Date: 2nd August 2018
Travelled: 146 kilometres from Piazza Armerina to Pozzallo, both in Sicily.
Visited: Driving the Baroque Towns (Lonely Planet, Italy)
Stayed: Area Ittioturismo, Pozzallo, €25 all the usual services. N36.71541, E14.82240
Our stop just down the hill from Piazza Armerina was a good one, mind you the road was a pot holed mess the Hymer did not enjoy. Once the storm pasted we found a shady spot under a tree, had a drink and relaxed. We were soon joined by 3 other motorhomes and the evening passed very quietly.
Just a quick photo as we prepare to depart the sosta. Pam has a new friend.
The Area Ittioturismo Sosta is a part hotel, part B&B and sosta. Beautifully maintained with a large pool, but the road is a shocker. I ask the proprieters son if there is another, better road out, but he tells me we came in on the good road. We recommend arrival and departure by helicopter. Anyway we had a good night and €15 is reasonable.
We plan to be in Pozzallo tonight. The Lonely Planet recommends a driving tour of what it descibes as the ‘Baroque Towns’. So from Piazza Armerina we find the SS117 we turn for the hills and valleys of south central Sicily.
Sicily is not mountainous, but it’s very hilly. The SS roads (A roads) in Sicily are generally very good. Lots of long high bridges level the road out.
Mind you…you still need to expect the unexpected.
90 minutes later we start the climb up to Chiaramonte Gulfi.
It’s a long steep climb, but now we are here the next challenge is parking.
This is my new norm ! You expect narrow streets in Italian villages, but the double parked cars make it very hard.
Double parking is an Italian art form. Generally the centre of villages have paid parking and parking police are everywhere. However they walk the street checking the times on parking tickets and write out infringements, but they seemingly ignore double parked cars.
Just out of the paid parking zone we find a safe spot and head into the centre of the village to do some exploring.
Reading the sign, it appears the water truck comes here twice a day for an hour allowing locals access to drinking water ?
Finally down in the square we find the Duomo St Mary.
A quick look inside the Duomo, very nice.
Across the piazza the memorial to the fallen, very stylised.
Must be close to festival time.
After wandering the laneways for a while, we catch a glimpse of a church higher up the hill.
After a long walk up we find the Church of St Giovanni. The view from up here is panoramic but the heat haze makes a half decent photo impossible.
So we head back to the Hymer after finding a bakery and butcher and make for our next stop, Ragusa.
As we continue up the hill out of Chiaramonte Gulfi, one corner provides a stopping spot with great view back at the town.
Ragusa is one of Sicily’s nine provincial capitals, something that we were blissfully unaware off. It has grown down either side of a steep gorge. The old town on the right, the less attractive new town on the left. As you can see they are linked by a series of bridges.
We find a parking spot on one of the bridges, no blue machines here but a pink Pam.
So we start walking for the old town. Obviously you can see the Duomo tower in the centre of the picture.
Looking across the Piazza Duomo towards the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, which was closed. Mind you, so was everything else. As we explore only a couple of bars are open, everyone has gone home for lunch and a nap.
A tourist (we consider ourselves travellers rather than tourists) asked us to take her photo in the Duomo gardens. So we asked her to do the same.
A lot of non-Hymer friendly laneways.
There are some beautiful laneways as well, its a very clean and tidy town.
Having enjoyed walking about Ragusa for an hour, we slowly make our way back to the Hymer. It’s mid afternoon as we depart Ragusa, spotting a Lidl supermarket as we do and stop for a quick shop. Just less than an hour later we roll into Pozzallo.
The sosta in Pozzallo is only 500 metres from the port and our ferry for Malta tomorrow. It has direct access to the beach, so we park in the shade of a half decent tree and go for a swim.