Well after months of anticipation and planning the vacation to Sicilia has come and gone. Its been a busy – at times maybe too busy – 16 days: food, wine, sights and sites. I'm not sure how many kilometres were clocked up on the car but its probably more in that two weeks than have been put on it in four years in Italy. And I'm not sure that even driving in Mexico City, Cairo and Roma had prepared Laurent for the singular style of driving that we encountered in the towns and road of Sicilia. Ah well we're in one piece which says more about him than it does the local drivers. One thing: I wouldn't have wanted to do it without the help of a GPS – that smarmy British voice telling us to “bear left” may be irritating at times but damned he knows the roads – or a least the ones that haven't been changed and not updated. Note to TomTom – there's an entirely new subdivision on the main road in Gela that nobody told you about!
|The overnight crossing (12 hours) from Civittavechia to Palermo was smooth sailing however the good ship Splendid was not - splendid I mean. Grandi Navi Veloci should either update their website or their fleet.|
The first and last legs of the trip were on car ferries – Roma to Palermo/Catania to Napoli. The Grandi NaviVeloci to Sicily was, to put it kindly, an interesting experience. Shabby would be too polite a word. Let's just say that the boat had seen better days and I was afraid of walking barefoot on the carpeting. The TTT ferry back from Catania to Napoli, though smaller, was clean, cabin at the bow spacious and staff helpful - too bad they don't do the Civettavecchia to Palermo run.
|The first part of our travels took us from Palermo along the Tyrrhenian Sea to the West and than eastward along the Mediterranean Coast.|
|Continuing on from Agrigento we headed a bit inland to Ragusa and then back eastward to the Ionian coast and the two major seas ports of Siracusa and Catania.|
|The departure from Catania and the trip up to the Straits of Messina on TTT's Partenope was a bit on the rough side but once into the Tyrrhenian it was a smooth sail up to Napoli and then on to Roma by road.|
24 maggio - Santa Maria Ausiliatrice