Winter in Italy and Sicily in 2012 was called the Grand Gelé, or the Big Freeze. One of the coldest winters in modern Italian history – the canals in Venice froze – didn’t deter our Sicily travel plans. One advantage of traveling in Winter — you have the attractions all to yourself. These images are impressions of our road trip circumnavigating the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea — Sicily.
Perched atop a lofty hill overlooking the Ionian Sea is the lovely town of Taormina, the first stop on our Sicily itinerary.
Mt. Etna … on the road to Siracusa
After three nights at Hotel Bel Soggiorno in exquisite Taormina we set out for Siracusa or Syracuse. But first the road took us to the snow covered slopes of Mt. Etna, currently erupting into a shroud of mist, clouds and steam. With many restaurants closed for the winter season it took a special effort to find the right place for the mid-day meal. Asking the locals paid off very well indeed—leading us by car at breakneck speed, we followed the owner of a wonderful Agriturismo restaurant to where we had an amazing meal of local small plates.
Syracuse … Historical Wonderland
A city-state of great importance in the ancient Greek world and currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Syracuse is rich in history, culture, amphitheaters, and architecture. Getting into the port city by automobile had its challenges but once inside we didn’t want to leave. Time only permitted us to scratch the surface of this fascinating, historic city.