Another week in and we’re still loving it here. We’ve signed the lease for our new apartment and move in on the 29th. We also booked our first trip (yay!) to Rome for Sean’s birthday. It’s such a fun feeling to be able to decide one morning to go to Rome in a couple weeks, and by the afternoon to have it all booked and for a fraction of the cost it would be from home. We leave on the 18th for Rome, and then on the 21st I’m going to NYC to visit my sister and family. Christy is graduating so we are all going out there for the week. By the time I’m home from that we will be living in our new apartment.
We had our first set of visitors this week, Natalia and Mike. Natalia and I went to college together – we were neighbors in the dorms and then lived in the same apartment complex for the remaining years. She and Mike were in London doing a photo shoot, and then spent another month or so traveling through Europe and stayed a few days with us. It was so nice to have a familiar face here.
We spent part of a day in the old city of Syracuse. Syracuse is about 2700 years old and was originally a Greek city even though it is now part of Italy, so it has a ton of Greek ruins. One of the biggest sights there is the old Greek Theater, built over 2000 years ago by slaves and prisoners. Many old plays were written for and performed in this theater, and they’ve brought back the performances now during the summers. They’re now setting it up for the performances to start next week, I can’t wait to go see one.
Natalia and Mike watching the performance from the old box seats, or maybe they were the toilets, we’re not sure.
Next to the theater are the quarries where all the stone came from. 7000 slaves worked and lived here while built the theater.
We then walked across town over to the oldest part of the city out on a small island. One thing I love about the cities here is the old mixed right in with the new.
Yesterday we went up Etna. The volcano erupts pretty frequently, the last eruption was in 2001, which is where most of what’s below came from. The colors are all so beautiful.
Luckily, hiking around in all that gave us quite an appetite. We went out to dinner at an Agriturismo last night. There seem to be lots of places here that call themselves that, so I’m not exactly sure what the qualifications are, but this one was out on a farm near Mineo. The setting is beautiful and I can imagine how lovely summer nights are there on the patio. We sat down and were immediately brought a carafe of wine that was never empty and a seemingly endless stream of plates. No menu, no question of what we wanted, they just brought us what was good. All the food was either grown there on the farm or nearby. It was all fresh and so so delicious.
This is only half of the appetizers:
A dozen plates of appetizers, two pasta dishes, two main dishes, and a dessert later, we left there with that satisfied but uncomfortably full feeling that follows Thanksgiving dinner. We will definitely be back.