Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One last escape before class started...

Sunday was my last free weekend day before the start of class. Originally we were going to go to the beach, but decided at the last minute to just head down to Ragusa to do some shopping because we slept in so late.

We left the house after breakfast but forgot to make coffee. It wasn't long before the effects of no caffiene were starting to affect us. I was just groggy, Les had the start of a headache. We decided to stop in Grammichele for a quick caffe but when we arrived it was practically a ghost town. It was a Sunday, after all, and during riposo. We stopped at one coffee bar that had tables and chairs outside and a small handful of people hanging around, but sadly, it was also closed, so we got back in the car and kept driving.

As we neared Ragusa Les' headache had worsened a few notches. We neared a gas station but Les said he'd rather have mall coffee than gas station coffee so we kept driving, thinking we were almost to our destination. It was a bit farther than we remembered. We passed a second gas station, opting again not to stop because we were almost there. Ok, this time we were close. Another mile or so and we pulled off of the highway and into the mall parking lot. We found another ghost town, the parking lot was completely empty. Now, I know a lot of businesses in Italy are closed on Sundays by we had been to this mall before on Sundays and it was always open. Apparently, not anymore.

Now our moods were starting to head south. Les was getting snappy and I was starting to get a headache. We headed to the other mall in Ragusa, a few miles away. When we arrived we were given false hope because there were a few cars in the parking lot. Sadly, this mall was also all locked up! I guess we won't be shopping in Ragusa anymore on Sundays. :-(

We continued driving into the older section of Ragusa, hoping to find a bar and coffee. We parked the car in Ragusa Ibla (the old section) near a ristorante that looked open. We walked around for a few minutes looking for a bar but seeing none open we headed to the ristorante. It was open but not aperto (open for business). I pleadingly asked the man inside who was watching tv if we could just get a coffee and he said "no, mi dispiace" (i'm sorry). Yeah right. I left before I said a few choice words. I was really irritated because he was doing NOTHING! and the espresso machine was right there! ARGHHH!

So, we walked around for a few more minutes, I took a couple of pictures, but wasn't really feeling creative with a screaming caffeine headache and a moody husband.

An old building in Ragusa Ibla

We walked back to the car, looked at the clock and noticed that riposo was almost over. We decided to drive to Modica (famous for their chocolates) and see if maybe we could find coffee there. 9km later we hit the jackpot! After a caffe freddo and a gelato en brioche our moods improved significantly. Any trip that includes a gelato en brioche is not a waste!

After our delicious snack I meandered around a bit and took a few pictures.

An intriguing little ally in Modica, I think I may need to try that pizzeria on our next trip.

Now that we had spent most of the afternoon in search of coffee we were unsure as to what to do next. Everything else was still closed. We decided to head back home. On our way out of Modica I saw a sign for a panoramico and asked Les to turn around so we could go check out the view. We were rewarded with an awesome view of Modica.

A big beautiful church in Modica that I didn't even know was there (something else to check out on our next visit).

A wide-angle panoramic view of Modica

Lovers' Locks on the railing of the panoramico

An old vine-covered building

The other massive church in Modica, and this one is small compared to the other one!

Les, taking in the view

As we were driving back, Les decided to take the road home through Caltagirone rather than through Grammichele. He asked if I wanted to stop anywhere and I said that I'd like to check out the park and gardens. We didn't find the gardens but we did stumble upon this palace/museum. The exterior was gorgeous! The surrounding gardens were unkept, but looked as though they were once spectacular.

Villa Patti

These stone benches were in the courtyard behind the Villa Patti.

I love the cushion texture in the stone

The museum was free so we went in and looked around. There were several ancient pieces that had been found around Caltagirone and upstairs there were displays of more recent art pieces including photography and unique ceramics that looked like wood. Very cool.

So, that was the end of our day. I need to go back and spend more time in Catagirone. It is really close to home and has a lot of beautiful places to visit. Next time I will go to the park/gardens, even if I have to go by myself. I think I know where they are now :)

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1 comment:

Sheena said...

wow, that is a breathtaking view!