Day 6 - Thr 18 Oct 07
Awoken at 04:00 by the night porter telling me that he's just order the taxi. The phone was so LOUD it must have woken the entire hotel! Left at just after 05:00 and got the airport in just twenty minutes. Check in was easy, once I'd found the right queue. There are two flights to Catania today one goes onward to Heathrow and the other to Gatwick.
The flight was short lasting only 25 minutes. Got out of the airport quickly, but had to wait about an hour to get the bus to Syracuse, and it took an ages to get there due to an accident and road works. Walked down to the car rental place from the bus stop and collected my little Fiat before heading off into the chaotic traffic.
My plan was to drive up to see Etna, but a) there's a huge queue of traffic at the road works, b) I saw Etna from the plane on the way in and it was covered in cloud. So decided to head into the centre of the island. On the way out of town I spot a Carrefour so stop off and stock up on food.
I climb and climb into the hills and some of the towns and villages are beautiful, clinging onto the side of the hill and wrapped in cloud. By later afternoon I stop at Villa Romana del Casale a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can see why. It has room after room of mosaic floors, all in very good nick. There's even one depicting girls doing keep fit.
I ended up staying in a converted convent in Piazza Armerina. The streets here are so narrow and I had lots of fun trying to park the car near to the hotel. It took me four goes to get the right road in the one way system. I ended up in two dead end roads that I had to reverse out of.
After a quick shower it was out to see the town. They have a massive cathedral here that's on top of the hill, so it can be seen for miles around. It was well after dark by the time I'd finished walking tour that the very helpful tourist information lady had plotted out for me.
Piazza Armerina is too cool for school, you could spend ages just wandering around the old town.