Do you look down when you travel? Sounds like a silly question on the face of it, of course you do, you’re probably even more deliberate about doing so when you travel than when you’re at home on familiar territory. Aside from making sure you don’t trip or step in doggie doo doo, the colors, textures and patterns you will see beneath you feet can be quite beautiful. That was our experience during a recent trip to Sicily.
Over the 18 days we spent on the island we completed a circumnavigation of the roughly triangular island located at the toe of Italy’s boot. We began our trip in Palermo, but remained there just overnight before boarding the train to Catania. After spending seven nights in Catania we drove to the enchanting hilltop town of Ragusa Ibla. The five days we spent in Ragusa Ibla flew by and we were sad to leave. Waiting for us in Agrigento, however, was a delightful stay in a monastery where the nuns prepared the most delectable breakfast pastries. We spent only two nights in Agrigento before moving on to Palermo for the remainder of our stay in Sicily.
Our visit mostly felt unhurried, though there are many things we did not see. We often feel that way after returning from vacation and tell ourselves we’ve left something to see on our next visit. What we did see of Sicily we thoroughly enjoyed. We even had time to sit in public gardens and enjoy the view.
We found the people of Sicily warm and welcoming. The food was both delicious and, in a way, familiar. And the wine, which is what first drew us to Sicily, was off-the-charts delicious. We tasted wine and enjoyed memorable food and wine pairings at six wineries as we toured the island. And every restaurant wine list included many excellent choices from Sicily.
As we started researching Sicily we discovered its interesting ancient history, the impressive number of ancient ruins still remaining and its many beautiful churches. We were even more impressed by the sights in person than we were when we first read about them.
These were the expected portions of our visit to Sicily, the buildings, statues, paintings, opera houses, fountains and gardens. What truly surprised us was the beauty of many city sidewalks and stairways — even the narrow streets of some of the towns we visited were just beautiful. My attention was drawn to the variety of stone and rock, texture and color. Many of the stone stairways and streets were worn smooth by many years of use.
Our first Sicily post begins with a look a some of our favorite photos of the beauty we discovered at our feet.