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Report 1911: Travels in Sicily and Southern Italy

By Linda Hagstrom from Pennsylvania USA, Spring 2011

Trip Description: In the spring of 2011, I spent a week in Sicily visiting Trapani, Palermo and Catania, and a week in southern Italy, including the fascinating city of Matera, home of the 'sassi', cave dwellings used until the 1950's.

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; Single Traveler

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Page 1 of 14: Getting to Sicily

photo by Linda

Walkway by the sea in Trapani

On March 26, I left the country of Malta, where I had spent two weeks walking, described in Trip Report 1908, Two Weeks Walking on Malta and Gozo. You can find a link to it in the resources section.

I had a reservation on Ryan to fly from Malta to Trapani, which was my first destination in Sicily, but a few days before leaving Malta, I got an email from Ryan. It said that the Trapani airport had been closed to all commercial traffic because it was being used as a base for NATO military operations over Libya.

So the plane landed in Palermo instead, and there was a bus from the Palermo airport to the Trapani airport which I took. By the time we got to Trapani airport, it was very late and very dark out. There was no public bus or taxis in to Trapani since the airport was closed. I didn't have a European phone and was somewhat anxious as to how to get to town.

The carabinieri who were guarding the airport phoned the owner of my B & B, Giovanni Surdo, for me, and he came and took me in to the city and the B&B, Bel Veliero. This B&B is very well situated in the center of Trapani, on a piazza facing the sea, and across the street from the ferries to the Egadi Islands.

The next day, a Sunday, was gorgeous. I walked around Trapani and then took a ferry out to Favignana, one of the Egadi Islands just off the coast.

I have wanted to visit these islands for many years. They were one of the two reasons I planned three nights in Trapani. Favignana was home of the tonnaro - the catching of the blue fin tuna in days gone by. I walked around the town, had coffee, and took the ferry back to Trapani, and walked around the town, enjoying being by the sea. Trapani is quite a large town and has an Arabic heritage. Late on Sunday afternoon, there was a big passeggiata ... lots of families, dressed up, out walking and enjoying the lovely weather.

For dinner, one of the things I ordered was couscous with fish broth, because it is a specialty of Trapani. It was wonderful.

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