OFFERINGS AT CHURCHES
OFFERINGS AT CHURCHES
In many italian churches you will find 'ex-votos', litle metallic pieces in different shapes (feet, arms, heart, heads...) They are offered by ill people who want to become healthy again. They put here the part of the body they'd like to heal, and sometimes the 'miracle' happens (but take the pills, just in case!)
Palermo, Vucciria with the...
Palermo, Vucciria with the Market and Kalsa. It´s normaly very dangerous because these are very poor parts of Palermo, but if You get the possibility go there and you´ll see Palermo with different eyes.
It´s better to hide your camera and don´t walk like a tourist with your guide book in the hands
The Teatro Massimo is the main opera house in Palermo (there is another, the Politeama). It sits in it's own piazza on Via Maqueda, looking exceptionally elegant.
This is, in my opinion, one of the more pleasant spots in Palermo, a city somewhat bereft of piazzas.
The opera house was closed for many years and has not long been reopened. It is designed internally in a similar manner to the San Carlo in Naples, with stalls, as usual but then lots and lots of boxes, indeed, if you sit in any row above the stalls you will have a box (apart from the very cheap tickets at the very top).
There are some wonderful productions of opera and ballet on here and if you turn up before the performance, the tickets at the top are sold very cheaply (in 2002/3 they cost between 3 and 5 euro depending on if it was an opera or ballet that was playing).
When there is a show on, they will put a red carpet down the steps and you can't help but feel very elegant as you wander down them after a show.
The opera season runs through the winter but if there is something on when you're in town it is definitely worth checking out, even if you aren't into the music because the interior is spectacular.
This monument was built on 16 C to celebrate the arrival in Palermo of Charles V, King of Sicily. It was after his victory in Tunis against the Ottoman Turks. It’s interesting that it has a double monumental façade in Manneristic style with a wide barrel vault. Palermo is famous for mixed Arabic and Norman architectures.
Mount Etna Sicily
Whilst in Malta we took a day trip to Sicily and Mount Etna.
We took the catamaran which took about 1hr 30 mins, and the crossing was very good.
We were picked up at our resort at 5.00am and taken to Valletta where we caught the catamaran.
On arrival in Sicily we then had a coach take us to Mount Etna, where we spent about 3hrs.We couldn't go right to the top because of last years eruption but we did go up about2,500mtrs. The views were spectacular.
Half way up we stopped where there was lava from a previous eruption in 1986. there were beautiful Broom bushes growing and the perfume of the bushes was very strong.
Later in the afternoon we were taken to Taormina on the slopes of Mount Tauro.This we were told is the St Tropez of Italy, Most of the shops were very expensive, but I still managed to by a nice pair of earings which didn't cost the earth.
After this we were taken back to the port stopping on the way for a meal.
We arrived back at our accomodation about 11.30pm. It was a very long but enjoyable day.