After a week spent on the North/North Eastern side of Sicily we were looking forward to heading on over to the side- Siracusa.
But before we could make our way over there we had to see Palermo!
We walked as much of the large city as we could. In some parts it really felt like we were in a 3rd world country. There were also some surreal scenes that we saw of what poverty is like in Sicily. We saw a young couple walking around the market after it had closed, picking up the scraps and then later we saw them preparing the food they had found on the ground. We also saw children playing in an abandoned piazza with old household items thrown out in the street.
As mentioned before, there were so many Italians traveling around Sicily and one of those happened to be my good friend from when I was studying in Italy during high school. She also happened to be in Sicily, but in Messina.
Messina is near Isola Bella- so we decided to meet up there and enjoy the afternoon together. Isola Bella means beautiful island- and it is beautiful- therefore a ton of people! It took us almost an hour to find a parking spot and we still had about a 20 minute walk to the beach. But it’s worth it!
After an afternoon in the sun we took the cableway up to Taormina which is a lovely quaint town. It felt like we were on the Amalfi Coast. We didn’t have much time so we took a quick look around, but then we decided to go back the following morning to visit the roman theater.
We had a whole afternoon to spend before we could arrive in Siracusa so we stopped at Etna. We would have liked to go up to the large crater, but it was 80euros a person and we didn’t have quite enough time to really take in the whole experience. However we were able to see some small craters from previous eruptions.
When we arrived at our second airbnb apartment near Siracusa that evening, we immediately headed out to Ortigia which is the historical center. Ortigia was both Luca and my favorite city on our trip. It had a nice night life, a relaxing walk along the historical barricades, and is just simply beautiful. We knew that we would want to go back and visit it during the day so we made sure we did!
There are a few baroque towns near Siracusa: Ragusa, Modica, and Noto. We stopped to visit Ragusa and Noto and we drove through Modica. These cities look like they could crumble from one moment to the next- it’s incredible they’re the way they are and that people actually live in those homes.
Even though we visited these beautiful baroque towns, we also made sure to get in some more beach time. We often went to smaller beaches, there was even a small inlet right by our apartment. But one day we made a special trip out to Calamosche. It was crazy how many people were there- again as mentioned before- if we were the only people there it would have been spectacular. But with the crowds, it takes away from the beauty.
We had our ferry up to Napoli on Sunday night so we worked our way back to Palermo Sunday morning. We stopped to eat the most delicious cannoli and cassata in all of Italy at Pasticceria Da Oscar . We also visited the memorial for Borsellino, and took a drive up to Monte Pellegrino for some awesome views of Palermo.
After a long overnight journey, we made it to Napoli and were greeted with this gorgeous sunrise.
So long Sicily! We’ll definitely be back hopefully sooner than later!