Let me tell you about Sicily. So different from northern Italy. Reminded me of Arizona or New Mexico – arid, warm, sunny. We even watched a gecko play on a sun baked wall while enjoying the warm breeze sitting in the shade of our Marsala Villa.
Montepagano to Naples was our longest drive. We arrived in Naples in the late afternoon and happily gave up our rental car once we reached the city. Very crazy drivers live there. Here is a photo of the building across from our balcony and one of the plaza in the historic section of Naples. So representative of what we saw of the city.
Naples was just a stop over for us and we would see it again in a few days. We wanted to be ready for our early morning flight to Palermo. So, we walked a few blocks, ate at an outdoor ‘ristorante’ on a small plaza and went back to “Bruno’s Historic Home”.
Palermo..city of my ancestors. With the dazzlingly beautiful abundant mountain ranges on our left and the elegant Tyrrhenian Sea then the Mediterranean Sea on our right we knew we had made the correct decision to drive this amazing island.
Breathtaking barely describes the drive.
Marsala has houses that look like adobe. The Streets are wide enough for one and a half cars. Drivers will pass you anyway! It’s a wonder there are any Italians/Sicilians left alive! It’s not just that the streets are narrow, but the houses are all connected and right on the street. The streets are more like narrow alleys. No curbs. No sidewalks. Just a string of adobe walls. They park and live inside these.
The city turned out to be larger than we thought. A lot larger….I know that because we were lost there most of the time and drove around looking for our next stop-over. We gave up (so did Missy) and stopped at a small store. Naturally Jane and I were the only English speaking people around. Fortunately, “mi dispiace” (I’m sorry) and “guida” (help) were two of the Italian words I had practiced and ended up using the most…everywhere. Jane became an expert in Italian sign language, pointing at addresses on paper and making herself understood. We were saved, once again, by handsome Italian men (why did I ever leave?) One fellow called the owner of our B&B then hopped in his car and led us to meet her….another point for a gracious people. What a lovely place Villa Rustiko was! It had an equally lovely owner, named Matina. Who, by the way, sang with a Ignazio when they were in school.
What we were really waiting for was to meet Nina and we were about to do just that. She knew we were coming, so you can imagine how excited we were when we drove up to…
I think Nina’s smile is even more captivating than her brothers. Yes, I said that…just look… that’s Nina flanked by her happy helpers.
We gave her a gift from all of the Flight Crew.
She seemed to really like it and immediately put it on (her eyes light up like her brothers too!) Later when I asked to take a picture of her wearing it she brushed away the flour that had landed on the apron from her work. Now, didn’t that make it even more special?