Memorable Milazzo and the area of Messina, Sicily

Capo Milazzo, Sicily
Capo Milazzo, Sicily

After leaving Cefalu in the morning we drove along the coast to the northeast tip of Sicily for our stay in the city of Milazzo, Sicily.  At first, we were a bit underwhelmed with the industrial look of the city and its busy commercial port but once we dug a little deeper we fell in love with this less notable Sicilian town. It is however known as a great base to explore the Aeolian Islands with daily cruises leaving from its downtown port everyday but there is so much more to be had here.

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Charming Cefalu- it’s beaches and ancient city

The beach old town in Cefalu, Sicily
The beach and old town in Cefalu, Siciliy

Good Morning Sicily! We awoke from our first night in Campofelice di Rocella and it was already getting hot early in the morning, we were having a spell of high 30’s/low 40’s but luckily our bedroom had air-conditioning or we would have melted. We couldn’t even leave the windows open at night because we were surrounded by orchards and all kinds of creepy crawlies that would try to make their way in despite having screens on some of the windows.  Janet would spray the perimeters each night with insecticide and in the morning I’d have to sweep the carcasses away before she got up so she wouldn’t see what was trying to bunk down with us.  If she saw the bodies she’d be screaming all the way to the nearest Hilton and that wouldn’t be good for our budget.

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Spectacular Sicily- our month long tour circling the island.

The harbor in Milazzo, Sicily
The harbor in Milazzo, Sicily

We spent an incredible month, actually 5 weeks slow traveling around the entire island of Sicily.  We had a lot of time so it was a real luxury to be able to pace ourselves, to dig deep into the Sicilian culture, to see the whole island, to live like a local and truly experience a lot of what it had to offer.  

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Palermo-starting our Sicilian Adventure

Piazza Grande, Palmanova, Italy
Piazza Grande, Palmanova, Italy

Our Slovenian adventure had come to an end and now we were excited to start the last leg of our 10-month odyssey in the south of Italy on the island of Sicily. At the crack of dawn, we dropped dad off at the airport in Ljubljana for his journey home and continued towards Venice, Italy where we would return our rental car and board a 2 ½ Hr flight for Palermo, Sicily. 

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Slovenia Part 4- Celje, Logarska Dolina and Ljubljana

Logarska Dolina, Slovenia
Logarska Dolina, Slovenia

After returning from our adventure in Tolmin we took a day to relax and visit with family.  Our hosts where the most incredibly hospitable folks and took such good care of us, typical of the Slovenian people we met throughout.  Our last few days were spent visiting a few cities; Celje and Ljubljana between a day at the most beautiful national park, Logarska Dolina. (Don’t miss the video of our visit to Ljubljana’s Old Town at the bottom of this post)

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Slovenia Part 3-Visiting the Julien Alps-Tolmin,Slovenia to Tarviso Italy to Klagenfurt, Austria

Along the Soca River, Tolmin, Slovenia
Along the Soca River, Tolmin, Slovenia

We returned to Smeteoz after dropping the kids off at the airport in Venice, Italy and spent another 9 days with dad in Slovenia. Our next tour began with a journey to the beautiful town of Tolmin, Slovenia nestled in the Soca Valley at the confluence of the emerald blue waters from the Soca and Tolminka rivers. Tolmin is situated on the southern tip of the Julian Alps and very close to the Italian border, an idyllic Slovenian mountain town.

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Scenic Slovenia-Part 2

The famdam in Lake Bled
The famdam in Lake Bled

And so our Slovenian journey continued with the kids; After an amazing day visiting the Postojona Caves and Predjama Castle we returned to Ljubljana in the evening to pickup dad at the Airport.  He arrived on time and was excited to see us all, looking forward to showing us the country where he was born.  We returned to our apartment and made plans for the next week over a bottle or two of Slovenian wine and got caught up on what was happening back home.

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Scenic Slovenia- part 1


Piran, Slovenia
Piran, Slovenia

Slovenia is but a dream now, we just arrived home and my plan to keep blogging in the moment didn’t work out as we had no Internet and were on the move everyday.  It was actually a blessing in disquise as it allowed me to be more in the moment and savor everyday than looking through the lens of a blogger.  The country is incredible, hospitality to the max, clean, green and beautiful and if you get a chance you should go.  Here is how our time in Slovenia unfolded;

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10 months abroad; what have we done, where have we been!

Leaving Palermo and making our way home
Leaving Palermo and making our way home

Leaving Palermo this morning we arrived in Gatwick, UK and are sitting in a pub called the Parson’s Pig reminiscing about our incredible 10 months abroad spanning over all four seasons.  By plane, train, automobile and ferries we managed to slow travel through 10 countries, visiting over 183 cities, towns and villages while staying in 51 different accommodations (45 plus 6 housesits). Lord knows how many miles we logged but here are the countries we visited (mostly in order):

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Revisiting Venice, Italy

Visiting Venice, Italy with family
Visiting Venice, Italy with family

Catching up on blog posts from over a month ago…Slovenia and Sicily to come. Leaving Florence and arriving by train we were back in Venice with our kids.  It was much warmer than when we last visited in February during Carnivale but no less crowded and already feeling a little overwhelmed with the mobs of tourists and heat surrounding the city. 

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Florence and Rome- our ‘rinse and repeat’ tour with the kids

 

At the Coliseum in Rome
At the Coliseum in Rome

After a few days in Naples we were on the move again for our ‘rinse and repeat’ tour of Italy with the kids boarding another FrecciaRosa high speed train for a few days in Rome. This was our fourth time in the eternal city and we were just as excited to be backat our favorite city in the world, just like visiting an old familiar friend. 

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Captivating Caserta-Visiting The Caserta Royal Palace

Inside Caserta Palace, Italy
Inside Caserta Palace, Italy

Back to getting caught up on my blog posts:  so I last left off with Sandra and Vyse leaving us and heading for Paris while the kids had just joined us in Naples. 

The next day we made a last-minute decision to hop on the train and head to Caserta to visit the Royal Palace.  It was about an hour train ride out of Naples, a scenic, relatively quiet and relaxing journey. We had left a bit late in the day so we were on a rushed tour but in retrospect we would have planned to spend a whole day here as it was astounding!

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Stunning Sorrento

Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento, Italy

On our last day in Vico we did a day trip into Sorrento for some sightseeing and shopping that was enjoyed by all.  The weather was outstanding, we had lots of variety from walking through the beautiful grounds of a hotel/villa to sampling local foods and shopping for souvenirs. We were looking at Sorrento as a place to base ourselves for touring the Amalfi Coast but picked Vico, it seems to be downplayed on sites like TripAdvisor but all of us really enjoyed it.  We returned with the kids to Sorrento on our itinerary with them, we spent the day at a beach club and some sight seeing.  They also really enjoyed spending the day in Sorrento.  Here is a link to the Sorrento, photo gallery.

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Amazing Amalfi-Driving the stunning coastline

At Villa Rufolo, high up the coastline in Ravello
At Villa Rufolo, high up the coastline in Ravello

Next on our spreadsheet of plans was a driving tour of the Amalfi coast and Vyse was back at the helm navigating us along the tricky, twists and turns on one track roads hugging the cliffs of Amalfi.  Our first stop was to the town of Ravello where we were blessed with the last parking spot in the lot closest to the town.

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