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Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sicily: The Largest Island in The Mediterranean

Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sicily: The Largest Island in The Mediterranean

A Land with An Ancient History and Rich in Natural Beauty

Generally, when talking about Italy and especially about holidays in Italy, we always think the most famous Italian cities like Rome or Naples, or the most popular monuments like the Colosseum, or the most breath-taking views as the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. However, Italy is not only this. There is a land with an ancient history and rich in natural beauty and monuments: the Sicily. Visiting Sicily means immersing yourself in a charming, rural world. In fact, this area has so much to offer, crystal clear sea, impressive monuments, history, culture, landscapes and spectacular food. But what are the best things to do in Sicily? Let’s find out.

First, Sicily has a vast territory. Among the main tourist destinations there are Palermo, Catania, Taormina, Syracuse, the Aeolian Islands, the active volcano Mount Etna. Obviously a list of things to see larger would be prohibitive for this article.

Palermo is the capital of Sicily and, with Naples, it was the most important city of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. It is a fairly big city, but not too much, things to see are certainly not lacking! Palermo is a place where it will be impossible not to fall in love with the Valley of Gold, its streets, the markets, and the traditions of this wonderful city.

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Main Places of Interest in Palermo

palermo

    The main places of interest in Palermo, of course the list is endless, are the Norman Palace, the Palatine Chapel, the Catacombs of the Capuchins, the Church of Martorana, the Cathedral of Palermo, the Teatro Massimo, and the Botanical Garden.

    Catania is a city too often snubbed by tourists and travelers, despite being very close to one of the busiest ports of Italy. Founded in 729 BC by Calcidesi, Catania has a long history characterized by various rulers whose remains enrich the artistic, architectural and cultural. Under the Aragonese dynasty, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.

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    The Baroque of its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage, together with that of the seven municipalities of the Val di Noto (Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa, and Scicli), from 2002.

    Syracuse is probably one of the most popular destinations in the beautiful Sicily.

    Syracuse is probably one of the most popular destinations in the beautiful Sicily. The history of Syracuse is really fascinating, many people marched on these lands. The Corinthians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs. It goes without saying that the places to visit and they deserve to be seen are really a lot. The Regional Archaeological Museum Paolo Orsi, the Ear of Dionysius, the ancient theater of Taormina, the Castello Maniace, Cathedral of Syracuse, and Syracuse Roman amphitheater are the most important.

    But Sicily is mostly sea life, we are talking about an island. Travelers who are eager to make a nice dip in the blue are spoiled for choice. As desirable places are Taormina, because from here you can easily reach the Aeolian Islands, Lampedusa, Pantelleria. One of the best destinations for beach lovers is undoubtedly the Island of Currents.

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    The Island of The Currents is located in the southernmost tip of Sicily.

    Islands_of_the_Currents_at_Dawn_Sicily_Italy

      The name derives from the meeting point between the currents that flow in the island. The first stream of the Ionian Sea, the second of the Mediterranean Sea. The beach is much loved by those who practice windsurf, a sight not to be missed.

      Obviously, this article is not meant to be exhaustive, Sicily as well as being the southernmost Italian region is undoubtedly one of the Italian regions that have a broader offering tourist. As mentioned early, history, culture, sea, and folklore blend perfectly in this land which offer a natural and architectural spectacle without equal.

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      What to eat in Sicily?

      Probably you’re wondering what to eat in Sicily. You’ll be happy to know that the Sicilian culinary tradition is very wide, and being honest, in this country are produced some of the most popular Italian wines.

      Among the typical Sicilian dishes shine the Eggplant Parmigiana, the Sicilian Cannoli, the Sarde a Beccafico, the Almond Pastry, the Panelle and Cazzilli, Cassata Siciliana Cake, the Cartocciata Catanese and Arancine Ragout. Some names are in Italian because being typical products is virtually impossible to translate them all, but you just look at the online pictures to get your mouth watering.

      In short, Sicily is known worldwide especially for the Mafia and for the scenes of “The Godfather.” But if you’ve read this article, you have guessed that there is much more to discover, and above all, there is much good to see. Sicily is the southernmost region of Italy but it is undoubtedly a destination not to be missed in your Italian holiday.

      Featured photo credit: Sicily, Italy via mazzaroseapalace.it

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      Last Updated on November 18, 2020

      I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

      I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

      If you’re saying “I’m feeling bored,” it’s important to realize that boredom and feeling too busy are the same problem. Some people claim I’m being too ambitious trying to strike down chronic boredom and busyness at the same time. I’d argue that the only way to take them out is simultaneously.

      The problem stems from how you manage your attention. Both boredom and busyness stem from feeling there is a lack of quality in how you focus your attention.

      Boredom is feeling that there are too few high-quality ways to spend attention. Busyness is forced boredom. This means that you feel there are high quality ways to spend attention, but your attention is being stolen from you before you can use it.

      I’m Feeling Bored: It’s in Your Mind

      Feelings of boredom and busyness are subjective. You can’t look out in the world and claim it is busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is obvious, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.

      Being engaged, neither busy or bored, happens when your attention is focused on high-quality activities.

      You can probably remember times when you were completely engaged. This could have been working on a project you were passionate about, spending time with your family, sky diving or vacationing under the sun. Why were you engaged in these moments and not in others?

      A likely reason was because those experiences had a higher quality. They allowed you to enter into an immersive flow state, in which your entire consciousness was devoted to the activity.[1]

      In the best cases your entire reality revolves around what you are doing. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which, I must admit, inspired most of these ideas).

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      Improving the Quality of Your Activities

      So how do you improve quality in your experiences when you’re saying “I’m feeling bored”? I believe there are two major ways you can do it: externally and internally. If you are chronically busy (and actively disliking the busyness) or bored, then you’ll need to tackle external and internal factors that contribute to these negative feelings.

      Here are some ways to consider improving quality in your experiences:

      Externally

      1. Plan Ahead

      Schedule your life to ensure there aren’t huge gaps or work overflows later. This can mean scheduling high-quality experiences if you find yourself frequently bored. It can also mean dividing large projects if you find yourself chronically busy.

      • Plan weekend activities for next month now. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also forces you to stay productive instead of just busy.
      • Map out what is placing demands on your time. Can you consolidate all your “busy work” (such as responding to emails) into one block of time instead of allowing it to cause constant interruptions in your day?

      2. Win-Win

      If you must perform an activity you think has low quality, you’re going to feel bored. Find ways to reorganize your life so that jobs, chores, and duties can become interesting, high-quality experiences.

      Turn mind-numbing chores into opportunities for growth and learning. For example, listen to an audio book or lecture on the commute to work or while you’re cleaning your house.

      3. Prioritize

      If you don’t manage time, you’ll never have enough of it. There are always more things to do than you have time for. Get your values straight so that the highest priorities are handled first and your life doesn’t get overtaken by the unimportant.

      Set a vision for your life, and determine how everything you do either contributes or detracts from that vision. Chances are, the things that don’t align with your vision are some of the same things that bore you. After you identify low-priority activities, you can try to make them more meaningful, or you can find ways to eliminate them.

      4. Put Quality of Experience First

      It is easy to get caught up in external goals that don’t fulfill their promises. Focus on goals that will give you a greater quality, not just a bigger paycheck or more status to brag about.

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      Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that align with your life’s vision.[2]

      5. Escape the Motions

      Habits are a part of your life, but don’t let them become the only thing. Break out of your patterns if they aren’t giving you what you need. Instead of staying in, go out and meet new people on a Friday night. Just do something to get away from doing the same old thing.

      Schedule times to break from your routines. I thrive on having a routine most days, but I also give myself opportunities to break from sameness.

      Say “yes” to trying something new. Nothing spices up your day like trying something new.

      Internally

      Most of the ways to improve your quality of experience and conquer boredom are internal. Remember, it’s not just what you do, but also how you do it.

      1. Build an Inner World

      I’m not suggesting you create a complete rift between yourself and reality when you find yourself thinking “I’m feeling bored,” but also realize that if you can’t find quality in your immediate surroundings, you can find it within yourself.

      Solving internal problems, reviewing knowledge, coming up with new ideas, creating stories, or even planning for the future are all areas you can explore in the mind without any external stimuli.

      Use “boring” moments as opportunities to brainstorm. It’s a lot easier to cope with a humdrum reality if you’re able to use the time to explore possibilities within your mind.

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      If you’re really at a loss, you can imagine a story about 2-3 of the people and objects in your vicinity. This is a great way to exercise your creativity and sharpen your observation skills.

      2. Seek Quality in the Now

      Try starting small with some simple questions. What are you doing right now? What can you find that has value for you? Seeking quality right now allows you to find it even if your environment is bare or overloaded.

      Activities like waiting in line can be turned into moments of self-reflection or times to remind yourself of your vision.

      3. Don’t Resist

      Busyness and boredom could also be described as symptoms of resisting what is. Fully accepting whatever situation you are in and making the most of it is one way to conquer feeling bored.

      Resistance is something that can’t be done half-way. Either completely push away and seek quality elsewhere, or accept your surroundings and find it here.

      4. Unchain Yourself

      A lot of mental unease is caused because you feel forced to do something. You have to go to work, study for your test, do this or that. Realize that you don’t have to do anything, just accept different results. Freedom is in your mind.

      Weigh whether the activity causing your discomfort is essential or expendable. For example, paying your bills is non-negotiable, but you can opt to live a more modest lifestyle or actively search for a job you enjoy.

      Use a mantra to remind yourself of your freedom. “I am free” and “I have the power to change my circumstances” can reinforce the notion that you have choices.

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      5. Stop

      Boredom and feeling overloaded are both patterns. They are mental spirals you run on yourself that loop back on each other. If you just interrupt yourself for a few minutes and think more deeply about the problem, you can often come up with a good answer independent of these suggestions.

      Meditate your way out of boredom. Sometimes boredom and busyness are caused by feeling disconnected from what you are doing. Use meditation to ground yourself in the present.

      You can learn how to meditate here.

      Take up a gratitude practice. Whenever you’re feeling too bored or too busy, stop to think about all the things that are going well. Being able to simply say, “I got out of bed this morning,” and “I have food to eat,” help you take stock of your blessings.

      The Bottom Line

      As boredom and busyness arise from the same source, the same strategies can be used to tackle them and find a sweet spot of a balanced mindset. Find high-quality activities when you start saying “I’m feeling bored,” and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can turn things around.

      More Tips on Tackling Boredom

      Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

      Reference

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