Massimo Villas https://www.massimovillas.com Holiday Villa Rentals Thu, 07 May 2020 06:25:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://www.massimovillas.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cropped-1small-1-32x32.png Massimo Villas https://www.massimovillas.com 32 32 visit the valley of temples agrigento https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/visit-the-valley-of-temples-agrigento/ https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/visit-the-valley-of-temples-agrigento/#respond Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:51:33 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=1407 What Awaits You in the Valley of the Temples The Valley of the Temples… now that is a name that brings with it drama, intrigue and a sense of the past. And indeed, this is exactly what you get when you visit this charming and beautiful place. This ancient archaeological site can be explored in […]

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What Awaits You in the Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples… now that is a name that brings with it drama, intrigue and a sense of the past. And indeed, this is exactly what you get when you visit this charming and beautiful place. This ancient archaeological site can be explored in Agrigento, just off the SP4. It is close to the south-western coastline of Sicily and is easily accessible from many popular tourist areas. It takes around two-and-a-half hours to reach it from Modica, and almost two hours from Marsala. But what awaits you when you finally arrive at this historic site?

Take the opportunity to witness and explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site

This entire area is quite rightly recognised by UNESCO and is referred to in Sicilian as Vaddi di li Tempera. You may also hear it referred to as Valle Dei Templi, but regardless of the language, you will bear witness to a dramatic sight. Of particular note is the Temple of Concordia – a structure that has been preserved to an impressive degree. If you can visit when the sun is going down, you will see it is lit to show its true beauty. The Temple of Concordia is one of seven in the valley. These are all Doric-style temples, referring to a particular architectural style that was popular around this time in history. This style is clearly seen with the strong and ordered pillars that were used in the construction process here. Among the other sights here is the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Asclepius and the Temple of Juno. Some only have a few pillars remaining, but the site as a whole reveals the impressive nature of the Doric style.

Indulge in a guided tour

If you visit the site on your own, it is easy to wander around and see all the temples and to get an idea of the scale and scope of the site. However, you may never learn the history of the temples, or how they were constructed so many centuries ago. To reveal and learn more, the best course of action is to organise a guided tour of the area. There are many excellent guides in Agrigento, and having one of them to rely on is definitely recommended. Look for a registered guide to ensure you have the best experience.

Stepping back into the past

You may look up this archaeological site on a map. You can read about it online, just as you are doing here. Yet it is only when you set foot on the site itself that you start to understand the scale and scope of these buildings. Even when you are looking at the few remaining pillars of the original Temple of Castor and Pollux, you can still feel the history seeping into the grounds around you. The Temple of Concordia is indeed the most impressive sight in the entire area. You will want to see it from every angle – and the desire to see it after dark is definitely worth the wait.

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5 good reasons to travel in low season https://www.massimovillas.com/lifestyle/5-reason-to-travel-in-low-season/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:39:52 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=13225/ Travel in low season July and August is the height of the summer season in Southern Italy and when most of our villas are booked. If however you’re not tied to school holidays, a villa holiday in May, June, September and October is a wise choice and here are 5 good reasons why: Lower rental […]

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Travel in low season

July and August is the height of the summer season in Southern Italy and when most of our villas are booked. If however you’re not tied to school holidays, a villa holiday in May, June, September and October is a wise choice and here are 5 good reasons why:

Lower rental prices – rental prices in July and August are at their peak but off-season they are lower so you can save money by spending less on your rental or even rent somewhere larger.

Flexible arrival and departure dates – our bookings in July and August run from Saturday to Saturday but offseason, many owners are more flexible, giving you the option of extending your stay for a few more nights.

Cheaper flights – Flights are usually better-valued offseason, especially if they are not on set arrival/departure days, saving you money to spend on other things.

Warm weather but not too hot – July and August in southern Italy can be too hot for many visitors whereas in May, June, September and October it still feels like summer, the temperature is more bearable, the pools are still open, you can swim in the sea, sunbathe and dine outside.

Fewer tourists – as there is fewer visitors off-season, you may find that you have the beach, gallery or archaeological site to yourself which makes it a better experience.

 

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A Cultural Tourist Park That’s Drawing in the Visitors https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/farm-cultural-park-favara-sicily/ Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:23:10 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=2635 A Cultural Tourist Park That’s Drawing in the Visitors If you’re an artist and you’re planning a visit to Sicily, there is surely no better experience than the one offered by the Farm Cultural Park. Located in Favara, Agrigento, near the southern coastline of the island, this charming attraction offers an art gallery as well […]

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A Cultural Tourist Park That’s Drawing in the Visitors

If you’re an artist and you’re planning a visit to Sicily, there is surely no better experience than the one offered by the Farm Cultural Park. Located in Favara, Agrigento, near the southern coastline of the island, this charming attraction offers an art gallery as well as a place for artists to stay. As such, there is the potential to stay for a few days or simply to drop in while you are in the area. Either way, you have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this beautiful place and to see how it has changed the life of Favara itself.

cultural park sicily

Before 2010, before the cultural tourist park became more than a dream and turned into reality, there was little to recommend Favara to the casual tourist in the area. All has changed now though, especially since the park offers free entry and encourages its visitors to explore the centre of Favara itself.

 As such this is quite unlike any art gallery you may have visited in the past. For example, it has virtually taken over the historic centre of Favara and turned it from somewhere you might want to avoid to somewhere to make a beeline for. Is that too strong a contrast? Perhaps, but many would agree. Nowadays you can head for the tourist park and find yourself among a knot of courtyards, each with something different to offer. Look out for the tea garden or the sandwich shop if you feel a little peckish; it would be a great place to sit, eat and observe the beautiful if rather unusual surroundings. Certainly, there is no other place quite like this in Sicily, and perhaps even beyond.

farm-1

 This is an art marketplace then, of sorts, where you can buy art, observe art, be inspired by art and generally feel creativity surrounding you at every turn. There is always something new to explore and discover here. Even those who wouldn’t say they have a passion for art can surely be inspired by their surroundings, and of the new lease of life, Favara has had.

If you find yourself in or near Favara you can easily walk to the art galleries and park from the main town square. It is not open on Mondays and opening hours for the seven courtyards can vary throughout the week. However, it does open at 10 am and stays open long into the evenings, giving you the perfect opportunity to visit at your leisure. Children may not like it but there are plenty of adults who have given it wonderful reviews. Perhaps you will join them when you’ve seen it for yourself.

more info website: www.farm-culturalpark.com 

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Shopping in Sicily https://www.massimovillas.com/lifestyle/shopping-in-sicily/ Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:23:52 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=2656 Shopping in Sicily You’ve probably heard of outlet villages before, and maybe even been to one or two. The chances are right though that you’ll have done this at home rather than in another country. That’s why you may want to find out more about the Sicilia Outlet Village, a destination in Sicily that draws […]

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Shopping in Sicily

You’ve probably heard of outlet villages before, and maybe even been to one or two. The chances are right though that you’ll have done this at home rather than in another country. That’s why you may want to find out more about the Sicilia Outlet Village, a destination in Sicily that draws in lots of visitors every day.

outlet village sicily

Where and when?

The outlet village in Sicily located on the main motorway running between Palermo and Catania, so it’s easily accessible from these and many other locations. Look out for the Dittaino-OUTLET exit and follow the signs from there. You can visit on whatever day suits you too since the outlet is open seven days a week from 10 am. Normal closing during the week is 8 pm, but it stays open until 9 pm at the weekends and on Sicilian public holidays.

Why?

Indulging in a little shopping while abroad is never a bad thing. Indeed, if you feel you need a break from the Sicilian sun, the beaches and the historical aspects of the island, the Sicilia Outlet Village could be the perfect antidote. There is plenty here to satisfy even the most eager shopper for an entire day too, and you’ll be knee-deep in famous brands include Borbonese, Calvin Klein and Gucci among others. Surely it’s worth paying a closer look?

shopping sicily

The village regularly indulges in promotions and special events, all of which can be viewed online before you go. If you’re staying in Sicily for a week or two, you might want to check the availability of these events before planning your visit to the village. It might enable you to pick the best day to visit so you can get the most out of it.

Places to eat at the outlet village

While the outlet is all about fashion, there is ample opportunity to enjoy some wonderful taste experiences as well. Are you dehydrated for a coffee? Head for Cappuccino or Break Coffee to quench your thirst. Those with a need for something sweet might want to pay a visit to the Lindt Maitre Chocolatier outlet to invest in some taste sensations. A more traditional experience can be had at the Bottega delle Cassatelle, which sells locally-inspired and made confectionery that makes a beautiful introduction to the Sicilian sweetness. Alternatively, a desire for something more filling might tempt you to visit Con Piu Gusto, where finger food is all the rage. Just add your choice of Sicilian sauce sensations to complete the experience. What could be more appealing than that?

With around 100 shops in total, you’ll need the occasional dose of sustenance to give you the energy to make it round the majority of the shops on offer. Among the brand names some shops sell items made in Sicily, so you can buy something unique to the island to take home as a souvenir or gift. Whatever you decide to do at the Sicilia Outlet Village, it is a full-day experience you shall not soon forget.

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Enchanting Ancient Villa with Garden https://www.massimovillas.com/places-to-stay/villa-hortus/ https://www.massimovillas.com/places-to-stay/villa-hortus/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2020 21:47:47 +0000 https://dev.massimovillas.com/?p=24495 Hortus, a Latin-language garden Charming and exclusive retreat housed in a 16th century complex in front of the spectacular Cathedral of S. Giorgio, in the heart of Modica baroque jewel of Sicily. A gorgeous retreat with a Mediterranean garden. The villa is within walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops, Parking is on-street nearby and relatively […]

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Hortus, a Latin-language garden

Charming and exclusive retreat housed in a 16th century complex in front of the spectacular Cathedral of S. Giorgio, in the heart of Modica baroque jewel of Sicily. A gorgeous retreat with a Mediterranean garden. The villa is within walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops, Parking is on-street nearby and relatively easy to access.

The renovation was carried out with extreme attention to the environment and the future well-being of guests, through the adoption of bio-architecture and contemporary design solutions integrated with original elements and local materials.

Access to the property has been maintained by the garden, where the terraces have been preserved, recovering the original limestone basole and the ancient pitchstone steps of the stairs to reconstitute the courtyard flooring and walkways.

The living room, incorporating renaissance lintels and niches, is furnished with a Glow sofa. Three bedrooms in stones and decorations, are each inspired by a natural element and are embellished with engraved stone headboards, coverings with decorated lava stone accommodate up to 3 couples. Very private. The full and modern kitchen has everything you need. Very well equipped with cooking utensils, dishes, washing supplies and toiletries. The garden and terrace included a variety of furniture and a large table for aperitifs and dinners. There is a wine cellar stocked with wine for guest use (for a charge)

Photo Gallery

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Family Friendly Villas in Tuscany https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/family-friendly-villas-in-tuscany/ https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/family-friendly-villas-in-tuscany/#respond Wed, 23 Oct 2019 22:18:24 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=23026 Explore our family-friendly villas in Tuscany Our stylish and spacious villas in Tuscany provide your family with the perfect home-away-from-home on a luxury holiday to Italy’s most romanticised region. Rolling vineyards, spectacular lavender fields, sumptuous food and wine, and incredible art and culture make this destination a favourite amongst the most discerning travellers. From its […]

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Explore our family-friendly villas in Tuscany

Our stylish and spacious villas in Tuscany provide your family with the perfect home-away-from-home on a luxury holiday to Italy’s most romanticised region. Rolling vineyards, spectacular lavender fields, sumptuous food and wine, and incredible art and culture make this destination a favourite amongst the most discerning travellers.

From its glamorous capital, Florence, where the world’s most famous Renaissance art and architecture can be found, to the towering Apennine Mountains or its west coast beaches, every inch of this land is worth exploring. What really makes this region so remarkable though is its culinary influence on the global food scene, celebrated as one of the world’s top places for gastronomy. Together with its prolific wine production and exciting wineries, it’s easy to see why Tuscany is one of Europe’s most loved travel destinations.

If you’re looking for luxurious comfort during your stay in beautiful Tuscany, our exclusive family-friendly villas will ensure you have access to the best amenities in the region’s prime locations. Whether you want to be close to the cities or tucked away in the charming remoteness of the countryside, we can help you find your dream accommodation. With villas that have been hand-picked and exclusive amenities such as horizon swimming pools, large outdoor courtyards and gardens, tennis courts, and children’s play areas, each property will have everything you need for an unforgettable stay.

Child-friendly facilities such as cots, high chairs, books and toys are available in many of our properties. All family villas in Tuscany will also come with sheets and towels provided, as well as complimentary toiletries for the duration of your holiday. Your booking will include professional cleaning and someone to greet you on arrival, ensuring you have everything you need. We will provide you with 24/7 support throughout your stay, giving you complete peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying every moment with your children and loved ones.

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Visit southern Puglia https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/visit-southern-puglia/ Tue, 23 Jun 2015 05:49:45 +0000 http://www.italianvillasforyou.com/?p=3590 More about southern Puglia The southern part of this region is particularly popular among holidaymakers. This is a fairly flat area and forms a peninsula that sits out in the sea. If you imagine the map of Italy and you visualise where the heel of the boot begins, this area – the heel itself – […]

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More about southern Puglia

The southern part of this region is particularly popular among holidaymakers. This is a fairly flat area and forms a peninsula that sits out in the sea. If you imagine the map of Italy and you visualise where the heel of the boot begins, this area – the heel itself – is called Salento. The area is known for its often striking visual appearance, and it offers many delights to the eager holidaymaker.

Visiting Salento

If you are thinking of basing your Italian holiday in this part of Puglia, it is certainly worth finding out more about it before you go. The good news is you will find it relatively easy to reach this area since there is an international airport based at Brindisi. We’ll focus on this area in more detail in just a moment.

One of the attractions Salento has to offer is miles of coastline. Not all beaches offer sand, but even the rockier ones have lots to offer and provide the perfect place to stretch out and relax for the day. There are many locations to consider for the perfect summer holiday in Puglia, but if you are considering booking a villa via our website, we’ve got some wonderful suggestions for you coming up in a moment.

Salento also offers a lovely mix of the past and present. There is much in the way of classic architecture here, not to mention the beauty of the natural world. Perhaps this is why the region draws those who love beach holidays, as well as those who wish to do a little more in the way of exploring. Certainly, there are many treats for those with a love of history to enjoy.

Visiting Otranto

Some make the town of Otranto their base during their Italian holiday, and when you pay it a visit you will see why. You’ll find it on the east coast of Puglia, and it has a charming castle that borders with the sea. This is known as the Castello Aragonese. It is hundreds of years old and provides a dramatic view onto Otranto itself if you head up to the highest reaches of the castle.

As with many other locations in Puglia, Otranto offers that heady mix of history and the present all mixed in together. The seafront itself is quite beautiful and provides you with a place to wander the hours away. See if you can find the small but perfectly formed harbour there. With promenades, shops and plenty of restaurants serving the most mouth-watering fish you have ever tasted, it’s worth paying a visit. A nice lazy day here provides a lovely contrast to relaxing on a nearby beach.

Visiting Santa Maria di Leuca

It’s not surprising this town is often referred to simply as Leuca, for ease of reference. If you visit the town – and you should, as it looks simply stunning – don’t miss your chance to see the lighthouse. It is one of the most important lighthouses in the entire country and stands at more than one hundred metres above sea level.

The harbour in the town is beautiful and it is worth walking up to a higher vantage point to look down at the boats firmly anchored in the dark blue waters. The surprising amount of greenery dotted in between all the surrounding properties makes the colourful view of Leuca just irresistible.

Again the sense of history is never far away here. In fact, the town has been in existence since the 1st century AD, so you are treading in the footsteps of ancient peoples when you visit Leuca. That’s quite a thought to bear in mind as you explore it in the 21st century.

Visiting Brindisi

As we have already mentioned, even if you don’t stay in Brindisi during your time in Puglia you may well arrive here. Brindisi has an international airport called Papola Casale Airport. Brindisi is situated around halfway along the Puglia coastline on the ‘back of the heel’, so you won’t have too far to travel to reach your luxury villa wherever it may be in this region. If you are departing from the UK, flights to the airport leave from London Stansted. If you don’t live near here you can get a transfer to London Stansted from your local airport.

As with many other seaside areas in Puglia, there is a castle in Brindisi. This is the Hohenstaufen Castle, which literally means a large castle. When you see it for yourself you’ll see what an accurate name this is. Look out for the Duomo as well – the cathedral that originally dates from the 11th century. The original was felled by a massive earthquake in the mid-1700s, but it was reconstructed to replicate the original as quickly as possible after that.

As you might expect, there are some wonderful beaches here if you want to make your Puglia based holiday on a beach holiday. Perhaps the best of all is Torre Guaceto. It is a direct contrast to the other beaches offered in this region since it is located in a nature reserve. This means it has not become too ‘touristy’ so it can offer the best views and lovely sands, while not being overcrowded or much the same as any other beach. Of course, this means you will have to go prepared – but you won’t have to be a shoulder to shoulder with everyone else either.

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Cooking with Chef Nino https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-inspiration/cooking-chef-nino/ Fri, 26 Jan 2018 23:37:43 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=14672/ Cooking with Chef Nino October half-term break, a week in a villa in Cefalu, north Sicily is hard to beat. For the last three years, my family and I have enjoyed not just the sand, sea and sunshine in Cefalu, but a variety of truly memorable and authentic Sicilian experiences that we love to reminisce […]

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Cooking with Chef Nino

October half-term break, a week in a villa in Cefalu, north Sicily is hard to beat. For the last three years, my family and I have enjoyed not just the sand, sea and sunshine in Cefalu, but a variety of truly memorable and authentic Sicilian experiences that we love to reminisce about. Fishing for cuttlefish and taking part in the olive harvest at Villa Rita are just two of our favourites.

This time it was our morning with Nino Quartana, the chef and artist, that was the highlight.  Nino lives in a modern house in the hills just above Cefalu, surrounded by the most incredible garden where he grows many of the ingredients he uses for cooking. Having worked as a chef in Asia, Nino has an original approach to growing and cooking his herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Leading us around his garden, filling his basket with carefully chosen fresh herbs, Nino explained how he uses each one in different recipes, giving us useful tips – we started taking notes.  He encouraged us to pick, taste and smell the herbs.  We also learned about the therapeutic and medicinal properties of each one, such as how we can clean our teeth with sage leaves. We headed to Nino’s kitchen to prepare our feast. To start off, Nino gave us a deliciously quick snack by painting fresh mozzarella balls with turmeric-infused olive oil, then decorated them with sweet-smelling, edible rosemary flowers, pomegranate and apple. We then learned how to make simple focaccia topped with an exquisite combination of herbs from the garden, followed by sweet biscuits made with carob and sesame seeds.  Dining together with Nino and friends overlooking the garden, we made a promise to ourselves to return to Cefalu next year.

Chef Nino

Massimo’s team can arrange for Nino to come to your villa as a private chef and cook a wonderful meal for your group. You can choose to learn to cook with Nino or just sit back and enjoy the meal. Either way, it is sure to be a memorable experience.

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The undiscovered jewel of the Mediterranean https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/visit-cefalu/ Thu, 28 May 2015 09:59:35 +0000 http://www.italianvillasforyou.com/?p=3353 Cefalu a special place in Sicily For those looking for a beautiful, undiscovered haven of tranquillity, a trip to Cefalù may be just what the doctor ordered.  Cefalu lies in the Mediterranean.  It is a city as well as a commune, located in Palermo, on the northern coast of Sicily. Cefalu is considered one of […]

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Cefalu a special place in Sicily

For those looking for a beautiful, undiscovered haven of tranquillity, a trip to Cefalù may be just what the doctor ordered.  Cefalu lies in the Mediterranean.  It is a city as well as a commune, located in Palermo, on the northern coast of Sicily. Cefalu is considered one of the best seaside towns in Palermo, and one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.  There is much to do in this beautiful town, including taking in the gorgeous scenery.  The city is most well known for the medieval monuments at the base of La Rocca. You can also view our big collection of holiday villas in Cefalu and the Sicily Region.

La Rocca

La Rocca is known for the medieval monuments at the base of its large granite mass.  Climbing to the top of La Rocca can be quite tricky, but the views are astounding, and worth the exertion. On your way to the top of the rock, there are two choices. You can head straight up to see the castle’s ruin, which is at the pinnacle, or you can lead to the Temple of Diana, which is just a 20-minute trek. History says that this was once the site of the acropolis Cephaloedium, with a temple dedicated to Hercules on top. At the very top of La Rocca, you will see some medieval fortifications and a former lookout tower which is, today, in ruins.  The view from here includes the skyline of Palermo and the Aeolian Islands.

Cefalu Duomo

Cefalu Duomo is a Roman Catholic church in Cefalu that is also known as The Cathedral-Basilica of Cefalu.  Built-in 1131, in the Norman style of architecture.  This is a simple, but beautiful, cathedral that encourages visitors. The cathedral’s interior is quite lovely. It features a mosaic apse and modern glass windows. The prophets and saints founded along the sidewalls, and there is a Norman baptismal font. The Duomo also features furnishings copied from the Byzantine style that was favoured by Constantine.  The mosaics are quite famous, and you will understand why when you see them. There are also some restaurants in this area, too, to complete your day’s sightseeing.

Cefalu Coast Beaches

The Cefalu coast beaches are another of the city’s treasures.  The beaches are safe, clean and pristine; the waters are a pure, azure blue.  Along the coastline, you will also find some bars and trattorias.  They border the promenades all the way to Cefalu’s traditional town centre. The atmosphere is laid back, and the beaches tend to be less crowded as this is not your typical beach town.  The sand is perfect for sunset walks, or sunrise strolls.  The waters are perfect for swimming.

Santuario di Gibilmanna

Santuario di Gibilmanna, or the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, is a Christian shrine found in Cefalu.  This sanctuary is said to be one of the six Benedictine monasteries that were commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great. Many people make the pilgrimage to Cefalu to pray at the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, or more specifically, at this shrine to the Virgin Mary. The shrine’s coronation took place on August 17th, 1760 which noted as the official consecration of the sanctuary.

The sanctuary constructed of many styles of architecture: The current building underwent modifications during the Baroque period, while the façade you will see today done in 1907, after the original crumbled. Make sure to see the eleventh-century fresco, done in the Byzantine style, of the Virgin and Child. Located in one of the sanctuary’s chapels.

The shrine has two confirmed miracles, restoring sight to two blind worshippers and restoring speech to a mute.  These miracles were confirmed by the Vatican, which makes Santuario Gibilmanna one of the most important shrines in Sicily. Visitors are welcome to explore the memorial, and the museum located in the convent annexe — the museum dedicated to works of the Capuchin brothers.

Museo Mandralisca

The Museo Mandralisca, or Museum of Mandralisca, is full of ancient works of art.  This interdisciplinary museum features an art gallery, an archaeological collection, an impressive shell collection and a furniture collection that belonged to the Mandralisca family.  The museum even includes a selection of money, one of the largest coin collections in the world. The museum is the private collection of Mandralisca, a local nobleman.  The museum is even in the old Mandralisca family palace. One of the most well-known pieces in the Museo Mandralisca is the Portrait of an Unknown man, done by Antonello da Messina, a Renaissance master. An exciting and eclectic museum to wander through.

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Explore Sicily https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/explore-sicily/ https://www.massimovillas.com/travel-guide/explore-sicily/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 07:47:26 +0000 https://www.massimovillas.com/?p=376 Explore Sicily our Tips for your Holidays Whenever you head on holiday somewhere for the first time, you never quite know what to expect when you arrive. Will you enjoy it? What will you discover? Will you stick to the beaches and the typical tourist activities or will you strike out on your own to […]

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Explore Sicily our Tips for your Holidays

Whenever you head on holiday somewhere for the first time, you never quite know what to expect when you arrive. Will you enjoy it? What will you discover? Will you stick to the beaches and the typical tourist activities or will you strike out on your own to see what it’s all about?

In the case of Sicily, you can certainly have a beautiful holiday doing all the traditional touristy things. You can visit the main sights in Noto, Siracusa and Modica, and see what Ragusa has to offer. There are classic areas you may already have read about such as Ortigia, regions that have their secrets to share with you.

But what of going off the beaten track? Is the best of Sicily to be found in these other areas where few tourists ever venture?

Some would undoubtedly say yes. There are main roads that will take you and a hire car across to the other side of the island to be sure, but there is much to be said for making your route. Smaller, narrower and quieter roads take you to more unique places, places that do not always appear on the more traditional itineraries.

There are two ways you can go about this activity if it appeals to you. Before you get your hire car, you can take a look at a few maps of Sicily and perhaps pick out one or two roads or destinations. Alternatively, you can pack some food and drink into your car, make sure you have a full tank of petrol and see where the road takes you. Either way, a roadmap is a good idea!

In truth only you will know what would please you most when exploring Sicily in this way. Perhaps it will be coming upon a quiet, quaint village, far from all traces of tourism, so you can see just what real Sicilian life is like. A meal enjoyed in a quiet restaurant in some such place can be an experience in itself – and a mighty pleasant one at that.

Alternatively, you may enjoy looking out for signs of the past. Perhaps architecture is what appeals to you, watching out for signs of a long-since-gone Sicily that still can be seen in the modern world – but only if you look for them. It could be something as simple as finding a small stretch of coastline that seems to have remained undiscovered by your fellow tourists: somewhere you can stretch out, relax and call your own, if only for a day.

It is this Sicily that appeals so much to many people who visit each year. While tourism has been a significant source of income for the island for decades, it is still far from the tourism-heavy place some areas of mainland Italy have become. Many would be thankful for that.

There is an opportunity here to see Sicily for what it is: a charming place with character, passion, a respect for the past and an eye on the future and is there any other Sicily you would rather see than this?

L'articolo Explore Sicily proviene da Massimo Villas.

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