
wasn't and still isn't


I guess I'd never consider Enna as a destination worth visiting. I still
think the station is poorly connected. In the last years on a transport
forum we run a contest "virtual tour of Italy with public transport"
where we had to plan trips from place to place using information on web
sites, and for Enna almost every participant used buses.

Anyhow ... I'd never taken the ferry from Reggio Calabria to Messina,
though the sight of the strait should be nice, and I've never visited
Messina (which was destroyed in the quake of 1908), always skimmed
around it.

Anyhow there is a main railway line from Messina to Palermo but I am not
sure how comfortable it is for the main sights along the route.

Tindari has a shrine up on the hill (not of artistic or historic
interest) with a beautiful view on the dunes below.

Milazzo is the main port going to the Lipari islands, but I thin the
harbour and the station are not near (we came from Catania airport with
a van). The islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Panarea and Stromboli are the
ones I visited, the others are farther) are definitely worth visiting.

Cefalu' has a nice norman cathedral, and possibly it is the best located
for what railways connections are concerned.

Bagheria near Palermo should host some nice villas, but I am not sure if
they are open for visits.

Palermo you possibly know and should be visitable within walking
distances or using urban buses. I guess they go even up to Monreale with
a VERY nice norman cathedral with mosaics.

AFAIK the railway connection to Palermo airport is closed for
refurbishment (I always used the frequent bus connection, when I went
there the railway link was not existing).

It should be a branch of a line going to Trapani and Castelvetrano.

In Trapani I visited only the Pepoli museum (we came down half a day
from Erice), but it should be the main port towards the Egadi islands
(where I've never been). Erice is up on the hill (sometimes in the fog)
and worth visiting (I do not know about connections, there used to be
even a funicolar, I always used the coach of the conference centre).

I've never visited Marsala, the saline (salt flats) and the western
coast.

The railway line to Castelvetrano (on the southern coast) should have a
stop near the Segesta temple (but I guess a fair walk). Was there with
tours both from Palermo and Erice. It is an unfinished doric temple
built by the Elimi, fully isolated (the theatre and other remains are
behind a hill, possibly the archeological site has a shuttle connecting
them.

As far as I know there are no operating railways on the south-west coast
(near Selinunte temples, or Sciacca).

The main lines from Palermo to Agrigento and Catania go through the
interior (you know Enna), which I never visited.

The station in Agrigento is near the old centre, but the excellent
archeological site, as the name "Temple Valley" says, is down in the
valley.

I do not know about transport connections to Piazza Armerina, nor about
the distance to the roman Villa del Casale (which has an impressive
collection of floor mosaics).

Another main line goes from Messina to Catania and Siracusa. It stops at
Taormina (but the city is up on a hill) and Acireale. I guess not very
frequent (when we had a conference at Capo Mulini, I preferred to take
the tour to Etna rather than going myself by train to Siracusa).

Two things I never done in that area are the railways tour around Etna
with the Circumetnea railway, and the visit to the Alcantara gorges.

Siracusa has a nice archeological area. The Aretusa spring (a natural
swee****er spring with papyrus plants located just a few meters from the
sea) is just in the old centre of Ortigia. I never went to river Ciane
(which should be ... cyan), but I heard there are boat tours.

I also never was to Noto (baroque) in the interior, nor to the Pantalica
necropolis, nor to any of the other places in the south-east corners
like Ragusa or Modica (but I've eaten the Modica chocolate, which is an
experience ... produced with a "cold" technique just with cacao and
sugar, no milk at all).
 




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