Italy
Centro - S. Cristoforo

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    • Day 9

      Catania

      May 22, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Die letzten drei Tage waren wir nun in Catania, die Stadt in der es auch los ging. Nach einer gemütlichen Fahrt am Montag mit dem Pullman 🚌, konnten wir auch gleich gegen 12 Uhr unsere Unterkunft beziehen.
      Dann hieß es gleich auf kleine Entdeckungstour bzw. am Supermarkt vorbei und erstmal ne kleine Stärke zu Hause zu uns genommen. Danach ging es dann auf die erste Tour bei der wir schon einige Sachen entdecken konnten. Mit einigen Sehenswürdigkeiten und dem außergewöhnlichsten Friedhof den ich jemals gesehen habe. Wie eine kleine Stadt mit rießen Gruften. Irre.
      Dienstag wollten wir eigentlich in ein Museum zur Befreiung vom Nationalsozialismus, aber hier kamen uns Schulklassen zuvor und wir wollten die Wartezeit anders überbrücken, was wir auch getan haben. Leider kamen wir dann doch nicht mehr ins Museum. Dafür ging es über einen Markt und es gab frisch gepressten sizilianischen Orangensaft. Sehr gut 🤤
      Dann wollten wie noch eine Tour für Mittwoch zum Ätna buchen, nur war diese leider ausgebucht, waren wir wohl zu spät. 🤷‍♂️😅
      Nach einigen hin und her, haben wir uns entschlossen ein Mietwagen zu buchen, da dies die billigste und beste Lösung am Schluss war. 🚗🌋

      Am Abend sind wir dann noch in ein Restaurant um die Ecke bei uns, in der es die beste Pasta alla Norma geben soll und sie war wirklich super. Jamie Oliver hatte auch schon mit der netten Nonna gekocht. 🍝
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    • Day 56

      Exploring the East Coast

      August 24, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      We spent two nights in Catania, and after finding an amazing pizzeria, with pizzas that didn't even fit on the plate, we finally managed to get our first undisturbed night of sleep in five days! Well almost undisturbed, we were woken at 7.30am by several incredibly loud booming noises. Disconcerting at the best of times, incredibly so at the foot of an active volcano. Having Googled "loud booming noise in Catania" I was partially reassured by the response that it might be the volcano, but more likely it was something to do with a religious event. This was confirmed later in the day when we accidentally joined a massive crowd in the main square at the start of a parade for Saint Agata (the patron of Catania).

      The next day we set off again, this time to a bay near a town, just south of Catania, called Brucoli. With, very little wind and a calm sea, we could finally get the paddle-board and drone out and just enjoy life at anchor!

      With the weather due to turn in the next few days we decided to head to the security of another marina for a few nights, this time in Augusta. Despite just being a normal town between the tourist hot spots of Syracuse and Catania, Augusta has a disproportionately large marina, apparently this is probably a consequence of Mafia activity (a local council will be "encouraged" to build a large structure because someone with friends in high places has a construction or cement company that would benefit from having a bit more work). This did work in our favour as they had so many free berths that we could moor side-on to the pontoon (still more natural to us as Brits than med mooring!)

      Although not somewhere we had originally planned to stop, we lucked out and arrived during a week of festivities, starting with a singing talent show held in the town square our first evening (it turns out the youth of Augusta are a talented bunch!) and of course another parade for the local patron saint. I also experienced a true Sicilian breakfast, granita (halfway between a sorbet and a gelato) with brioche. As someone with a sweet tooth, who is rather partial to "breakfast biscuits", I felt like I was amongst kindred spirits.

      The forecasted storms arrived with a rather spectacular show of lightning over the headland. The following day, having become a little bored of Augusta we unfolded our bikes and decided to explore the coastline by land. Having heard horror stories of boats losing all electrical power (including the ability to turn on the engine) we watched with incredulity as the French boat that had been behind us in the marina for the last few days set off and sailed directly into the lightning storm over Catania. Clearly, after a while the thrill of sailing loses its edge and people have to get their kicks in more extreme ways, or the French are crazy!

      Watching the rain sweep towards us we decided we better head back to the boat. Unfortunately, we weren't quick enough to outrun it and learnt the hard way that folding bikes are not built to be cycled on slick post-heatwave roads, as we performed an impressively synchronised slide out down a rather wet hill! Luckily we weren't going very fast and there was no other traffic, so apart from some small patches of road rash and some slightly grubby clothes we were no worse for wear.

      Sadly for Sam things only got worse when a suspected dodgy mussel from lunchtime caught up with him overnight. After putting the lavac toilet through its paces he needed a couple of days to recover so we stayed on in Augusta before heading back down to Syracuse to meet our next guests.
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    • Day 83

      Sizilien

      November 3, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Gesund und müde in Catania gelandet und nun hoffe ich dass die angesagte regenfront nicht hier ankommt🙏😅

      Konnte meine geliebte Insel stromboli aus der Ferne schon sehen, leider fährt wegen des Windes das Boot nicht, ich hoffe auf morgen frühRead more

    • Day 8

      Sightseeing

      August 21, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Nachdem ich mich gestern erst eine Stunde im Fitness Studio und dann eine Stunde im Meer ausgetobt habe,stand heute eine Kulturrunde auf dem Programm. Vorweg: in fast 7 Stunden Fahrzeit sind wir 300 km vorangekommen. Zuerst ging es quer über die Insel zum Alcantara Fluss. Ich weiss nicht genau,warum,aber außer uns hatten ca.8000 Italiener die gleiche Idee. Gefühlte 500 Stufen ging es hinunter zum Fluss, den man leider aufgrund der Menschenmassen kaum erkennen konnte. Das Wasser hatte sicher nicht mehr als 15°, und das bei ca 32° Aussentemperatur. Wir haben es nur kurz ausgehalten, und sind dann tapfer die Stufen wieder rauf geklettert.
      Bei der Fahrt durch die Insel hatten wir einen grandiosen Blick auf den Etna,der sich majestätisch erhebt und still und leise Rauchwolken in den Himmel bläst.
      Beeindruckend und gleichzeitig beängstigend.
      Weiter gings nach Taormina und nach Catania,zwei herrliche Küstenstädte.
      Zurück im Hotel,sind wir noch kurz in den Pool gehüpft. Für morgen ist erst mal Ausschlafen angesagt😉🙈
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    • Day 16

      Catania Tag 2

      January 17, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Kurze Shopping runde, es paar Andenken auf Sizilien einsammeln. Und dann geht's Morgen weiter. Ach ja und Find your inner balance und so, atme, spühre dich, scha na na na, ole,ole, shawasanananana.... Und tralala. Sizilien ist nur einmal im JahrRead more

    • Day 14

      Catania - Fischmarkt

      March 15 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Uiuiuiuiuiiiii.... was für ein Tag heute💗.
      Nach einer kurzen Nacht (Italiener hatten auf dem Platz Geburtstag bis Mitternacht gefeiert - der 🐓krähte morgens um 6 Uhr und die Lkws und Flugzeuge taten ihres dazu) machten wir uns gegen 10:30 Uhr zu Fuß auf ins Centro, auf den Fischmarkt.
      Erst loste uns das Handy-Navi in die falsche Richtung. Wir beschlossen, uns durchzufragen.
      Eine Katastrophe an der sehr stark befahrenen Hauptstraße entlang.
      Schmutz, Glasscherben, ein Blick in die Hintergassen, wo sich Müllberge türmen.
      Wir waren genervt und gestresst von diesem Verkehr und Dreck.

      Also, hier vom Tor raus, dann RECHTS, an der Tankstelle vorbei und immer strenge geradeaus. Dann kommt man an den Busbahnhof und durch den Park durch, erkennt man bereits die Stände.
      Was für ein Treiben, diese Geräuschkulisse, Autos fahren, Roller hupen...
      Welche Reizüberflutung😲.

      Irgendwo in einer kleinen Seitenstraße wollte Agathe kurz Kaffee trinken und die Hundies zur Ruhe kommen lassen.
      Den Ätna immer im Hintergrund 🏔️

      Oh-mein-Gott🙏Nach 2 Limocellos brachten wir Catania zum swingen🎼🎶🎵. Der Chefkellner legte einen Lautsprecher mit Musik auf UNSEREN Tisch.
      Wir kamen schnell mit anderen Touris ins Gespräch. Ja, Alkohol lockert die Zunge😆😂 und die Stimmung.
      2 Mädels, 1 aus Italien, 1 aus Thailand, beide sprachen deutsch (1 lebte in D., die andere noch immer in NRW) waren auch so locker drauf, dass wir uns kurzerhand zu ihnen an den Tisch setzten.
      Soooooo schöne Begegnungen.... auch hier wurden wir für den Fußmarsch wieder belohnt 💗🍋🎼
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    • Day 48

      Arrivederci Marina di Ragusa

      August 16, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Having arrived back in Marina di Ragusa we finally introduced Sam's parents to Odyssee. During the drive back we had decided to remain undecided on whether to head round to Syracuse with Helen and Steve on board. Steve (who had previous experience sailing around Sicily) was incredibly keen on the idea but the rest of us had some reservations. It was our first proper trip heading somewhere new and unfamiliar on a boat that had only just been fixed, with a forecast for more wind than we had previously encountered. It would also be the first time that we would be anchoring out overnight. There was also the responsibility of having guests (and important guests!) on board should anything go wrong.

      Unfortunately, we hadn't factored in that it may not be our decision, and our hand was forced by the fact that the marina no longer had any spare berths available over that weekend due to a mass Maltese invasion. So we began preparing the boat ready to leave. After a slight panic over the fact our GPS and instruments for detecting water depth, wind strength and boat speed wouldn't turn on, Sam figured out that the problem was related to the new USB sockets we'd asked the electrician to fit, which were earthed into the instrument plate causing too much resistance. With these disconnected again we were up and running, and ready to go.

      The Maltese (or more specifically boat-owning Maltese) are rather frustrating neighbours to share a pontoon with due to a love of loud conversation and even louder music at all hours of the night (although never a full song, no song seems to get past a minute before being skipped to the next) so after a not so restful "early night" we bid farewell to Bill and Nancy and headed off to sea.

      The day started well with gentle winds gradually building to perfect sailing conditions and we made good time. Unfortunately, a series of small challenging experiences (including a terrifying temporary loss of steering due to the unexpected activation of the autopilot) led to us all feeling rather stressed and drained by the end of the day (apart from Steve, ever the optimist, who declared it a great day of sailing 😂).

      Having reached the anchorage in Portopalo we started to relax slightly, despite the winds picking up even more than forecast to near gale force (even managing a couple of games of Perudo, which Helen either has spectacular beginners' luck in, or is a secret grand master). We were fairly confident our anchor would hold and we had an anchor alarm set that would alert us if the boat started drifting. Unfortunately, we weren't alone in the anchorage and having watched a Maltese boat drag anchor past us we were slightly horrified to watch as they lifted anchor and reset it directly up-wind of us. Luckily the wind dropped down at around 1am so after a few shifts of anchor watch we all managed to get a few hours of sleep.

      In the morning we woke to an absolute millpond, which gave no indication of the stress of the night before. We took the opportunity to go for a swim before setting off for leg two of our trip to Syracuse. After a much more relaxing sail we reached our next anchorage in Syracuse Bay but with the wind starting to pick up again and a temperamental dinghy engine Helen and Steve decided to head back to land earlier than planned, while it was still light and Sam had a chance of rowing back to the boat when the engine inevitably cut out.

      Monday was another windy day and the marina in Syracuse was also full so unfortunately we weren't able to leave the boat and spend a final day with Helen and Steve, but Syracuse did very considerately bring some shared entertainment to us. Helen and Steve joined a parade on shore to celebrate the local patron saint and then informed us that the parade (complete with priest and ancient relics) would be continuing out into the marina.

      After another rather sleepless night we decided to move on from Syracuse to Catania (where we'd finally managed to book a berth in a marina for a few nights) and sailing towards the port we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the city with Mount Etna looming up behind it!
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    • Day 78

      Catania, We Have Returned

      June 10, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      We sadly bid farewell to Taormina before making our way to Catania for our flight home tomorrow. Even the Taormina train station was stunning with its beautifully painted ceiling and archeological displays. We have absolutely loved our time her in Taormina and it was the perfect place to spend the last few days of our time away. It was hard leaving.

      We have been to Catania previously and are looking forward to our last afternoon in Sicily. Our hotel room is lovely with an amazing view of the Duomo and the elephant statue I love so much. Sadly it is being repaired so is surrounded by scaffold etc. I can still see a glimpse of his cute face though.

      Our motel room is in the Piazza del Duomo and the view of the Duomo, the Cattedrale di Sant'Agata from our balcony is stunning. The church has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt after earthquakes that have occurred over time. The first building dates back to 1086 and was built over baths that date back to Roman times. The original water for the baths is still evident and runs beneath a nearby fountain.

      We couldn’t get out of our room fast enough though, ready to soak in the bits of Catania we loved last time. With the fish markets just nearby we wandered through, trying very hard not to get covered in fish juice. From there are the fruit and veg markets and they have changed since we were last here. Now the streets are covered with brightly covered umbrellas and amongst the market stalls are more cafes and restaurants. With the old graffitied buildings surrounding the area, it is quite a contrast of the brightly coloured umbrellas and the gritty streets of Catania below. I’m not sure if they are there to distract from the streets and disguise or want to create a place to be photographed and visit. We certainly took a few photos.
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    • Day 20

      Catanian Street Food

      January 9, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 63 °F

      As part of our tour, we stopped for a typical Catanian handheld meal. Arancino is a fried rice ball that features meat, tomatoes and cheese. The shape is meant to represent Mt Etna. It was tasty and very filling, a true meal on the go.Read more

    • Day 42

      Catania

      March 1 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Wir werden früh wach und die Sonne scheint. Wir gehen raus, denn wir haben den schönsten Blick auf den Ätna, incl Mond im Hintergrund.
      Es raucht leicht aus dem Berg, die Ebenen wurden über Nacht mit einer leichten Schneeschicht bedeckt.

      Ein schöner Anblick.

      Wir gehen nach dem Frühstück nochmal in Richtung 🗻, aber es ist steil und so gegen wir nur fast bis zur ersten Seilbahnstation. Kleine Schneefelder wechseln sich ab mit Geröll.

      Dennoch ist es beeindruckend die Menge an Gestein zu sehen. Auch auf der Fahrt hinunter sieht man die Ausmaße wie weit das Gestein geflogen sein muss und man kann sich nicht ausmalen welche Gewalt hier wirken.

      In übrigen ist der Vulkan in Dez. 2023 bis zu 6000 m hohe Fontänen.

      Es geht runter an die Küste, mit hunderten kleinen Kurven. Frag mal Chester 😜🤢

      Wir benötigen eine Gasflasche und daher geht es in eine kleine Stadt, aber es wird schnell zu eng und wir müssen weiterfahren.
      Bald aber finden wir einen Bombole de Gas Händler und zahlen nur 16.50 € für die getauschte Flasche. Rekord 🥳

      Es geht nach Catania, auf einen großen Stellplatz. Hier werden wir wohl 1-2 Tage bleiben und die Sonne genießen, wofür wir ja auch hergefahren sind. 🫠
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Centro - S. Cristoforo, Prima Circoscrizione

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