Friday, September 2, 2011

Sicily Up Close

Wham! Sicily. It hits you in the face, especially at this time of the year. Hot, dry, hectic, ripe. And the residents speak Italian, which we haven't yet managed to learn in any detail despite 6 trips to Italy in the past 7 years. Before the next trip, we WILL learn more of the language!

Two flights this morning led us from London to Milan, then on to Palermo, both flights (luckily) on Lufthansa. We originally had only 50 minutes in Milan to make our connection, and the first flight left about 25 minutes late from London. We were going to take it all in stride, whatever the outcome, but we really did want to get to Sicily today so we could connect tomorrow to our destination for the next 3 weeks, the wonderful Aeolian Islands.

Fortunately, we have only carry-on luggage and Lufthansa held the Palermo-bound plane for us, so both we and our bags made it to Sicily together, as scheduled.

All packed up for our trip around the world (including 2 laptops!)
We've been to Palermo a couple of times so we knew what to expect when we got there. Or so we thought. It's always an adventure! We're spending the night at the friendly and helpful Hotel Ambasciatori, on Villa Roma a few blocks north of the train station. To get there from the airport we took the 50-minute airport bus ride to the station and then walked to the hotel. Very convenient. The Ambasciatori occupies the 5th and 6th floor of an old Palermo building and has a rooftop terrace with a killer view of the city, where we had the obligatory predinner drink(s). Cin cin!

The hotel staff helped us reserve spots on the 4-hour trip tomorrow to our next destination, Panarea, in the Aeolian Islands. We've taken the train to Milazzo and the hydrofoil from there to the islands a couple of times but never visited in season, when the Palermo ferry is running, so we're looking forward to this opportunity to take a classic boat trip on the Mediterranean.

Marinated macarel with agrodulce and mint on roasted pumpkin, with a balsamic vinegar reduction
The hotel also recommended a new restaurant several blocks away, called Cocoa. The food was outstanding--the best we've had in Palermo--we got to eat on the terrace amidst the old Palermo architecture, and there as an added bonus of live jazz playing in a piazza across the street. Really can't get much better than that.

Tomorrow--on to the Aeolian Islands.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Love the pics and want a piece of that pumpkin. Looks like a beautiful city. Hope your trip has started off wonderfully, keep up the great posts!