Travel Diaries

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Sicily

This years holiday was taken on Sicily, an island of contrasting and sometimes starkly beautiful landcapes. Rich in culture, diverse in history, there was little wonder that we spent most of our stay photographing it. Here are a few images taken from a huge volume of work captured in both anaologue and digital mediums. We wish you enjoyable viewing.

  • Sicily Taormina
    Shortly after arriving we decided to get our bearings by exploring the picturesque town of Taormina, our home for the next eight nights. During our walk we discovered an unoccupied building that was a nesting ground for dozens of Swallows.
  • Sicily Taormina Rooftops
    Taormina’s rooftops provided many opportunities for capturing abstract images, such as this ornate chimney.
  • Sicily Santuario Madonna della Rocca
    A steep twenty-minute walk above Taormina town can be found the church of Santuario Madonna della Rocca. Carved into a rocky precipice its atmospheric interior gave us a respite from soaring outside temperatures.
  • Sicily Corso Umberto
    One of the fine architectural examples to be found along the medieval street of Corso Umberto 1.
  • Sicily Etna
    A view of the ever-brooding Mount Etna taken from one of our rooms.
  • Sicily Etna
    Day three of our trip was spent exploring Etna’s northern slopes with a local geologist.
  • Sicily Etna
    This was the scene of the 2002 eruption that devastated large swathes of woodland on Etna’s northern flanks.
  • Sicily Etna
    Another view of the 2002 eruption site with Etna’s summit the background.
  • Sicily Giardini-Naxos
    Abstract painted blocks on the harbour of Giardini-Naxos.
  • Sicily Castelmola
    We visited the mountain village of Castelmola to find the lower slopes being ravaged by wildfire.
  • Sicily Castelmola
    While ash rained down on us from the wildfires we sought refuge in the centre of Castelmola. Somebody clearly had an artistic and humorous streak as this prickly pear shows.
  • Sicily Castelmola
    Meanwhile back out on Castelmola’s perimeter the fire was raging completely out of control consuming everything in its path.
  • Sicily Castelmola
    In an effort to bring the situation under control a fire fighting aircraft arrived dumping large volumes of seawater around habited areas.
  • Sicily Castelmola
    This image shows some pretty impressive flying, even though it looks like it’s slamming into the ground! The pilot has to drop the aircraft sharply over the ridge in order to dump water on the approaching flames.
  • Sicily Taormina Greek Theatre
    Ok, so it’s in every holiday brochure featuring Sicily but we couldn’t resist including our own image of Taormina’s Greek theatre :)
  • Sicily Taormina
    Continuing the postcard theme we’ve included a general shot of Taormina taken from its Greek theatre.
  • Sicily Taormina
    An evening walk up the hillside behind Taormina gave us an inspiring view of the ancient theatre.
  • Sicily Tav Cat
    No holiday would be complete without feeding the local stray cat population!
  • Sicily Panarea
    Our travels took us across to the Aeolian Islands on a trip to Stromboli. Before we arrived here we docked at the pretty island of Panarea. The architecture here was very reminiscent of that found on the Greek Cycladic islands.
  • Sicily Stromboli
    After docking at Stromboli we stopped for a drink with the volcano towering behind us. Due to the mountain erupting the upper slopes were closed.
  • Sicily Isola di Strombolicchio
    As the sun set the wind dropped as we approached the tiny Isola di Strombolicchio.
  • Sicily Sunset
    After slingshotting around the tiny island we photographed a blood red sun dipping below the watery horizon… the end of another baking hot day!
  • Sicily Stromboli
    As the boat approached Stromboli’s western flanks we were greeted by this vision of hell. The lava spilled out of the crater and rolled down the slope exploding on impact into the sea. Truly an awesome sight.
  • Sicily Alacantra Gorge
    Eroded basalt columns found in the Alacantra Gorge.
  • Sicily Alacantra
    A gentle view looking up the valley towards Francavila di Sicilia from our car park.
  • Sicily Gaggi
    Another example of a terrifying forest fire raging above the village of Gaggi, it burned through the night and the smouldering embers could still be seen next evening.
  • Sicily Gaggi
    We cooked our evening meal while this fire raged. Here it looked more like a volcano than a wildfire. Far more exciting (and scary) than watching TV with your tea on your knee!
  • Sicily Castiglione di Sicilia
    Castiglione di Sicilia on a particularly wet and windy morning.
  • Sicily Castiglione di Sicilia
    The weather did clear but was very unsettled as this view across the valley shows.
  • Sicily Motta Camastra
    An aerial view of the picturesque medieval village of Motta Camastra, used during the filming of some scenes from the Godfather.
  • Sicily
    What can you say?
  • Sicily Siracusa
    A journey south took us to the city of Siracusa, this house stood above the ancient Greek theatre.
  • Sicily Sircusa’s Greek Theatre
    A general shot of Sircusa’s Greek theatre carved out of the hillside.
  • Sicily Ear of Dionysius
    Inside the ear of Dionysius. Stories say that the tyrant used the acoustics of this man-made cave to eavesdrop on the conversations of prisoners held here.
  • Sicily Ortygia
    One of several fountains to be found in the old town of Ortygia.
  • Sicily Piazza del Duomo
    An impressive church on the Piazza del Duomo, Ortygia.
  • Sicily Etna
    Our second trip up Mount Etna took us up the southern slopes. The objective of this trip was to photograph the summit craters. At around 9000ft the landscape turned to ash contrasting harshly with sky and cloud.
  • Sicily Etna
    We began the gruelling walk towards the top of Etna. By now we had noticed some difficulty breathing due to the higher altitude. This combined with the constantly shifting ash beneath our feet made the ascent very difficult.
  • Sicily Etna
    We approached one of the active craters near the summit; this was as far as visitors were permitted. The temperature at this altitude, nearly 10,000ft, was bone chillingly cold.
  • Sicily PhotoArk
    We were here!
  • Sicily Villa Romana del Casale
    One of the spectacular mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale; a UNESCO World Heritage site opened to the public in 2013 after many years of restoration.
  • Sicily Villa Romana del Casale
    One of the more interesting mosaics we found at the Villa Romana del Casale!
  • Sicily Alacantra Gorge
    Our final day allowed sufficient time to explore the upper reaches of the Alacantra Gorge. The rocks were deadly slippery, as Steven found out!