Monday, April 27, 2015

Sicily

The last leg of our trip was Sicily, where we stayed in a town called Sciacca for a little over a week. Sciacca is a fishing town on the south western coast of Sicily and we were lucky enough to stay in our friend's guest house which is right on the beach! The views were incredible and it was so nice to hear the sea as we fell asleep at night.




This was the wind-down part of our trip so for most of the week, we just relaxed on the beach. We did take a day trip to Agrigento one day, to see the Valley of the Temples.


The temples were so majestic against the blue sky that day, and most of them are in relatively good condition - considering that they were built centuries ago - especially this one, the Temple of Concordia (built in the 5th century BC):


There's also an amazing garden there with orange and grapefruit trees, rosemary bushes, prickly pear plants - it smelled fantastic, so we walked around breathing deeply for a while.


Another day we went to a town called Erice which is on top of a cliff and has beautiful views down to the farm lands and sea below. They have a special dish there, couscous with fish, so we tried that for lunch and it was spectacular. The waiter brings over a little bowl of fish broth and you can add however much you want to the dish.


After lunch we walked up to the castle and explored the town. Erice is also known for their pastries, so of course we sampled a few.



On the way back to Sciacca, we stopped in Segesta which is an old city, previously inhabited by the Elymian people, one of the three indigenous groups of Sicily. There's an amazing temple there that's in even better condition than the ones in Agrigento.



It's fun because you can see the temple from the road; when we exited the highway we drove for a bit and there were no signs or directions, but all of a sudden, the temple was right in front of us! We also hiked up to the amphitheater and there were amazing views of the valley below and of the temple off in the distance.



For the rest of the time, we got into a routine of waking up early and going to the fish market to get fresh fish for dinner. We tried shrimp one night and a white fish another, and one night we made a big pot of mussels. One afternoon we went down to the pier to watch the fishing boats come in and unload whatever they caught.


After securing our fish for the day, we'd have a coffee in town and then come home, pack up a beach bag and head down to the beach.


It was warm enough to swim and the water was really refreshing so we'd take dips, read, play Cribbage and repeat. Every day we'd take a picnic down for lunch: salami and cheese, couscous with grilled veggies, orange and fennel salads...

Then we'd come back up to our amazing little house to rinse off and cook dinner. We definitely got into a great routine.


After traveling around for three weeks, it was nice to stay put for a while and to be able to completely relax, especially before our big move back to Colorado on Thursday!

This has been the most amazing month and the most amazing trip: from hiking in Cinque Terre to eating up Rome; discovering Bari and trying real pizza in Naples; rowing around the Blue Grotto and visiting ancient towns like Pompeii, Matera and Alberobello, and then soaking in the Southern culture in Sicily - we are two very lucky travelers! Thanks to everyone for following along on our adventure this month, and for all the great suggestions! xo

And, if you missed any posts: here's the complete trip: Cinque Terre, Rome (+ our food tour!), Bari, and Sorrento.