We have had a fantastic time in Sicily and it exceeded our expectations in many ways. Firstly, the island is much bigger than we initially thought.
The people are friendly, genuine, very welcoming and the scenery is to die for. Like everywhere there were things we didn’t like, some of the roads need resurfacing and we are sure we shook some fillings loose on a few of them. For us, the positives certainly outweighed the negatives. The island is very unspoilt and we both felt that we had entered a different world which was authentic and not just done to attract the tourists.
We always thought Italian drivers were crazy, the Sicilians go off the richter scale. They have their own driving rules, they don’t stop at traffic lights, never indicate, drive so close behind you that you can hardly see them in your mirror, undertaking is acceptable, speed limits are advisory, they overtake anywhere even when there is a unbroken white line and they love the sound of their horn. If you stop to contemplate your next move for more than 2 seconds be prepared to have the horn blasted at you and to be undertaken!
Mount Etna was our last stop and we had to wait a few days before visiting as the winds were high and it rained hard. There was a break in the weather and we had a great day (see our post on Mt Etna) but then the winds and rain were back again and we had to wait a couple more days before getting the ferry back across to the mainland.
We arrived at the ferry port to be told that we would have to wait hour and half for the next ferry. The ferries usually run every 40 minutes but we hadn’t realised it was a bank holiday. This wasn’t a problem for us we just parked up, put the kettle on and made some lunch.
As you leave Sicily you see the Madonna Della Lettera at the entrance to Messina harbour. ‘Cos et ipsam civitatem benedicimus’ which translates to ‘We bless you and your city’. We loved Sicily and long may she welcome future visitors.