|A newsstand in Palermo, Sicily.|
First off, everyone got sick except for me. That might sound fortunate for me except that, once we had returned to Putignano, it was my turn to get sick. And it seemed to last forever. I don't think I have been completely healthy all summer until about one week ago.
Anyway, we were in Sicily for seven or eight days with stops in Messina, Taormina, Catania, Agrigento, St. Anna, Corleone, Palermo, and Cefalu. I won't go into detail, but you can see more revealing photos of part of our adventure on Flickr. It was almost too much ground to cover in such a short time, but such is touring. For the ancient Greek temple ruins, the historic city center and the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Greci, the panoramic locale, excellent food, and the wonderful accommodations, Agrigento seemed to be the place the all of us really enjoyed.
The trip was memorable for many reasons; however, back on Italy proper, to break up the long drive home, we stopped in a little town called Pizzo. Angela managed to find us a spectacular bed and breakfast (I believe we were its first guests), which was a short walk down a very steep hill to a little beach. The town wasn't overrun by tourists, and we felt like we had the place to ourselves. It was quite peaceful with the swallows circling throughout the day, and a much-needed relaxing conclusion to our vacation.
In the evening, there happened to be a festival in the little community, which was a welcome surprise. The people were out in force (although it wasn't crowded), le luminarie (lights) were hung above the street, a procession marched an icon through town and people followed in prayer and song, fireworks illuminated the cliff that overlooked the sea and the town's little houses, and karaoke music blared until well after midnight. I've included some audio of the procession here to more deeply immerse yourself in the experience.
Now, the three of us return to California to begin the next chapter. We'll look forward to seeing you there!