Good-bye Far-flung, former Soviet Republics! Ciao Italy! Our flight to the island of Sicily left Yerevan, Armenia at 5:30 am with a six hour lay-over in Athens, Greece. It was going to be a long day - but who cared? We were headed in the right direction - away from former Soviet Union enclaves. Although we were now headed toward the birthplace of the Mafia ... maybe we should call these last few months the Senior Nomads Corruption Tour
|We missed the mobs and enjoyed Sicily with few tourists and no gangsters|
The island of Sicily is a part of Italy that we hadn’t visited before. However in our lifetime we've been top-to-bottom and side-to-side spending time in twenty-eight different cities. We’d heard great things about this island off the boot - especially the food, that we were more than ready for a leisurely ten-day tour.
But first, breakfast in Athens. We were able to find Vassili and Helena, our Airbnb hosts from our two-week stay there in 2013 and asked if they’d like to spend a few hours together during our layover. Yes! They scooped us up at the airport and took us to breakfast at a local seafood restaurant nearby. It was great to see them again and confirmed that we have made some great friends on this journey.
|A fine way to spend a layover in Athens.|
After a predawn start and the airport fiasco we were a little frazzled when we arrived at our Airbnb in Catania. But we were revived by a very enthusiastic greeting from our host Daniela. Our apartment had been in her husband's family for a very long time - and in fact her in-laws could be traced back several hundred years. Catania Airbnb The flat belonged to her father-in-law, a well known architect and his sketches covered the walls. We enjoyed a lovely seafood dinner with her and her husband Carmelo and learned even more about the city and their connection.
We also discovered the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi would be visiting the city while we were there. That was enough to perk-up Michael’s ears - remember he loves politics and Senior Renzi is often in the news. As it turned out what seemed to be an endless stream of chanting citizens waving banners for dozens of different social issues, apparently not supported by the Prime Minister, passed right under our balcony.
|Michael was pretty excited about our birds-eye view of the protests.|
|But why watch when you can join in!|
|Delicious Sicilian street foods included Arancini - crumb coated, deep fried risotto and cheese balls!|
|The view we didn't see in Taorimina - the coliseum and Mt. Etna in the distance.|
|A leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Ortigia with our host Kerry.|
|Ortigia - an island filled with ancient treasures just off the city of Syracuse.|
|Getting a little work done at our B&B in Piazza Amerina.|
|I can't believe I am standing on tiles laid down over 2,000 years ago!|
|Just one of dozens of panels in a huge floor. This one depicts a boar hunt.|
|To prove there is nothing new - here's the first recorded bikini.|
|It had been a long time since I'd had a dip in a pool - and this one was special.|
|The setting for dinner and breakfast the next morning.|
|Talking Trump with our new German friends Terane and Thomas.|
Back in our super-sleek Audi (despite the offending suitcases) we continued west and then north to our final stop in the city of Trapani where we would spend our final two nights. The reason for going to Trapani, besides visiting the charming old city and having gelato for breakfast, was to visit the ancient city of Erice. Here's the Link
|The sky high town of Erice where you were dropped back in time.|
Day 10 arrived, and like every other day in Sicily we woke to blue skies and sunshine. So, with the convertible top down and Italian pop tunes blasting on the radio we set-out for the Palermo airport where we dropped off our car and caught a flight for Rome. This time we kept each other in site.
We really enjoyed our time in Sicily and will definitely go back. If only to appease our friends who pointed out what we missed. Especially Palermo. Unless you were part of the contingent that couldn't care less about Palermo and were relieved we spent time in Catania. And so it goes in Italy.
On arrival in Rome we were met yet again by former Airbnb hosts who have become friends. Laura and Paolo hosted us at their Airbnb in Nicosia in 2015 where we really bonded. They invited us to stay with them whenever we were in Rome if they were at their home there. The stars aligned and we we able to see them again. These connections are a critical part of why we continue our Senior Nomad lifestyle - because without a home of our own, we always find a special place to call home.
Thanks for following along,
Debbie and Michael Campbell
The Senior Nomads