Italy
Piazza Unione Europea

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  • Day365

    Day 366: South to Sicily

    February 15, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Our one-year anniversary of this trip, and we passed it appropriately enough - on the road! Hard to believe that 12 months ago we stepped off a plane in Madrid, worrying about our dog and wondering what the future held for us! At that point we had basically zero plans for the future other than meeting up with people when they made it to the UK later in the year.

    Side note - I realise this claims to be day 366, while the FindPenguins numbering calls it day 365. The app's numbering is correct, I accidentally doubled-up a day on our second stint through London (the one in July) and fixing it is just way too hard. Oh well!

    We got up quite early, around 7am, shivered our way through breakfast and then hit the road back towards Naples. Fairly long 2.5 hour drive, but mostly on the freeway so not much exciting happened. Made the car rental return place by 11am where we had no problems dropping the car off. It still stunk of cigarettes after a week, but otherwise it's been fine.

    Onto the shuttle bus back into town where we made it in plenty of time for our train south. Here in Italy the long-distance trains come in three varieties: Frecia Rossa (Red), Argent (Silver), and Bianca (white). Ours was a white, indicating the cheapest and least luxurious, but it's still a mile above the typical regional trains we've had through most of Italy. This train had started in Milan and was going all the way to the southern tip of Italy so was quite crowded.

    We'd tried the travel hack of booking diagonally opposite seats, hoping that nobody would take either of the other two in the four, but when we boarded there was already a guy sitting in one of the seats. Oh well. In went the headphones and the train chuntered off south through Campania and then Calabria.

    Four hours later we hopped off the train in Pizzaro San Giovanni, right next to the wharf where ferries run continuously between the mainland and Sicily. Although there was a boat right there being loaded, we were told the next boat was at 5:30pm, an hour from now. Nothing to do but sit and wait in this little outpost of civilisation, watching the trucks roll past onto boats.

    Finally the time rolled around and we were able to board - quite a few people on as well! The journey across the straight was only about 20 minutes and very flat & calm, it's surprising how close Sicily is at this point. No wonder the Roman empire fought so hard for it over the centuries!

    It was nearly dark when we disembarked, but thankfully our accommodation for the night was right nearby - about halfway between the port and the train station where we'll be leaving from in the morning. Headed out for a short wander, where we found a really good burger place. I ordered a burger with double meat, tomatoes, bacon, fried melanzane cheese and a serve of fries on the side - defeated! Couldn't finish a burger for the first time basically ever. Very tasty though.

    Headed home and didn't get much chance to look around the city, but there doesn't seem to be much here anyway. Oh well, onwards!
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Piazza Unione Europea

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