Sicily – markets

Markets are a pleasant daily (in Palermo and Catania; once or twice a week in smaller towns) occurrence with seasonal vegetables and fresh fish.

We both prefer Catania to Palermo and we enjoyed strolling around the town.20191004_093556.jpg

Les marchés sont un plaisir quotidien à Palerme et Catane (bi-/hebdomadaire dans les autres villes) avec un large choix de fruits et légumes saisonniers et poissons frais.

Nous préférons Catane à Palerme et avons déambulé dans la ville.

Sicily – churches

Sicily has, unsurprisingly, many churches and some particularly stand out, such as the Arab-Norman churches in Palermo and the cathedral of Cefalù, with their Byzantine interiors.

Sans surprise, la Sicile possède de nombreuses églises mais celles de Palerme et la cathédrale de Cefalù, de style arabo-normand et aux décors intérieurs byzantins sont particulièrement remarquables.

Valle dei templi

Despite its name, the valley of the temples actually sits on a crest between Agrigento and the sea. Built in the 5th century B.C. and listed on the Unesco World Patrimony, its Greek temples are among the best preserved of the Antiquity, although several were burnt or destroyed by the Carthaginians in 406 B.C.

This area also host a number of Girgentana goats, with corkscrew-like horns that can reach 70cm in males. This ancient breed, believed to have been brought by the Arabs in the 9th century, had almost completely disappeared when the Slow Food movement started a campaign to preserve them. There are about 500 of them now, down from 30,000 in the 1950s.

En dépit de son nom, la vallée des temples se situe sur une crête entre Agrigente et la mer. Construits au 5e siècle avant J.C et sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'humanité de l’Unesco, ses temples grecs sont parmi les mieux préservés de l’Antiquité. Ceci, bien que plusieurs d’entre eux aient été brûlés et détruits par les Carthaginois en 406 avant J.C.

Le parc abrite également quelques chèvres Girgentana, avec leurs cornes en forme de tire-bouchons pouvant atteindre jusqu’à 70cm chez les mâles. Cette race ancienne, que l’on croit introduite par les Arabes au 9e siècle, avait presque complètement disparue quand le mouvement Slow Food a lancé une campagne pour sa préservation. Il y en a maintenant à peu près 500, alors qu’il y en avait encore 30.000 dans les années cinquante.

La Sicile baroque

We met in Catania and drove down to Sicily’s south east, known for its baroque towns. Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Caltagirone and Piazza Amerina (for its wonderful Villa Casale) were among the visits. The hills, between 400 and 700m, were surprisingly cool and we even had some fog.


This was followed by a couple of nights in pretty Siracusa, returning the car and a train ride inland to get to Palermo.

Nous nous sommes retrouvés à Catane et avons loué une voiture pour nous rendre dans le sud-est de la Sicile. Les visites ont inclus les villes baroques de Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Caltagirone et Piazza Amerina, avec sa superbe villa Casald. Nous avons été surpris par la fraîcheur des villes à 400-700m d’altitude et avons même eu du brouillard.

Ensuite, nous avons passé deux nuits dans la jolie ville de Syracuse, rendu la voiture et pris le train, par l’intérieur, pour Palerme.

GTA: The end

31 August 2019

On the hike to Colla Mosse I decided to stop. I got a lift to Sanremo.

After a few days I went to Ventimiglia and walked a couple of kilometres back up the trail. Then I walked into Ventimiglia and to the sea.

I finished my hike, my way.

My phone had stopped working, so sadly I have no photos of my arrival.

It was a great hike, and I met many good people.


GTA – Accordeon

25 August 2019

In my early years in Geneva I saw a film, “La Trace”, which I enjoyed.

It tells the adventures of a man who travels from France to Italy, before they were countries, selling ribbons and buttons and sewing materials.

Somewhere in the plain in Italy he meets a German selling accordeons, and buys one.

The accordeon becomes a character in the film.

Today I stopped at Rifugio Morelli for a coffee. There on the table stood a beautiful, small accordeon.

Paolo Giraudo told me he is a carver and started making accordeons. He has made about 40.

The one I admired is not for sale; he made it for his daughter from old chestnut wood he recovered from furniture.

Today I had my Italian accordeon moment.