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Report 1911: Travels in Sicily and Southern Italy

By Linda Hagstrom from Pennsylvania USA, Spring 2011

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Page 5 of 14: Thursday March 31 - to Catania

photo by Linda

Catania market

After breakfast, I packed up and went to the bus station to get the 10am bus to Catania. Surprise ... scopiero ... bus strike! Those in charge said the bus would leave at 2. I left my bag at the station and walked around Palermo some more ... the harbor area, Villa Giulia again, more coffee.

I got back to the bus station at 1 and a bus was ready to go. I changed my ticket and got on the bus. It was about 2 1/2 hours to Catania, no stops until the Catania airport. The route through the center of Sicily is remarkably uninhabited. It was all fields and mountains. I only saw two hilltop villages in the distance, otherwise no people or towns.

I got a taxi to da Gianni e Lucia, my B&B on Piazza Stesicoro in the center of Catania. It was a great location, with a Roman amphitheater uncovered in the center of the piazza, wonderful views of Etna from the roof and the streets nearby, and a wonderful pedestrian street nearby.

I was given five keys to get into the building, into the B&B, into my hallway, into my room, and onto the steps to the rooftop terrace!

I had traveled to Catania only to go to Siracusa the next day, but Catania was far nicer than I expected and I really enjoyed it. I had walked on the top of Mt Etna about eight years before so I did not go there while in Catania, but it is an imposing presence and very beautiful, snow - covered.

At 8pm I walked the pedestrian street to the imposing castle just outside the walls of Catania. Nearby was the restaurant Camelot, recommended by my host, Gianni, and I had a wonderful dinner there, a huge antipasto buffet and pizza to die for.

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