31 August 2018

Family Holiday: Continuing Volcanic Adventure

The final destination of our volcanic journey was the wonderful island of Sicily and Mt. Etna as the highest and most active volcanos in Europe.

From Pompeii, we left the bustling region of Napoli and headed through the peaceful and serene nature of Calabria. And the difference was huge. The traffic has reduced significantly and the time and space have calmed down. It was the most tranquil drive we had in the whole two weeks, almost like meditative state with a little bit of rain and mists crossing the tops of the hills.

After a lot of loud noises and beeping, it was nice just to drive without any worry and rest the ears.
What surprised me the most driving through Calabria was that it is a very hilly and green region. I imagined it flat and dry. 

To go to Sicily with a car you need to take a ferry in Villa San Giovanni. When you come to the town just follow the signs for Porto (the port). There is no need to book a ticket for the ferry, you buy them on the spot and it is 38€ for one way.

The transport with a ferry is well organised. If you miss one ferry, soon you'll be on the next one. Also, the boarding and disembarkment go smoothly.

You can travel actually to Sicily with a train as there are special train ferries of Italian railways.

After a pleasant 15-minutes drive we landed in Messina and headed directly to Catania and settled in a small camp by the sea just on the outskirts of the city. 

Catania is a charming city, small enough to see it on foot. It is Sicily's second biggest city on the East coast by the Ionian sea. It stuns with baroque architecture of houses made of volcanic stone and strolling down the streets you can feel its powerful history.

Another stunning city to see on the East coast is Siracusa. It is a smaller, more narrow town but still, it captivates with its architecture and the vibes of ancient times.

As we didn't have enough time to travel the whole of Sicily we decided to do just one part, the South-East coast. We have also made a detour into the inland near Siracusa, to the towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa which are very beautiful towns too, but Taormina (which we didn't visit) is said to be a nice town, with a Roman amphitheatre, too.

Mount Etna was the main reason to go to Sicily and it was worth every minute we spent there. The boys didn't want to leave and neither did we.

It was one of most amazing holidays we had ever had (to me all our holidays are amazing, though), but with high temperatures and humidity and unbearable heat, it was also one of the hardest.

But I would do it all over again.

We had a little bit of everything: a bit of very old (ancient even) and a bit of new. Not much borrowed and a lot of blue.

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