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That new oil basin between Niger and Algeria definitely destabilizing

On Thursday, November 15, the Council of Ministers of Niger announced the discovery of an important oil reservoir in Kafra , a border region in Algeria. The discovery is the work of the Algerian oil company Sonatrach , which between December 2017 and February 2018 carried out various surveys that confirmed the existence of these new deposits.

The Council of Ministers approved an addendum to the partnership agreement with Sonatrach , signed in August 2015, for the division of the expenses and profits of the extraction of black gold. Now it is necessary to drill to allow to calculate exactly the reservoir reserves and any deposits connected to it but not yet discovered. At the moment they estimate that they are talking about 90,000 barrels a day which will allow Niger to reach the production of 110,000 barrels a day.

Modest but sufficient to revive the small West African state from poverty . Currently, Niger produces 20,000 barrels a day through an agreement signed with the Chinese multinational CNPC – China National Petroleum Corporation , in 2011, for the exploitation of oil fields discovered in the region of the Agadem. The Minister of Hydrocarbons, Foumakoye Gado , has announced that next December the construction of a pipeline to Cameroon , through Chad, for the export of Nigerian crude oil will start .

The discovery of this basin is yet another proof that the whole Sahara contains as a whole the estimated oil deposits of greater importance than those currently present in the Middle East . The oil basin of the Sahara, if associated with those of East Africa and North Africa, allow to face a possible progressive depletion of Middle Eastern deposits , a process already started in some Saudi deposits, exploited for over 45 years. The r African eserves can be an important source of well-being and development if the oil production will be wisely managed, but at the same time, they are one of the main factors holding back the global industry to prepare the transition from hydrocarbons to that founded on based on clean energy sources. As long as the multinationals have deposits to exploit, the use of clean energy sources will be postponed.

The shift from the hydrocarbon economy to that of alternative energy sources requires strong public investments to adapt the entire energy distribution system and the locomotion system. Just think of the hundreds of millions of petrol engine vehicles circulating on the planet that should be replaced with electric vehicles or water engines. The transition between the two economies would lead to the loss of political and economic hegemony of the Seven Sisters , a true cartel that controls a large part of the world economy through the supply of oil and derivatives , placed totally outside the control of governments and cause main of all oil-related wars, from the Middle East to Africa.

The discovery of the African deposits has created another brake factor for the transition between the two economies. African governments do not intend to give up the exploitation of this resource to start the process of industrialization. For them alternative energies represent another form of dependence on the West , since they do not possess the necessary technologies. On the contrary, black gold is a strong currency of exchange that allows many African countries to launch nationalistic policies on exploitation , directing production towards the continental market , decreasing the exported crude. Uganda has been a pioneer of this policy.

This is not the case with Niger , a semi-Islamic state with strong democratic shortcomings. The regime of Mahamadou Issoufou , in power since 2011, is directing oil production towards the classic colonial export economy , without providing , as in the more advanced countries (Ghana, Uganda), the construction of refineries for the transformation into fuel for the domestic or regional economy . Niger will export its modest quantities of oil, buying fuel and derivatives from Western and Asian multinationals.

Also on the possibility that the Nigerian deposits can contribute to the wellbeing of the population and to the economic development of the country, many doubts weigh. The agreements are opaque and civil society is totally ousted from the monitoring of revenues and the environmental impact . The absence of control committees composed of ordinary citizens opens the door to all sorts of financial abuse and corruption.

In the alternative energy sector , Africa has started in 2014 to carry out various projects for the production of solar , geothermal and wind energy , in Rwanda , Kenya and other countries. But the sector remains secondary , compared to the dominant economy based on hydrocarbons.

The China factor is not to be underestimated . The Red Dodge empire is based on heavy industry and the huge amount of high-value currency held at the Central Bank, which allows Beijing its policy of economic expansion in terms of tight competition with the West . A competition aimed at moving the areas of influence from the north to the south of the world . It is unlikely that in the coming decades the Chinese Communist Party will decide to abandon the hydrocarbon economy by investing large sums for the transition to an economy based on clean energy sources. Economically, the passage is not convenient, and it will only happen when the last oil well has dried up.

Other oil frontiers on the horizon help to remove the transition between the two economies. One of these borders is the Arctic , where it is known the presence of huge oil fields and is currently the subject of a close territorial dispute between Russia and the United States . All these factors contribute to removing the transition between the two economies, worsening the global warming situation. New industrial powers, especially in Africa, do not even want to hear control talks of the emission of gas directly related to the greenhouse effect and, coincidentally, created by the economy of hydrocarbons. The new industrial parks and the exponential increase of the vehicle fleet in the continent will increase the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming of the planet.

The discovery of the new basin in Niger is a potential source of destabilization . Currently the regime is turning to Algerian and Chinese multinationals , excluding Western ones . A political choice that could prove counterproductive to the stability of the country. The Sahara oil basin is a source of contention between the United States and Europe , in particular France. The competition started in 2011, and is aimed at controlling this immense African area. The first step was to eliminate the regional power represented by Libya by Colonel Gaddafi. An economically stable and rich country aimed at a Pan-African policy. As Hillary Clinton ‘s recently intercepted April 2, 2011 email shows , the ‘ fakeLibyan revolution and subsequent Western military intervention led by France were motivated to halt the process of economic and financial independence of the oil and gas-rich region. .
The Gaddafi government holds 143 tons of gold and a huge amount of silver. This gold has been accumulated to be used for the creation of a pan-African currency based on the Libyan dinar that could be a valid alternative to the CFA Franc of the Francophone African countries ” , reads the email. The French secret services had discovered the financial plan before the revolution, influencing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to launch an attack against Libya . The Western powers, faced with the risk of losing the strategic region of the Sahara, did not hesitate a moment to transform an economically advanced country into a hell, where dozens of militias are colliding, placing Libya in a situation of Somali chaos that will last for decades.

After Mali was the turn of Mali , as a warning to all countries in the region: abandoning any idea of ​​sovereignty and financial economic independence as the oil fields are vital for Western industries. The escalation of the civil war in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon could have origins from foreign interference aimed at blocking the nationalistic policy timidly initiated by the dictator Paul Biya in power for over 30 years. The development of various wabite terrorist groups linked to Al Qaeda, DAESH and Saudi Arabia would also be the work of Western powers to destabilize entire African countries such as Nigeria.

The current policy of containing illegal immigration seems to be an excuse offered to Western public opinion to justify military engagement in the Sahara region . This would explain why the main human trafficking routes in Europe pass right in the area controlled by the American and French military that do not interfere in any way. Routes that pass through the Niger, in the direction of Libya, alternatives to routes that pass from Sudan.

The choice of Niger to entrust oil extraction to Algerian and Chinese companies in itself would not create particular frictions as these deposits are small, but represents a dangerous precedent for other neighboring countries . So do not be surprised if in the near future Niger will start the classic ‘western rumba’.

Police protocol with “Arab people”: attention to those who carry cameras, money and Algerians

The anti-terrorist alert 3 decreed in Spain after the attacks in the French weekly Charlie Hebdo have led to the implementation of security protocols in several areas . One of them, the behavior that the agents of the State Security Forces should have when they interrelate with citizens of Arab origin , for example, in identifications of suspicious persons. The General Directorate of the Police has issued a series of “recommendations on interventions with Arab persons”, which has been sent for the moment to the two Superior Headquarters in Andalusia, but which will soon be operative in other areas with an important Muslim population, such as Catalonia, Madrid, Valencian Community, Ceuta and Melilla. These recommendations do not imply an indiscriminate increase in identifications on public roads.

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The first recommendation given to the police is that they ” avoid any kind of racist or xenophobic comment ” when talking to Arab citizens. The Ministry of the Interior is no stranger to the social sensitivity that raises this issue and does not want the prevention work carried out by the agents to be misinterpreted as episodes of Islamophobia, for that reason it wants a correct and respectful treatment. Both at border points, and in identifications on public roads, agents must check the entry stamps of passports , to know “if that person has been in hot countries, or in countries that have borders with these.” Interior talks about Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon .

The Directorate of the Police also wants to see if the suspects who are questioned ” carry large sums of money with them, more than 1,000 euros .” It could be human mail. The Spanish information services believe that Hayat Boumedienne, the couple of the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly responsible for taking hostages in a Jewish supermarket, is liaison or mail of the Islamic State. He was in Madrid on January 2, from where he flew to Turkey and went to Syria on the 8th. It is assumed that Boumeddiene performs the mail function , to bring money and instructions, that is why Interior asks to be taken into account the amount of money that any identified person can carry.

Algerian groups

In its fourth recommendation, it calls for ” special attention with the individuals of Algerian nationality , they are more conflictive than the Moroccans, and security measures must be maximized in their identifications”. Although none of the 47 detainees in Spain in 2014 in operations against ‘jihadist’ terrorism had an Algerian passport, Algeria has traditionally been a ‘jihadist’ focus that has extended its tentacles to Spain . Between 1995 and 2004 (until the 11-M attacks), the great police operations in our country have been carried out against members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), its successor the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). In the decade that begins in the year 2000, several Algerian groups planned terrorist attacks in Europe as a continuation of the strategy promoted by Al Qaeda, say anti-terrorist sources.

Algeria has traditionally been a ‘jihadist’ focus that has extended its tentacles to Spain, experts say The experts also point out that Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria or “Yund al Jilafa”, who beheaded the French hostage Pierre Hervé Gourdel in September 2014, He has left the ranks of the AQIM and has gone over to the Islamic State.

The National Police should also provide “attention to people of Arab origin” who are making video recordings in non-tourist places , especially in critical infrastructures. Some 200 of these infrastructures (ports, airports, transport stations, power and nuclear power stations, some commercial areas …) have had special protection since last week. Anyone who is detected making these recordings “must be identified.”

When locating individuals of Arab origin in a vehicle by consulting a laptop , they must also be identified. This fact must be immediately reported to the Provincial Information Brigades. If personal searches or vehicle registrations are carried out, agents should check whether there are precursors used to make ‘TATP’ , acetone peroxide, an explosive that can be manufactured with household products. Its components are sulfuric acid (present in car batteries), hydrogen peroxide (present in hydrogen peroxide), acetone (in nail polish removers) and an acid catalyst (for example in lemon juice).

Amalfi Coast, markets and Christmas cribs

Campania (region of southern Italy) is one of the most suggestive regions during the Christmas season. Naples attracts tourists and travelers who will be able to contemplate wonderful cribs in San Gregorio Armeno.

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However, there is a place that during the same period of the year is even more suggestive than Naples: the Amalfi Coast. In fact, during the night, the landscape on the coast looks like a manger. Amalfi, Positano and Praiano, between the sea and the mountain, with their colorful houses anchored in the cliffs, offer, especially for those who come from the sea, a unique spectacle, which can be considered just as one of the most beautiful world.

All over the coast, Christmas parties with lights begin to be prepared and, starting on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas markets and other manifestations between religious and profane begin: shows of theater, of prose, of poetry, of concerts in the squares and in the churches.

In Positano, in the historic Piazza dei Mulini, the traditional handicraft market takes place. Here we can contemplate and buy all the figures of the manger, from the simplest to the most elaborate. In the same way we find ceramic objects typical of this area or paper manufactured figures (the activities related to paper were, during a period, very important in the coastal area). We can also taste many typical products of La Campania, such as the Christmas sweets known as “struffoli”, some balls of sweet pasta previously fried, later wrapped in honey and decorated with colored confetti.

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The zampogna is an ancient musical instrument. The figures of the zampognari (those who played the instrument) are part of the Italian manger, especially the cribs of La Campania. The zampognari parade throughout the Christmas period playing their instruments in the streets and squares of Amalfi, Tovere, Pogerola, Lone, Pastena and Vettica.

The town of Pogerola is known for artistic cribs. There are figurines of shepherds of the XVIII century.

In Ravello, however, we found cribs made with corals.

La Grotta di Fornillo, in Positano housed one of the most curious cribs in the world; We could say that it is here since always, since it seems that it is part of the rock.

For many years, divers have placed the girl in the incredible aquatic crib of the Grotta di Smeraldo.

Among the different celebrations that take place between Christmas and the Befana (January 6), the most attractive to visitors are the living cribs that can be enjoyed in different cities.

Birth is reproduced in all churches; Among the most admired, we find the Church of the Carmine, in Atrani.

All the churches in this area are very beautiful and worth visiting not only for their mangers:

In Positano the Church of La Asunción has a cupola lined with majolica.

The Cathedral of Amalfi still has today the original door sent to be melted in Constantinople in 1066 and, from the Cathedral, access to the Cloister of Paradise.

One of the most well-known traditions is that of the blessing of the children (each one carries his little figurine of the child Jesus so that it is blessed before putting it in the manger of the house).

Amalfi was the first of all the Italian maritime republics and its naval potential of the past is reflected by the remains of its naval base, a great Gothic construction. Today, if we look towards the sea, we will see a large number of boats, yachts and boats at any time of the year.

Porto Torres travel guide: the best places to see.

Porto Torres is located along the Gulf of Asinara at the mouth of the Mannu River, just northwest of the city of Sassari, for which it is the port.

Marina de Porto Torres is the heart of the civic port, overlooking the Gulf of Asinara. All the main supermarkets and shops in the city, like the best restaurants, are located in this area.

Porto Torres is a very interesting city capable of capturing the attention of its visitors, who can easily reach here by ferry from Italy, France and Spain, from the port of Barcelona.

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The past of Porto Torres

Porto Torres has a history more than a little moved. The first human settlements in Porto Torres and the neighboring area date back to prehistoric times , as evidenced by the many necropolises in the area. In particular, the domus date back to the nuraghic age and among these, the Domus de Andreolu must be mentioned due to its special importance. Later, the area was with good possibilities used as a safe haven by the Phoenicians and then the Carthaginians , but the archaeological findings of these civilizations are scarce.

It is necessary to get to the Roman era to be able to really talk about the founding of Porte Torres, when around 46 BC the Romans instituted here the Iulia colony of Turris Libisonis . Several monuments dedicated to the cult of the goddess Isis, like an altar dedicated to rituals and offerings, prove the proliferation of the maritime and mercantile activities of the colony. Turris Libisonis soon became one of the most important ports on the island , with direct links to Ostia, the port of Rome. As proof of the importance of the city, and its connection with the capital, are the majestic baths , the domus of the mosaics and the old walls.

With the decline of the Western Roman Empire, all of Sardinia was conquered and dominated by the Vandals for almost a century. Defeated the vandals, the island and the city were occupied by the Byzantines.

After the loss of contact with Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, Porto Torres became a sovereign and independent state , known as the Giudicato di Torres-Logudoro . Given the important and strategic location of the capital of this small state, connected by sea to Genoa and easily accessible from Pisa, Torres remained the second most important center of the island , both politically and religiously as by demographic dimensions. Around 1065 the Basilica of San Gavino was built, which was a cathedral until 1441 and rises in a cave dedicated to the saint.

At this point, however, Torres began to fall into oblivion from which he could never emerge: from the capital of the kingdom and archbishopric became almost uninhabited and under Aragonese rule (1323-1479), the city entered its phase final: it was no longer a true urban core and the glories of the past only a Spartan port remained.

The current municipality of Porto Torres was born in 1842, in the Savoy period , when citizens obtained by King Charles Felix of Sardinia the autonomy of Sassari, which in previous centuries had assumed a dominant position.

Porto Torres today: what to visit

Today, the ancient Turris Libisonis still retains much of its ancient Roman structures : aqueducts, sewers, hot springs, the forum and some temples are in good condition, as well as the bridge of the Mannu River , still usable. The Roman antiquities are undoubtedly the main attraction of the city, considered a pole of vital importance for the commerce and industry of Sardinia.

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Do not try to resist the temptation to embark on a ferry to Asinara Island , without a doubt the main excursion in this area. In recent years, Asinara has been a natural park, but in reality it has always been a prison. Activities such as deep-sea fishing are prohibited in the entire area, and this is nowadays one of the richest natural parks in the world . Here more than anywhere else, divers can enjoy the fascination of the underwater world .

Moreover, here live quiet and undisturbed horses, wild boars and the characteristic white donkeys of Asinara , which gave the island its name.

The remains of the thermal complex called the Palace of King Barbaro , the most important thermal bath building, are a very valuable testimony of the Roman past: the immersion tanks and the furnaces used in the underground heating system are still very visible . Very beautiful, especially the mosaics .

Other places of great historical value, such as the central baths, the Domus de Orfeo , the Maetzke baths , the Domus of the mosaics, the spas and the Pallottino peristyle , are included in the vast archaeological site of the Turritano Antiquarium , that is to say the National Archaeological Museum of Porto Torres , inaugurated in 1984.

This shows the great importance in the Roman era of the city, which certainly covered a preponderant role both from an economic point of view, due to the presence of the port, both in the political sphere.

Among the works built by the Romans, it is also worth mentioning the bridge over the Mannu River , with its seven stolen point arches, which formed part of the road network and which was the longest bridge in all of Sardinia (135 meters).

Columns and Roman pillars have also been used in the Basilica of San Gavino , which is literally a stone’s throw from the sea, near the beautiful and small beach of Balai .

The basilica, the largest and oldest Romanesque monument on the island , has three naves and is built of limestone blocks that have acquired wonderful shades over time. The original building dates from the second half of the eleventh century, but later expanded at least a couple of times. Here you can admire numerous sarcophagi , such as the notables of the nine muses and, in the crypt, those containing the relics of Saints Gavino , Proto and Gianuario .

Only 6 km from Porto Torres in the direction of Sassari is the megalithic ziggurat of Monte d’Accoddi . This impressive structure has a base of 27 meters by 27 meters, a height of 5.5 m and culminates in a platform of approximately 12.5 m by 7.2 m, accessible through a ramp. It has been described as a mound, a temple or a step pyramid, but since no rooms or access points have ever been found to the mound, it is believed that the ziggurat has been used as a sacrificial altar or that it has served as an observation function, as its square plan coordinates with the cardinal points of the compass. At the base of the structure there are two menhirs , a dolmen and a huge egg-shaped stone.

The most beautiful beaches of Porto Torres

Needless to say, the beaches of Porto Torres are each more beautiful than the other: a succession of rocks, cliffs and coves of golden sand overlooking the green and blue of an iridescent sea.

Almost all the beaches are located on the east side of Porto Torres, starting from the tourist port towards Piatamone.
Scoglio Beach Lungo owes its name to a natural “walkway”, in fact a long rock, which extends into the sea surrounding the beach on your right. The water is not very deep and therefore it is also suitable for families with children. The beach is easily recognizable by the statue of a dolphin that sits on a small rock a few meters from the shore.

The beach of Balai , previously mentioned for the sanctuary dedicated to San Gavino, is small but very appreciated for its very fine sand. The Playa de las Dulces Dulces , artificially built only a few years ago, owes its name to the springs of fresh water at the bottom of this stretch of sea.

On the western side , almost at the tip of the peninsula of Stintino, is the Pelosa Beach , from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Piana Island , the islet that separates Cabo Falcone from Asinara. Located on an even smaller island – between Piana Island and Cabo Falcone, at the entrance of the Asinara Strait – is the old walled coastal tower that takes its name from the beach: Torre de la Pelosa . Also on the Asinara Island there are beautiful beaches, such as Cala d’Arena .

Porto Torres and its surroundings, as well as all of Sardinia, is a true gift from Mother Nature . Everything here is of a beauty that can not be described with words: the sky, the sea, the beaches, the pine forests and the Mediterranean maquis that intensely perfume the air. And they are no less the welcome and kindness of the Sardinians.

Curiosities of Sardinia

What do we know about Sardinia? But, for example, do we know what the Mamuthones are? (they are not animals) Or even, how were the Sardinian marriages?

That Sardinia is a fantastic island, we all know it; In fact, it is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations. It can be reached very easily by boat and it is difficult to find elsewhere a place that offers contemporary tradition and fun: great beaches and wild nature, and also very varied and succulent cuisine.

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But some features of Sardinia are less known, so we will try to reveal some curiosities related to tradition, landscape and culture.

– In Mamoiada, which is located in the part of the Barbagia, 60 kilometers from Nuoro, although it is a small town, we found some typical costumes that are among the most beautiful on the island and, above all, we find the MAMUTHONES, which they are the carnival masks of prehistoric origin and of great ethnographic interest, linked to the pastoral tradition. Together with the ISSOHADORES mask they are part of the Mamoiada Carnival, known as “the dance of the Mamuthones”.

The name seems to come from the Greek word “maimon” which means crazy, useless. The costumes made of sheep wool, the masks made of dark wood and cowbells are placed on the back. The Mamuthones parade in groups of 12 (one for each time of the year) accompanied by the Issohadores masks that would be their guardians.

– One of the largest underground lakes in Europe is found in Sardinia. This is LAGO LAMARMORA: an underground lake with a length of 130 meters, something more than about 25 meters wide and with a maximum depth of 9 meters.

This lake is located in the Cave of Neptuna, one of the most famous among all the marine caves found in Sardinia. The cave is located at the foot of Cape Caccia, in Alghero, not far from Sassari. To reach the cave, go down the Escalera de Cabriral, formed by more than 600 climbs, or arrive directly by sea, by boat.

– Local local crafts are one of the richest and most unique and their origins go back to antiquity. The characteristics that distinguish manufacturing is the geometric shape of the decorations; This particular figurative expression is found in the temples of nuragic pozzo and predates the Roman era.

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The geometric mark is present in the tapestries, in the vases and in the braided baskets of the Sardinian women. The human figures, very stylized, show the same combinations in the shapes and designs of gold or silver jewelry.

Thanks to the Phoenician influence, bright colors add a special touch to carpets, rugs and women’s clothing; of the Byzantines, the sumptuousness of the decorations and the use of gold are inherited. The flourishes we find in embroidery and in fabrics are the result of the First Renaissance.

– The vegetation of Sardinia is of Mediterranean type but it has, in any case, characteristics that allow it to be distinguished from other regions; the forests cover a fairly large area and, behind the other plants, the QUERCIA DA SUGHERO, known as the sughera, stands out.

This plant has a particular importance for the island since it covers almost 60,000 hectares of the territory; which means that it is two thirds of the national heritage.

Most of the sughere forests are located in the Gallura and mark the landscape of the northeastern area. Quercia da sughero is a beautiful tree in its crown and reddish bark and is highly valued for everything it offers: acorns for animals, wood for burning. The sughere is used throughout the world.

– The marriage is for everything a very emotional and important ceremony. In Sardinia there are, even today, some very old rich people who make the celebration of the Sardinian marriage an exciting spectacle. In the Sulcis region, specifically in Santadi, the MAURITAN MARRIAGE “Sa Coja Maureddina” takes place.

The name has origins, past, of the presence of Africans who landed in this area; In spite of the name, it is likewise a celebration according to the rite of the Catholic Church.

It begins by leaving from the house of the couple, each one rides in his respective decorated car, called “traccas”, with his parents, all dressed in typical costumes, until the main square where the ceremony will take place. When it is over, the spouses distribute the bridal bread to everyone present. There are also a large number of folk groups that come from all of Sardinia.

Another ancient rite is the one that develops in Selargius: THE ANCIENT MARRIAGE SELARGINO “Sa Coja Antiga Cerexina”. It begins with the blessing of the future spouses before the door of their respective houses with grains and salt, elements of vital importance for the life of the inhabitants of the town. After this the two courtships go towards the church where the celebration will take place in Sardinian; the spouses are united with “their chain”, symbol of the indissoluble union. Obviously, also in this house everyone exhibits typical costumes and can not miss popular Sardinian music.

Curiosities of Messina

The city of Messina is known, above all, by the Strait of Messina: all those who arrive from the continent, to go to Calabria or to Sicily, necessarily pass through the strait.

In fact, every day and continuously boats and boats carry people, cars, trucks and various merchandise from one place to another. Now nobody is afraid of the monsters Scylla and Charybdis of Greek mythology: the legend tells that both sea monsters controlled the strait and flooded the boats that dared to challenge them sailing through these waters.

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The strait connects Reggio Calabria with Messina, but it is the only link between the two cities: history together both cities in the origins of Greece and in the past under Roman, Byzantine, Norman and Spanish rule. Both cities suffered the same fate during the earthquake of 1908, when they were destroyed, but their inhabitants worked in such a way that the reconstruction was very fast. Another point in common between the two cities des strait, this time much more pleasant, is the magnificent swordfish that is caught in its waters and that is cooked on both coasts and that is sublime.

The northern coast of Messina offers us great sandy beaches and there is nothing strange here. What, on the contrary, is very curious is the name of some of these areas such as: Peace, Contemplation and Paradise. It is true that when you come here we can stay contemplating the fantastic panorama (seeing the blue of the sea, perfectly the coast of Calabria), enjoy “peace” and tranquility and feel in “paradise”.

This last name was that of the property of a nobleman, surrounded by marvelous gardens and citrus trees, where many personalities went; the name was later extended to the entire area. The name of Contemplation was, however, very likely due to the Virgin of Contemplation.

If we go from Messina to the northeastern end of the strait, that is, to Cape Peloro or Punta del Faro, where the Tyrrhenian Sea meets the Ionian Sea, we find two lakes; the largest, Ganzirri Lake, is known as Big Swamp. The smallest, the Lake of the Lighthouse, is known as Piccolo Swamp. These lakes, linked to the sea by channels, have a huge biodiversity to such an extent that they have become protected areas. Since the nineteenth century it was discovered that these lakes could become a source of sustenance for its inhabitants thanks to the mussel farming. In fact, since that time it was discovered how to grow clams and mussels. At the moment this activity is maintained above all in the Piccolo Swamp.

The city of Messina has hosted many famous people, especially artists: the famous painter Caravaggio, after passing through Syracuse, resided in Messina from the end of 1608 until the summer of 1609. Of course this beautiful city served as inspiration, since that this period was very fruitful for him from an artistic point of view; He received several commissions both for the part of individuals, as well as the public entity. From this stay he left fantastic testimonies: l’Adorazione dei Pastori and La Risurrezione di Lazzaro. These two great works can be admired in the room of the Regional Museum, where the work of Antonello da Messina is also found.

It would be a mistake to consider the city of Messina as a place of passage; it is worthwhile, on the contrary, to take some time to discover and appreciate this fantastic town.

In the blue waters of Playa de Cavo, Elba Island

Tranquility and natural beauty are undoubtedly the right words to describe the Cavo Beach , on the Island of Elba.

This beach is divided into two parts by the tourist port , and is located in the northernmost part of the east coast of the island, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. The town of Cavo is located at the foot of Mount Capanne , a short distance from the beach itself, and is a fraction of the municipality of Rio Marina, a little further south. The port of Cavo is the closest point of the continental (ie Italian) coast of Elba Island. In fact, the distance that separates it from the promontory of Piombino, in the province of Livorno, in Tuscany, is really minimal.  The place-name Cavo comes from ‘cabo’ , understood as punta, promontorio.

The beach of Cavo is quite long and extends on both sides of the port. Both on its south side and on the north side, the beach is fine gravel mixed with sand . It is a free beach, but you can also rent umbrellas and sun loungers. The bottom of the sea is especially suitable for children or those who can not swim because the depth of the water increases in a very smooth and gradual way. There are numerous flat rocks that emerge in the sea, where it is possible to sunbathe and then submerge in the crystal clear water to cool off. You can also rent small boats or pedal boats , and take courses in sailing and windsurfing. In the immediate vicinity there is a diving center , so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful bottom of the sea and the crystal clear waters, which make diving in this place an unforgettable experience . In summer there are events during which games are organized at sea, and in June there are sailing races .

A special walk in the shade of palm trees borders the beach , with some sculptures and benches to enjoy the sea breeze comfortably seated. There are many bars and restaurants, for those who want a drink, an aperitif or a dinner: there is something for all tastes. The Vespucci promenade reaches Capo Castello , the northernmost point of Elba. Here is the beach of Frugoso from where you can go by boat to the nearby Isola dei Topi (of mice), a wild and very small island that is part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago . The coast treatment from Capo Castello to Capo Vita is mainly formed by cliffs.

Within a few kilometers, there are other equally beautiful beaches : Fornacelle beach, Topinetti beach, Nisportino beach and Cala Seregola. Very popular and appreciated is the beautiful cove nestled in the rocks, the Cala de las Algas.

Going for a walk in the surroundings of Cavo or in the country itself is very relaxing: the pine forests, forests and fragrant chestnut trees make special a simple moment of relaxation, as well as the narrow and picturesque streets in the country. Cavo is one of the oldest settlements on the Island of Elba , in fact, its foundation dates back to 35 BC.

It is worth stopping to admire Villa Bellariva and Villa Tonietti . From the chapel of the latter, which is a mausoleum in stile liberty designed by the architect Gino Coppedè for the Tonietti family, you can enjoy a fantastic view over the Gulf of Cavo , even to the promontory of Piombino, on the other side of the narrow. The island of Cerboli is also very visible. Around it there is a fresh pine forest equipped for picnics.

In the museum of the castle there are prehistoric findings and others of the Etruscan and Roman ages, while in the promontory of Capo Castello the remains of a Roman domus are visible.

From the village several roads begin in the direction of Mount Capanne . Nature lovers will be really pleased by the beauty of these roads that meander through the woods and then suddenly jump in front of the sea : you can not help being dazzled by the beauty of the landscape offered. Some of these roads lead to small beaches enclosed by trees, shrubs and rocks, such as the small beach of Lentisco , or Cala Mandriola.

If what you want is not a walk in the woods, but simply relax in the sun on the beach, and maybe take a bath, the warm and clear waters of the strait will delight you with just looking at them and they will give you some beautiful baths in spite of of being traversed by the Piombino channel currents.

The sea here is also particularly rich with fish and whoever likes to fish will not be disappointed, neither if you practice immersion nor if you stay on the shore to fish with a rod.

If fishing has not been the best, no problem! You just have to choose one of the many restaurants to eat delicious fresh fish . The traditional cuisine of Elba is rich in fish dishes, as is obvious, since it is a small island. To accompany the delicious local dishes you should not miss the wine, since what is produced here is really great . Surprisingly, as is the meat.

A tip: the whole area around Capo Castello is very quiet, there are no clubs like clubs and therefore it is a very popular area frequented by families. However, rent a means to move around the island is very simple, and you can easily reach other more lively tourist centers in a short time.

Where to stay

Both near the beach and in the village, there is a wide variety of solutions to suit the needs of each: you can rent individual rooms, apartments or entire villas, and of course there are also several B & B and hotels, from the cheap to the luxury resorts. For lovers of camping, the town of Rio Marina is ideal. As we have said, it is not far from Cavo and here are all the equipment that can make the stay of the campers much easier and enjoyable.
To get to Cavo Beach, book your ferry here.

THE AMALFITAN COAST EN MOTO

If you still have not been able to make the return of the Amalfi coast by motorcycle, you still have to complete one of the most wonderful experience that a motorist can carry out. Hurry to book this itinerary for the next holidays or even for a weekend!

You can, for example, arriving from Naples, take the exit for the coast (Castellammare si Stabia) and, before continuing towards Sorrento (the Amalfi coast is, in fact, only a part of the Sorrento peninsula, that is, the southern coast ), do some extra kilometers to visit Gragnano, famous for its IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) pasta. The only problem will be to choose between the different pasta producers, to visit them and discover the different stages of the elaboration, with the final prize consisting in the tasting of a good plate of maccheroni fumanti!

Take the road towards Sorrento and, before arriving, in the upper part, you will have a great view over the bay. It is a mandatory stop that allows us to admire the landscape and take some photos. If we are lucky, exactly in this place will be the car of the famous lemons of Sorrento: fiaos, you will taste the best hail in the world.

Now we will go down to the center; After parking the motorcycle, it is advisable to visit the Cathedral, full of frescoes and marble bas-reliefs. If we have time, we can visit the Cape of Sorrento, a small village among vineyards and gardens.

Leave now for Positano, here prepare mentally for the show that awaits you at the end of a curve: terraced houses on terraces between citrus trees and gardens, to the sea, a landscape impossible to describe. It is so beautiful! In Positano, apart from admiring the magnificent dome covered in majolica from the Assuanta church, you can also take the boat to visit the island of Capri .

After getting back on track, we will value much more the travel by motorcycle, firstly because the road is perfect, then because in this way we can fully admire the panorama: on the left the mountain and on the right, looking down, the sea and its great blue.

After the small town of Praiano, we will arrive at Amalfi, which offers us almost the same as Positano: houses set on the mountain until we reach the sea. Here, apart from the Cathedral, with its grand staircase, the Civic Museum that conserves the oldest navigation code in the world, the “Tabula Amalphitana”, is interesting. We can approach by boat to visit the Cave of Smeraldo.

Once again on the motorbike, and after the lovely Atrani, at the edge of the sea, between the rock walls, we continue towards Vietri sul Mare.

Arrived in Vietri it will be obligatory to take a walk among the numerous “botteghe” in which the majolica is exposed, which already in the s. IX were transported to all ports of the Mediterranean. We also find, a little further away from Vietri, the Museum of Ceramics where magnificent ceramics of the place dating from 1600 are exhibited.

This tour of the Amalfi coast by motorcycle is about to end, we see Salerno in the distance, and the memory of the contemplated landscapes will be indelible. We must take into account only one last thing: staying at the coast will be quite expensive, especially if we do it during the holidays, from June to September, and the cheapest places are exhausted, that is why we have to foresee it with a little of time.

The most beautiful beaches of Molise along the green coast

Do not you like to have a few centimeters of sand on the beach, almost glued to the neighbor next to the umbrella and you are wondering if there are beaches on the Adriatic coast without so much fuss?? The answer is yes, they exist and we can find them along the green coast, in Molise.

These few kilometers of beach (less than 40) belong to one of the smaller Italian regions, Molise. This region is, perhaps, known for the mountain towns such as, for example, Capracotta, at 1363m, but its coast, even If it is not very big, it offers all the comforts with its hotels, restaurants and equipped camping. The most important coastal city is Termoli; From its port we can go by boat to the Tremiti Islands and Croatia.

If we leave from the north of Molise, after the border with the Abruzzo region, we find the Marina de Montenero. We will continue with the Petacciato Marina and soon after we will find Torre Petacciato; the TorreSaracena is located, however, in the north of the city of Termoli where we will also find one of the two beaches frequented by the inhabitants of the region. The beach of San Antonio is the longest beach, almost 10 kilometers, and is very well equipped. He received the blue flag (he was also awarded the green flag, awarded to beaches adapted to children). Its fine sand and limpid waters justify, without a doubt, these recognitions, without forgetting the magnificent spectacle offered by the walls of the old part of the city and the Svevo Castle, at the southern end of the beach.

All the old part is very suggestive and in the city we can visit the Cathedral dedicated to San Basso, with the beautiful facade of Alfano de Termoli. The Cathedral was built in the 6th century, was incensed by the Turks and restored in the 18th century.

The other beach of Termoli is that of Rio Vivo, in the southern part of the city, much smaller than that of San Antonio, but equally interesting especially for those who practice water sports, windsurfing and sailing; In this respect we find on this beach the sailing circle that organizes several regattas.

The lido Campomarino is located before the border with the Puglia region; This beach also obtained the blue flag and is presented as a beach with beautiful dunes of fine sand and a pine forest that offers the possibility, after a good swim in a crystal clear sea, to rest to the leftover without the need for an umbrella (we find areas equipped with alternate with free zones). Near the beach we find the Oasi faunistica del Bosco di Ramitelli.

In Campomarino, it is worth visiting the church of Santa Maria a Mare, from the 12th century, and its wonderful frescoes.

If we head back towards the northern area of ​​Termoli, we will find many free beaches, as in the Patecciato Marina; This area is much wilder and more reserved and also here the beach has been awarded with the blue flag. The town of Petacciato is 7 kilometers away and has a beautiful Romanesque-style church dedicated to San Rocco.

Continuing towards the north we find Marina de Montenegroo which is, in fact, the beach of the town of Montenegro of Bisaccia, from which we are separated by 16 kilometers. To visit in the village, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Bisaccia.

After having relaxed on the beach, we recommend you try the local specialties that combine tradition and taste. Without any doubt, this is the best way to end the day.

Visit Olbia: the keys to get to know it better

Like all the coastal and port cities of the world, Olbia also has a wide offer in terms of entertainment and leisure activities , and living it at night is another way to get to know this beautiful Sardinian city.

Sardinia has always used great energy and capital in tourism, and consequently in fun. If until the nineties this beautiful island was frequented mostly by billionaires and celebrities, now, fortunately, anyone can afford a stay in one of the spectacular coastal towns of Sardinia.

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Olbia, also because of its geographical position right in front of the Tuscany region, represents a very important port . It is located in the northeast of Sardinia, near the splendid and famous Emerald Coast, and every day it welcomes many boats and ferries, mainly from Liguria, Tuscany, Lazio and Corsica.

The traveler arriving in the port of Olbia will find a fantastic welcome and for your holidays you can choose between several types of accommodation: camping, luxurious or more modest hotels, or even a resort with spa, swimming pools and sports fields. As for the restaurants, the options are many: from the simple tavern, to the most elegant restaurant. In any case, tasting the best dishes of Sardinian cuisine will be easy .

Typical dishes of Sardinian cuisine, which anyone should try at least once in their life, are undoubtedly: carasau bread; the maloreddus – or ciciones – a type of pasta typical of the island, in the form of shells; the cassola , which is a fish soup; the meat cooked on the grill with the so-called schidioni. The wines are not left behind, thanks to the climate and the favorable soils that widely allow the cultivation of the vine: Vernaccia and Malvasia are excellent, Cannonau or Girò are two of the most valuable. Even the cheeses are exquisite, in fact Sardinia is a region where sheep breeding has always played a more than important role.

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Even when it comes to beaches, the landscape is varied and the options multiple: during the day, both families and young people can choose between long stretches of fine sand, pebble coves or flat rocky coast that enters the sea of ​​crystal clear waters. According to the taste of each one. And at night, those looking for entertainment and music, can count on the fact that many of the beaches become true outdoor discos. In fact, in most of these beaches there are events organized throughout the summer (for example, on the beach of Pittolongu, every year in August takes place the Olbia Summer Fest).

Both in the city center and on the seafront promenade, bars, pubs and nightclubs are numerous. In almost all these places you can listen to live music. The performances of internationally renowned artists are also very frequent.

Events of all kinds, some very special and extravagant, to Olbia are organized throughout the year, but of course in the summer are the most numerous to entertain the many tourists who come to the city, especially in July and August.
They are particularly interesting, thanks to the natural scenic context in which they take place, the concerts and events organized at the Molo Brin, the city’s dock.

Some good suggestions for a simple snack or maybe for a dinner listening to good music, are the following: in the center, overlooking Plaza Mercato, there is the Blue Square; always in the center is the K-Kult , where evenings with live music and DJs are organized; the same as the Seventyfive. Café Nordest is a wine bar where you can taste the best wines and other alcoholic beverages. Biker House is the ideal place to listen to rock music, played also by local groups; For the youngest, Devil’s Kiss offers metal music taking advantage of a beautiful open space, as well as John Gotty , who also organizes concerts and games.

The Pascià Disco Club is a discotheque located in the heart of the city. On the contrary, Villa Pascià is located in the industrial zone: there are 4 tracks where you can dance – among others – revival, Latin American and commercial music.
For all those who want to have fun in other ways, you can choose Strike Bowling , a pub with a game room and eight tracks to enjoy the American bolus.

However, this list is not exhaustive and there are many other places where you can have a drink, eat, dance and listen to music.

The Costa Esmeralda is very close to the city of Olbia, and if you like to know the places frequented by many celebrities and billionaires, you just have to go to Porto Rotondo or Porto Cervo . Not only the most famous nightclubs and nightclubs on the island are here, but you can also admire the fabulous luxury yachts moored in these two ports.

Staying in Olbia and if what you prefer is to simply take a walk, perhaps with the family, just go to Corso Umberto or to the promenade, which houses the local craft markets. There are also several food stalls offering typical Sardinian specialties.
The walk could also continue to the Church of San Simplicio – from the tenth century – or to the medieval Church of San Pablo el Apóstol , which are worth a visit.

Choose what you choose, you will enjoy your holidays! because in Olbia it is impossible to get bored!

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