So, I planned my own version, combining both trips to create the best Italian trip ever- a road trip around Sicily, complete with olive oil plantations, volcanoes and lots in between!
We flew Ryanair to get to Sicily, which always means weird flight times. We arrived in Sicily on Friday night around 11pm, so we just rented a car and drove to the nearest hotel outside of Palermo so we could get going Saturday morning.
Saturday morning dawned a bit too early, but we were up and at ’em anyway. The sleepy little suburb we stayed in didn’t have much in the way of breakfast options, so we decided to grab something on the road and get on down toward Valley of the Temples, our first stop.
|Can you tell what this was?! That’s right. A man!|
|The walls of an ancient fortress, which enclosed the temples at one point in time.|
Having gotten used to the grab-and-go cultures we espouse in the US and UK, I was a little shocked at the lack of quick eating options to facilitate our whirlwind road trip. As I mentioned, the options for breakfast at 11am on a Saturday morning were paltry in Terrasini, a suburb of Palermo, and were even more sparse the further we drove into the countryside. We ended up stopping at a bakery that mainly sold sweets and had cheese and bread. (Thank goodness one of the staff spoke English; very few Italians, it turns out, do, at least in Sicily.) I was therefore STARVING as we walked around the Valley of the Temples. Luckily there were still a few tourist shops open as out of season as we were for traditional fare- arancini (rice balls) and gelato. Mmmmmm.
|Some of the mural paintings are still visible. After almost 1000 years. Amazing.|
The Villa was built in the 4th century and is very, very, very well preserved. Although you aren’t technically supposed to take pictures, I snuck a few for you.
|Excuse the photobomber. If you look in the upper left corner, you’ll see Etna peeking out from behind the clouds.|
The craziest thing about the ampitheatre is the view of Etna. Even though there were scattered clouds, it was breathtaking. Etna is MASSIVE. No wonder the Greeks built this where they did; volcano on one side, sea on the other. Nature’s most impressive elements are on either side.
Our final stop was Savoca, which is another town on top of a mountain. It is also where some of the Godfather was filmed.