We are on the move to Southern Sicily, where Frank’s family lives. And it was quite a journey!
We didn’t quite realize how much of a cocoon we were in at Taormina – living in the walled city, music floating out of restaurants, flower-filled balconies, our grand apartment. Our driver picked us up, and we were all happy and relaxed and ready for a new adventure.
And then he dropped us at what felt like the side of the road – the rental car place. With about 200 people just standing around waiting for cars, too. It felt like half of Europe has come to Sicily for summer holiday.
We put Enza with the luggage (a LOT because we have acquired the jugs of wine and 2 basil plants, plus groceries). And I waited in line, with Frank ferrying back between us. The Europcar representative made me sign a paper that promised we would under no circumstances stop in the province of Catania (where the rental car place is) unless the car was locked and guarded. They said insurance would not cover losses in Catania and even if there is an accident (apparently a common ruse), you do not leave car unattended. That kind of shook all 3 of us up, so we were happy to high-tail it out of Catania. Apparently the rest of Sicily is safe – or at least covered by insurance.
Then our GPS put us on the “provincial” roads, rather than the autostrada. The roads got narrower and narrower, until we were on one lane, partly dirt, and the only car around driving up and over mountains and across the country side. Enza, in the backseat, kept saying, “Maria, Maria.” (I think this was a prayer to the Virgin Mary.)
The house we rented last year was off the market, and there are not a lot of options in this area. So I had booked a beach hotel about 40 minutes from Frank’s family’s town. It was not in any guidebooks, but had gotten good reviews online. As we wound around these little roads in the middle of nowhere, I thought, “Oh no – this may not go so well.”
But we went through the gates at Faloncara Charming House to find a beautiful resort – with an amazing view of a catello (castle) that dates from the 1300s.
It has a private beach, and each room has its own umbrella and chairs. There is a spa, nice restaurant, and even a pizzeria across the street.
Enza will stay with us for a couple of days here, and then we make the trek to Canicatti. The adventure begins!