On the Road to Sicily

We're back on the road again! This time the smaller Roadtrip-Crew of Bianca, Oliver and me (Ivo we miss you!) chose a more typical holiday-destination: Sicily! On the way to and of course on Sicily there are a LOT of things worth seeing and worth sharing:

Day 13: We are already on our way back to Vienna so this is the last post of our roadtrip to Sicily. We couldn't resist to take a break in Apulia, the "heel" of the boot Italy. The first pictures you see are from Matera, which is well-known for its ancient cave dwellings called Sassi. It could be one of the oldest towns in history, as some caves can be dated back to the New Stone Age. There were still people living in those dwellings until the 1960s.

The next stop was Alberobello and the conical buildings out of dry stacked limestone called Trulli. Those structures date from around the 14th century, but it's not entirely clear. They were built without mortar to prevent from being taxable.
Before dawn we drove by the Castel del Monte, a 13th-century citadel with a very unusual octagonal floor plan. It also appears on the Italian one cent Euro coin.

Day 12: The original cathedral of Messina was built in 1197, but destroyed and rebuilt many times. Since the last restoration it has its unspoiled appearance again, which is really impressive. Today we left the Sicily by ferry and returned to the italian boot tip.

What an experience! On Day 11 we climbed the vulcano called Vulcano on the island called Vulcano and it was unbelieveably beautiful! At the black beach there the water is warm and bubbles - it's like a whirlpool in the sea :D

Day 11 we spent in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. In the past it was a place of many nations but magnificence obviously never missed out.

From now on accompanied by a fluffy babydog travelling is even better.  On Day 9 we saw some beautiful rocks in some beautiful bay and later went to Monreale to see the monastery and cathedral of the Benedictines there. I couldn't describe it better than Wikipedia: The cathedral of Monreale is one of the greatest extant examples of Norman architecture anywhere. See for yourself!

Day 8: Meetup with friends, salt evaporation ponds, a Greek temple and theatre of Selinunte and the fluffy growth of our travel group.

Day 7 was all about stones. Huge white ones by the sea and old greek ones on a hill.

Day 6 was full of adventures! In the morning we visited the charming city Ragusa with its beautiful baroque oldtown. After that we stopped for an hour in Caltagirone, which is famous for its ceramics and also for long stairs decorated with ceramic tiles. Finally, in the afternoon we arrived at the ancient Villa Romana, where we saw very well-preserved mosaic that is over 2000 years old.

Day 5: During the one-hour hike down the valley out of Limestone at Riserva Naturale Cava Grande del Cassibile (we needed some time to remember that) we could see some of the cave graves from Bronze Age on the opposite walls. They are common in that area in Sicily. At the bottom of the valley, a river has built some natural pools with clear waters and rocks to jump in. It felt like paradise swimming there!
On the afternoon we had contrast programme in the baroque city of Noto.

Day 4: Two cities that couldn't be more different! Catania is mostly made out of rocks of the nearby vulcano Etna and has therefore twisty alleys and dark buildings, Siracusa is dominated by wide, light and open places and a beautiful promenade at the sea.

Day 3: We made it to Sicily! After 1800 kilometers of driving we took the ferry to Messina and headed south towards the city Taormina and a gorge out of basalt.

Day 2: The village Tropea in Calabria is all about cliffs and crystal-clear water

Day 1: 1200km of driving and the coast of Amalfi