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Report 2005: Naples & Sicily: Warmly Welcomes Travelers

By teezee from US, Spring 2012

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Page 10 of 13: Piazza Amerina and Caltigironde

It was a 2.5 hour drive to Piazza Amerina and we were so glad we had come early in the season because even arriving at 10:30 the tour buses were already here. Still, it wasn’t crowded yet and we had a gorgeous day for this excursion. Much of the site is under restoration (sadly, the bikini girls mosaic among them) and they charge only 1/2 the regular admissions price, but it is still an intriguing and moving space and the construction activity only adds to the sense of wonder at this find and its restoration.

We headed back to Caltigironde for our planned lunch at Coria and found it almost without incident (well we did go down one street that seemed particularly perpendicular but it brought us right into the square a block from our destination and parking was available). Coria was one of our favorite stops. The restaurant is lovely and serene and a tremendous value during the week at lunch where, for €28, you can have a three course lunch added to by the best bread we had in Sicily and an amuse bouche of fresh asparagus soup with homemade ricotta that was stunningly good. This is a serious kitchen without being stuffy or pretentious and the young chefs are using the best of Sicily’s excellent ingredients to come up with innovative and personal takes on Sicilian cuisine. Highly recommend this stop and Caltigironde as a destination in general as we loved our walk, however steep, up to the cathedral and around the pretty central town.

We took the windy, if somewhat shorter way home to Fontane Bianchi, knowing the pool would help us recover from the long day and feeling very accomplished for having achieved all that was on our agenda.

Our last full day in Fontane Bianchi was spent relaxing, going back to the beach in Avola for the morning and lazing by the pool in the afternoon. We were going out for a rare dinner, having more or less cleaned out the fridge, at Agriturismo Masseria sul Mare, just a few kilometers away on the main road to Avola. This pretty B&B on the ocean is a serious farm to table contender, and for €25 we had a meal that proved their mettle. Antipasti included their own sun-dried tomatoes, grilled eggplant, spinach soufflé, homemade farm cheese, mushrooms and arancini and cod fritters, followed by homemade pasta, a salad of farm vegetables including tomatoes, and a main of farm-made sausage. Dessert was another wonderful cannoli (often dessert in Sicily) with homemade lemon and honey ricotta. Local wine accompanied this feast and all for the price of €25 a head. It was a marvelous “last supper” in this region.

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