Parco delle Madonie

This amazing park could very well be considered a botanic paradise, as the flora plays a major role in the overall territory. Its peaks reach approximately 2,000 meters in height, and has approximately 2,600 of Sicily’s species, as well as 150 out of 200 endemic species. The wildlife in this park can be characterized by around 65% of nesting birds and mammals that are found in this region of Italy, and is well known for the landscape’s interesting geological aspects.

horseriging madonie

From various points in the park, one is able to admire other landscapes, including the Aeolian Islands, Nebrodi and Etna, which offers nothing but gorgeous views at sunset and at dawn. There are various trails, a hiking center and even camping areas.

A Day in Palermo

one day in Palermo

Palermo is a beautiful city in Sicily, Italy and has an ever-changing character to it. This amazing city is full of museums, markets, baroque jostle and Arabian domes. Describing Palermo as a fascinating city does not even begin to do justice, as it’s somewhat like a completely different world from something you would normally see around the globe. With its own perfect style and flair, this city is definitely one of a kind. Palermo has hundreds of things to do, but when you only have one day, it can be difficult to look at your options and figure out what you want to do.

Walk the Via Vittorio Emanuele

Some of the best gems can be found here, and all you have to do is simply walk around. It’s home to the Palazzo dei Normanni, which is a Norman palace full of mosaic and home to the regional government of Sicily. While walking you will also be able to see all of the buildings that were built in the styles of Byzantine, Arab and Norman, which pays homage to the days when it was controlled by such regions. The Quattro Canti, or the Four Corners, are fountains and statues that can be found where the Via Maqueda and the Via Vittori Emanuele connect.

Vine & Co – Piazza Marina

If you’re big on wine then you simply will not want to miss this location, considering the fact that Sicily is one of the biggest wine producers in Italy. This location allows customers to fill a five litre jug full of either white or red wine and take it with you, no small plastic bottles.

Palermo’s Duomo

This amazing building was constructed by the Normans during 1184 and added to later on by the Spaniards, an architect from Naples and the Goths. It stands in front of Via Vittorio Emanuele’s Duomo, which allows you to pin point the additions that were added over time by each individual groups, considering the styles don’t blend that well. Overall, this created an amazing architectural structure.

The Fontana Pretoria

Also known as the Fountain of Shame, this attraction was unveiled during 1575, and interestingly enough, citizens at that time thought this fountain to be very disgraceful, as it is located basically right between two of the churches that share Piazza Pretoria.

The Vucciria Market

There are a total of three openly aired markets to visit in Palermo, but this one is the best, considering it’s over 700 years old and shoppers both tourist and local absolutely love it. Dulce and Cabbana sunglasses as well as Prado handbags are just a few of the knock-off designer brands that can be found here, as well as fresh produce, household items, spices, cheeses and meats. This part of the city is also one of the more Arabic sections, and is open Monday through Sunday usually until 2:00 PM.

A day in Palermo will show you just how amazing Italy can be, especially when there is so much to do in walking distance.

The Top Attractions in Cefalù

Cefalu dates back to Greek times, although it had a somewhat rocky history to begin with. Evidence of it appears and disappears throughout history but it has all led to the beautiful city that exists today.

One of the finest sights you can look forward to is undoubtedly the cathedral. Its official name is the Cathedral-Basilica of Cefalu, and it holds a dominant position within the city itself. It is almost a thousand years old and has no doubt seen many changes and plenty of drama during that time. Both the interior and exterior of the cathedral are quite impressive, and it is worth visiting at dusk to see the cathedral lit in all its glory, with the sky reducing to a deepening blue behind it.

While you are visiting the cathedral do find the time to appreciate Piazza Duomo as well. This is a delightful corner of Cefalu, attractively finished with flourishing palm trees and offering several places where you can order a drink or snack and enjoy a good view of the cathedral itself.

If you are partial to visiting the occasional museum on holiday, you will find just the one in Cefalu. This is the Mandralisca Museum, named after the Baron of the same name who was quite the art collector. It appears small to begin with but each room gives way to another series of rooms boasting yet more artefacts. Perhaps the finest and most famous item here is the portrait of an unknown man, which has been likened by many to the Mona Lisa, even though it is far less famous.

Another of the main attractions here is Cefalu itself. The city has largely developed around its historical roots. These remain today as the classic historic centre, while the more modern elements of it have developed and spread out over the years. Do make sure you pay particular attention to the old town, since it is made up of some character-filled streets that wind their way around the area. Some are quite narrow with buildings rising up above you on either side, while others lend their way to the discovery of a charming café with outdoor tables, or perhaps a small row of shops.

From the beach you will no doubt look up to the rocky crag that dominates the skyline over Cefalu itself. For an altogether different view of the city you can head to the top of the crag (known as La Rocca) when the weather is reasonable. Doing it on a very hot day is inadvisable, and whenever you do it you should take ample supplies of water and the odd snack too. It isn’t a long journey to reach the top but it is a steep climb.