Browsing Category: "travel in sicily"

Sicily weather New Years eve

sicily beach

sicily beach

Sicily weather 31/12/09. Yesterday a heat wave hit Sicily. Winds coming from Africa locally known as the scirocco raised temperatures to 25’C. Arriving from England i was happy to take off my scarf, coat and gloves. People were seen on the beach sunbathing in Mondello, Palermo and for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sicily locals are planning their last 2009 and first swim of the new year 2010 with several parties on the beach. Makes a fresh change to all that snow and ice in northern Europe !! Happy New Year !!! Now you know why people buy a holiday property in Sicily.

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Antimafia Tourism Siciliy

Antimafia tourism Sicily : Sicilian Mafia

I just heard a news item on UK BBC radio 4 announcing that in Sicily they have launched antimafia tourism in Palermo and Corleone.

Corleone mafia sicily

Corleone mafia sicily

So what is the Antimafia ? As it’s name suggests it is the policing organisation against the Mafia. Officially called the DIA “Direzione Investigativa Antimafia”. Responsable for investigating mafia bosses, corruption, protection rackets “pizzo” and anything to do with organised crime in Sicily. Amongst sicilians the antimafia is NOW considered more dangerous than the mafia, in that they have the legal right to put you in prison whilst you are innocent and under investigation for mafia association. I have a sicilian friend who innocently sold a plot of land to wind turbine developers, whom are strongly associated with the mafia and he got locked up for 6 months until it was proved he had nothing to do with the developer.

The antimafia successfully claims to confiscate or reposses mafia assets including businesses, property and cash. Some of these assets are now donated back into the sicilian community. See Francesco Galante restaurant near Corleone once owned by the Cosa Nostra.

PS check out the gun bullet hole under the “O” in Corleone in the above picture.

The antimafia tourism promoting the first restaurant in Palermo that refused to pay the pizzo and with trips to Corleone sounds more like Mafia Tourism to me not antimafia tourism.

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Historic car racing club in Sicily

Car rally in Sicily. rallye sicilia 2009

Car rally Sicily

Car rally Sicily

Ever fancied racing across the Sicilan landscape in an epic, historic, prestige racing car in Sicily ? This weekend there is “The race in Sicily” hosted by Historic Racing Club.

Not much info on their website, but its normally a race that takes place round Lake Garda. This year there is the 1st Sicilian edition. Visitng Trapani, Erice and then onto Salemi, Selinunte and finishing in Marsala.

The event has been organised by the Associazione Culturale Sportiva Historic Racing Club, Marsala.

If you fancy hiring an epic race car for touring Sicily, then ask MIPC for further details.

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Al Martino The Godfather Johnny Fontane Mafia Tourism

Al Martino The Godfather

Al Martino famous for playing the role of Johnny Fontane in the 1972 film The Godfather died on Tuesday at his childhood home in Philadelphia.

Besides acting in the Marlon Brando classic “The Godfather,” Martino sang the 1972 film’s title score, “The Love Theme From The Godfather.” His Fontane character is a singer and occasional actor and is the godson of Brando’s Mafia boss character, Don Vito Corleone, a character supposedly based on Frank Sinatra, but with eerie similarities to Martino’s own career.

The Italian American singer, Al Martino, had Britain’s first number one record. The song, Here In My Heart, was top when the New Musical Express introduced its chart in November 1952. Martino, the former bricklayer’s other hits included Spanish Eyes, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Volare.

Mafia Tourism

Interest in films like the Godfather continue to drive mafia tourism to Sicily. Mafia tourism is a developing sector in sicilian tourism. If you are a travel agent and would like to know more about our mafia Godfather tourism program, including visits to Corleone, the mafia museum, Don Corleone memorial and more Godfather film locations please contact MIPC using the EMAIL MIPC tab at top of this page.

Al Martino | The Godfather | Johnny Fontane | Mafia Tourism

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Messina floods landslides mudslide Sicily

Messina floods landslides mudslide Sicily

Arriving in Trapani airport last night, the reality of the Messina floods hit home. Even on the west side of the island of Sicily there have been mud slides and many of the roads blocked by mud and landslides.

Messina is in the north east of Sicily on the Ionian coast and recently in the news for the approval of the project to build the Strait of Messina bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, connecting Sicily to mainland Italy across the Messina strait from Reggio Calabria.

Torrential rain hit Sicily on Thursday 1st October and overnight Messina floods. Apparently over 200cm of water fell within an hour creating devastating flash floods and mudslides.

The worst hit towns were were Giampilieri Superiore, 10km south of Messina, Scaletta Zanclea and Briga  Superiore.

The Italian state declared a state of emergency. This is the worst landslide disaster in Italy since 1998 in Naples.

24 dead of which the following 20 identified : Martino Scibilia, di 86 anni; Concetta Cannistraci, di 71; Monica Barascia, di 48; Carmelina Maria Barbera, di 81; Santina Porcino, di 33; Carmela Oliveri, di 47; Roberto Carullo, di 50; Onofrio Sturiale, di 26; Agnese Falgetano, di 44; Maria Letizia Scionti, di 26; Elena De Luca, di 75; Cristian Maugeri, di 22; Letterio Maugeri, di 23; Letterio Laganà, di 72; Teresa Macina, di 40; Francesco De Luca, di 74; Salvatore Scionti, di 64; Pasquale Neri, di 30; Giuseppe Tonante, di 76.

I have witnessed these Sicilian storms. The conflict of hot air coming from Africa and the cool air travelling south from the Italian Alps creates a metrological condition similar to a tropical cyclone.

Flooding was also reported in Palermo, Milazzo and Catania.

If you own an italian property in Sicily or on holiday in sicily or looking to buy a house in sicliy and flying into Catania Airport take note that local roads travelling north like the E45 or the statale 114 are still blocked. Keep to the autostrada A18 which is reported as clear today.

I trying to find out if a relief fund for the Messina Floods has been set up for donations…ok found them…there are 2…personally i’d go with option 2

1: Donate to Catania Council

Bank name : Banca di Sicilia

account name : “Vittime alluvione in Sicilia” …..translates as “Sicilian storm victims”

IBAN : IT54R0102004600000350350350

2 Donate to Messina Council(announced by the town of Reggio Calabria)

account name : “Comune di Messina – Servizio Tesoreria”

reference : “pro-alluvionati”

IBAN : IT 91Y0102016598000300034781

Read more here

2009 Messina floods and mudslides

Cous Cous Fest “Festival” San Vito lo Capo, Sicily

Cous Cous Fest “Festival” San Vito lo Capo, Sicily.

Cous Cous , originating from Northern Africa , and now part of the Sicilian traditional cuisine is particularly present in the province of Trapani. The Sicilian fishing ports with their fresh daily catches provide the fundamental ingredients for Fish cous cous “di pesce”.

San Vito lo Capo a Sicilian seaside resort famous for its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters is the host of the annual cous cous fest.  This year taking place from 22nd to 27th September.

For further details visit the official website at Cous Cous Fest

Ryanair Bari Brindisi Trapani Puglia Sicily

Ryanair continue to invest into southern Italy.  This time connecting Puglia with Sicily. With direct flights from Trapani to Bari and Trapani to Brindisi. Thank you Mr O’leary you continue to make life easier for me working here as an Italian Property consultant in southern Italy. For me travelling across the south of Italy sourcing property in Italy, project management of client Italian property restoration  has always been a little difficult. Sometimes having to use the train and ferry to get from west sicily to Brindisi, which can take over 8 hours. Now as Ryaniar know there is an increasing number of clients looking for property in Puglia and property in Sicily flights are available to book today for the first departures in February 2010. Flight time under an hour from Trapani to Bari fantastic. With the recent Ryanair offer of £1 flights  it makes living and working in Italy pleasurable. Thank you Ryanair,

Tre Fontane beach Sicily

Tre Fontane beach Sicily

Another great day at the beach. Tre Fontane on the south coast of western sicily, not far from Mazara del Vallo and even closer to Selinunte. To be honest i’ve been here in winter when its dead, but amazingly from the months of June to September the rolling sandy beaches and crystal clear water bring  the whole coast line to life.

We arrived late on a sunday morning Read the rest of this entry »

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Boat hire Scopello Zingaro Sicily

Boat hire Scopello Zingaro

Just spent a great day on the  Mediterranean sea on a hired boat…drove out of the marina Castellammare del Golfo, raced across the sea (bit choppy), moored up on the scopello coast and later anchored in a bay in the zingaro reserve and we all dived off the boat in and out in the sea….don’t forget your snorkels…sub acqua scopello good….so i just wanted to explain how easy it is for you too to be part of the jet set cruising along the water on your boat without a boat licence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Heatwave in Italy

Heatwave in Italy

A heatwave is crossing Italy, originating from Africa. Here in Sicily the southern island of Italy we are the first to get it. Locally called the “scirocco” you know when it arrives. The air stands still, the sun rises and the day bursts into warmth. The city streets remain deserted as people retreat to the indoor air conditioning. The brave tourists roast on the beaches, regularly dipping into the crystal blue seas to chill down, the yachts occasionally bobble in  the calm sea as hosts dive into the water, mostly dressed in the latest swimwear….but only the mad man stays under the sun from 12- 3, when it really does burn. Lunchtime or the midday break is when a lot of people catch up on lost sleep, as they stay up late and start work early when it is much fresher.

The land is dry the occasional bush fires spark up, someone maybe threw a cigarette out of the car window and smoke travels across the countryside as the guardia forestale battle to extinguish the flames. The car tyres squeal on the corners as the tyres and the road heat up. The ice cream parlours with their freezers working overtime, humming in the background, are full of every flavour and colour you could imagine as locals scoop away at their gelato, granita and crema di caffe.

Here in Salemi the hillside Sicilian town the fresh air breezes through the palm trees, the Palermitani retreat from the city centres to the countryside to get some fresh air.

You can feel in the air that it is the start of the Italian holiday period and not much will get done until September…..

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