“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life…”
~ Anna Akhmatova
Italy is my dream.
I dream it everyday of my life.
And I am blessed to be able to come here every year.
Dreams do come true.
Greetings from Capri
“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Italian Journey (1786-1788)
I’m not quite sure what Goethe was up to here.
Sicily and Italy were not unified until 1861.
And each stands alone, completely magnificent.
But I love the quote.
Sicily is my obsession. Since the very first time I ever set foot on this magical island I have not gone one day without thinking about it. It is always on my mind.
Despite the incredibly long travel day to get here from Phoenix, it was the logical place to start the Glam Italia Tour. (as in start our beach time before our waistlines have a chance to register that we are eating pasta…)
Sunday morning in Ortygia
Ortygia is a little island connected to the city of Siracusa.
The history here is astounding.
The remains of Apollo’s temple, built in 732 BC are surrounded by apartments built over the centuries. Some incredibly old, some rebuilt after WWII. Can you imagine looking out your bedroom window at this??
Waiting outside church on Ortygia, Sicily. I just loved her pants. I want a pair!
Walking through the streets of Ortygia
Locals catching some sunshine on the breakwater outside the walls of Ortygia
This little boy sat on the steps of the Duomo in the spectacular Piazza Del Duomo, in the searingly bright sunshine, playing the sounds of the soul of Sicily.
The Duomo is a must see. The original Siculi built a temple to the deities here, the in the 5th century BC The Greeks built a temple around it, and since then in has been added to over the centuries. The current facade is Baroque, but as you walk through you see thousands of years of history
These columns were built in the 5th century BC. Running your fingers over their crenellations you feel 2500 years of history beneath your skin.
traveling. I’m always planning my next trip, always making lists of places to
downside of traveling though is having to rub shoulders with other travelers
who are seriously lacking in travel etiquette. Another person’s caustic vibe,
bad manners, or lack of consideration for others can spoil an otherwise
wonderful time for everyone around them. So here are some pointers on how to
improve your travel etiquette
1. Don’t Expect Everyone To Speak English
Although throughout Europe and plenty of
Asia people seem to speak at least some English, learn a few things to say in
the language of the country you are in. Simple greetings, please and thank you,
if nothing else. It is far more polite to be able to point to phrases in a
guide book and be making a discernable effort than to just demand everyone
speak your language.
2. Don’t Block The Sidewalk.
|One Man Traffic Jam – NY Daily News|
be on vacation, and you may be lost and need to look at your map or read your
guide book, but there are others who
have to move along that same sidewalk to go to work, to live their lives, or to
go see the sights. If you have to take some map time/chat time/argument time/
standing still time, have the decency to step out of the traffic, or away from
the monument or work of art that everyone else has traveled clear across the
world to see.
3. Keep Your Voice Down
You may enjoy speaking at full volume, and
you may think that everyone around you wants to hear that which you are
pontificating about, but believe me, we don’t. High on the list of nauseating
travel moments is having to endure the bleating of some moron, whether they are
on their cell phone or just yarping on about whatever to their friends, when
you are trying to enjoy some special place that you have saved up and traveled
to get to. Have the decency to maintain the same level of decibels as everyone around
4. If There Is A Better One At Home, Stay At Home
One of the worst things when you are
traveling is having to listen to some fool banging on about how there is a
bigger one at home, a better one at home, the wine is better at home, anything
is better at home.
We don’t travel so that we can feel some
sense of superiority because we think home is better. We travel to experience
new things, different things, a different world view. Sometimes travel makes us
see that there is far more out there to aspire to, and sometimes it makes us
more appreciative for all that we have.
If you feel the need to inform the world
that its better where you are from, do us all a favor and stay where you are
5. Be Polite
It doesn’t cost anything to be polite, even when those
around us are behaving badly.
6. Recognize Cultural Differences
And respect them. There is a lot to be said
for when in Rome, doing as the Romans do. Take the time to do a Google search
on the destination you are flying into, and learn about the cultural practices
and customs there. For example, if you are heading to Morocco it is
unacceptable for non-Muslims to go into mosques. In some countries it is
offensive to blow your nose in public. Plenty of places need you to keep your
shoulders and legs covered when going into their churches or places of worship.
A little forward thinking can circumvent
embarrassment and help you avoid potential trouble
7. Don’t Criticize
This is part of number 4 and number 5. So
what if they do it better at home? So what if the service is better at home,
the traffic works better at home, the internet infrastructure is better at home
– who cares? You’re not at home now, so get over it.
Your criticism can be really hurtful to
others, especially when they are proud of the things you are bashing.
It’s not what happens that counts, it’s how you handle what happens that is the
true measure of who you are. Learn to roll with it, look for the good in
situations, and you may be pleasantly surprised at just how wonderful this
world can be.
Do you have more travel etiquette tips? I want to know them so please add them to the comment section below!