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Sicily: The Joy of My Heart

Miss Martinez 2016-09-28 11:17

Do you ever get a sense of belonging to a place after travelling a lot? That sense that even as a new comer, you also won't feel anything wrong; that once away from homeland for a long time, you can't wait to return like a fish to the water. So real life seemed to become a yoke that bundle you back. And when your sensitive heart is touched by any little things, you unexpectedly become melancholy and heartbroken. 


If you love Italian movies, Monica Bellucci's performance in Malèna must break your heart; you must be anxious for thrilling infighting within the Corleone family in The Godfather. All that beauty and ugliness, good and evil occurred in this very place.     


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It makes sense to start your journey of Sicily from Catania, the island's second largest city. From here, you can take Interbus to most of the towns in the eastern part of Sicily, hardly ever lasting longer than a two-hour drive. Catania is located at the foot of Mount Etna. It is located in the plains, so the traffic is very convenient. It is also the best location to observe volcanic eruptions. Local people say: if you are lucky enough, perhaps you will witness the eruption of Europe's largest volcano. If you come now, you will run right into the Italian summer vacation, which means most shopping malls and some indoor attractions are closed from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and reopen after 4. Many people do not understand and think that affects their travel itinerary. But I accepted readily. When you're in Sicily, you must be prepared to take things as they come. 


Taormina: The Bright Pearl in the Crown of the Middle Ages


"You are not ready. That is all of a sudden. It uses such a beauty to conquer your heart. From then on, you cannot forget."


The French writer Maupassant said, 'if a man can only stay in Sicily for one day and asked: 'where should I visit?' I will not hesitate to answer him: 'Taormina'."


The temperature and smell of Summer Sea mixes perfectly - the air itself smells Sicilian. It takes an hour and a half to drive from Catania to Taormina. If the Sicily is beautiful, then Taormina is the pearl in its crown. One side is the endless blue refreshing of the Ionian Sea, sparkling as sprinkled with a thin layer of gold powder, and the other side is the medieval town around the mountain. Windows and balconies are full of colourful flowers. Most houses are distributed along the steeply inclined street and around the square where the sunlight filters through. Walk in the town and you will suddenly have the illusion of falling into a long lost world. The beauty here is a kind of surreal, as if God left a exclamation mark.


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If you come here on vacation, remember to not rush. The Italians love a slower life. The first page of Lonely Planet for Italy reads: "The euro as well as enough patience is essential for Italy tourism." You have to be patient with them, though they have no patience. All forms of "fast", in their eyes are a crime and the meaning of life is, to slow down, to enjoy the best of everything. If today's pizza tastes good, or a beauty smiles to them passing by… the fleeting moment of happiness can make them happy for a long time. Sometimes we must slow down to remember what it means to be happy.


Essential Stops

Teatro Greco

Teatro Greco was built in the 3rd century BC, and is the second largest theater in Sicily. The theater is backed by mountains and faces the sea. In summer, there will be the famous Taormina International Art Festival here with classic Italian opera.


Piazza IX Aprile

This is a central plaza, which has a typical Sicilian style with unique black and white tiles. The Ionian Sea and Mount Etna are visible in the distance. The scenery from night and day are completely different. At night, there are some magic effects with floor tiles on the ground. The sea is sleeping. 


Syracuse: The Beautiful Legend of Sicily


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"She comes to the peaceful sunshine town in Sicily, teasing the wavy black hair, wearing the most fashionable skirt and stockings, stepping in high-heeled shoes with lust temptation. All her movements are remarkable and all her twinkle and smile make men enchanted and woman envious. Marianne, like a goddess, conquered the paradise on the seashore."


The movie Malèna starred Italian national treasure Monica Bellucci and was set in the coastal city of Syracuse. I went to relive the classic plot that Malena, who plays by Belluci walks across the square in front of the Syracuse Cathedral Square. 


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Ortigia is the old district in Syracuse. It is also a most beautiful and special place. Going through the alleys, you always wonder whether Malena is leaning out the balcony, lighting a lonely cigarette, looking into the distance. Syracuse's beauty is more implicative. There are not any remarkable grand buildings, but some most beautiful and lasting artistic halls.


Why have so much beautiful art and design come out of Italy? If you were born and raised in this beautiful land, you will know that the true beauty and quality are managed and inherited by the family from generation to generation. Beauty needs to be accumulated instead of spontaneously created. In Italy, there is a field of study called "restoration of cultural relics". Students of this will repair the damaged churches and polish it piece by piece. One person needs 30 years to complete the repair of a church. And during that time, what was already fixed place will likely need to be revisited and restored once again. To choose such a life is to dedicate oneself to history.


In the winding town streets, you can find the sporadic handicraft shop or small cafe, occasionally hear street artists at the church door with an accordion performance from The Godfather soundtrack. The town is small and one day is enough to walk around in it, so slow down and enjoy this carefree state; order a cup of cappuccino or a glass of red wine, and watch tourists, pretend to be a local… for one day, forget who you are and become a Silician.


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I would argue that Italy is the most romantic country in the world. Romance is like hot chocolate in Italy. It is not too sweet and full of flavour. I like the flirty waiter's flattery. Even just meeting for the first time, he will exhaust the most beautiful words in the world to praise me: "no wonder the sky tonight is so bleak, the most beautiful stars fled to your eyes." 


Essential Stops

Duomo di Siracusa

It has ever been a temple. After St. Paul Christianized the island, it changed to a church. The baroque church was built in the 5th century. Its Doric pillars are still visible to this day. The most famous thing is the church square. It is the Malèna viewfinder. 


Ortigia

Described by the great Roman orator Cicero as "the greatest and most beautiful city in Greece", The city has many ancient Greek style buildings with more than one thousand years history. There is a huge cave with loud echoes called the Orecchio di Dionisio beside the Greek theater that is shaped like a human ear.



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