Friday, December 6, 2013

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli or Sicily, Italy

For our day in Sicily, Julie had booked a Godfather tour. We would be driving to the small Sicilian town where some very well-known scenes from the movie, The Godfather, were shot. After that, we had a couple of other towns on the itinerary. The first thing we noticed in Sicily was Mt. Etna, a volcano that was spewing smoke the whole time we were there. It was pretty cool.

We met up with our driver and tour guide, whose names I can't remember, and headed off to Savoca, the little town where the Godfather I scenes were shot. We made a pit stop along the way, I think so the driver could use the bathroom or something. We stopped right along the beach, so we snagged a photo, found a piece of sea glass, and ate some pastries that our guide had so kindly brought for us.

Then it was off to our first stop. Savoca is a very small town nestled into a Sicilian hillside. The road to town is steep and very windy. It's definitely off the beaten track.

Our first stop was the Bar Vitelli. If you've seen the Godfather, this needs no explanation. If you haven't seen the Godfather, then an explanation won't really help. Let's just say it's a very significant spot in the movie and looks just like it did in the film.

 After our stop at Bar Vitelli, we headed off to the church where Michael and Apollonia are married in the movie, the Chiesa di Santa Lucia. It was quite a hike up the hill from the Bar Vitelli.

After checking out the church we headed back down, following the same route the wedding party makes in the movie.

With the Godfather tour complete, we headed off to Castelmola, another little town perched on a Sicilian hillside. When I woke up on the ship that morning, I had started to feel that little scratch in the back of my throat that always tells me I'm getting a cold. As we made our way to Castelmola, I started to feel really terrible. Fortunately, I was able to really enjoy Savoca, but the rest of our time in Sicily was pretty much a blur for me.  Here's the view looking down from Castelmola. It was quite pretty. I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

And here's the main entrance/square into Castelmola.

We walked around Castelmola a bit and then headed off to Taormina, a bigger touristy city nearby. I had one main goal in Sicily and that was to eat a killer cannoli. Our guide said we could get good ones in Taormina and she would show us where to buy them. Here I am feeling terrible but ready to dig in to my delicious cannoli. It was the best cannoli I've ever had, hands down.

The rest of the afternoon was spent poking around Taormina, looking in shops, etc, etc. As we made our way back to meet our driver and head back to the ship, everyone wanted to stop for gelato. I was exhausted and had a terrible headache by that time, so I wanted nothing except to go to sleep. I sat down on a bench in a nearby square while everyone else got their gelato. Pretty soon I saw Mr. Frisby walking toward me carrying Stella, screaming, under one arm and holding two ice cream cones in the other hand. He explained that when the gelato man saw Stella, he insisted on giving her a cone of her own, free of charge. After getting the cones, Stella decided to throw a tantrum for some unknown reason, so Mr. Frisby picked her up and got out of there, thus explaining the scene I saw coming down the street. After finishing her tantrum, Stella thoroughly enjoyed her gelato.

As we drove back to the ship, my headache kicked it up a notch and by the time we got back to our room, I was ready to crash. My memory of the day is a little fuzzy, but I remember going to sleep immediately. I believe Stella had a nap, too. Or maybe Mr. Frisby just went somewhere with her. Anyway, I remember waking up as Mr. Frisby was heading to dinner with Stella. I felt much better after my nap, but opted to stay in our room and order room service. While eating, I watched several documentary clips about our ship and how it worked. It was quite fascinating. It was really too bad that I wasn't able to enjoy Sicily more, but I guess it just means I'll have to go back. At least I was able to enjoy the Godfather Tour and that cannoli pretty much gave my life meaning, so it all worked out in the end. Sicily was a success!

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