From the rooftop terrace of Hotel Isabella in Taormina in Sicily I had serious jaw dropping awesome views of both Mt Etna and the Mediterranean....and I mean awesome in the true original Oxford dictionary way !!
Or louvres, whatever you call them, I love and adore them. Probably in the main because they cast such interesting and summery shadows but also because they enhance any ordinary window and turn it into something eye catching and photo worthy. Shutters adorned mansions I read about in books as a child and always, even today, make me think of Gone With the Wind type plantations and Heidi type Swiss chalets. So here in Italy I am in shutter heaven...as you can tell !!!
The Arena of Verona is a huge Roman amphitheatre where concerts and operas are held. It is very like the Colisseum in Rome but in full working order. Today, clearly, something big was being set up and rehearsals were in full swing. I spotted this gladiator stepping out of the Roman era into the 21st Century for a spot of lunch !!!
These beautiful canal photos might make you think I am in Venice but no ....not yet....I am in Bologna. Venice is in two days. Bologna is a lovely medieval style Italian city and is said to be the home of the first ever university. Gorgeous porticoes line the main streets under which are endless elegant clothing stores and gourmet delicatessens and of course, cafe after cafe !!!!
I had thought pink was the colour of Italy but no, I am now thinking I am wrong and Italy is all about the autumnal colours of goldy oranges and yellows. It seems wherever I look there is a golden glow whether it be fruits or flowers or buildings. Yellow hues, to me, are full of smiles and joy....so now I am sure of it, it must be the colour of Italy !!!
When I travel my head is on a swivel, left, right, up, down, roundabout with my jaw hanging !! I can't bear to miss a thing and there is very seriously NO END to the beauty in Sicily. The ancient architecture leaves me agog and I truly gasp with pleasure seeing the pastel shuttered villas and their Juliet balconies adorned with bright geraniums. Oh I love it all !!!
Noto is described by Lonely Planet as a Baroque belle. They speak the truth !!! I went to see this beautiful little town yesterday and the sun came out to enhance the golden sandstone architecture. There was a massive earthquake there in 1693 and the whole place was rebuilt in the early eighteenth century. Whilst the sightseeing was amazing, I must mention the local gelato. I tried a local cookies and cream version with crumbled speculaa and lots of cinnamon....heaven in a plastic cup.
Today, wandering Syracuse, I have seen so much, almost overload !! The architecture, the harbour, the food....it's hard to take it all in, hard to appreciate it all and process such endless history and beauty. I always have to remind myself when I travel to look up and down so as not to miss a single thing !!!