Sicily…this is truly a land of contrasts. In Palermo, every night we had to sleep with earplugs. Here in Sciacca…complete quiet. In Palermo, we visited the most magnificent buildings filled with glittering golden mosaics all over the ceiling, the walls, intricately patterned marble floors. Then we stepped outside, walked a block, and saw a huge crumbling hulk of a bombed out building from WWII.
The people are so friendly, even the ticket sellers and bus drivers! I very much appreciate that people don’t automatically try to speak English to me despite my ineptness with their language. They are so patient and kind. Everyone is helpful. We have seen very, very few Americans. (We are very happy about this!) People ask if we are Italians, then French, then, perplexed, have to ask.
We took a day trip from Palermo to Cefalu, a quaint fishing village along the Tyrrehnian Sea. We wandered the streets and then climbed La Rocca, overlooking to sea. There is an ancient temple to Diana perched high. It was worth the walk. Many cacti called “fichi d’india” here in Sicilia.
I ate two granite (plural of “granita”). Granita is an Italian dessert or refreshment. It is sort of like a snow cone, but far far superior – more like sorbet, but coarser. It is semi-frozen water, sugar, and natural flavoring.). YUM. Speaking of food, we’ve tried so many local foods. There is a Sicilian custom of eating gelato tucked into a bun. Yesterday I had one filled with cannoli gelato. Fabulous!!!
We took a day trip to Monreale. There is a spectacular duomo there, filled with mosaics. Of course we had to climb up to the very top along the outside and were rewarded with an incredible view of the coastline in the distance. We also peered down into the cloisters with their Arabic-influenced arches and tiles.
Selinunte, the Greek ruins, were magical. One of the huge temples sits very high on a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We are on the south coast of Sicily now. The color of the water is unbelievable…vivid blues and greens, swirling together to make intense turquoise.
Today we are exploring more of Sciacca. It’s one of the oldest town in Sicily and filled with many narrow streets and steep steps…my favorite! I guarantee we will be exploring them all.
La colazione (breakfast) is calling, so I will sign off until the next time I find a computer. Ciao!!!!!!!