Castellamare del Golfo

A day in Castellamare Del Golfo involves seeing the sea a lot. It’s quite romantic! It’s in the Trapani region, which is in the Mediterranean but looking out in the direction of the Atlantic. I think it gets extra wind for that reason – there’s something about this side of Sicily that feels more adventurous…

Cathedral Building… or was it Economy Building?

All the cathedrals across Europe were built in the space of about 200 years, at the height of the crusades. They look expensive, but they were actually money machines. Whilst there may have been an element of religious fervour to them, they were also a way of demonstrating power to potential enemies and the illiterate…

What do Wine, Salt and an English Martyr have in common?

Marsala, on the westernmost point of Sicily! Marsala, being a major strategic town on Sicily’s west coast, became a major base when the Spanish conquered Italy.┬áIt has a very southern-Spanish feel. The houses have exciting balconies that reminded me of the beautiful ones you see in Seville. Marsala Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Thomas a…

Top Ten places to visit in North-Western Sicily

Sicily’s north-western region is rich in exciting and varied places to visit. There are countless wonders, but here’s my TOP TEN. 1. MONREALE CATHEDRAL Monreale cathedral was commissioned by the Normans but mainly designed and built by the Africans, whom the Normans had just conquered. The Muslim-Arabic influence shows everywhere in this cathedral, which is…

Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily

Lo Zingaro nature reserve, in San Vito lo capo, was Sicily’s first. We visited recently, and spotted a falcon flying overhead. There are also buzzards, ravens, hooded crows and thrushes. The wild flowers include ferns, cyclamen, hollly bushes, lots of yellow mountain broom and this lovely flower. Does anyone know what it is? There were…

How do you get Edible Salt out of the Sea?

We are so used to being warned not to eat too much salt nowadays that it may be hard to imagine how life in the past involved a constant effort to obtain enough of it. Not only does it render any food tasty, it is a vital nutrient and death is the inevitable consequence of…