The first word that comes to mind when I think of my trip to Sicily this weekend is: wet. We probably picked the worst weekend of the month to go as it was cold and raining nonstop (with some hail and unrelenting winds thrown in the mix) for the first three days of our trip. Unfortunately, my Italian language teacher said that Italy is experiencing a very unusual spring, the coldest and rainiest they have had in years.
However, the second and third words that come to mind are: gorgeous and delicious. I came across many Sicilian surprises during my trip, such as the breathtaking views of the crystal clear water and to die for desserts. Regardless of the cold and rain, the views in Sicily were beautiful! The water along the coast was the prettiest teal color that I have ever seen. You couldn’t even attempt to paint or photograph the colors of Sicily and do it justice. The palm trees, cactus’ and tropical flowers also made me feel as if I was in a resort.
The food there was also my favorite I have had so far in all of Italy. I made sure to have a slice of thick crust, Sicilian style pizza since you can’t get that anywhere else in Italy. Throughout our days in Sicily, I also tried fried calamari, a calzone with ham and cheese and a delicious sandwich with potatoes that was seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon, a specialty in Sicily. It was very good. The desserts were also the best I’ve had. I made sure to try a Sicilian cannoli. Since I didn’t try a slice of Cassata cake, I got Cassata flavored gelato… but I found that I am not a fan.
After arriving in Palermo we explored the city and got to see some of the major sites. While Kevin and Tyler went to a crypt, Henal and I decided to split up and go see two castles instead. The next morning we went to an open market where there were tons of dead, skinned animals (even goat heads!) and tons of smelly seafood. I strayed away from the fish and animals, but purchased a few blood red oranges, which are grown in Sicily. They were delicious, a lot sweeter and less sour than regular oranges. My favorite thing in Palermo was the cathedral. It was gorgeous inside and out.
Friday morning we woke up early to catch a bus to Catania. Although the first day was rainy and cold, Saturday we were lucky enough to have some sunshine! We went to an old greek theater, walked to some pretty cathedrals and saw the main gate to enter the city. Our hostel was right next to Castello Ursino, so we could see the castle at night from the terrace! Although Catania itself was pretty, my favorite thing may have been the two and a half hour bus ride to get from Palermo to Catania. The views of the coast, the mountains and green fields of Sicily are amazing.
I may be returning from Sicily with a broken umbrella (it didn’t make it through the vicious hailstorm), sopping wet socks and shoes, and most likely a few extra pounds of weight, but I am also returning with fun memories from a beautiful place I won’t forget!