Tucked in the western point of Sicily, Salemi is a small town of about 11,000 people tucked into the Belice valley. It sits about 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles, outside of Palermo and is near Segesta and Selinunte, a pair of ancient cities that were constantly at war with each other. All that’s left of these two relics are some stoic Greek temples. Though the town is modestly sized, it possesses a long and interesting history that includes many peoples. The Greeks, the Romans and eventually barbarians passing through the Arabs all controlled the town at different times. During Arabic control, the town prospered and named itself after the Arabic word “salem,” which means “peace, health, or safe town.”
When one hears the “Town of Mads” a variety of things may come to mind. A town dedicated to craziness, or perhaps a village filled with rumors that would drive inhabitants mad if listened to long enough? However, none of these ridiculous thoughts ring true. In fact, the “Town of Mads” is a small medieval area nestled in the hills and mountains of Italy known as Gubbio. It is given such a name for its ancient festival known as the Festa dei Ceri. This festival, thrown every year on May 15th, has been enjoyed by Italians since the twelfth century. The Festa dei Ceri is known as one of the oldest and most noble festivals still experienced in this exciting country.
The castles of Turin Italy may be one of the country’s best kept treasures. Turin is located in northern Italy nestled against the Po River, with the beautiful Alps surrounding the culture rich city of approximately 900,000 people. As well as being the home of the royal family of Italy, Turin boasts beautiful castles, museums and churches with a strong French influence.