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Trip Report One day cruise stop Catania Sicily Trip Report

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Second Italian Port Catania Sicily

As I mentioned in my previous post our cruise diverted from three nights in Israel so Sicily was the first of the unscheduled ports of call.

I had done some research on Sicily a couple of years ago just to see if it might be a good place for a future trip. All I could remember was it seemed like a good possibility and it had some interesting archaeological sites as well. This seemed like a good opportunity to some serious feet on the ground research.

We really had no idea what Catania is like. When we got off the dock area a traffic cop pointed to the left and said you want to go about 300 meters that way to get to the old town. So off we went. We essentially followed the raised and vaulted railway wall until we found the entrance to the town square . What a surprise. This isn’t anything like Rome Sorrento or Naples. The buildings were large and grand. The main thoroughfare was wide where we entered at the main square. Everything looked in remarkable repair and everything is the same gray colour.

We found out later that the entire part of the old city was rebuilt in the Baroque style after an earthquake in the 1690’s using lava as the building material.

We just walked up the main thoroughfare snapping pictures and enjoying it all and walked up to see the amphitheater.

It was at this point that we all decided our touring styles were so different that we had to set some new ground rules. We love exploring a new place while the other couple love to shop. No value judgement here just stating a fact. We agreed to go our own ways and meet back at the ship.

I heard someone talking about a local market so we wandered back towards the main square and found it although it was now closing and in clean up mode. However there appeared to be sufficinet activity to make it interesting so we wandered in. We wished we could have seen it in full swing because even now the whole area showed great promise and gave us a flavour of what it must have been like when it was open. The market area covers several city blocks so we wandered around until we found a fortress in the middle of nowhere. It is Castello Ursino and it was hosting a Chagall exhibit so we took in some culture. So unlike us!

We returned to the ship and added Sicily to our list of places where we need to return to explore in depth.

This cruise with its daily stops does not give enough time to really do much but it certainly is a good way to scout out future trips.

Images of Catania
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157661708265665

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