MarsalaMarsalaFounded by the Carthaginians, it was attacked and won over by the Romans in 241 - not easily, as it took some ten years for that siege to be successful. Because of salt and marble in the area it became an important port. It is an interesting town to visit.

In Marsala we discovered not only a very pleasant and elegant town, but the drink of the holiday: Tea Freddo con Lemone Granita. Nothing hits the spot better on a hot day.


We toured a naval museum, the Museo di Capo Lilibeo, which houses the remains and a rebuilt model of an ancient Phoenician war ship of the 3C BC. The boats had significant treasures that have been recovered from greek and roman trading boats that sunk thousands of years ago.



NotoSeeing Noto was one of the reasons we travelled to Sicily. It is considered the Baroque town in terms of architecture. It has such a consistent look as the town was completely destroyed in 1693 by an earthquake and then rebuilt from scratch on a new site, about 10km from the old centre.

Three roads divide the town into three parts running from east to west. The nobility lived in the top region, the clergy in the middle the clergy, and “hoi polloi”in the bottom region.

A local limestone was used as the primary building material. This is what gives the town its soft golden-honeyed glow. Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the main street and most of Noto’s most impressive buildings are along this corso. Walk from the Porta Reale through three piazzas, each with its own church to get a great feel for the town. See the Monastero del Santissimo Salvatore with a graceful tower, the Palazzo Ducrezio, with the Cathedral with the dome that collapsed in 1996, the Church of San Francesco, the Jesuit Church and College and Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata.

Near the end of the Corso is Piazza XVI Maggio with its magnificent Church of San Domenico and a magnificent Fountain of Hercules.

Another corso, and one that runs parallel to Corso Vittorio Emanuele is Via Cavour and along this via are the elaborate noble palaces including Palazzo Astuto and Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao.


Piazza Armerina

The city, called Piazza (prior to 1862), has a long history. It flourished under Roman Rule. At the Villa Romana del Casale there are notabloe mosacis.

The Vailla Romana del Casale is located about 3 km soutwest of of the city. There are signs, but do keep you eyes glued for directions. On our trip in 2013 we did not spend time in the city of Piazza itself. We should have, as the Baroque Cathedral is said to be impressive.

The Sant'Anna church is from the 18th Century and the facade was inspired by the buildings of Borromini.

The villa belonged to a member of the Roman senatorial aristocracy. As work to explore the area continues, the remains of the presence a commercial centre near the villa was found - Casale - for which the Roman villa now holds the name.



Back to Sicily, Page One