Trip to Sicily 2013
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The meeting with the Mayor of Palermo, the Hon. Leoluca Orlando, at Villa Niscemi. Mayor Orlando welcomes the delegation, gives a warm speech and a tour of the villa, and is honored with the “ASILM Gold Medal of Merit.”
Members set out on a guided walking tour of Palermo. They visited Monte Pellegrino (what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once called “the most beautiful promontory in the world”), the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni, Capella Palatina and its legendary mosaics, Quattro Canti, Piazza delle Aquile, Fontana della Vergogna, La Favorita, Palazzina Cinese and La Mortarana.
The trip offered excursions to famous places such as Erice, Mondello, Monreale and Piazza Armerina. These day trips allowed the group to explore the many diverse characteristics, architecture and landscapes of the small towns outside the bustling, cities and towns that make Sicily truly unique.
Members visited Cantine Florio in Marsala, where they were treated to a “surprise”, a walking tour of the winery and a dinner. During this dinner, Mayor of Marsala Hon. Giulia Maria Adamo praised the Society and thanked the delegation warmly for visiting Marsala and its famous winery. There was also a memorable awards ceremony organized at the winery that honored members of the delegation as “Paladini dei Vini di Sicilia” for protecting and preserving the name and value of Sicilian wine throughout the world. The ceremony was organized by Avv. Diego Maggio, president of the historic society.
The group visited Agrigento, where they explored the heart of the Valley of the Temples, breathing in the history and beauty of the well-preserved seven temples dating from the 6th century B.C.
The second winery visited was Feudo Principi di Butera, the Casa Vinicola Zonin estate, located in the district of Butera in southern Sicily. Enologist Claudio Galosi took the delegation on a private tour of the winery. The group was then treated to an exquisite dinner in their honor, which was paired with fine wines produced by Feudo Principi di Butera.
ASILM members visited Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, known across the world for its stunning ancient Roman mosaics that depict hunting scenes, “bikini girls,” a variety of animals and mythological creatures, and much more.
Emboldened members embarked on their journey up the black slopes of Mount Etna, taking in the eerie volcanic landscape of rivers of lava rock and abandoned houses that suddenly changed into blizzard-like conditions as they reached Rifugio Sapienza, located at about 6,309 feet (1,923 meters) above sea-level.
During their first evening in Taormina, members were given a warm welcome reception by San Domenico Palace Hotel. ASILM members enjoyed prosecco and aperitivi before being treated to a special dinner in the hotel’s elegant restaurant. While in Taormina, the delegation dedicated a sunny day to exploring the city, particularly its Greek Theatre.