Thompson Travelers

Travel is a way to be lost…and found…all at the same time

Category: Italy (Page 1 of 3)

Sorrento, Italy

We arrive in Naples, the 3rd largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan.  Like many seaside ports, Naples built fortresses to defend herself, but not much is left as this was one of the most bombed Italian cities during WWII.  Naples is a very industrial town, a stopping off port to the primary destinations of Pompeii, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.  Hmm…which destination should we head to?

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Shoreline of Naples

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Catania, Sicily, Italy

Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, and is known for it’s seismic history!  Yikes!!  Our tour guide said that in her lifetime, she has seen the city rebuilt five times.  All of the citizens live beneath the active eruptions of Mt. Etna volcano, never knowing if the next eruption is going to take their house.  It is one of the most active volcanos in the world and is in a constant state of activity.  It has been designated as a decade volcano by the United Nations, and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.   Of late, it has erupted in 2001, ’03, ’05, & ’08, with summit eruptions in 2006, ’08, and 2012.  Interesting to see, but I sure wouldn’t want to live here!

Mt. Etna

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Ravenna, Italy

Ravenna is a city situated right on the Adriatic coast (Italy’s east coast), and has ties back to at least 90 BC.   Amazingly, there are five of the eight UNESCO World heritage sites in Ravenna within walking distance of the harbor.

Although rather simple on it’s exterior, some of the most amazing Byzantine mosaics in all of the western world are held within these walls.  The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive virtually intact to the present day. It is amazing to see how someone can make a design come alive with pieces of stone and glass less than a centimeter square. Construction of this beautiful church took place in 526.

The splendor is in it’s Bible story telling combined with the beauty and art of the brilliant and colorful mosaics.  Seeing these amazing works of art is certainly an unforgettable experience.

Basilica of San Vitale

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