Sweet December Travel

Santa Lucia procession

He stirs the mixture of hot sugar, just one point in the process to create a simple candy cane. A father lifts his son on his arms to see the silver saint as an entire island elbows in between. And a lighthouse watches over a Christmas tree composed solely of lobster traps. I don’t often travel in December, mostly due to family filled schedules and of course the chaotic airport scene. After boarding a flight on Monday, a boarding process that took far longer than it ever should, I watched as people jammed their holiday gifts and jackets in the overhead bins, ignoring all announcements to leave Continue Reading

Taormina, Sicily Wishes You Were Here

Street Clutter in Taormina, Sicily

On the streets of Taormina, I stumble over the clutter of antique shops spilling out into the streets. The clutter is not limited to objects, but also people. Taormina is not the sort of place you come to for anonymity, but rather to see and be seen. Throughout history, writers, artists, aristocrats, royalty and celebrities have vacationed in this resort town on Sicily’s northeastern coast. Despite all of the activity in late summer, the shine of Taormina, right down to the glaring sun off of those sliver antique candleholders is endearing to say the least. I make my way to the town’s Continue Reading

The Aeolian Islands of Sicily Wish You Were Here

Aeolian Islands 4

This week’s Wish You Were Here post comes from Matt McCall. As the weather is finally warming up, I find myself often daydreaming of past trips to the Mediterranean. On one trip to Sicily in the early Spring, I ventured to the Aeolian Islands to the northeast of the mainland. Only having one day to make it out to the islands, I was able to see the islands of Lipari and Vulcano. The ferry took me from Messina to Lipari, the largest of the seven islands. Immediately after departing the ferry, I was greeted by people wanting me to book any combination of boat ride offers. I normally do not Continue Reading

To There and Back With No Postcards To Prove It

Italian trains

Sicily is a place you can’t really escape after visiting. I was putty in Sicily’s hands, returning after just a year of being away. I found myself back where I started, but not. I was looking for a “slow travel” day. Alone on an island, I felt somewhat useless. If I have a day here and there when I travel where I don’t get out and see the world, I feel like I have let myself and the place down.  As a result, one gray day, I boarded a train to Ragusa to go see, as they say. Not really knowing much about the city, I sat in the Siracusa station as construction workers kept trying to make eye Continue Reading

The Surprises of Travel

Mount Etna

If you have traveled anywhere, generally some acquaintance wants to pass along a friend’s number in need of advice. A parent is worried about their daughter studying abroad. A couple wants to know where to wine and dine in Barcelona. While I agree, research is a key part of travel, it seems we sometimes forget to let travel come, as it will. No longer do we just hop on a plane without knowing where we are going or what to expect. We must be prepared, have all the necessary travel gadgets and tools to get us there. Travel involves a great deal of preparation, of knowing what to expect, what Continue Reading

Ortigia Wishes You Were Here

Castello Maniace in Ortigia, Sicily

I wrote an article for On UR Way Magazine last week about the lessons I learned while living in Ortigia, Sicily. I would love for you to give it a read, but in the mean time, I thought I would share some views of Ortigia by boat. One of my first few days in town, I took a boat tour around the jutting little old town center of Siracusa. The lighting was almost too perfect, not quite night and not quite day. Seeing the town from the water seemed to yield a greater insight into Ortigia than wandering its streets. No man may be an island, but Ortigia certainly made me want to consider striving Continue Reading

Sitting On Italian Church Steps

Santa Croce

When the chaos of the outside world grows, expands, and engulfs everything in my travel path, I head not to a museum, hotel, or restaurant for respite but rather to a church. Throughout Italy, a Catholic church seems to be the requirement in every town, along the same lines of having a supermarket or a post office. Those without are normally towns along the side of the road merely consisting of a café, bank, and tabacchi, the religious rejects if you will. The outside world whizzes on by. Cars honk loudly and vespas interject throughout most side conversations. When I need a break from that Continue Reading