Good-by to Palermo today. A driver takes me to the airport at 2:30pm. At breakfast I said good-byes to the remaining tour members. We all agreed we couldn’t have asked for a better group of 9 people. (Wendy, they weren’t at all like the SE Asia country club crowd.) So what to do until 2pm?
Month: April 2014
The Sicily tour is over now, and I’m on my own. Yea! I like the freedom and tend to meet many more people without a group. On leaving the grand hotel this afternoon, right away I met Mustacciolo Carolina and her family who were having a little barbecue for Easter in front of their
The enormous Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, located in Palermo’s historic center, used to be the palatial home of an aristocratic family. With many uses over the centuries, it’s now a big hotel. Although wifi is not available in the rooms, it is not much of a burden to hang out in this spacious loggia
Before leaving the Hotel Carmine, I took a photo of its dining room, which each day provides freshly-baked cakes and other goodies for breakfast. This hotel’s location places you right in the center of Marsala’s historic district, next to the Convento di Carmine, a lovely setting. Segesta is located is an impressive spot on a
After lunch, we walked to the church in Erice to see the Good Friday Procession. Several elaborate statues representing stations of the cross are carried from the church by men and boys who shoulder the enormous burdens through the streets of the town. One of the men sounds a rattle periodically to let the carriers
Yesterday Gaspare, the receptionist here at the Hotel Carmine, offered to give me a ride to the Florio wine cellar. On the way, I asked about his job. He’s actually an art history teacher with a Master’s Degree in Tourism. Such a charming and intelligent young man, but he needed an advanced degree to get
This afternoon I visited the Florio wine cellar, an historical Marsala winery started in the 1830s. The British started making Marsala wine, but Florio was the first Italian to produce it. He became one of the richest men in Italy. In this cellar is Garibaldi’s rifle, along with some of the weapons of his
Marsala is very close to Africa at the westernmost point of Sicily. It was founded by Carthage (a city-state located in what is now in Tunisia) and was first called Lilybaeum, a name similar to Libya. When the Arabs took over, they called the town Mars el-Allah (“Harbour of Allah”). So came the name Marsala.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been in the road two weeks already. It seems like at least several months of wonderful experiences. Driving west along Sicily’s southern coast, we see olive groves by the wayside. Our guide stopped to pick up a crate of oranges, a major product of this area. A windy day with
Woke up early to see this fisherman rowing his boat at sunrise. On the way to Caltagirone, the ceramics town, Etna stood tall and majestic in the distance. Here’s a blurry view from the bus. We passed a former US military base housing complex now used as a immigrant processing center. The US