If Italy is a boot, a soft lambskin hand stitched boot, Sicily is the deflated soccer ball that it is kicking. We left the rough port city of Naples on the rockin’ and rollin’ in our little bunks night ferry and arrived early the next morning in Catania. From there we drove south an hour or so along the coast to Siracusa, a place we chose on the advice of an Italian friend named Domitilla who we had met late one night in Barcelona, which is a long and completely different story but if you’re curious it’s here.
The old town of Ortigia is actually a little island just east of Siracusa that is connected by three small bridges. Sort of like Stanley Park is connected to Downtown Vancouver. Only there are no over smiling uber-healthy joggers wearing iPods or rollerbladers in yoga pants here. People here prefer coffee and cigarettes. The old town is a labyrinth of very narrow streets but with a different flavour somehow than mainland Italian towns. Honed marble seems to cover every surface and the result is a warm buttery glow in the late day sun. Not only the cathedral walls but many of the streets, sidewalks and piazzas are carpeted with thick honey coloured marble. Imagine the value in kitchen countertops alone? I was tempted to lie on the ground like a lizard to absorb the warmth. Each door is a work of art and every window seems to have a balcony with a wrought iron railing that supported by ornate stone balustrades and at least one pot of red geraniums. Continue Reading →