We rented a car for a week long driving tour of the island. Driving in Sicily is never dull!

(Click on any of the photos below to see the larger version.)


This is the map of our entire trip. Red is by air, blue by boat, black by train, and purple by car or bus.

We spent our first and last Sicilian nights in Catania. This is the view from our hotel window.


We made a short stop in the town of Augusta, the birthplace of Raina's grandparents. Here we are delighted to find a free parking space! Oh, yeah, nice gate, too.

From Augusta we went on to Sircusa. The old part of town is on a well defended island facing the Ionian Sea.


A short walk from our hotel is this theater, a relic of Magna Graecia, still being used for dramatic performances.

Independent travel requires careful planning. Frequent snack breaks, too.


And what trip would be complete without finding a statue of a famous mathematician or scientist? Here, I'm hanging out with my old friend, Archimedes, in his home town.

From Sircusa we drove to Agrigento. This is our hotel's garden, with the Valley of the Temples in the distance.


This is the panoramic view from deck of our hotel room.

The Temple of Concordia is one of the best preserved greek temples in the world. Those guys were good with rock.


All around the temples were modern bronze sculptures on the theme of Icarus. It made for a lovely contrast.

Poppies grow among the tumbled ruins of the Temple of Zeus.


After a harrowing drive into the maze of one-way streets that is downtown Palermo, a little rest is in order.

Just across the street from our hotel was this piazza and fontana, dubbed the "Fountain of Shame" by locals offended by a bit too much nudity.


From gritty Palermo we drove east along the coast to the beautiful white sand beaches of Cefalu. Our hotel room comped us two beach chairs and an umbrella. Ahhhh...

A bar just off the beach takes advantage of the nearby staircase. By evening this was filled with lounging patrons.


Our Cefalu hotel room featured this wonderfully incomprehensible shower. Didn't I see one of these in a Woody Allen film?

Sunset in Cefalu.


On our way back to Catania, we stopped in Taormina, an ancient and utterly charming hill town. Tres chic.

The Greek Theater of Taormina. Nice backdrop. On a clear day Mt. Etna would be visible in the distance.


Say hello to Trinacria, the official mascot of Sicilia. Head of a Gorgon plus three legs. What's not to like?

After one last night in Catania, we drove back to the airport and turned in our rental car (whew!). Now we're waiting in front of virtual Taormina for the bus to take us to the station to catch the train to Messina.


A less-than-exciting four hour wait in the parking lot of the ferry dock at least provided a lovely sunset over Messina.

At last, our ship comes in. They build ferries big in Sicily! This one carried dozens of huge trucks, and also provided staterooms for an overnight trip to the Amalfi Coast.