A Travellerspoint blog

Surprising Sicily

sunny 24 °C

We’ve only been in Sicily a few days and we already love the place. Where to begin? The architecture, the history, the people, the food, the wine and the weather have all been absolutely amazing. For example - the city of Catania is just stuffed with architectural gems. The main streets are lined with elegant baroque palaces…
Catania_Palace.jpg
The central piazza has an elephant carved from volcanic lava supporting a 3,500 year old Egyptian obelisk and the university is housed in many magnificent buildings including a splendid Benedictine monastery dating from the 17th century …
large_Benedictine_Monastry.jpg
But these relatively modern buildings pale to insignificance compared to this enormous Roman theatre that seated 7,000 people in its heyday in the 1st century AD…
large_Roman_theatre.jpg
(Can you spot Sheila standing against the back wall?)
However, this two thousand year old theatre was actually built from the original Greek theatre which existed here in 415 BC. It seems that the Romans just knocked down the old one and used many of the stones to build the new one. After the fall of the Roman Empire the locals built houses on top of the theatre and these were only demolished in the 20th century to reveal this ancient monument.

The Sicilians are intensely proud of their produce and the daily market that sprawls around the narrow streets and squares in the centre of Catania is a visual and olfactory delight for those of us who can enjoy food as an art form. Who could not love the abundance of fresh fish…
Fish_market.jpg
…or these vegetables presented in their prime?...
Catania_Market.jpg
...or this selection of local wines for just 4 euros a bottle...
Sicilian_wines.jpg
If only we had the time and the facilities to cook. But we must move quickly on. The longer we are in Sicily the more we realise that it has an amazing amount to offer. We are now in Giardini Naxos, a delightful seaside town at the foot of towering cliffs surmounted by ancient castles and precariously perched villas. This is Castelmola…
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It is a nosebleed ride up in a bus, but the views of a smouldering snow-capped Mount Etna are simply stunning...
Mount_Etna.jpg
...as are the views of the coast far below...
large_View_from_Taormina.jpg

Posted by Hawkson 12:53 Archived in Italy

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Comments

Simply stunning photos, and enticing descriptions of my very favourite country.
Thank you for taking us all on such a dream trip.
btw - today is pouring rain, high winds and threatening outages.

by Ginny Miller

A sight for eyes blinded by rains and wind in Vancouver. Always engaging.

by Sue Fitzwilson

How lovely it looks!
love
Sharron

by Sharron Bertchilde

Couldn't spot Sheila even with a magnifying glass unless she's the tiny white dot beside the two coffin-like structures on the top row.

by R and B

oh to be there it looks so beautiful. Amazing how they keep up those wonderful old buildings.
I am hoping that the power stays on tonight as the wind sure is blowing up at my house. And it is dark so early..ah well soon I will be in Colombia for a couple of weeks (in February)

by Jean McLaren

Stunning photos. So inviting. Thanks again for blazing trails.

I can't spot Sheila either - tougher than the Where's Waldo books!

by Tom

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