The beautiful Sicilian beaches between Avola and Pozzallo

The beautiful Sicilian beaches between Avola and Pozzallo

Some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy are located right in the southernmost part of the Peninsula. Or so-called “Terre dei due Mari” in the province of Ragusa and Siracusa, overlooking the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. A trip to the discovery these naturalistic paradises can start from the north-east of Avola, along the SS 115 from Avola to Cassibile; From here we reach Contrada Gallina, from which the beach takes its name, a large expanse made of white pebbles and crystalline sea: 500 meters of sandy coast characterized by a cordon of dunes protected by white rocks on the sea.

Passing on the seafront of Avola, you arrive at Pantanello beach, also called “Ferro di Cavallo” for its particular arched shape, so a forced stop is in the beach of Mare Vecchio, near the village of Marina di Avola. From Avola to Noto, the northernmost beach of the area is Lido di Noto, with a fine and amber sandy beach and crystalline water. Walking along the provincial road to the south, you arrive at the Vendicari Fauna Oasis: here you can visit Calamosche beach, defined in 2005 by the Blue Guide of Legambiente “the most beautiful beach in Italy”.

However, coming down to the last flap of Europe, the southernmost beach of Sicily and Italy, is the one that joins through a flap of land at the Isle of the Currents, in the commune of Portopalo of Capo Passero. In the Pachino Territory must visit the beach of Carratois: an amazing, limpid and quite sea flap, protected to the left by “Isola delle Correnti” and to the right by “Punta delle Formiche”. From the west to the territory of Ragusa, there is a very long ivory-colored beach: Santa Maria del Focallo, in the town of Ispica. A few miles further northwest there is Pozzallo: under one of the oldest forts in the whole area, Torre Cabrera, stands one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, “Pietre Nere’s beach”. Just a few hundred meters west of this one there is another incredible beach, the Raganzino beach, accessible directly from the road that leads from the city to the harbor areas.

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The historic center of Arcevia, a beautiful place in the province of Ancona

Arcevia’s tour can begin from the mighty city walls (XIII-XVI century), which can be reached in several places, with some circular towers, two polygonal towers, and four of the five original doors. Near Porta del Sasso there is the church of St. Francesco di Paola (1728-’30), the baroque masterpiece of the local architect Arcangelo Vici; you can reach the most important street of Corso Mazzini, called the ‘500’ main street, where you can see the most important buildings of the city.

At the beginning, moving from east to west, the Duchess Palace (first half of the 17th century) is on the right, so called because this was the summer residence of Livia della Rovere; faces the apse and the side of the most important religious monument of the city: the Collegiate of San Medardo.

From the church, you reach right onto Ramazzani until you reach Fiorenzuola’s alley; From here you go down to Via Angelo Rocca, where there is the church of St. Maria del Soccorso, built in the XVI century by the Augustinian Fathers, where various works of high artistic value are preserved. Returning back to Corso Mazzini, and continuing towards the central square, you will see on the left the wonderful facade of Palazzo Anselmi (XV-XIX century) and immediately after the Complex of St. Francesco, attested by the end of the thirteenth century, when the Franciscans decided to build their convent within the historic center.

Continuing, you reach Piazza Garibaldi, the heart of the historic center, where you can see the town hall, one of the oldest in the region (attested by 1259); continuing on the right, here is Palazzo Mannelli then Pianetti, a splendid late Renaissance building, one of the most beautiful in the province. A few meters further, on the other side of the road, stands the Palazzo dei Priori (XIV century), with a revolted room of that time which is annexed to the Misa Municipal Theater (XVII century, restored between 1840 and 1845). Finally, on the same side of the course, there are the church of S. Agata and the church of St. John the Baptist.

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Cheese is probably the most consumed and delicious food of Barbagia, the most "true" and wildest area in Sardinia

On tour among the delicious Barbagia cheeses – Sardegna

Cheese is probably the most consumed and delicious food of Barbagia, the most “true” and wildest area in Sardinia. Ancient Romans used to call it “the land of the barbarians”. It was a unique, mysterious land, made of mountains, hidden caves, impenetrable beams and deep gorges; the morphology of these lands is characterized by the most imposing massifs of Sardinia: the Gennargentu whose summit, called La Marmora peak, reaches 1834 meters, and the Supramonte, which with Corrasi mount stands at 1463 meters.

And so a journey to the discovery of Barbagia can not ignore the knowledge of its cheeses, produced for a long time and exported from various consortia around the world. The best-known is definitely the Sardinian pecorino, a semi-soft cheese with a compact consistency; there are also some seasoned pecorino cheese from which it is derived the illegal cheese with worms.

Among the cow’s cheeses the taedda cheese is a must, a kind of roasted provola which is a real delicacy. Among the rennet, “sa frùe” is usually served with tomatoes, and, at the same way, is used the Merca, a salty fresh cheese. Cheese can be found in various recipes, either as a pasta dressing or as a unique dish to be savor during the meal, such as the ricotta served on a lettuce leaf and sprinkled with honey, and in the preparation of sweets. Casadina is a pecorino cheese pie, while the famous “seada” is a kind of huge raviolo stuffed with cheese that, after being fried, is served with honey or sugar.

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The legend tells us that its name should be called the marshy area (called "moja") near the river Esino in which it stood.

Moie (Ancona) and its renowned Abbey – Marche region

The legend tells us that its name should be called the marshy area (called “moja”) near the river Esino in which it stood. It is the Romanesque Abbey of Santa Maria delle Moie – in the hamlet of the Municipality of Maiolati Spontini, in the province of Ancona and in the middle valley of the River Esino – founded at the beginning of the 11th century by the family Attoni-Alberoni-Gozoni as a private monastery .

The church is made up of squared stones of yellowish sandstone and inside it is supported by four pillars and articulated into three aisles divided into three camps. At the east all the aisles end with a semicircular apse: on this side the apses, which differ in height and depth, highlight the basilical form of the church. Two are instead the apsides protruding outwards on the north side, decorated, like the cornice, with white travertine beams, partly supported by pairs of semicilindrical pilasters crowned with small capitals without decoration.

Before entering in the church there is an atrium of square plant, flanked by two rooms of the same plant, the left of which welcomes a spiral staircase. The portal has a staggered columned stucco and is decorated with interlaced leaves and flowers. The most interesting elements of the church of Santa Maria are the apses and above all the plant which, based on the four isolated columns inside, remembers not so much Byzantine models as the early Christian triconch buildings and square churches with Greek cross written in early Middle Ages.

The characteristics of Santa Maria delle Moie’s altitude, with a slightly lower acute acute pocket, and the double tower facade have important precedents in the Marches: the main reference point for the typology is the abbey church of Santa Maria di Portonovo in Ancona. The church is dedicated to the nativity of Maria and a painting with this subject ornamented the altar. Of the monastery, however, there are only two environments: one rectangular with barrel vault connected to an underground room by a staircase; the other, communicating with the first and also accessible from the courtyard.

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santuario madonna fatima città della pieve

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, pride of Città della Pieve

Few know it, but the first Italian Sanctuary devoted to Madonna of Fatima is located in the heart of Umbria, in the wonderful Città della Pieve known for having given birth to one of the most important painters of the Italian Renaissance, Pietro Vannucci called “Perugino”. The complex of the former Church of San Francesco rises just outside Porta Perugina, at the beginning of the ancient Via Pievaiola, and preserves the most significant facade of the sec. XIII in Città della Pieve: this is the only original part left after the destruction in 1766 for the rebuilding according to the project provided by the architect Andrea Vici. The Convent, seat of the Conventual Franciscans, was radically transformed into those years and later, between 1845 and 1860. After the Second World War, the church of San Francesco was transformed into the Italian Shrine of the Madonna of Fatima.

This is a place full of history: here Bonaventura da Bagnoregio, General of the Order, convened in 1259 the General Chapter of the Franciscan Order to process Giovanni da Parma suspected of heresy; the Convent also hosted the French Pope Martino IV that was at Castel della Pieve between June and October 1284.

Inside you can admire the table of Domenico di Paride Alfani “The Virgin in Throne surrounded by St. Francis, Bartholomew, Antonio and Stefano”, first century. XVI; the painting by Antonio Circignani “The Descent of the Holy Spirit”, and the same painter, above the door of the Sacristy, the fresco “Ecce Homo”.

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Pieve Santa Maria Assunta, jewel of Montefeltro

The Pieve Santa Maria Assunta, jewel of Montefeltro

It is the oldest religious monument of San Leo and the entire territory of Montefeltro. It is the Pieve of Santa Maria Assunta, a sort of huge stone stacked on a rock, anchored forever at the rock that supports it and is composed of it. The building – which is the material evidence of the Christianization of this area of Rimini’s hinterland – is in fact a rocky protuberance of the Leontonian bush so that, both east and west, there is room for two underlying places the aisles: the crypt or confessional and the so-called “San Leone Sacle“; here is the face of a sarcophagus, with the mystical representation of two peacocks that are drinking: together with the relief paved in the south wall of the church, this work constructs the oldest sculptural testimony of the building. The church is elevated on a basilic plant; It is accessed through two portals located in the side walls, both with a sixth full arch, while the interior, longitudinally implanted, is marked by the full center arches, set on alternate supports dividing the three aisles. The Presbytery, raised on the crypt, welcomes the beautiful ciborium dating back to 882, which is an inscription dedicated by Duke Bear to the Virgin. Even today, in fact, Pieve remains one of the most fascinating medieval monuments in central Italy: along with the adjacent Duomo and the Bell Tower creates the effect of a small field of Pisan miracles.

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