The travel I have just finished, has been a real amazing one; a Fam Trip that got me involved and brought out emotions connected to where I belong and not only: Cagliari and Catania Cruise Port, the societies that manage the local cruise terminals, organized this fam trip and brought us to discover new, interesting, unique, curious and rich of historical background destinations.
Cagliari and the Sulcis zone, Catania and the Etna: two important cities in south Italy, two beautiful islands, two territories that have a lot to offer to the many visitors getting off cruise ships and wanting to discover the real country.
I come back from this experience with a lot of bruises all over my body, and it means that I really enjoyed it, I achieved epic personal conquests, to say the list, that cost me blood sweat and tears (thanks to Manuela for the input!).
An experience that I would define unusual, because my beloved ships weren’t directly involved this time, but a very useful one, because destinations are closely connected to cruises.
To discover new, intense and exciting ones it’s surely a strength with a view to put togheter an itinerary that could remain embedded in our hearts. This is the real answer to people that have cruised Mediterranean a thousand times and always wonder if in that port it’s possible to visit something unique, and that would rather prefer to discover the territory rather than to remain on the ship.
This fam trip it’s indeed the demonstration that there is still a lot to discover; it’s the story of a territory I know, Cagliari and the Sulcis, and one I don’t know, Catania and the Etna.
I was born and raised in Sulcis and for me it’s really strange to live it as a tourist, because I know its weak points and virtues, because I see this happening every day. But the facts are that in this way you can see it prejudice free and everything gets a special light.
I want to make it clear that I love my Sardinia, you can notice it from the endless number of photos I post on my personal profile, but it’s very difficult to see it with “new eyes”. So I will try to show you it in all, as I say, its rare and wild beauty.
Sicily and Sardinia are closely connected and share the strong passion of their people, the tie to their own roots, the history of two territorial identities all to be discovered, everything showed in a new way that it’s far beyond what you can normally discover when you call a cruise port.
They can be little-known local realities, but it’s really this to offer the visitor a unique richness that is combined to the few distance from the port of call: real multifaceted jewels, rough diamonds waiting to shine and to show their best shape.
As the wonderful Porto Flavia area that leaves you breathless with its colors, ranging from the beige to the almost red of the mountains, to the hundred nuances of the blu of the sea, that in a very hot day it’s something dazzling: and its biggest surprise, the path inside a mine gallery that ends in a breathless view, a romantic location that tells the story of the long agony of workers, men, women and children that have been working there for years.
This is the symbol of a territory wanting to be reborn, a territory owing endless treasures of beauty indeed, eager to show them and a territory that from the strength of the ancestors has kept the stubbornness of its young people strongly believing in their roots and willing to invest in them.
Or like the north ridge of the Etna, not as travelled as the others, but so charming: we were lucky to access there, thanks to a special authorization, so we could admire – I can say it was very hard, but what a show! – an incredible overview just there, on the top of the highest active volcano sit on the eurasian plate.
The so called “A Muntagna”, with its continuous smoking is an integral part of the panorama; even if during the centuries its eruptions have left their mark deeply changing the surrounding landscape, The Etna, felt as a feminine being, deeply tied to Mother Earth, is considered by the locals as a protector, as strange as this can appear.
Deep down it is the one that makes rich the earth, for example giving to the local wines unique features.
We often write to be or to feel on top of the world: I was there, or better I was by the side of a Volcano, and there were very strong gusts of wind, but an amazing lunar view just in front of me, something unique!
I didn’t know what to look at and I was really impressed by the colors! Not everything is black, there are a lot of nuances and also little read flowers growing on the old lava flows!
Because that land it’s somehow life: the half one I lost climbing till the crater, but that was a challenge for me, a button to push, the demonstration that you can do everything if you want.
During these four and a half days the views are changed very quickly, so as the colors and the nuances to pick up on: I am sure that every itinerary I have explored is absolutely doable and interesting and that the cruiser who is looking for something new can find it.
There are itineraries for everyone, from the niche food tour, to the historical tour from the paleolithic to the modern era; there are nature trails, underground tours to discover a mine gallery, that in this area has been for years (in some cases for centuries) the only source of income for many families.
You can also find the sea, the one that leaves you breathless for its beauty and brilliance, the one you will keep in your heart forever! All the places we have visited are really growing up, they are constantly evolving and there are enthusiastic administrators that have been with us for all the time to show us the wonder of their territory explaining everything with a smile.
This is the demonstration that beyond the budget they believe in their territory and this make the difference, it’s about to show the potentiality, it’s simply to believe it, and I would like to see such an attitude everywhere.
Cagliari Cruise Port and Catania Cruise Port took care of this Fam Trip, which main purpose is to consolidate and to improve the identity of the territory. These two ports are part of the big family of Global Ports Holding.
Global Ports Holding is the world’s largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions, including extensive commercial port operations in Turkey and Montenegro.
GPH operates 14 ports in 8 countries and continues to grow steadily. GPH provides services for 7.8 million passengers reaching a market share of 25% in the Mediterranean annually. The group also offers commercial port operations which specialize in container, bulk and general cargo handling.
Stay tuned because other posts are going to follow to discover more about these unique, charming destinations that you must visit (you will find the links as soon as I finish them)
Kindly translated by our senior editor Cinzia Marchisio
Image credit @crazycruises.it by Daniela Pisano
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04/08/2017 ore 14.00 – “Post protetto da Licenza Creative Commons International CC BY-ND 4.0″