Welcome to Sicily – part due!!
19th September 2017
It seems ages since the heady days of summer!!! actually it really does and Autumn is really going for it now, the mornings are much cooler, the wind is a little bit more chilly and the sun just hasn’t the strength it did a few weeks ago. So before I forget the rest of my Summer in Sicily I must write the next part of my blog.
So we left bustling, busy, hot Catania, picked up our car and set off for our next stop, the Baroque town of Noto, a couple of hours drive down the coast and south of Catania. On the way we stopped off at a seaside town called Marzamemi for a little lunch by the sea, only a few kilometers from the most Southerly point of Sicily, this little fishing town which translates to something like ‘Turtle Dove Bay’ is the prettiest of little spots to stop off. The Arabs arrived in Marzememi in the 10th century so this place is old and crumbly, it is almost like a film set it is so unusual and unique. Once the main tuna salting facility in Sicily, the old buildings dotted randomly around the port made up this very important town. From an important town really on the map for Sicily and its movement of produce around the country and into Italy, it is now more of a tourist destination. Beautiful and perfect for a wander but I do always prefer things to be working and to be able to watch the industry and the people still living there, I would have loved to have seen tuna fish being salted and fishermen going about their day. The town however, really is worth a visit and to see the sea glinting through the doors of the shops and cafés was perfect.
Next stop Noto and wow what a beautiful honey coloured town it was, all twirls and fancy ironwork balconies, smooth shiny cobbled streets, grand doors all painted and peeling and shiny brass door knobs, all my favourite things. The palm trees gave this beautiful town a more North African than Mediterranean feel, yet the famed and apparently the most highly praised Ice Cream Shop in the whole of Italy, reminded us we were in the Mediterranean.
I stayed separately from my travelling companions, my sister Christine and her husband Barry, they went full on fancy but I opted for simple. Both places were great options if you fancy staying in Noto, my place was called intalloi http://www.intalloi.it/ a little out of the town, this simple, clean and really stylish place was a cool relief from the hot Sicilian heat.
I probably haven’t given my sister enough credit so far, just giving you all the impression that I have just thrown together this little trip all by myself. Completely not what happened!! I received a full itinerary of the trip via email at work and I just had to RSVP with a yes or no, simples!!! when you have a super sister. I didn’t even have to drive as my brother-in-law Barry took up that mantle, along with being the long suffering (sometimes annoyingly on another planet) chap he is. I did – I hasten to add, book my own accommodation for the parts of the trip I was alone, I’m not completely useless!!
Mornings in Noto were as you would hope, little vans of fruit and veg trundling up and down the busy narrow streets, mopeds screeching and sun so hot you had to skip under any form of shade as you made your way along the streets.
Nights in Noto were lively and full of Sicilians enjoying themselves, hardly an Englishman in sight so you really could immerse yourself in the feel of this place, only for a couple of nights though. Tomorrow we were heading off on a tiny plane from Palermo airport to an island midway between Sicily and Tunisia, called Pantelleria. Long time holiday retreat of Giorgio Armani, this hard, barren, wild island really was a place like no other. It charmed us from the moment we arrived and felt a million miles from anything and everyone.