Off the coast of Sicily lay the islands of Malta and Gozo. They are arid windswept islands of limestone. Raided, settled, conquered for millennia, these islands have a rich and complex history. Now tourism has taken over her harbors and cafes, as hotels and shops open to accommodate the crowds. In 2016, there were over 7,000,000 tourists who visited here.

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The next stop on our “Italy in 5 Trips” series is all the way down south, in Sicily. Between the gorgeous seaside, intricate history, unique culture, and exceptional food and wine, this island has much to offer visitors.

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Often overlooked for the more ritzier areas of Taormina or Siracusa, The Val di Noto offers an authentic Sicilian experience and sits within arms-reach of the Baroque towns of Modica, Ragusa, Ispica, and Siracusa.

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Dearest Friends and Travelers, and Admirers of Italy,

While most of you have been saving for your future retirement, in contrast, I have decided to live my life now, today; day by day. And with this philosophy of, carpe diem, I have dedicated many of the past fifteen years of my life researching the subject of my hearts delight, in reckless pursuit of La Dolce Vita. I have devoted myself to the exploration of every nook and cranny of Italy. I have had the good fortune to make this my career choice.

Contained in this series of articles, are full of my secretly guarded hints and travel tips on Italy. These tidbits collected at the expense (literally) of my retirement funds, represent years of travel research. Cherish them dearly, as I do. I believe I have spent more on the collection of this research, than any attorney has for the acquisition of their degree. Attorneys once they have passed the bar can write Esq. My accolade from all the years of study is; DSI- Destination Specialist Italy.

While in this pursuit of any and all information relative to Italy, I have amassed a large library devoted to all things Italian.  Within my library there are piles of books and magazines, in both English and Italian, which contain advice on food, vino, history, and hotel accommodations.  Printed in England, Italy, USA, I also have an assortment of Italian maps; regional, local, city, train routes, hiking paths and even waterways. I have ever pamphlet ever produced on areas often traveled and not frequently traveled. Included on my shelves  are new and vintage issues of Classic Italian  novels; Dante- Inferno, Boccaccio-Decameron, I Promissi Sposi-Manzoni not so well known classics such as -The Italians, Mussolini,  and not even close to being classics novels; La Bella Figura, The Birth of Venus, City of Fallen Angels, and Brunelleschi’s Dome.

Once you have decided that Italy is the destination for your vacation, perhaps you have noticed how difficult it is to select one guide book which fulfills all of your needs for your perfect Italian trip.    The majorities of shelves in any bookstore or library travel section are dedicated to Italian travel and can be found on a variety of subject matter relative to Italy.   They can vary from general to quite specific.  Well know names in travel such as Michelin, Touring Club, Rick Steves-(ugh), Fodor’s, Blue Guide, Slow Food Guide, Rough Guides, and Italy on $5.00 a day (today it would be more like Italy on EU150 a day). A guide to Rome, A Pilgrims Guide to Rome, A Romans guide to Rome, An Americans Guide to Rome, A Jewish travelers Guide to Rome, just to name a few.   I wanted to offer you something more, a comprehensive travel guide based on my notes for each region, collected over the years.

My objective in writing these essay’s was to compile concise data, on areas I have enjoyed the best, and to put the information all in one place, so you can enjoy the fruits of my research easily. The criteria were based on the following standards;

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