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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 December 9, 2019

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

      The result: no more mental stress.

      2. Unplug

      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

      3. Easy on the Caffeine

      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

      The result: mental stress will be gone!

      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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