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Italy and Sicily - various visits

Yes, I do know that Sicily is part of Italy and the 'and' in the title is wrong. However I am nowhere near the first to observe that when in Sicily, it feels like a separate country. I shall try to keep roughly from north to south. It will be rough - but Sicily will certainly come last.

Updated May 29, 2012
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  1. Ridiculously Expensive "Sights & Attractions" in Pisa, Italy
    I know I'm in a minority but I don't see the famous Leaning Tower as anything other than a tourist trap. It's like this: 1.) A tower is built that's meant to be vertical - like most towers are. 2.) It starts to lean but does not fall down. To…
  2. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Lucca, Italy
    Lucca is a lovely city that is a bit more restful than some places in central Italy - not much by way of hills. This hotel is in a great location. It is literally only just round the corner for a view of the cathedral, wich is pretty dramatic. It …
  3. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Ostia Antica, Italy
    The grading for service may be unfair now. When I stayed the proprietors were away and their son was taking in any guests. I had to wait some time for him to turn up. Also at that time they had no address on their website and I had considerable diffi…
  4. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Bominaco, Italy
    Free is technically correct but it would not go down well if you failed to give a small donation to the keyholder/guide. This is one of two remarkable chapels at the small village of Bominaco in L'Aquila Province of Abruzzo, Italy. If it were in T…
  5. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Opi, Italy
    The title comes from the website and seldom was a slogan more justified. (http://www.opionline.it/fresilia_en.html) I have never stayed anywhere with more friendly people. Opi is an idylic little village on the top of a minor hill in the Abruzzo N…
  6. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Viterbo, Italy
    I wonder whether some of the writers about Viterbo in guidebooks have ever been there! You could easily get the impression that it is a pretty grey place but excellent for visiting the cities where you can find Etruscan remains. It is neither!! It is…
  7. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Trevi, Italy
    Il Terziere is just outside the main part of the village and hence gives better views of the cathedral ensemble than you could get from the village itself. The view towards the village's outskirts was also impressive. It was impressive but do reme…
  8. Average priced "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Italy
    This restaurant is just outside the walls of this medieval walled vllalge and until the 2009 earthquake there was a view of the old watchtower over the wall. Sadly this was destroyed. I have eaten here twice. The first time was in 1998. I had gon…
  9. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Cerveteri, Italy
    The old and new towns at Cerveteri are quite distinct and I believe this to be the only accommodation in the old town. The bus terminus is just outside the gate of the old town. Go through the gate and do not turn left but go straight on and take the…
  10. Very cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Italy
    We thought we had booked at a hotel! That might have added to our difficulties in finding it - but probably not much. The bus driver put us out at the first entrance to the town, whereas the second would have been better. From the latter go through t…
  11. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Palermo, Italy
    We arrived at Cefalu without having booked and walked from the station searching. This was the first one we found - advertised in a shop window. We phoned and within a few minutes the proprietor arrived. It is only a short distance from Cefalu's w…
  12. Very cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Castelbuono, Italy
    Getting to Castelbuono at all turned interesting, when I managed to miss the bus from Cefalu. I found it was only one station away on the train but it was only when I arrived tha I realised that the town was way up miles above the station. Fortunatel…
  13. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Siracusa, Italy
    We had planned to visit Siracusa on a day trip but we fled from a B&B in Catania. (The rules don't allow me to tell the truth about that one!!) Hence we had no booking and set out from the bus station to look. It was only about 150 yards away - why l…
  14. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Erice, Italy
    From the town of Trapani in north-west Sicily a mountain rises. On top is the vilage of Erice. Unlike many villages in Sicily that are attractive once you get in, this one is attractive from a distance as well. The Hotel la Pineta consists of a nu…
  15. Very cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Palermo, Italy
    This is a budget location in an excellent situation. Not only is it within easy walking distance of the station which is also a major terminal for long distance and local buses; extremely important to those putting a premium on their security, its en…
  16. Expensive "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Siracusa, Italy
    I have read some very adverse reviews of La Finanzera but I can only write as we found it - and that was very good.The cost rating is based on what we would think of prices at home. By the general standrd of what a meal might be expected to cost in S…
  17. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Siracusa, Italy
    Siracusa is justly proud of its archaeological museum, named after Paolo Orsi, a local archaeologist.It is a very modern hexagonal building and the museum is divided into three sections. We gave Section C a miss as we were tired after seeing the othe…
  18. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Agrigento, Italy
    Other than booking our first experience of this B&B was being phoned when we were on the bus from Catania to Agrigento. As a result Marco was there to meet us a the bus terminal and to take us by car to the B&B. Possibly the 21 steps from road to …
  19. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Siracusa, Italy
    Sadly the church of San Giovanni was badly bombed in WW2. However not for the first time the catacombs served as a refuge, The first time was when they were used as a necropolis by early Christians. They were not able to bury their dead in the cit…
  20. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Ostia Antica, Italy
    Free for EU over 65s; cheap for humans. Travel tickets included on Rome metrobus passes. Whether or not you have been to Pompeii or Herculaneum, this is undoubtedly worth a visit. The Tiber river has changed its course since ancient Roman times with…
  21. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Rome, Italy
    This museum is located at the north-west tip of the Borghese Gardens but I don't recommend a walk through the gardens as a way of finding it! My son and I got hopelessly lost trying to do so. The museum contains Etruscan remains from numerous sites …
  22. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Cerveteri, Italy
    This is one of the best known of the Etruuscan Necropolosis. The Etruscan civilisation existed in Italy several hundred years before the Roman republic was flourishing. The were impressive at painting and pottery and it is amost impossible to tell wh…
  23. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Tarquinia, Italy
    At first sight this necropolis comes as something of a disappointment. In place of the streets of the dead and homes of the dead at Cerveteri, all htat is to be seen is what looks a little like a building site with an undue number of builders' huts. …
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