We weren’t sure we’d go to the south of Italy. I’m really glad we did. Sicily is a very beautiful island and we had to take a ferry to get there.
They say Italy is shaped like a boot. It’s kind of true. And so if Italy is a boot, Sicily is a ball and it’s kind of by the toe, maybe it’s being kicked.
We had a long drive from Pompeii to a town called Villa san Giovanni. We went through mountains and it was very cold in the mountains, but it was really warm by the time we got to the ferry to Messina.
It wasn’t like the ferry from Barcelona, it was smaller, it didn’t have as much parking and there were no rooms on the ferry – and it was only about half an hour to get across.
The first place we went was Palermo. We stayed in the old part of the city. And everything is really old. There are monuments and famous buildings on every street. It’s got a lot to see.
We took two tours of Palermo and it was super fun. We saw a lot of Palermo and learned a lot too. There are more non-indigenous trees in Palermo than indigenous. This is because over the years different groups of people from other countries came to Sicily and took it over and brought their own plants. with them so it’s a really big mix of plants.
They also brought their own styles of building and art. It got taken over so many times that there are so many different styles of buildings everywhere. Some really big buildings started in one style and by the time they were finished it was done in another style. One of the palaces was so amazing – it had three really different styles of construction in one building.
We were walking home from the bus trip when mom and dad decided me and Sully needed haircuts. We kind of did. So we found a barber. They were really nice. I think we look pretty sharp, though Sicily is too far to go for a regular trim, I really liked the shop.
We went to a market one day – the Mercato Ballaro, which was pretty close to our home. We got the best cheese ever. We also got some artichokes. They were still attached to the branch, which I’d never seen before. They were really fresh, probably straight from the farm in the morning.
One of the fish stalls had lots of really really big fish. It had half a swordfish. Not even half, maybe a third. The top part. It was as big as me. And the sword was even taller. The market is not like the one in Barcelona where there are lots of treats to eat. Mercato Ballaro is just for buying food and other stuff. It’s out on the streets, and it goes for blocks and blocks and blocks.
We found the best pizza place ever. We pretty much only ate there. It was bananas! The pastries and the gelato were so good and the granita was perfection. I had pomegranate and it tasted heavenly like pure fresh pomegranate.
We went to Mondello Beach one day. It’s so beautiful. It was sunny and warm, but the water was cold so we didn’t swim long. Instead we buried each other in the sand. But then we realized we would have to go back into the cold water to wash off. Sully pushed me in the water and I started screaming.
We left Palermo and went to Taormina, which is on the Ionian Sea. We stayed in a really nice place that was overlooking the sea and had a nice view of the mountains, especially at night!
I liked staying in Taormina. It was intriguing. I liked seeing the view. It was pretty chill and pretty much a place to chill-lax and enjoy the beautiful view.
I liked going on the ferry. Sicily was very nice. It had lots of great views. I liked going on the bus tour, it was fun on the top level of the bus. Felt like I was flying like a pigeon.
I LOVED the pizza in Palermo. And the calamari. Calamari is actually squid. I like the tentacles, but not the head, that’s weird. I didn’t like the cannoli as much as my mom did. But I did love the gelato (Mom edit: Sullivan gives the gelato 2 thumbs up). I was really happy to go to the beach. I hope it gets even warmer so we can spend more time at the beach.