Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ispica and Scicli

Paola took the day off to bring us around in her car. It made a world of difference as we could cover so many places in one day. She drove us to the archeological site of Parco Forza near Ispica to see the cave dwellings that were used until the 17th century.

 The Cava d'Ispica is a 12km long gorge with thousands of small caves in the walls. The caves are said to be a natural phenomenon in karst rock which have been modified by the dwellers over the centuries. They were used for habitation and as tombs. The earliest human remains are from the Neolithic era. 


Ticketing booth.
Walking towards the caves.
Capers grow wild here.
Pomegranate.
Carob tree. The seed pods of the carob are crushed and used as a chocolate alternative.
Two well cut our caves.
Loquat tree.
Used to be a church.
Wild garlic.
Another cave dwelling.
Having lunch in a cave.
The fruit from this cactus, called pricky pear, is popular here.
We spotted some prehistoric drawings of horse and men.
An old well.
Church in a cave.
Orange tree.
We stopped by a small town called Scicli which lies on a valley amidst rocky mountains. Also known as the  "baroque Jewel", its 18th century look resulted from the reconstruction that followed the earthquake of 1693.
Church building.


Enjoying 2 granitas.
Town square.
Sculptor at work.
Seedlings for sale.
Parlsey seedlings.
We stopped by the famous beach of Ragusa during sunset. A film crew was shooting a scene for a popular TV series. We managed to catch a glimpse of the actor, said to be one of the most famous in Italy.
Locals out enjoying the breeze.

 

That night, it was back to Cesco's house for dinner. He made a delicious octopus salad and pasta.
Huge octopus, boiled in water, lemon juice and bay leaves.
Octpous all chopped up and drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and lots of parsley.
Simple but delicious pasta dressed in a special Italian anchovy sauce.
 We were honoured to have the company of his mother and sister again. This time, they brought us gifts.
Gabriella made me a necklace using white seashells (to match my white hat) and gave me a book featuring Paul Gauguin's paintings.

May Ling received a necklace too.
 The next morning, we left Ragusa. Before boarding the plane to Florence, we tasted our last Sicilian favourite - a kind of pastry made with potato with minced meat stuffing.

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