Italy under sail. Description of the yachting area
The island of Sicily is the biggest volcanic island - is located to the South from the Apennine peninsula. There is a volcano Etna on it, 3330 m high above sea level. It is the biggest in size Mediterranean island. Initially it was occupied by tribes of sikul, sikan and elimets, thus from them it received the name Sikelia, and then it was conquered repeatedly by the most different nations of the world. The cultural heritage of the island was weaved thanks to Greeks, Carthaginians, Arabs, Romans, Normans and French etc. Sicily was freed from the power of Bourbons and was a part of the Italian kingdom in 1861 as a result of popular uprising under the leadership of J. Garibaldi. From 1947 Sicily became the autonomous region of Italy and the only Italian region having its own parliament.
Sicily s the island of the recovered legends and myths: here the Cyclops and Laestrygonians inhabited and both coasts of the Strait of Messina, connecting Sicily with the Apennine Peninsula protect Scylla and Charybdis monsters, and still Sicily is called Helios Island (god of the Sun). The island divided into nine provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani.
Sicily is a real paradise for yachtsmen and rest under sail. The yacht season lasts from the middle of May till the end of October. Climate of Sicily is subtropical Mediterranean and quite soft. Water temperature in summer is 22-24 °C. In winter temperature never falls lower than 10 degrees, and in summer the heat is tolerant because of winds from the sea. In spring the breeze from the northeast to the west blows and turns sour in the evening. In summer warm, equal and dry Sirokko blows from Sahara. Pay attention that if the weather starts to deteriorate, the wind may change from northern to the northwest and become strong enough, especially in the shore area therefore it is necessary to plan attentively the route and carefully to watch weather reports. Ports along the entire coastline and many picturesque villages make Sicily the perfect place for the cruise on yacht, marines are in all seaports.
Palermo – Vulcano – Lipari – Panarea – Stromboli – Messina – Catania – Siracusa – Taormina
Palermo is the capital of Sicily - was founded by Phoenicians which named the city as Mahanat ("camp"), and in the first Punic war there was the main parking of Carthago fleet here. Palermo, as well as Sicily was conquered repeatedly, different ethnos replaced each other: Normans, Sarasin, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards – and each of these nations left the unique trace in the history of the city. Subsequently the small port town became the center of the island. It happened during the reign of Normans in 11 century A.D. in Sicily and at the subsequent board of Frederik II. Today Palermo is the city with the population about 1 million, where coexist peacefully buildings that once belonged to the irreconcilable enemies.
What to look in Sicily at? The royal Norman palace with palace hydraulic hours - monument with Latin, Greek and Arab symbolic on the dial, representing the Universe and recurrence of time, Cathedral of the Assumption of God Mother, Martorana (Admiral church), Chiaramonte Palace, the Senate Palace (The palace of eagles), the Praetor fountain (near this place, in Piazza Baloro, infamous scandalously count Cagliostro was born), A big opera-house - Massimo, the third in size in Europe, a monument - "Black Stella" (a monument "The dead from hands of mafia"), Regional gallery of Sicily and National museum of archeology.
In Palermo there is a set of night bars and discos: Drive bar, bar Escargot and bar Collica, discos Grants club, Rosamunda, Anticlea club, cabaret of Al Convento, Teatro Crystal, La Cupola.
Eolian islands (Lipari Islands) is the legendary homeland of Eol, god of winds - the volcanic archipelago, which is near the northern coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here it is possible to take pleasure in the sea of color of turquoise in abundance, volcanic beaches with black sand, solar bathtubs, underwater swimming and wonderful wine, and also show of the active and extinct volcanoes. The largest and popular islands among tourists are Vulcano, Lipari and Stromboli.
Vulcano is the closest Island to Sicily. The last large eruption happened here in 1980. The name of the island has a mythical origin: exactly there was a god smithy of the Volcano fire. Nowadays, near the Great Crater the port Porto-Levant which gained its fame thanks to therapeutic properties of sulfuric mud baths is located. It is possible to approach the island by boat; the best decision is to admire volcanic landscapes of the Vulcano Island from the sea, from the yacht board.
Lipari – is a very picturesque island with "faraglioni", rocks, which go beyond off the coast directly from seas. Sights of the town: old quarter, and also the small archaeological museum in Castello.
Stromboli – you can observe the real volcanic eruption from a yacht board, because this island possesses the most expressed volcanic. Ideal option for the yacht parking of Stromboli-Paeze is the main settlement of Stromboli. To a crater of a volcano it is possible to descend on foot, it is about one km. In the novel of Jules Verne "Travel to the center of the earth" the main characters Otto Lidenbrok and Axel come back from the underground travel through a Stromboli volcano.
Panarea – s a small island, but remarkable by a small village of a bronze age, and also by the sunken ships at which fragments it is possible to look, having dived with an aqualung.
Messina - "gate of Sicily". It is located on one of the shores of the narrow Strait that separates Sicily from the continent, and the banks are facing two seas: the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian. Neptune separated Sicily from the continent with one blow of his Trident, and Saturn founded the ancient city being attracted by the beauty of these edges. Sights: ruins of the Gothic Church of Santa Maria D'Alemann, Dome Cathedral - the oldest Church of Sicily, the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata dei Catalani, source of Orion, Neptune's fountain, the national Museum of Messina.
Catania - is the ancient city, second-large on the island - the capital of the province of the same name. It was based by Greeks in 729 BC and six times it was razed by Etna to the ground, but always built up again from the same basalt. Exactly this material gave a definition to architectural style "black baroque". The main sights: ruins of the biggest Roman Theater in Sicily, the cathedral of Sacred Agatha, built on a place of the Achilles term, The Ursino Castle, which was the residence of the Aragon kings, Opera theater of Bellini, Roman amphitheater. A symbol of Catania is the fountain with a statue of the elephant; the elephant is cut from dark volcanic pumice.
Syracuse - in Syracuse the set of monuments of the Greek and Roman eras - the Greek theater, the altar of Iyeron II, the Roman amphitheater, the castle Eurial – the largest castle of antiquity. In the Province of Syracuse it is interesting to visit the cities of Pantalika, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide.
Taormina – according to Maupassant: "If someone has to spend only one day in Sicily and would ask what is necessary to see, I undoubtedly would answer: Taormin!" It is interesting to look at Greek theater of 3 centuries BC, ancient aqueduct, ruins of the temple of Serapid, Saint Pancratium church, medieval quarter with labyrinths of very narrow small streets and old little shops, the Caravaggio Palace, the Museum of Sicilian art and traditions, Saint Katerina's church and ruins of small ancient Roman theater, in the center Pyazza del Duomo amazingly beautiful fountain with a centaur statue executed in style baroque settles down.