Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taormina & Caltagirone

Our last two days in Sicily were spent exploring the towns of Taormina and Caltagirone.

Taormina is a beautiful area with amazing water and quite the climb to the top where there are views of Mt. Etna and the mainland of Italy.

If you look really close, you can see a bit of smoke coming from the top of Mt. Etna.

A tribute to the prickly pear that grows everywhere on the island.

Caltagirone is a lovely town famous for it's pottery. We had a nice relaxing day there, besides the part where Amelia and I climbed the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte that has 142 steps. The cool part is, each step is lined with a different hand made tile.

Even this duomo is made of tile.

Enthusiastic near the bottom.

Worth the great view at the top... she did it all by herself, with gusto! ; )

Enjoying cappuccinos, pastries and Hello Kitty chips.

The drive back down the hill was memorable, their Tom Tom gave us very narrow directions (scraaaaatttcccchhh!). Then it told us to turn right down this "street":

If you look closely along the sides, you will see steps at various intervals.

We look forward to exploring more of you, Sicily... someday.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Siracusa is a lovely little seaside town rich with history. Our first stop after lunch was the "aquarium," not much more than a fancy pet shop display here in the USA, but the kids loved it! We didn't get to see the Greek and Roman amphitheaters, but plan to go back when we have more time (perhaps next year?).

Duck pond and papyrus.


I love all the layers of time.

Useful graffiti.

It is quite likely that the Apostle Paul spent time in this same piazza (Acts 28:12).

We took a walk through this church and Amelia kept asking when meeting was going to start. : )

Who says Smart car's aren't sporty?

After being in Europe I get why they are called Smart cars... although not so Smart in the US.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Happy 4th birthday to our dear, sweet Amelia today. We love you, Sis!♥

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


When we drove back to Gene and Lindsay's after the Valley of the Temples, there was a parade going down their street, so we threw on Amelia's princess dress and headed down to see what it was all about. It ended up being about four groups of people dressed up, one group of Native Americans, followed by a group of cowboys, a group of devils, and a group of Vikings. We never really figured out what the significance was. They had blaring music coming out of a building next to the old church and a ton of kids running around in the small piazza in front. They all had bags of confetti and were throwing handfuls, point blank at one another. Amelia was quite confused with it all, but eventually joined in the fun.

Wyatt strolling up to the commotion with the coolest (only) leash in town.

Thanks, Uncle Gene and Aunt Lindsay for the silly string and the confetti!

Trying it out with Uncle Gene.

Not so sure about the whole idea.

After getting offended over several handfuls in the face, she decided to try it out. Now that we are unpacked at home, I'm still finding small pieces of confetti around the house!

We took a stroll out on the pier afterward and looked back to see Mt. Etna peeking over the hill at us.

Thanks for putting up with all of my posts, this is my form of journaling for the trip since I didn't keep one while I was there. I did that when I studied in Torino for the summer and its so fun to go back and read now.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Valley of the Temples

After an Italian breakfast at the agriturissmo, we headed to the Valle dei Templi. We needed to follow signs to Agrigento, can anyone tell me which way to go based on the following picture? Thankfully, Tom Tom got us to our correct location.

In front of the Temple of Concordia
built around 430 B.C.

Temple of Concordia

Temple of Hercules
(The national hero of Sicily)
built around 510 B.C.
An amazing, old (maybe ancient?), olive tree.

On a side note: we are back home safely now after a long, long, day of flying on Friday. I am continually impressed with the kindness of strangers when I fly alone with the kids. It was evident that the prayers for our safe journey were heard and are much appreciated! ♥

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


After spending time in the big city, we headed south to a bed and breakfast in the country, known here as an agriturismo. They usually cook their food using ingredients from their farm such as olive oil and citrus. This time of year the mud is too thick to ride horses, but we at least got to go and say ciao to them. The rooms here were really neat, I think perhaps we slept where horses once did.

Amelia's "princess" bed, getting an American welcome.

The kids with the "Cuties" they just picked, although Amelia wouldn't eat hers because it was a blood tangerine and apparently didn't look quite right. Blood oranges are in season here and are mmm mmm good.

Cavallo. No, we did not eat these guys as some of the locals might!

Santo and Francesca (or Fran-jessica as Amelia says) who run the agriturismo.

Uncle Gene getting some snuggle time.

Another couple that worked there had a 3 year old named Rebecca. These two girls had the best time while we were eating the delicious dinner Francesca made. It is Carnevale, so all the children everywhere dress up in costumes. More on that later.