Ilya Burlak Profile

Ilya Burlak
Ilya Burlak.

I only started prioritizing visiting World Heritage sites a few years ago and with my limited US-based corporate-warrior time-off allocation and family obligations I can only add a handful to a dozen in any given year. Looking forward to visiting them all after I am able to retire...

Visited Sites Ilya Burlak

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Legend

  • Cultural
  • Natural
  • Mixed

Recent Reviews Ilya Burlak


Mount Etna

Ilya Burlak USA - 30-Jan-22

Mount Etna

I rarely prioritize nature over culture when traveling. Even with my comparatively short roster of WH sites, Mount Etna is only the fifth natural or mixed site that I visited. My better half is usually even less keen, especially whenever there is a whiff of danger – such as, for instance, going up an active volcano. Nonetheless, it was she who suggested that we modify our plans for the trip to Sicily in the late September of 2021, and take advantage of a private Jeep tour with a local guide for a half-day on the mountain. (“Jeep” is not meant here as a brand name, but rather as a generic term. Our ride was a Land Rover Defender.)

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Syracuse

Ilya Burlak USA - 03-Jan-22

Syracuse

Our trip to Sicily in September of 2021 budgeted time only for Ortigia, the historic nucleus of Syracuse that has been continuously inhabited for over 3,000 years. The island is very walkable and reasonably compact, high on the historic-feel quotient with a non-trivial measure of decay and lack of TLC, and decidedly short on killer features.

The walk around town will bring you to the Temple of Apollo ruins, the Ortigia street market, the natural spring of Arethusa, the 13th-century Maniace military fort, and other easy on the [...]

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Val di Noto

Ilya Burlak USA - 02-Dec-21

Val di Noto

On a trip around Sicily in September of 2021, I stayed several nights in Noto and visited Scicli, Ragusa, Palazzolo, and Catania each for a few hours.

Noto is pleasant and easy to explore (its historic core is built essentially on a grid pattern). Climbing to the roof terraces of San Carlo is highly recommended, and the balconies of Palazzo Nicolaci are definitely a remarkable detail. Stepping into churches for a few minutes is always an easy thing to do; visiting Palazzo Castelluccio or Palazzo Nicolaci is of limited reward. In general, as delightful as the exterior Baroque ensembles are in the area, the interiors behind them are somewhat underwhelming.

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Villa Romana del Casale

Ilya Burlak USA - 16-Nov-21

Villa Romana del Casale

I visited Villa Romana del Casale in September of 2021. It is undoubtedly among the most unique and impressive monuments of antiquity. The very short WH inscription mentions the richness of the mosaics found in practically every room of the villa, and indeed those are altogether remarkable and likely unparalleled among the surviving such artifacts in both quantity and quality.

The mosaics are almost entirely found as floor decorations. With just one or two exceptions, you view them from elevated platforms. There are a few rooms where the damage to the floor is extensive, and only the fragments of the original decorations are visible. But most of the rooms are on the opposite end of the spectrum, with a few damaged areas surrounded by well-preserved mosaics. Some rooms display amazing patterns and vignettes, and the jaws really drop when you come to one of at least a dozen rooms where the floor is veritably a canvas depicting various scenes bound by a common theme, be it pursuits of leisure, commerce, or mythology

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Agrigento

Ilya Burlak USA - 05-Nov-21

Agrigento

I visited the archaeological area of Agrigento, officially known as “Valley of the Temples”, in September of 2021. This is, in essence, a collection of stand-alone highlights, of which the main one - Temple of Concordia - is a good reason to visit all by itself, being clearly among the best-preserved Doric temples anywhere.

The second-best preserved temple, Juno, still has around 30 columns standing, and in the usual context of antiquity should be considered as amazingly well-surviving. Nonetheless, here you are well into the archaeological realm of having to imagine what the place might have looked like in its heyday rather than actually seeing it.

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Profile Data

Name
Ilya Burlak
Country
USA
Website
website
Rating Stats
Brugge 5
Petra 5
Prague 5
Rome 5
Siena 5
Vienna 5
Acropolis 4.5
Assisi 4.5
Bryggen 4.5
Cracow 4.5
Istanbul 4.5
Oporto 4.5
Pompei 4.5
Potsdam 4.5
Seville 4.5
Sintra 4.5
Toledo 4.5
Albi 4
Delos 4
Kyiv 4
L'viv 4
Mostar 4
Nice 4
Split 4
Urbino 4
Verona 4
Arles 3.5
Ferrara 3.5
Graz 3.5
Kotor 3.5
Pienza 3.5
Québec 3.5
Tarraco 3.5
Belem 3
Evora 3
Masada 3
Modena 3
Reims 3
Trogir 3
Bethlehem 2.5
Schokland 2.5