View Full Version : Bella Italia

Don Kellogg
8-Feb-2007, 08:53
I will be on a two week organised trip in Sicily during mid April and will have a week free after the formal tour to do some independent travel. We were thinking about renting a car and visiting Puglia and perhaps some of the areas south of Naples. We tend to incline more to the small towns and less to the large congested cities. I will be taking medium format gear for this foray. Any suggestions as to great venues?

8-Feb-2007, 09:37
You can't go wrong in Southern Italy. People are so hospitable in the small towns and villages, it is hard to comprehend. Just walk around for 5 minutes in a small village anywhere in the South, and you will soon be invited into someone's house to try their homemade wine, sausage and olive oil. In another 5 minutes you're invited for lunch. And in another 5 minutes a neighbor pops in and ass whether you are a long lost nephew.

I spent 2 months in Basilicata photographing, and found the place magical, in a way still slightly out of time. Food there was amazing, as it is in Puglia. Molise is also amazing.

If you head for the small towns and villages, again, you can't go wrong. Enjoy!

8-Feb-2007, 09:38
I meant to say: asks whether you are a long lost nephew. Sorry for the inopportune typo.

Daniele Minetto
8-Feb-2007, 11:35
Don, I'm italian, I live near Venice but I've been in Sicily many times and my suggestion is that if you have never been in Sicily before and you have only a week free you must absolutely stay in Sicily!!! I say this for food ( try the fish cous cous in Trapani and do not miss the cassata of Cappello's pastry when you're in Palermo ) for photographs, for people and for everything, believe me!

8-Feb-2007, 12:22
I couldn't agree more with you, Daniele. You could stay a month in Sicily and just start to scratch the surface of it... Puglia is an entirely different breed (beautiful as the rest of Italy is).

Daniele Minetto
8-Feb-2007, 13:58
I've been in Puglia and it's wonderful, but my best vote, I say it again, is for Sicily......If you haven't seen Venice....

Jiri Vasina
8-Feb-2007, 14:03
I have spent a month in Sicilly (in my pre-photographic era, though :) ) and according to my memories you can't do wrong staying there. There are so many beautiful places to see and photograph, so many hospitable people to meet. And if you must leave this island, try heading for some of the smaller ones nearby - the Lipary islands, the Ustica, ...

Stay there and enjoy your time there.


Greg Lockrey
8-Feb-2007, 15:34
You are better off not renting a car since the trains will take you everywhere. Naples is no place for a novice driver. When they rent you a car in Naples they will discribe to you what you have to do "when you get into an accident". The red light going into a traffic circle means that you have to use your horn when running the red light. :) I would get a pass for the train so you can get unlimited use. I think it's called a Eurorail pass....but it's been about thiry years since I lived there they might have changed that.

Ernest Purdum
8-Feb-2007, 16:06
After your tour in Sicily, you'll have a good idea of where to go back to and what to photograph. The tour will show you the right locations at the wrong time of day. Taormina is an outstanding location and be sure to spend some time below the mountain. You might find some interesting views of the lava fields in the Catania area. The Catania market is a good place for a medium format user. See if you can get a fishmonger to display swordfish about 6" long. Early in the morning you might see a three-wheeled truck with a big swordfish flopping out the back. The rocks off of Acitrezza are interesting as are the little communities nearby. Check with the tourist offices about festivals, they are almost constant. Big city downtown driving in Sicily is total madness, but on the autostrade driving is fine and not too bad on the ordinary roads. As a former resident, I will admit being prejudiced in favor of Sicily, but I have lived on the mainland, too, and will still concur with those who have said stay there.

domenico Foschi
8-Feb-2007, 16:07
I was born in puglia, Don, I have been missing for a long time but what they said it's true.
Beautiful, People are very hospitable, places to see: Santa Maria di Leuca. Otranto.
Puglia is adjacent ti Basilicata where I have seen the most amazing Beach made with Black tiny stones in Maratea.
Small villages in Puglia: Mola di Bari, Triggiano, Alberobello( famous for its conic shaped Houses), just drive and get lost, that's when you find the most beautiful places.
I would appreciate some extra vergin olive oil.:)

Jiri Vasina
10-Feb-2007, 04:01
Visit a fisher village of Castellammare del Golfo and take a boat trip from there to San Vito lo Capo, and then head for Trapani... You won't regret (or at least, when I get back to Sicily some day, I hope to make this trip again with my camera :) )

10-Feb-2007, 11:09
Ciao Don,

I second the opinions of the people who have suggested you to remain in Sicily. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most beautiful regions in my country and two weeks are definitely not sufficient to see all the beautiful monuments and places of the island. Moerover, moving to Puglia and/or the Naples area would be time extremely consuming. Knowing Sicily, the best thing you can do is to rent a car at the end of your trip and visit the countryside and the places that you could not cover with the organised tour. My wife and me are from the Northern side but our best friends are from Palermo so, if you need some advice about restaurants do not esitate to contact us. Believe me that this will be the trip of your life (under the gastronomic, human and photographic point of view).

Don Kellogg
11-Feb-2007, 22:50
Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. We probably will spend a few days in Taormina and then somewhere else in Sicily, we haven't decided where yet. As our organised tour appears to be fairly comprehensive we should be able to pick out some areas that we would want to return to to photograph under the proper light and weather conditions. I'm hoping that the almond trees around the Greek ruins will be in bloom while we are there. Ciao Baby!

12-Feb-2007, 02:51
One more note, Don - it's where the organized tour won't take you that you can discover Sicily hidden to tourist herds but not less beautiful and true. Take your camera there too...