Greetings from Cefalu, Italy!
I just spent the last few days inspecting accommodations and investigating excursions for the second segment of our Sicily LiveAway happening next March here in Cefalu.
I'm quite pleased with the city and the accommodations, and I think it will make a fine complement to the first segment in Syracuse. The northern coast of Sicily around Cefalu is much more mountainous than in Syracuse, giving us a new landscape and energy to appreciate, and Cefalu itself is overflowing with charm.
It has a delightful grittiness to it, an authenticity born from a long history and locals who maintain a lifestyle and commitment to the town. It has a population of only 14,000, but the climate, location, and proximity to other sights to see in Sicily bring it a considerable number of tourists every year, meaning there are no shortage of nearby activities.
For our purposes, I think it's an ideal spot to spend a few weeks soaking in the Sicilian atmosphere. There are lots of interesting things to do excursion-wise, some excellent restaurants and cafes, beautiful beaches to relax on and hiking trails to explore.
At the moment it's steaming hot - 37 degrees this weekend (!) - which is why we're coming in March, when the temperatures will be much more reasonable, and there will be fewer tourists.
I'll be spending the weekend exploring the nearby Aeolian Islands, home to Stromboli, one of three active volcanoes in Italy. A number of different people here have recommended spending some time here, which we will probably do as part of the bridge between the end of our Cefalu program and on the way to our Amalfi LiveAway.
I think we'll spend a couple nights in the Aeolian Islands and then take the overnight ferry to Naples, so those returning home or going elsewhere can easily do so, and those joining us for our Amalfi LiveAway can take a train or another short ferry to Sorrento.
After my visit here in the Aeolians, I’ll be off to check out Sorrento and our planned activities in and around Amalfi, which will allow us to release both the Amalfi and Cefalu itineraries.
I appreciate your patience and understanding as we pull these together - it takes a bit more time for me to go and personally inspect things, but it's an important part of making sure these trips meet the Wheel & Anchor standard of experience.
It's not all LiveAways however - this week I'm pleased to release the complete program for our 2024 African Rail Odyssey trip from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam, aboard the luxurious Rovos Rail, which you can find in your newsletter.
And, next week we will begin our 'Trip Inspiration' series of questionnaires that I mentioned last week, as we begin to look ahead to the kind of trips the community is interested in for 2024.
As always, your feedback and comments are most welcome and appreciated...lots more on the way 🙂