Palermo Guide For Travelling

images-5Less than 200km from Tunis, Palermo is like nowhere else in Europe. Defying the mafia in a maze of crumbling grandeur, it is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean. Every neighbouring power has occupied Sicily at some time, which has created a sizzling mix of Arabic food, Spanish streets, Norman towers and Italian neglect.

The old town is full of baroque palaces, their facades rich with statues, above alleys strewn with litter. Families live on their doorsteps like a scene from a 1950s film. Some streets are still being rebuilt after being bombed by the allies in the second world war. This is Italy in the raw.

In the courtyard gardens of Duomo di Monreale. Photograph: Alamy

And among all this, the traditional evening promenade, the passeggiata, is still very much alive here. There are aristocrats struggling to maintain historic palaces, and vibrant street life on every rococo corner. So this is a very old Italy, too. The closest parallel is probably Havana, another decaying former Spanish colony filled with ghosts and stories and heroes. Catch this one before it changes – and with being warm long into autumn, it’s not too late to visit this year.


The Norman conquest

Norman bling … the Palatine Chapel. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The unmissable sites in this city are the astonishing buildings of the Norman kings who conquered Sicily in 1072. For a century they ran Europe’s most sophisticated royal court, a centre for science, art and commerce based on tolerance of all faiths and nationalities. They left behind a fabulous blend of Romanesque architecture, Byzantine mosaics and Arabic domes.

Interior court of the Palazzo dei Normanni. Photograph: Alamy

First stop is the royal palace, the Palazzo dei Normanni on Piazza Indipendenza, whose highlight is the Palatine Chapel, covered in golden mosaics of scenes from the Bible. If it sounds dull, it feels bling. More intimate is the church of La Martorana in Piazza Bellini, with mosaic figures across its Romanesque arches. But the top sightseeing spot is out of town: the cathedral at Monreale, five miles south of Palermo, has gorgeous ceilings and walls decorated by master mosaicists who were brought here all the way from Byzantium. They offer a real sense of the power and mystery of medieval faith.

Street life

The centre of Palermo feels like a stage set – its streets all baroque facades run to ruin, its people open to communal living. There are outdoor dances in old squares and crowds at the sunset passeggiata. Street markets – boisterous affairs with the energy and edge of an African bazaar – are held on weekday mornings in Piazza Ballarò, Via Sant’Agostino and Piazza San Domenico.

Cook with a duchess

The delightful Duchess of Lampedusa, Nicoletta Polo, holds food-shopping and cookery days, starting in the noisy street market of Capo and ending with a five-course Sicilian meal in her elegant palace. She is the daughter-in-law of the author of Italy’s bestselling novel ever, The Leopard, which told the story of Sicilian aristocrats facing change. Her palace was owned by the real-life central character of the novel, Fabrizio, and is where the author died. For a taste of history, as well as local food, it doesn’t get more real than this.

The Greatest of Disney Main Street Parade

unduhan-8The brightest lights Walt Disney World has seen are about to go dim. After entertaining visitors for nearly half a century, Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade will end its run at Magic Kingdom on October 9.

The glimmering spectacle debuted on June 17, 1972, and remains the only parade to appear at three of Disney’s stateside parks throughout its 45-year reign. The heavily adorned pageant will officially bow out with a “limited time engagement” at its original home of Disneyland early next year, and shortly thereafter, the longest running parade in Disney history will finally pull the plug.

Appearing in everything from Scooby Doo to The Simpsons, Main Street Electrical Parade has cemented itself as a part of pop culture history, and its famed soundtrack of “Baroque Hoedown,” a synth-fueled favorite that’s both nostalgic and only slightly maddening, has aided in making it a part of Disney vacation-goers’ most cherished memories.

To this day, when the nighttime parade begins, the lights are dimmed across Main Street, the vocoder announcement is made, and the procession begins with a shimmering Tinker Bell, who has led the procession since 2008. Minnie and Mickey wave from an embellished train caboose and Cinderella glides by in an orange pumpkin while Elliott, the glimmering green protagonist from Pete’s Dragon, allows Pete to peer down at guests from 16 feet off the ground. There are spinning turtles, whirling snails and Alice up high atop a toadstool, but the real showstopper is the grand finale, a massive Honor America display with a glittering, waving American flag, lighting up in synchronization to the soundtrack, like all the other floats.

With over 80 performers—and 11,000 LED lights worn on the dancers alone— the parade remains nothing short of a success, still entertaining crowds after all this time. When compared to Disneyland’s beloved Paint The Night, which serves as a technologically embellished version of the evening mainstay, Main Street Electrical Parade is reliably nostalgic, offering a glimpse into Disney parks’ magic and impressive admiration of the past.

While many Disney fans scramble for their last chance to see its half a million lights twinkle, it’s not the first time Main Street Electrical Parade has left the parks. Throughout its lengthy existence, the parade has appeared and reappeared at Disney parks in both Anaheim and Orlando, with various iterations making their way to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris as well. It even held extended run beyond Main Street at Disney California Adventure, located next door to its debut location, for the better part of a decade.

This witch-up in Disney’s evening entertainment is but one of the recent upheavals of Walt Disney World’s illuminated events, with Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights ending its decade-long holiday run earlier this year as well. There is plenty of change occurring at Disneyland, too—Paint The Night parade ended in early September, leaving the current fate of both parks’ post-fireworks entertainment in flux.

As Animal Kingdom’s forthcoming Rivers of Light still lacks a debut date, and Disneyland remains at least one year out from the return of Fantasmic! due to Star Wars Land construction, the evening options on both coasts are dwindling. And yet, a small piece of the parade remains. Its predecessor, the Electrical Water Pageant, can still be seen from the resorts bordering the Seven Seas Lagoon as well as Fort Wilderness Resort and Wilderness Lodge each night.

With so much change at Disney Parks, it’s hard to say goodbye to a long-time favorite. All a Disney fan can do now is hope something amazing will take its place.

What is The Attractive of Mid Autumn Festival

unduhan-9This Thursday will be a big day across much of East Asia. Families will gather for dinner, lanterns will be everywhere, and people will be out and about, mostly staring at the bright full moon while having aptly named moon cakes as desserts.

That’s because it is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known by other names like the Moon Festival or the Moon Cake Festival. It’s celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the traditional East Asian lunar calendar, which falls on Sept. 15 in the Gregorian calendar this year. From Korea to Vietnam, from Japan to Singapore, this occasion will be marked by various customs and festivities. Here are five interesting things to know about the day:

1. It may all have begun with an elixir overdose

The tradition of family gathering and moon gazing in the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival is associated with the folklore tale of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e.

Legend has it that Chang’e levitated all the way to the moon when she overdosed on an elixir of life, intended originally for her husband who shot nine extra suns out of the sky with arrows. Her only companions on the lunar surface include a rabbit and a man condemned to Sisyphean tree-cutting.

Chang’e and the rabbit even got a shout-out from NASA ground control when Apollo 11 was preparing to land on the moon.

2. Moon cakes are evolving thanks to globalization …

While there have always been different variations of moon cakes across Asia, including some savory ones, the classic sweet pastry most closely associated with the festival has been made the same way for centuries: salty egg yolks stuffed in paste made from lotus seeds or beans.

The market is much more diverse these days, not least since they can now come in all shapes and size. The inception of frozen moon cakes within the past three decades also helps. What’s more, multinational brands like Starbucks and Häagen-Dazs are jumping in on the game too, with the latter’s iteration being a reshaped ice cream sandwich in essence.

3. … and are reputed to have played a role in regime change

Another popular Chinese folk tale about the Mid-Autumn Festival involves the 14th century overthrow of the Mongolian empire in China. Ethnic Han rebels reportedly smuggled written instructions into moon cakes delivered to their fellow citizens on the evening of one Mid-Autumn Festival, inciting them to take up arms and overthrow their oppressive rulers.

4. Another major part of celebration involves lanterns …

Traditional handmade lanterns are in paper and lit with candles. More luxurious models might have a rattan or wooden frame, covered with paper, or be in the shape of the star fruit — another festive food. Some could also be painted with festive images like Chang’e and the rabbit. These days, though, such traditional lanterns have become a rarity: inflated bulb-lit plastic lanterns depicting cartoon characters of the season are now the fad among kids. So are glow sticks.

Warm reminder: the Mid-Autumn Festival should not be confused with the Lantern Festival, a.k.a. the “Chinese Valentine’s Day,” which also falls on a lunar 15th — but in the first month of the East Asian lunar year.

5. … or wax. Molten, burning wax

While lanterns are still alive and well in Hong Kong, what used to light them up has become an end in itself. Literally known as wax-boiling, the highly dangerous act involves melting candles by the carton in empty moon-cake containers, then splashing water onto the hot, burning wax. Predictably, the practice that some people humorously call “annual legal arson” has caused multiple serious burn cases almost every Mid-Autumn Festival over the years. By the 21st century, Hong Kong government made what it calls “tampering with hot wax” illegal in public areas — surely one of the only jurisdictions on earth to write hot wax into its criminal code.

What is the something to do in Porto

It’s spirit that turns table wine into port, spi-rit-that-turns crisis into creativity and spirit that allows dignity to flourish among Porto’s glamorous dereliction. Here the Douro river pushes into the cold Atlantic and the city sits on one steep riverbank, with its thrusting towers and opulent city hall, its people defiant of austerity. The past defines much of Porto’s look, but her people have found a way to get on and look forward with hope and panache.

Stunning blue-tiled 14th-century churches and 19th-century palaces lie all but abandoned. There are Meccano bridges designed by Gustave Eiffel. Grand art deco theatres sail like pale liners over the city’s cobbled hills, and great modern buildings rise like phoenixes. There are green parks and shady silent squares, seaside and riverbank, wealth and poverty and all in a walkable city.

The Baixa district is postcard Porto, rising from the riverbank all pitched terracotta roofs and stucco painted in shades of mustard, Elastoplast and estuarine grey. At night it glows like honeycomb. Across the river is Vila Nova de Gaia, where 1950s signs on port lodges proclaim old English names Cockburn’s, Graham’s and Croft.

Clérigos Tower, a landmark of the historic city – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Alamy

And there’s the seaside. Empty surf beaches lie a few minutes from the city centre. South of Gaia, the fishing villages are salty and sweary; on the Porto side of the river, Foz do Douro is a posh suburb where the river meets the ocean and, further north, Matosinhos offers rock-cut swimming pools, sunsets and superb fish dinners.

Porto’s life and soul is on her hilly streets, in the many hipster bars and smoky cafes, in portions of tasty food and drinks that are huge and silly-cheap, in a pace of life where a gentle stroll is full speed ahead and a commitment to slow food makes meals lingering and rhythmic.

Getting around the city is a cinch: you stroll, or buy an Andante ticket (€15 for 3 days, and jump on any bus, metro or train.

What to see

The Casa da Música concert hall (auditorium and backstage visits from €6, performance tickets around €15) is perhaps Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ best building. It’s four stops from Metro Trinidade station, a five-star stunner.

The 15th-century Igreja (church) de Santa Clara, on Largo 1 de Dezembro, is impressively ornate. Igreja de São Francisco on Rua Infante Don Henrique is gothic outside and Liberace-baroque within. And if so much ecclesiastical culture (and gilt!) is quite enough for one morning, chill out at Horto das Virtudes, the peaceful park below São António hospital.

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (€8.50) is Portugal’s most important modern art museum. The building, filled with light and shade, was designed by local architecture god Siza Vieira (he’s 82 and still working). As well as exhibitions, there’s a cinema, a performance space and a huge, elegant park.

Casa Museu Fernando de Castro (€5, €2.50 concessions, free first Sunday of every month) is a house on a quiet residential street, filled with the wild jackdaw finds of collector, poet and cartoonist Fernando de Castro, from jokey ceramics to 17th-century church panelling.

The Military Museum (€3.50) is where dictator António Salazar’s goons tortured anti-fascists. Five steps away, a disused shopping mall, Centro Comercial Stop(enter at the Gala sign), has been appropriated by Porto’s rock and jazz musicians: each shop is now a rehearsal studio or tiny concert space.

Get a feel for the real Porto on a half-day walking tour from The Worst Tours(“free”, donations welcome). They’re run by three brilliantly provocative activist architects. There’s 70km of cycle track along the river and in town – Porto Rent a Bike has electrics and tandems, too.

Sardinia beach is the best destination to visit

Italy offers so much to holidaymakers: food-and-wine, art and architecture, high peaks and bosomy Tuscan hills, but relatively few Brits come here for sun and sand. To UK tastes, Italy simply doesn’t do seaside very well: beaches are often given over to hotel and bar concessions, with rows of sunbeds differentiated only by the colour of their umbrellas and the trashiness of their euro pop. Only a corner at the-least-attractive end will be spiaggia-libera  for people who just want to rock up and lie on a towel.

Sardinia isn’t like that: lists of the island’s best beaches run into the hundreds, and there are many more unnamed coves and wedges of white, silver or golden sand around its 1,000km plus of coastline, peninsulas and islands. Some popular beaches are concessionised though even these tend to be so spacious that plenty of spiaggia libera remains. There are wild beaches for those prepared to tote their own supplies, but most have a shack selling drinks, ice creams and snacks.

And if you think Sardinia is expensive, think again. Its image is skewed by the Costa Smeralda, an undeniably beautiful area in the north-east around the town of Porto Cervo, developed by the Aga Khan in the 1960s. Its rash of yachting, golfing, millionaire-style development has spread as far as Palau in the north and south towards Olbia. But elsewhere, from the Catalan flavoured north west to the south’s white dunes, from the rocky east to sometimes surfable west, Sardinia’s coast offers space, surprisingly low prices (though accommodation costs jump in August) and a friendly welcome particularly in these euro critical times, when fewer Italians can afford a trip. Add budget flights to Alghero, Cagliari and Olbia, ancient villages, nuraghe (neolithic remains) for history buffs, and all the pizza, artisanal gelato and great value wine you’d expect, and Sardinia is the perfect holiday island. Here are a few coastal favourites, with places to sleep and eat.


Su Portu, the most intimate of Chia’s five beaches. Photograph: Alamy

East of the island’s capital, Cagliari, beaches suffer from proximity to the city and the SP71 coast road. But an hour’s drive west and south blue sea on your left, flamingo dotted lagoons on your right is ridiculously fortunate Chia. For a little resort to have not one perfect crescent of pale sand but five can only be called greedy. Even better, the beaches are backed by a strip of protected dunes, so there’s barely a building visible from the shore; most holiday homes and hotels cluster on a hillside a mile away.

The central beach, Campana, slopes gently into clear water and has several bars (with sunbeds) plus windsurf and kayak hire, but the most impressive is huge Su Giudeu to the west, on a spit between lagoon and sea, its couple of bar concessions lost in the wide soft sands. My favourite is eastern Su Portu, under the stone watchtower. One end is slightly stony at the water’s edge, but its intimate size and almost circular shape make up for that.

Another hour round the coast, linked by causeway to the “mainland”, is the laid-back island of Sant’Antioco. From the harbour, steep streets lead to the old town and one of Europe’s oldest churches, fifth-century Sant’Antioco. It’s worth paying €5 to tour the Roman, Punic and early Christian catacombs, complete with frescoes, and at a pleasant year-round 18C. Young guide Marco told us how there are catacombs under the whole old town, and one elderly resident uses those below her house as cool summer sleeping quarters – cheaper than aircon.

South of the causeway, Maladroxia beach is justly popular, if narrow by Sardinian standards, but the town of Calasetta, on Sant’Antioco’s northern tip, is almost as well-favoured as Chia, with three white-sand bays in increasing sizes. The one nearest Calasetta, Sottotorre, is a pretty, perfect locals’ beach, with clear water and no concessions – but it’s worth driving a few kilometres to Le Saline andSpiaggia Grande, with their wide sweeps of sand, barely a building in sight, and free parking.

Gorgeous Artifacts That You Should Know and Visit

Researchers have discovered several ancient-artifacts-in the city of Petra in Jordan, including Roman style statues and mortuary remains. The objects offer a glimpse into the daily lives of ancient Nabateans, a nomadic people that ended up settling in the area.

Petra was the religious and political capital of the Nabatean kingdom that stretched across most of modern Jordan down into-northern-Saudi Arabia, as well as parts of Israel and Syria beginning around the third or fourth century B.C.

The city became a mercantile hub,—well-known for its trade of frankincense in particular. Rome annexed the city in 106 A.D., and traces of Roman influence-soon began appearing in the city’s artistic and funereal practices, among other ways of living.

The remains of–two second century A.D. statues-of Aphrodite and Eros were of particular interest to Thomas Parker, an archeologist and historian from North Carolina State University who was one of the lead researchers on the dig.

The sculptures likely came from somewhere near the Aegean Sea such as Greece, Turkey or even Italy, and they were brought through trade to Petra, according to Parker.

“They used the finest marble. There’s only a few quarries in the entire Mediterranean world that could produce marble of this kind,” Parker told Travel + Leisure. “The craftsmanship, the style, the skill of the sculptures really comes through.”

Anthropologist Megan Perry at East Carolina University focused on the excavation of nearby tombs to discover more about the burial rites of average Nabateans. Residents of Petra employed the practice of commingling, or intermixing the remains of different individuals from the same family into a single burial site, a practice common to the region at that time.

While Perry is still interpreting the symbolism of commingling and other mortuary practices, she says the tradition likely made reference to family values.

“We’re all together in death as you become one with your ancestors,” Perry told T+L. “You lose your individual identity, you become part of that familial, ancestral identity.”

Find The Great Wedding Couple When You are Travelling

A diver gave a Spanish couple an incredible surprise when she found the wedding ring they had lost 37 years ago.

Juani Sanchez and Agustin Aliaga lost the ring while swimming near Benidorm, Spain, just five months after they were married in 1979.

The couple naturally believed the ring was gone forever, until a family member told them they had seen it on Facebook, according to Metro UK.

Diver Jessica Cuesta posted a photo of the ring in an effort to try and locate its owner. After hundreds of messages and thousands of shares on the post, Cuesta was able to connect with the couple through Aliaga’s niece.

The couple sent Cuesta a photo of their family register and a picture of the ring, and Nisos realized these were the owners after hearing the wife’s name and seeing that it matched the name engraved on the ring.

“It was a pleasant surprise because more than the material, it is very symbolic and emotional as it’s the ring that we were married with,” Aliaga said.

It is reall so attractive when visit in france

The French government has unveiled a new plan to bring tourists back, pledging up to€10 million (about $11.2 million) to restore the image of the European nation following several high profile terror attacks.

The money will be spent in campaigns promoting France around the world. The project aims to woo visitors back to France’s museums, cafes, beaches, and cultural attractions, after many people canceled their trips or opted for other European destinations.

Tourism is a €170-billion industry in France, with €90 billion of that accounting for cafes, restaurants and hotels alone. With 2 million people working in the tourism services sector, a decrease in tourism arrivals can have a ripple effect throughout the entire economy.

“Although we have identified problems, the hope is to have a positive message to promote France as a tourist destination,” Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, told reporters after the announcement of the program this week.

A series of terror attacks in France in the past 20 months left more than 200 people dead and hundreds more wounded. Fear has spread beyond the borders of Paris and Nice, where the attacks took place, and kept some visitors from traveling to the country at all.

Arrivals to France were down 8 percent overall, according to figures released Tuesday following Ayrault’s meeting with industry leaders.

The announcement of the added funds to boost French tourism came just weeks after the Paris tourism board announced the city had lost €750 million in revenue from a dip in visitors during the first six months of the year.

The return of visitors may already be on its way, however, according to Steve Born, VP of marketing for the U.S.-based tour group Globus that has led trips to Europe for decades. While Globus saw a dip in bookings to France in the months following the November 2015 attacks, the bookings for 2017 are already back on par and pacing alongside other European destinations.

“France has it all,” Born told Travel + Leisure. “For those that are looking to experience Europe it’s such a go-to, and it’s such an iconic experience.”

The place that look like Antarctic Ice Shelf

A large crack in an Antarctic ice shelf has grown-by-13 miles in the past six months, threatening to detach an area of ice larger than Delaware.

Images of the Larsen C shelf captured by-NASA’s Terra satellite show a fault line that now stretches 80 miles in length, according to a report from the U.S. space agency. A portion of the ice shelf the continent’s fourth largest could disconnect

Scientists are working to understand the immediate changes that created the giant crack and have led it to grow so quickly. Project MIDAS, a U.K. group dedicated to studying the Larsen C shelf, notes that a warming climate has changed the structure of the ice, threatening the possibility of collapse.

The Larsen B ice shelf partially collapsed in 2002 and has furthered weakened in recent years. Scientists studying Antarctica expect it to collapse within a decade.

Fall Food and Wine Festival That You Should Visit It

One of the most appealing aspects of Epcot is how it gives visitors the ability to literally eat and drink their way around the world.

This task gets easier in the fall when the park hosts an annual food and wine festival.

If there was ever a time to visit Disney without the kids, this is it. From September 14 to November 14, you can see cooking demonstrations from famous chefs around the world, taste delicacies from more than 30 different destinations, and enjoy live entertainment in between courses.

Food vendors are set up all around the park, and you can buy samples of dishes for $4 to $8. Drinks cost from $3 to $6.

This year’s festival welcomes personalities like Jamie Deen, Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Elizabeth Faulkner, Andrew Zimmern, and Iron Chef’s Cat Cora.

How to Retire in 10 Years

After 30-plus years of working and socking away savings, you can finally see retirement on the horizon. But it’s not time to coast just yet.

Related: How to Double Your Nest Egg for Retirement

The actions you take in the final decade before you quit working are crucial to getting the next phase off to a smooth start. Here are 5 things you must do now.

1. See if you’re saving enough.

If you haven’t recently, take stock of where you are and where you need to be. For example, to replace 70% of your earnings by age 65, you’ll need to accumulate 12 times your pay at 65. But even if you’re playing catch-up, you can still make it to the finish line with what you need. Your choice: Seriously power-save, or work a bit longer while saving less. Say you have five times your income; you could sock away 33% a year for the next 10 years, or delay retirement 24 months while banking 20%. Either way, don’t miss out on catch-up contributions! Those 50-plus can put $6,000 extra in a 401(k), $1,000 more in an IRA in 2015.

2. Stagger your retirement with your spouse.

Among two-income couples, nearly one in five retires in the same year, and another 30% within two years of each other, reports the Urban Institute. But quitting in tandem isn’t necessarily the best move. If one spouse works just a few years longer, you can draw less from your portfolio in those initial years.

Related: How to Prevent Forced Retirement From Ruining Your Golden Years

3. Don’t automatically quit on stocks.

To achieve returns to sustain a 30-year retirement, you need to still be investing for growth. Stocks should make up 50% to 60% of your allocation, with the rest in bonds. The caveat: Those within 10% of their ultimate savings goal can choose to dial back to 40%.

4. Do the math on your mortgage.

Of course you don’t want to carry credit card debt into retirement, but what about the mortgage? The old advice was to burn it before you left work, but in today’s low-rate environment, maybe not. Assuming that your rate is less than 5% and that you’ll be able to afford the payments from guaranteed-income sources in retirement—or if you’re planning to move—there’s no rush. You may do better by investing money you would have put toward the loan.

On the other hand, if you won’t be able to swing the nut later on, or simply want peace of mind, use this mortgage calculator Mortgage calculator to figure out how to erase the debt sooner. Or consider a cash-in refi to a shorter-term loan. Say you have $200,000 and 20 years left on a 30-year mortgage at 5%. Refinancing to a 15-year at 3% and putting in $50,000 would shave off five years and cut the monthly payment from $1,381 to $1,074. Keep up the original payment, and the loan will be paid off in 11 years, plus you’ll save $10,300 in interest.

5. Make friends with the young’uns.

Sure, you still want to dazzle your boss, but you’d better be working just as hard to make allies below you. Your younger coworkers are likely to move up the ranks over the next 10 years and have a say in whether you stay or go. Hanging onto your job for the next decade will be essential to keeping your plan on track. So train subordinates, mentor up-and-comers, and look into a “reverse mentorship” in which a junior colleague teaches you something new.