Catania and Palermo Italy

From the North, we went to the South down to Catania in Sicily.
Veronica was born here and spent her first twenty-something years here.

Catania and Palermo Italy

Sicily, the southernmost island of Italy, has quite a fascinating history.
They have been conquered by pretty much everyone during the past 4000 years.

That’s why there are so many different architectural styles. And why the food is other from mainland Italy.

They have rocky beaches:

And proper sandy beaches:

I could see myself moving in here:

Or maybe here:

While walking around, there’s always something to discover:

On day two or three, we did a short trip to Taormina, likely one of the most beautiful places on Earth:

After a few days, we drove across the whole island up to Palermo.
With one stop, as there’s an outlet village in the middle between the two cities.

I spent 100% of my monthly salary there, and it still feels like a steal.
If you ever want Italian clothes, don’t buy them outside of Italy!

In the late afternoon, we arrived in Palermo.

Palermo is the biggest and probably most popular city in Sicily. Nonetheless, it has the same level of 500 or more years old buildings and loads of things to discover.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture, but I ate what is now one of my favorite dishes. It’s pasta with salsiccia and pistachio pest. Tasty!

We just spent two days here and drove back to Catania.

By way of driving, I rented a car for the whole trip.
At first, I was utterly intimidated, and for me, as a German, it’s pure chaos.

But once you get a feel for it, it’s fun to drive like a local: Ignoring all rules.

Back in Catania, we had the physically longest starter possible:

I couldn’t leave before trying their most traditional dish; it’s called Pasta alla Norma. 
A mild tomato sauce, fried aubergines, and salted Ricotta cheese.
It’s okay but somewhat lacking in taste.

There are loads of sweet things, too:

And a few wines. The most popular in the region is Nero d’Aavola, but you can get many others based on local grapes.

One last tour through the city with some impressions:

I’ve now been to the Northern part and the very South of Italy.

I’ve learned a lot about history and the local economy, which are incredibly different in both parts, and I realized that there is no single type of “Italian food.”

I prefer the North when it comes to food, as in Sicily, there’s loads of seafood and fresh fish. Both aren’t my favorites (hence no pics).

Also, when arriving in Catania, I noticed one very particular thing.

Everything, the roads, pavements, and parts of the buildings, felt dirty. Like, it’s so dark, it needs a pressure wash.

It turned out that the volcano Etna erupted a few centuries back and destroyed the whole city. 
Afterward, they used the lava stones to rebuild everything, and that’s why the rocks look the way they look.
Interesting fact!

Bottom line, my first trip to Italy was excellent; it was more than beneficial to have a local person with me; I fell in love with the food and turned from a beer into a wine drinker.

One could say that trip changed a lot for me.

I’ll be back.

More travel posts:

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