Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sicilian Sojourn (tacky tour-type title)

It takes some doing to get to Sicily and of course we're only seeing a couple of spots, but we all agree it was well worth the trip.

We landed two hours late in pouring rain. That ferry isn't really set up for foot passengers, and the guide we'd hired in advance for the day, Giacomo,was there faithfully to greet us, and to escort us to his Mercedes van, dodging transport trucks as they drove off the ferry.

Giacomo provided an excellent tour of Siracusa, once one of the largest Greek cities with a population of 300,000, competitive with Athens. Eventually the Romans took over, as they did everything back in those days, so we got to tour a Greek theater, and next door to it a Roman amphitheater. The Greeks set up for speeches and plays, while the Romans for gladiatorial contests. As an old prof once mentioned, "the Greeks had the brains, the Romans had the drains."

We ended the tour driving up to the top of a hill to the Castello, above Taormina, sipped some complimentary limoncello and local almond wine in a little shop, and then got deposited at our hotel in Taormino. A great day...

No comments: