Category: Italy

Ferrara is not about Ferrari

When I first heard about Ferrara, I thought that it was famous for Ferrari cars. Ferrara – Ferrari! It sounds logical, but there is no connection at all between the luxury cars and renaissance town. Ferrari is produced in another Italian city, Marinello, and Ferrara is a bike town. What makes Ferrara really special and so different from any other Italian city are its bicycles. 90 percent of the population rides bikes, like in Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

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Modica – the chocolate kingdom

Sicilian people actually must be grateful to their Spanish invaders because they brought from Mexico the cocoa beans and a recipe for this chocolate from the Aztecs in the 16th century. This ancient Aztec technique of making divine chocolate is still used by generations and generations of families in Modica.

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Etna: Another planet!

We are among those people who live with their head in the clouds, but this time it wasn’t just metaphorically. We were literally in the clouds while we stood on the craters of the active volcano of Mount Etna. Fortunately, the lava was sleeping peacefully that day. We told the kids to be quiet so they would not wake it up. They took it pretty seriously, so we had a peaceful and relaxed time on Etna. We were amazed by the power and magic of this place.

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Seven days in Palermo

We have heard that Sicilians often get angry when tourists mention them in the context of the mafia, even in the joke. We didn’t joke about it.  We spent seven adventure days in Palermo without meeting mafia, but we had to deal with police in one situation 😉

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The city of Gods: Agrigento

The famous valley includes the remains of seven temples. The Temple of Concordia is one of the best preserved from the Greek age in the world. The children didn’t value the fact that these temples resisted earthquakes and weather over many years. Instead of admiration, they complained that these ‘old buildings’ have no roof. To invoke some interest for the roofless temple, I told them that people were bringing all kind of things to the gods to please them.

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Catania – a city made of lava

Located beneath the Etna Volcano, Catania was destroyed by several volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and finally rebuilt in the luxurious Baroque style. They used lava for building the city, so it is mostly in dark grey. I admire people who still live beneath volcanoes knowing that it could activate?!

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Mom the Muse

The Muses were the Greek goddesses of inspiration in literature, science and the arts. They exist even nowadays and people call them Moms. You can meet the modern kind of muses in the story Mom the Muse.