Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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

      More by this author

      6 Reasons Why French Press Makes the Best Coffee 9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone Who Doesn’t Easily Show Affection 12 Ways To Earn More Money While You Have A Full-Time Job 7 Steps to Reduce Your Laptop’s Fan Noise & Increase Speed 7 Ideas To Decorate Your Home Using LED Strip Lights

      Trending in Lifestyle

      17 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day 210 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew 311 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 411 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits) 510 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

      Advertising

      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

        Advertising

          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

              Advertising

              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

                  Advertising

                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                      Read Next