That is the name of this trip for many reasons. I finally found another internet point in Taormina. It’s a bar-internet point, and the place is quite dark. I can barely see the keys, which makes it even worse for spelling, etc.
Where did I leave you… We explored all over Sciacca in the morning. There is such a mix of Sicilian and Arabic, in both the architecture as well as the people, the music, the culture.
We found a secluded little garden at the top of town filled with old Italian men sitting on benches and chatting. We took their pictures, and they were thrilled. The gardener was so proud of his garden, inviting us in to see the panorama and all his greenery. The Sicilians are very proud of their land and are so appreciative when we express such joy in also seeing their beauty. After Sciacca, we took the bus to Agrigento and spent the afternoon and evening wandering all over the Greek temples and ruins. We saw a couple having wedding pictures taken among the columns. Such a lovely contrast — the flowing white, sparkly dress of the bride and the ancient crumbly columns.
That night, we walked along the waterfront and had a fabulous meal. What meal isn’t fabulous!!!
In the morning, we took the bus out of town, after riding next to a local man who chatted with us the whole way to the main station, telling us about his life. His parents were killed by Mussolini’s fascists in the war. His wife died and he wants to get married again, but his 40 year old daughter won’t let him. Ah….life in Sicilia!
After Agrigrento, we took a taxi to Caltagirone, a very old town, also with Arabic origins. It is famous for its ceramics, and we explored every alley, nook and cranny, admiring all the different styles and colors. We had a campari and soda, and beer for gino, on a little terraced bar along a side street just down from the 142 stairs. Each rising is tiled with a
unique pattern and color of tile all the way across. We climbed to the top and admired the view back down.
Back to the taxi. We found out the bus for Caltagirone didn’t leave until 1:00 in the afternoon. Since it was around 9:00 a.m., we decided to be insane and ask how much a taxi ride would be, at least to Gela, which would get us much closer to Caltagirone. We settled upon a price, and off we went with a wonderful older taxi driver. As we approached Gela, we decided to have him drive us the rest of the way. The whole ride cost us 120 euro for 2.15 hours. We decided after all the walking and not taking taxis, plus getting some great prices on B&B’s, we could splurge. It was worth every cent. He dropped us off exactly in front of our hotel.
We arrived this morning at Giardini Naxos, at the foot of Taormina. We are here in Taormina now, already having explored the Greek amphitheater and the profusion of stepped streets and balconies overflowing with vivid flowers. We can see Mt. Etna smoking in the distance.
Gino is patiently waiting, most likely for a cold beer, so I will sign off for now.