My husband and I are still on route to see the world. Now that our baby is 3 ½ months old, we feel more comfortable going on lengthy travels again and boarding trains, airplanes and buses. We spent last week in Sicily, sinking our teeth into olives, looking out into the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean and even going into a lava cave. It was too cloudy to see Mt. Etna, but we did go on a bus excursion up the mountain and had some espresso in a lodge. During our stay, we enjoyed bright sunshine and comfortable temperatures too.
Having just visited Rome in April 2015, I can say with certainty that Sicily has a very different flavor of social sauce than mainland Italy. Sicilians are so warm and friendly!They have a very family and “child friendly” culture. Almost everyone came up to our little 3 month old, showering her with attention, sweetness and gentle touches. Even 8 year old boys were aware of her little existence and would greet her with kindness and touch her cheeks.
Also, there wasn’t as many heaping piles of tourists compared to Rome. I think we heard one American accent during our entire stay. Not to be dismayed for lack of tourists, we did meet a wonderful Greek couple and an affectionate French lady who offered to kidnap our baby.
We stayed at a beautiful hotel, perched on a rocky cliff that over-looked the Mediterranean sea. For 70 euros a night and a free breakfast to boot, we had a lovely, yet thrifty vacation—thanks to my husband’s travel planning skills.
On one of the days we went to Taormina in north eastern Sicily. Can I just say, outstanding…jaw droppingly beautiful? This village is perhaps one of the most picturesque spots in all of Europe. It’s seated high on top of the rocky cliffs of the Sicilian coastline. You can see islands off the coast and gradual changes in the azure hues of the Mediterranean. We were lucky to have a sunny day so the vista was heavenly.
My husband made certain that we visit the Greek ruins in Taormina and we briefly explored the Amphitheater there. I just loved the adorable village of Taormina–one of the best spots in Europe, hands down!
We traveled along the Sicilian countryside to the cities of Syracuse and Noto. We passed many groves of orange and lemon trees and the terrain felt as though I was back in West Africa. Syracuse is the home of the famous Archimedes. We visited another Greek historic site with incredible ancient Greek ruins and an amazing Amphitheater!
We wandered around the heart of the city and then found a place for some wine right along the sea.
For all its beauty, there were many places in Catania Sicily that were quite dilapidated and unkempt. For instance, many apartment buildings needed a new paint job and there was lots of litter along the roads. That said, the vegetable markets and other shops in the central square of Catania were kept quite clean.
It is quite difficult going on vacation with a 3 month old. If we can make it, so can you!
What I bought in Sicily? Cool Pottery, of course!
Stay tuned for more travel and baby blog posts as we visit Bend Oregon, New Orleans Louisiana, New York City, Malta, Japan, Barcelona Spain, Southern France and Mauritius this next year!