05.25.08: Taormina, Etna e La Famiglia

Taormina & Etna
Breakfast on the verandah at Hotel Condor, followed by a walk through Taormina to the Greco Teatro. Then we check out and head to Etna, another long winding road this time the altitude makes me sick. I sit out nursing a migraine while Kristin and Claudia make the ascent to the top. And it’s a trek of all treks, 49 Euro worth that included a funicular to a humvee to a walkabout with a tour guide. I sat in the sun for a bit, surrounded by a posse of bikers (think vespa not hybrid). When they started smoking I walked the touristy area of souvenir shops and cafes, where using the loo cost .50€ per use, and made my way back to the car for a nap. Intermittently disturbed by the occasional check-in call from the cousins.

Siracusa: La Famiglia
Three hours later we make our way to Siracusa, another highway with blue signs a seemingly straight shot until we lose ourselves in the city center. Parked near the hospital and the sanctuary we waited for Adela and Nuccio (my cousin and her husband) to meet us; we then followed them to their home on via Teodoro Siculo in Siracusa.

Famished we gluttonously stuffed ourselves with spinach pie, lightly salted focaccia bread, peppers and potatoes, pasta, sautéed zucchini and meatballs wrapped in eggplant. Followed by fruit, un cafe and dessert. Adela sent us off with leftovers for a midnight snack, and then we made our next stop at Anna and Tony’s (Adela’s sister and her husband) home by the beach on Via Isole de Filippini in Lido Arenella. Poldo, the family dog, greeted us first as guard dog then as family.

Anna’s demeanor, her warmth and genuinely fun-loving nature instantaneously remind me of my mom. These are the moments I wish we didn’t live so far apart.
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