Catania is not pretty. It's kind of grungy. Some parts are lovely and clean but mostly it's just dirty...and a little stinky. But that's ok. I appreciate it for what it is.
Despite it's lack of shining, sparkling side-walks, Catania will always hold a special little place in my heart. It will forever be the place where Ben and I started our journey, road tripping across Sicily. It's where we sat in the square drinking pleasantly tart limoncello in the hot afternoon sun, where I bought my cute leaf ring and where we had gelato for lunch. Two serves. It's where we explored the raucous morning market and stocked up on sweet Summer peaches and melon for the car trip. It's special to me, dirty, grungy Catania.
The morning market is a vibrant sight. Shopping amongst locals was a real highlight.
Gran Moritz gelato...you should definitely do this.
It's always nice to enter the evening in a limoncello, sun-kissed daze. We lazed before a lovely dinner date at Restaurant Metro.
Tuna carpaccio and whole fish were highlights.
Cipollini at Bar Sgroi. These soft pastries filled with onion, ham and tomato were essentially a pizza danish. Entirely indulgent.
Gelato in brioche is an acceptable breakfast in Sicily. It'd be rude not to...
After a day of wandering and walking and walking, we then walked some more to collect our hire car. We reluctantly passed on a romantic, old, red mini Fiat and went with a sensible Nissan, which we named Laine (after Elaine Benes). Note, it took us an hour to get out of the city, a task which local drivers would complete in about 10 minutes. One way streets, that's all I have to say.
Our next stop was Ortygia. My beloved Ortygia...
Length of stay: 1 night. We were happy we hadn't planned on staying longer, there is more beauty to be seen in Sicily, in my opinion.
Accommodation: Il Principe and we were thrilled with the location, cleanliness and price.
Highlights: exploring a new, fairly un-tourist friendly city. Gelato for breakfast and lunch. Shopping at the morning market. Starting our Sicilian journey...