Isola Bella in the Rain

Trip Start Feb 05, 2010
Trip End May 20, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Sicily,
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All prices in Euros per person

The breakfast is great. Scrambled egg at last and triangles of cheese with white and whole grain rolls. We also enjoy cherry yogurt. Afterward, we look at a book covering Hold Week events in art in Siena. Holy Week is fresh in our minds since we just saw the musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in San Diego. I think religious art was the only way artists made money back then.

Later, we walked down to a beach (Isola Bella) which we have to ourselves. Signs warn not to rent beach items from illicit boys. Football and dogs not allowed on beach. Its very picturesque despite rain. In summer you can swim to a rocky outcropping and at low tide walk to a tiny rocky island. The adjacent beach (Mazzaro) is located between the Baia di Miazzaro and Baia (Bay) Odelle Sirene (Sirens). I dare Steve to ask the hotel receptionist where the Sirens are.

Pizza for lunch at Joli Bar. Big news in Rome is the introduction of the McItaly at McDonalds. Italian food critics were unhappy but the ministry of culture supported it. He said not everyone has the time and money for fancier slow food.

A very pretty spot with an ocean view is the Giardino Trevelyan aka Parco Duchi Di Cesaro. There are some ruins which are being fortified and held up with wood which gives us an idea of how hard it is to maintain these ancient sites. It was designed by an English woman.

Our next stop is the town's main attraction: Teatro Greco (Greek Theater). It is a horseshoe shape and build in 3rd century. Admission is 6E with an audio tour available for an extra
charge. It is used in the summer for a famous concert series and has wonderful acoustics.

Told at tourist office that there are no public toilets – you need to go to a bar or restaurant. Toilets are good when we find them. The tourist office bans bare torsos. Next to the office is a folk art museum which includes a painting of Saint Agata leading people away from an eruption of Mount Etna.

We walk downhill 200m on wide stony paths past home and hotels in equal numbers. There are cars parked everywhere and we need to watch for cars much of the time since there are few sidewalks. It must be a nuthouse in the summer. Gasoline is 5E per gallon. Today we saw our first Italians in fur coats. This is an expensive destination in-season and very popular with the wealthy.

We like the tile work here. We went to one studio with a craftsman at work. Steve likes the symmetrical patterns. My favorite were stylized trees. If were were shoppers, this would be the item to buy here. Our dinner picnic in our room includes strongly flavored olives and salami.
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