.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Exploring Historic Segesta, Sicily

02 Segesta

When we visited Sicily a few aspects of our time there surprised me.  1)  The food was even more delicious than I expected.  2)  The landscape was far more hilly and mountainous than I thought it would be.  3) The large assortment and general good state of preservation of the country’s archaeologic sites.

Segesta (also known as Egesta) is close to the island’s most populous city, Palermo, and is even closer to its airport.  It is easily accessible by car, the Autostrada only minutes away, so a car rental is the easiest way to get there (bus connections are said to be slow and difficult).  Unlike Agrigento in southern Sicily, there is no modern city nearby — just beautiful hills, farms …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

An Introductory Perspective of Sicily

01 Palermo

Travel guru Rick Steves likes to say (and I’m paraphrasing) that Italy either gets better or worse as you head south from Rome, depending on what you like.  If you like a quieter people, trains running almost on time, etc. head north towards Milan.  If you enjoy a lively chaotic experience, perhaps a little rough around the edges, then head to the bottom of the boot.  Sicily, the three cornered island just a few miles from the mainland is about as far south as you can go.  It’s part of Italy, but really has its own unique history and heritage.

I’d wanted to go to Sicily to meet its people, enjoy its food, and experience its antiquities and heritage.  I knew …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 2, 2015: Chester, England

UK 176 – Chester – Half-timbered houses

The city of Chester in England has a history going back thousands of years.  It was an important garrison outpost of the Roman Empire and many Roman ruins are found in and around the city.  One of the reasons the Romans found the city appealing was because of its salt deposits.  Salt was important because it was rare and used to preserve and flavor food.  The world “salary” is derived from “salt” because Roman soldiers were paid, at least in part, with this valuable mineral.

What I remember most about the town, though, are its half-timbered homes.  Dozens and dozens of them, beautiful and elegant, usually white-washed with dark timbers like those seen in this photo.  Hundreds of years old, but …

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