Venice: Sant’Alvise

The church of Sant’Alvise can be found in the north of the Cannaregio quarter, which is a fairly quiet part of Venice. “Alvise” is the Venetian version of “Luigi” or “Ludovico”, and in this case Sant’Alvise is the Franciscan saint Louis of Toulouse (1274-1297). He was said to have appeared…

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Venice: San Giobbe

The church of San Giobbe can be found in a fairly remote part of Venice and can be reached from the railway station by foot in about fifteen minutes. Our visit to the church started with a minor incident. The church has only one entrance, which has two wooden doors.…

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Palermo: La Cuba

Together with the palace of La Zisa, discussed previously, La Cuba is one of the summer residences of the Norman kings of Sicily outside Palermo. The palace was built in 1180 by King William II “the Good” (1166-1189). The name of the Arab-Norman building is obviously not related to the…

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Palermo: La Zisa

The palace of La Zisa was once one of the summer residences of the Norman kings of Sicily. The construction of the palace started in 1165 during the reign of King William I “the Bad” (1154-1166). Although the King hired competent workmen who built the palace in record time, La…

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The rock of Cefalù

The charming town of Cefalù lies beneath a great rock, the Rocca. The Ancient Greeks felt that this rock closely resembled a human head (κεφαλή) and therefore called the town Kephaloidion. In the Byzantine era Kephaloidion was a prosperous town that had its own bishop. This era started in the…

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Cefalù: The Duomo

On a beautiful sunny morning in January of 2023 I visited the famous cathedral of Cefalù that rises along the north coast of Sicily. The trip by train from Palermo to Cefalù was comfortable and quick, and from the railway station is was just a short walk to the Duomo.…

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