Catania

Symbol of Catania is elephant. And there is no real reason behind that. Only some strange story of one sorcerer who could transfer humans to elephants.
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Catania is wellknown from its vulcanic ground and also very old greek theatre. As whole eastern Sicily it was once a greek settlement.
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As always in catholic Italy there ia a nice looking duomo in main piazza. Very nice square for people to sit in a cafe for an espresso and just rest. They say that once the duomo was also a castle for Norman rulers. And from its windows they could look over sea for coming ships. After some eruptions of Etna the sea shore has gone long forward and all city ground is covered by dark lava-stone.
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And of course all visitors have to test how it feels to sit on the foundations of that famous elephant statue – the trademark of town. And feel the local athmosphere. In one evening at September also several married couples were droven to piazza to be photgraphed here in front of the duomo – maybe local custom?
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View from Etna. Somewhere east lies city of Catania and sea shore. But it is misty…
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Taormina

Taormina is a small village high up hills and also a greek settlement. It used to be at sea shore (with different name) but another strong greek colony – Syracuse – destroyed it totally. So what was left started again in these high hills near sea behind new city walls. It has maybe the most magnificient place for greek theatre. High on the hills its looking over the sea. I guess it must have been nice to watch here greek comedies for spectators in acient times. And when the sun is setting into sea it must have been very beautiful scenery…

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View from backside of theatres highest sitting rows.
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Even though in high hills of Etna its cold even summer, here in Taormina its hot about +30 degrees – even in September.
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Syracuse

Syracuse was the most finest jewel of greek settlements in Sicily. Once it held the supreme power over all south Italy and fought against might of Carthage itself! Here is the view from main piazza and before maybe the finest catholic duomo I have seen. It seem to be built over an old Greek temple. You can see it inside from the very old columns.
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Greek theatre of Syracuse is maybe the finest in the Greel colonies. It seem to be cut on lime stone rock. Really magnificient and how big! There must have been room for thousands of spectators.

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This huge cave is named as Dionysius cave. Magficient wonder of nature. Maybe scarved from waters flowing through for thousands of years.
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And what would be the city of Syracuse without sea around – nothing!
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Tivoli and villa Adriana

This magnificient villa is a huge bulding complex area built by Roman emperor Hadrian. At last half of his reign he stayed here and ruled vast empire of Rome from here – he disliked Palatine hill. And it is placed to nice valley near mountain areas of Alba (west of city of Roma). Once this nice pool was encircled by different statues.
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Nice view from south part of villa area – probably some temple … but there are so many ruins here…
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Was this once bathhouse? There are at least two bathhouses in this area. That is because whole court was here with emperor.
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Hadrian did travel a lot around empire and he was interested about architecture. This is why he tried here different styles. How nice view over artificial lake to the high hills of Alba around the villa of Adriano (=Hadrian).
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And here is a small scale model how it once looked here. How magificient it must have once been! But then time passed and emperor Hadrian died because of liver cirrhosis – too much wine perhaps – and this villa was forgotten by his successors. And it turned to ruins…how sad.
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Rome – the eternal city

And finally eternal city itself. Even though I have visited several times in Rome, I did not know that one can actually get on the top of the city house – or palace of Vittorio Emmanuele. I must now be in the top of my life! How nice view towards via Cavour! The main vein of the city.
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And here lies the forum of Trajan. And his magnificient stores in the sunset … as so many centuries have allready passed by.
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And here must be the Angel of victory – looking so beautiful and magnificinet in the sunset over Rome.
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And there is always end for everything…too bad!

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