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... your food choices. Choose whatever Sicilian bottle that strikes your fancy, confident that: 1) it will not be more than $25, more likely $15-$20; 2) it will be delicious; and 3) the restaurant's markup will be about $5. Feeling flush? Why not splurge on something imported, maybe something from Italy. You might pay $40 or $50 for something really special. Guess what the restaurant's take is. About $5.
... independence thing and spur-of-the-moment decision-making do provide a different kind of freedom in travel.
Our car is a Lancia Ypsilon. Twelve-hundred cc's of brute power (just don't turn on the AC if you want to make it up the next hill). Not nearly as much fun to drive as the equally under-powered Fiat Punto we rented in Tuscany way back in 1998 (it had ...
... the hotel just magically show up. Just point and click. Google knows everything about us. Sure hope Google and Santa Clause don't compare notes.
After settling in to our room we went out to stroll the island and to find something to eat.
Ortigia is heavily influenced by tourism, but for some reason I found it quite charming rather than tacky like many other tourism-dominated towns. Part of it was, I think, a true local artist ...
... wealthy Benedictine monastery of Catania figured out what was happening in time to enlist enough of the townspeople to build a diversion wall around the monastery which protected it from destruction. How is it possible they were able to save their building but not the 12,000 poor souls who perished in what must have been hell on earth? Perhaps a little monk-ey business. Anyway, the monks probably got what was coming to them when they were ...
... evening, making it nice for long walks.
I have enjoyed taking part in the Sicilian way of life. I cannot believe at how lucky the Italians are when it comes to fresh produce, and how cheap it is. The peaches, nectarines and apricots are amazing and for under $2 a kilo. I even saw peaches the other day, freshly picked for 80 cents a kilo. And you dont have to look far for a fruit stall as they are on nearly every street corner. I have loved being able to eat so much fresh fruit.