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Сергей Гольцов
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Sicily – Taormina, Syracuse, Palermo, Milan


Yes, this is Sicily — an autonomous region in Italy; the city of Palermo, the heart and the cradle of the Mafia – Corleone, the birthplace (and as it turned out the resting place) of Archimedes – ancient Syracuse, Messina, the fairy city of Taormina, Volcano Etna – this is far from the complete list of associations arousing interest and desire to see everything firsthand, to touch and to taste. ;) I don’t know what power makes me take photos of the sky from the plane. I already have hundreds of photos but nevertheless every new flight implies a new photo. I can even establish an exhibition of photographs named “The Earth (or to be more precise, clouds) through the cabin window”. This may be the reason why I always take the seat next to the window and the wings. The island is vast, the largest one in the Mediterranean region. According to Wikipedia it occupies more than 25 thousand square kilometers! Certainly, it is impossible to walk across the whole island within 10 days but still there is a reason to come back. You can see on the map that having visited seven places we hardly saw 1/10th of the island. Nevertheless the things I saw would be over and above for the most entertaining story! It should be noted that the coastline is mostly represented by the cliffs cutting the sea. And not just one sea! Sicily is washed by three seas: theIonian Seafrom the east, the Tyrrhenian Sea from the north and the Mediterranean Sea from the west and the south. This fact is reflected in the Sicily’s symbol which can be found everywhere: from the trattorias’ walls to souvenirs. It is neither more nor less than the medusa’s head with three legs (the legs obviously stand for the three seas). Cacti, lemons and oranges are what Sicily can be proud of: there are tons of them, indeed. When I closely look into the medusa’s face I think it resembles somebody. :) Doesn’t it? So, our acquaintance with the island began with the fairy city of Taorminawhere the coastline is marked by numerous very beautiful bays which attract the tourists who are crazy for the beach “lazy” vacation. The vacation giving the sense of inner peace and tranquility, away from the fuss of life. Just 5 minutes along the ropeway and you find yourself in front of the entrance to the city which Maupassant said about: “Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask, “What must one see?” I would answer him without hesitation, “Taormina.” “No entry” sign gives confidence that no citizen of Taormina will run over you while you admire his native city with an open mouth. Everything here is bright, emotional and somehow quite Sicilian. The streets. They can be wide and comfortable for shifting from one shop to another, from a shop to a trattoria, from a trattoria to an art gallery, etc. They can be shady with staircases leading to some mysterious doors; but always with a great number of flowers and people strolling about. In the evening these streets, still shady and cool during the day, are different with all the colors of numerous streetlights. The creativity of the Italians is remarkable regarding everything even the decoration of seemingly ordinary streets. Pictures, flowerpots and ceramics are everywhere. Some streets, which are quite difficult to call this way, are able to give way to no more than one man! Thoughthe main feature is present: a plate with the name of this narrow and small street but still. Due to these small streets and a great number of bright but small details within inside Taormina arises sensation of being toylike which does not correspond to its exterior of a medieval castle full of greenery and hanging over the sea from the cliff. Inside Taormina you can even come across medieval vehicles. Balconies, strange though it might sound, are worth being a separate topic! After visiting Sicily I understood that you could estimate the country, the city and the people living there by balconies. The balcony is the window to one’s personality. They are all different with regard to the owner’s level of well-being as well as to the presence of creativity. The distance between these two extremes is great! But all the balconies are definitely very emotional and colourful… as the inhabitants of Sicily themselves! … filling in to be continued. I don’t know what I wanted more: to finish my photo show of Sicily or to go there soon again!