The time had come to once again pack my entire life into a backpack and take on the world. I had arranged to fly into Catania Sicily where I planned to have a few days of free time exploring throughout the area before arranging to head out to Butera where I would be working on an organic farm.
As usual I planned as little as possible to insure that I wasn't subjected to any arrangements, if I decided to go wandering in other directions. The one place I was sure about visiting was the glistening exclusive cliffside town Taormina. Winding my way up the ridged seashore it was like I had stepped into a gothic style Amalfi Coast. The town consisted of one main road strung together side by side with fine gelaterias and exclusive boutiques. The main piazza of the town housed a small clock tower arch way and amazing views of the turquoise seaside. With the cities backdrop being Europe's largest active volcano, Mt Etna. It was no wonder this little slice of Italian heaven was a favourite amongst holiday goers.
The activities were limited which suited me fine. There was the old ancient ruins of the Greek Theartre, the towns gorgeous shady gardens, an up hill hike to a tiny near by stone village Castamello which included an old castle along the way and of course there was the crystal clear ocean. Having knocked out all the site seeing in the first part of the day I planned to spend the rest of my trip reading, writing, taking photos and eating as much traditional Sicilian style food as possible.
Putting together a small group of fellow travellers we set out for a night of pure cultural experiences down at the gardens, where a Jazz Festival was in town. An Aussie alongside a Russian, Slovakian and a Belgium made for a night of hysterics, although we would have liked to think we were rather sophisticated. Stocked up with bottles of red wine and cigarettes along side some interesting conversations, it was truly how you would say in Italian 'La bella vita' (the beautiful life). The trio who played were a fantastic New York act called Now vs Now, their sound was funk jazz mixed with electronic. The music they played was just as sensational as the company I was amongst.
It was time for me to move on. Needing to make my way towards the south it was suggested to me that I stop to visit the ancient town of Siracusa. Being once the dominate Greek city-state before it fell to the Romans, Siracusa is full of many wonderful historical sites. The UNESCO world heritage island Ortygia, connected by bridge is where all the magic happens. Gushing fountains, tiny lane ways, bustling piazzas and a Duomo that just couldn't be missed. There was no denying that I was in Italy.
I spent my days roaming the open air markets filled with weird and wonderful fruits, seafood and other odds and ends. In the afternoon if I wasn't lying by the coast watching the sea break I would be amused by the old locals who would gather around upside down cardboard boxes playing cards, throwing around their arms and their money. By night I would be in oar, to me there is nothing more romantic then an Italian city at nighttime. Musician's would play a mix of jazz and old rock on the streets and every bar and restaurant would be completely over packed with bodies. It was all so hectic, it was all so Italian.
My first leg of being a solo backpacker was so far a success. The delights of Sicily were just begging and the next chapter of my adventures were about to unfold.
The Wanderer's Daughter xx