I have taken three vacations in southern Sicily over the last four years. Two of them have been in Marina di Ragusa and one in the Club Med Village at nearby Kamarina – the latter barely counts because, as I mentioned in my blog article at the time, being in Club Med is like being in France, only with good weather. I’ll give you a quick overview of what I enjoyed in the sightseeing department and briefly what I enjoy the most.
Three years ago, we stayed about five blocks aways from where we stayed this summer in Marina di Ragusa. This is a seaside town that has been able to keep a charming mostly unspoiled vacation spot feel to it. The water is perfect for small kids (warm, shallow, very small waves if at all) and there is just enough activity not to get bored but not too much to get stressed out. Within less than an hour’s drive are the magnificent towns of Ragusa Ibla (with the world’s best ice cream at Gelati e Vini!) and Modica (with the world’s best chocolate at Antica Bonajuto and Don Puglisi among others). Both towns are great day trips and can be explored many times without exhausting the many churches and museums and just breath-taking scenery there is to take in. A little further, Noto has a sort of Roccoco Champs d’Elyséé down its center that is amazing. I covered a little of history of these towns recently. Then there is Syracuse and Ortygia Island which are probably worth a week-end or more in and of themselves. All that to say that from a strict sight-seeing point of view, in four to six weeks of vacations in the area, we are still discovering new things and loving to rediscover ones that we already knew.
In terms of intangibles, someone has said that Sicily is Italy concentrated. There is lots of truth to that statement because almost all of the elements are here: history, nature, beauty, coastline and mountains and mountains of pasta, veggies, pesto sauce, tomato sauce, gelati, granite, etc. When I am there, I transform into quite the little cook because I can’t wait to start cutting up eggplants, zucchini, and tomatoes and cooking them with garlic and onions. What I especially love in Marina di Ragusa where the trucks roll in from the countryside selling their fruits and veggies incredibly inexpensively in the side streets running perpendicular to the beach. I do SO love being there, it doesn’t ever seem to be long enough.
OK, back to some reading because I am preparing you guys the awesome conclusion to my whaling museum articles: a few about my current reading of Moby Dick…stay tuned…