We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mrs. BD and I were tasked with spending the past 12 days inspecting the domain of Roger de Hauteville and his Norman descendents across the land known to the ancient Greeks as "the land of the sun," Sicily.
From the furthest western end of the isle to the furthest east, we covered all we could in the allotted time with a nice diesel Peugeot and a Garmin, touring from remote agriturismo to remote tenuta to agriturismo with many fun adventures, mishaps, annoyances, etc, along the way and mostly avoiding the tourist traps and tour buses. Still married, however, at present. Possibly the most lovely and dramatic land we have explored thus far.
I will of course assemble, in time, a photo travelogue with all sorts of travel tips and deep insights because that is my way of processing an adventure, but for tonight, just two comments.
First, I had two bottles of Marsala Dolce from Marsala itself to send to Roger to try. Sad to say, they tipped the luggage scale at Alitalia - and that would have made for some very expensive wine, so we abandoned them at the Catania Airport. I did manage to bring him a bag of Busiata Trapanese though, which I doubt can be found in America. I will tell him how to make it, country-syle.
Second, we quickly realized why the Greeks of Attica - and the Phoenicians of Palestine - were so eager to get out of their crappy places and to vie to live in Sicily. (Also why the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, the Spanish, and recently the Italians) all wanted it. For all of them, especially the Corinthians, it was like going to America. During the prime of Hellenistic civilization, Siracusa was the largest and wealthiest city in the Western world. It was NYC. Greeks moved there around 700 BC.
This rock pile in Segesta in western Sicily was built 250 years before the Parthenon. They had a large theater, too, up the hill.
A farm road outside Ragusa. We took a long morning walk down the road, saying hi to the cattle and the wheat fields and the hay fields.
Entrance to our somewhat exclusive tenuta about 30 minutes outside Ragusa:
There is nothing below the fold. I am tired and I messed up.
After a church group trip to Jerusalem last Oct, we're getting pressure to go to Sicily next year. We've never been before to Europe, and Sicily wasn't the first place we had in mind. But, we could change our minds....you're making it look tempting.