It has been a week since we returned home from Italy and I figured I better write this post before I forget too much!! Of course, some things I can't forget because they were so amazing, like Granita or meeting family, but you know, it is easy to forget all the little details of a trip sometimes.
I will start where we left off from Rome. Chris, Ginger and I flew from Rome to Palermo the night of the 15th. When we landed in Palermo we were about the only people left in the airport that night. Our luggage didn't show up with all of the other luggage so we had to try to get some help finding it but we finally did and met up with our driver who did not speak any English. In fact, I am not sure what language he was speaking. If there is some sort of Cajun-Sicilian-Italian then maybe that was it. It reminded me of the one man in Waterboy that was from Louisiana that you could never understand.
The driver drove so slow that it took forever to get to the hotel. When we got there he came in and was saying something to us but we had no idea what it was. He then started talking to the hotel staff and they just nodded and he finally left. We asked what he said and they said they had no idea, and they spoke Italian!! So, who knows? For all we know he put out a hit on us!
Anyway, we spent the next day exploring Palermo and seeing a chapel with mosaics of the Old Testament on it's walls-the Chapel of Palentina. It was pretty amazing. We also toured the gardens there.
Here are a couple of pictures from there:
The next day we got on the train and headed to Enna which is where Chris's grandfather's family is originally from. We found out after we got there that the family moved to Pergusa many years earlier though.
Right when we got off the train his cousin (very distant), Delia was there to pick us up. We went with her to the town where her sister lives to go to the festival of St. Joseph. The have a festival in which they make food and especially bread that is cooked in the shape of tools since St. Joseph was a builder. They put the bread on tables or tavolatas that look like steps going up the wall so you can see all the bread displayed. It reminded me of Black Friday shopping. All the food was free so of course everyone comes out! We were packed into this one foyer of a building with tons of other people waiting to get into the area where all the free bread was. When they opened the door everyone tried shoving themselves in at once. A police officer actually grabbed my hand to pull me in!!
Anyway, we got in, got our bread and cake and got ourselves out. We went back into town and had a drink with Delia's brother in law, Ferro. We met other people that walked by and stopped to talk and introduce themselves. We got our drinks for free and the owner even gave us a free bottle of wine from his vineyard.
Here are a couple of pictures:
Next we went to Delia's house and met her adorable mother, Aurora. Delia's sister came over and we all ate lunch. Later we went into town and met some Campanellas who own a bar and a restaurant and they of course gave us drinks and invited us to dinner for the next night at their restaurant. We walked at the lake in town and later went back to Delia's to have dinner and visit. We waited on Delia's niece, Marina to get off work before we ate dinner and then we listened to hilarious stories about their dog, Carmeluccio. This dog is like the Godfather of dogs in their town!
They told us how Carmeluccio goes to the cemetery in town in the morning and the other dogs go and lick his paws and then follow him around town from there!! It is like they are kissing his hand!! He also steals things from people in town and brings it back to their house so they are always having to return items to people. He even will take an entire clothesline with him with all the clothes on it and drag it back up to their house!! One time he ate the seat belts out of their car and another time ate the decal off the front of Marina's car. These are only a few of the stories that I can remember but I know there were more. I was crying in laughter listening to stories about this dog!!I really thought they should get him an Instagram account.
Delia had to spend most of her time translating for both sides so I am sure she was glad when it was finally time to take us to our hotel that night!! We stayed at a cute bed and breakfast in town. When we got back to the hotel we were greeted by a white dog with super messy hair that looked like something out of cartoon.
Here are a few pictures from that day:
The next day we went with Delia and Marina to Catania and Siracusa. We met Marina's brother Ivano and his wife, Maria. Maria arranged for us to have a tour guide in Siracusa to show us some of the sights. Our first stop was in Catania to have breakfast of granita and bread. We had never had this and it was amazing!! Marina even captured our Granita faces in photos and posted them on Facebook. They were pretty funny!
After Catania we headed to Siracusa and met up with Maria. We got to see a Greek theater and several other sites and even went to a puppet show. The puppets were almost as tall as me. It was an amazing day. At the end of the day we went to Maria and Ivano's house for aperitivo. Maria's family owns a farm and makes their own salami and other meats. She set all this out for us. It was so good and so sweet of her!
After we left Maria's we headed back to Pergusa to go to the Campanella's restaurant. They fed us all kinds of food and of course would not let us pay!!
Here are some pictures from our day:
Well, that wraps up a very small taste of our time in Sicily. It was such an amazing time and meeting Chris's family was the highlight of our trip. I hope to go back and visit again soon.
I hope you have had a great week so far!