From Zürich (Switzerland) to Sicily (Italy) 22.04.05.-19.05.2005. Through Lugano-Como-Bergamo-Verona-Vicenza-Padova-Ravenna-Rimini-Ancona to Pescara. After Pescara the river "Sangro" comes down out of the Abruzze mountains. I followed this river to get on the other side of Italy. Further through Napoli-Amalfi,down the coast of Calabry to Messina (Sicily) -Siracuse-Agrigento-Marsala-Trapani-to Palermo. (the capital of Sicily) Total kilometre 2731

22.04.05-Friday Bremgarten - Bellinzona 78.15 km

My trip to Sicily began on the 22nd of April 2005. It was nice biking weather and I took off at 9am toward Brunnen in order to catch the train there for Leventina. At this time of year the Gotthard pass is closed and by taking the train I was able to avoid the "Axen.- Strasse" (along the lake) which is a road I don't like to ride (dangerous).

I took the bike path through the Reuss valley to Zug along the Zugersee (Lake Zug) then via Arth-Goldau and Lauerz to Brunnen. From there I took the train to Biasca, then cycled on to Bellinzona.

During dinner I had an encounter which would have been impossible to imagine in the youth-hostel, a mother and her child, who was taking its first steps, together with the grandmother and great-grandmother (the latter in top form mentally) - a four-generation family, nice to see that this is possible today.




          Lake Zug (Zugersee)         Preparation is important               Inner Swiss Alps



                 Lake Lauerzer (Zugersee)                           Bellinzona

23.04.05-Saturday Bellinzona - Bergamo 129.50 km

In Cantone I cycle on the old road with a hard shoulder on the almost empty road where the ascent to the Monte Ceneri begins, about 350 meters, before heading downhill to Lugano. Because I arrived in Como so early I decided to ride further on to Bergamo.

I got there at 6 pm and after a shower in the youth hostel, I went out for dinner.

              Monte Ceneri               Villa in Brevio        Brevio and the Adda River

24.04.05-Sunday Bergamo - Verona 139.61 km

After half an hour I had to put on my rain gear, fortunately only for about 3 hours. The route went south along the Gardasee (Lake Garda) to Verona.

The youth hostel is located in an old castle and there are many really nice frescos on the walls. Verona is a beautiful town with nice buildings around which the Adige River snakes its way along. Here you could easily take a vacation for a few days.



Verona and the Adige River which comes from Brenner and flows in the Adriatic at Chiogogia

Verona is famous for its Middleage character and amphitheater

5.04.05-Monday Verona - Vicenza 55.37 km

It rained constantly until shortly before Vicenza. For a while anyway, that was the last drop that came from the sky. I'm not sure which city is more beautiful, Verona or Vicenza - I liked both of them a lot.

I actually wanted to go to Venice the next day and do some sightseeing, but when I was pre-booking my lodging I learned that no bicycles are allowed in the city. You have to leave your bicycle in Mestre (a suburb of Venice) and go into the city by public transportation. Since I didn't want to leave my bike and saddle bags unattended for 2 days I decided to save Venice for another trip and chose to go on south along the Adriatic coast via Padova and Ravenna the next day.

Since today's tour was only 55 km I had the whole afternoon to bum around town and try out the Italian cuisine -including a "quattro di Vino" of course!

Verona is famous for its Middleage character and amphitheater

The uncompleted "Olympic theater", a covered amphitheater

26.04.05-Tuesday Vicenza - Codigoro (50 km from Ravenna) 134.44 km

For quite a while I wasn't happy with the sound of my bike chain and finally determined that it had to be replaced. I bought a new one in Padova and fitted it on, then drove on further along the Adriatic to Ghioggia, a harbor town with lots of canals and ships. Since the place agreed with me, I stayed for lunch. After a short stroll around, I enjoyed a cappuccino on a sunny terrace.

In Cordigoro I found a hotel whose owner had been in Hamburg for several years. His German was really good. In the evening he brought me a "quattro di vino" for 1Euro - a table wine, but very drinkable!

Chioggia looks similar to Venice with canals, stairways, situated on the south side of the Vèneta Lagoon

By ferry one can travel to Venice via various islands


Lido di Sàvio

27.04.05-Wednesday Cordigoro - Cesenatico 105.50 km

I wasn't satisfied with the gears on my bike. In 5th & 6th gear I always had problems. I couldn't avoid replacing the cassette either. Fortunately Ravenna is big enough to find a good bicycle shop and for 21 Euro and a few minutes time the guy installed a new cassette. Now everything was running perfectly!

After Ravenna it'll be very difficult to find the way as bikes are prohibited on part of the SS16. Preferably I ride across country rather than on the "superstrada", as the Italians call their fast roads. The problem is that there is no alternative. A local showed me a few short-cuts (I had to use the freeway for about 50 meters !) and then it went on, legally, to Cérvia.

One notices that preparations are being made for the coming "season". Some of the terraces are open and a few people are walking around in bathing suits and bikinis. Only the "all-year" campgrounds are open, however, in Cesenatico there is a youth hostel. This is a nice town where the super bike-profi, Pantani, lived. On a canal in the pedestrian zone was his favourite café/bar, and his racing bike and T-shirt were hanging on the wall.

The advantage of travelling alone is the quick contact one has, both with locals and tourists. No sooner had I sat down on a terrace in the evening, I was spoken to and asked about the details of my trip.

  Some info about  San – Marino

It is one of the oldest republics in the world (population 28.000;  60.57 km² with a history dating back to 301. According to current facts it was officially foundet on September 3. 301. It isn't a minor (county) state but rather consist of 9 municipalities of which the sovereign leaders are two "Capitani Regimenti". The  Monte Titano, a rocky ridge, crowns the fortress “La Guitano” at an altitude of 739 metres. San Marino was foundet or established by persecuted Christians who took refuge there.




Government Palace

No-one comes by

8.04.04-Thursday Cesenatico - Metaurilia 122.71 km

The Italian breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and a sweet roll (usually filled with vanilla cream, chocolate or jam). This isn't enough for me so I buy some wholegrain bread and a piece of cheese or a tin of sardines in olive oil which is eaten sometime before lunch. I always have fruit with me, too. It really is amazing the amount I eat all day. It seems that my stomach is a bottomless pit ! At home I could never eat so much, but probably my body needs it now.

Today I made a little excursion to San Marino, a small land southwest of Rimini. Possibly a tax-haven. It is situated at 750 meters above sea level and so it was a nice change after all the long flat stretches.

Shortly before the climb I passed a couple on a tandem. I spoke with them and learned that they live in Horgen on Lake Zürich. Before the climb Margrit and Franz Buholzer & I had a quick energy refreshment, then rode up to the city together. We tied our bikes up together then went by foot to look around the tourist town. In front of the Pallace the guards where changing, standing erect, weapons ready, right and about face. . .etc. !! Afterwards we drove downhill together for a while until our paths parted. They returned to Cesenatico and I went on south.

In Metaurilia, not far from Fano, I put up my tent, took a shower and got ready for a restaurant visit with all the "extras" including "un bicchiere di vino".



              We leave Italy

           Margrit and Franz

        Changing of the Guards

29.04.05-Friday Metaurilia - Porto Sant'Elpidio 107.17 km

What's so nice about camping in the south? The tent is dry in the morning. You don't have to dry it in the sun first, just pack and take off! In my first water bottle in the morning I add a tablet of magnesium (300 mg.) and a multi-vitamin. I haven't had any signs of a cold or muscle cramps the whole way.

The weather was nice, as usual. After lunch I left the SS16 and headed across country along the coast through the "parco del conero", a bit more strenuous but all the more quiet and beautiful. One moment at sea level then at 150 meters. My Euros were running out so I looked for a post-o-mat.

Now the scenery is flat again along the coast to Civitanova. A bit further, in Porto Sant'Elpidio, I found a super camping ground. My tenting neighbours, a Dutch couple, invited me for a cup of tee. It's always nice, after riding alone, to chat with people. I had to re-charge my cell- phonewhich was not a problem at the campground. There was also a restaurant there and I treated myself to a delicious drink in the evening.

Campground in Porto Sant'Epidio  Right the rocky train tracks and              left the Adriatic

30.04.05-Saturday Porto Sant'Elpidio - Francavilla al Mare 111.53 km

Around the Rimini area I met a lot of Swiss bike-racing groups. It's fantastic to spend one or two weeks here with the racing bike. The temperature is ideal this time of  year, flat stretches along the Adriatic and hills inland. I had wanted to meet up with Christoph, my neighbour (also a bike freak) but because I had made such good time so far, the schedule didn't work out for a meeting. Anyway, with a cell phone and e-mail computer it's no longer a problem to correspond.

Now the snow-covered Abruzze mountains are on my right and left is the blue sea. A beautiful countryside with Medi-terranean vegetation. One disadvantage - a railway line between the sea and the road.

In the north I slept in youth hostels or hotels. Now that the weather is so nice I prefer staying in campgrounds. Contact with other travellers is much easier, especially for someone whose mother-tongue is Dutch who has lived in the German speaking part of Switzerland since 1959 and can also speak a little English - there's no problem understanding one another.



       Suddenly I saw to the right of me       the snow covered Abruzze mountains

01.05.05-Sunday Francavilla al Mare - Colledimezzo 70.90 km

40 kilometres after Pescara the "Sangro" river comes down out of the Abruzze mountains. I want to ride upstream along this river towards Isernia so as to reach the Tyrrhenian Sea on the other side of Italy.

Most of the traffic goes on the SS 652 so this country road is ideal for bikes. From sea level on the Adriatic to Colledimezzo is an ascent of 490 meters. The road is very quiet and not to fast-climbing so it's a good ride. You can't get lost in a valley, just follow the road. A wonderful stretch to ride with the snow-covered Abruzzes and on the right always small villages on the top of the mountains. The roads are in perfect condition.

In Bomba, on the reservoir, someone told me that there was a campground at the end of the lake. When I got there it turned out to be boat rental place with a restaurant but the friendly owner said I could put my tent up anyway and have a warm shower! It was a lovely place under lots of trees and directly on the lake. He didn't want any money from me either - imagine that in our day and age!! Today my cyclometer (mileage meter) showed 1000.

    The campground has its                  own beach   Last photo of the Adriatic coast


Reservoir - Lago di Bomba

The village Bomba

02.05.05-Monday Colledimezzo -Castel Volturno 159.31 km

Today was downhill, but mainly uphill. It was siesta time in Castel di Sangro. After lunch on further to the water-shed divide. After Iserna the streams no longer flow to the Adriatic, but rather to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Inland there are practically no campgrounds, but all the more on the coast. The problem was that on this side most of them were closed. For that reason in Castel Volturno (25-30 km north of Naples) I stayed in a hotel as dusk was arriving.

               Colledimezzo           Villa Santa Maria   Remote and always at the top

03.05.05-Tuesday Castel Volturno - Pompei 75.42 km

The advantage of staying in a hotel is that right after breakfast you can get underway without spending a lot of time packing. Until just before Naples the road is pretty good, but 10 km through the city is torture, especially for the bike. Faster than 8-9 kph is not possible. The big volcanic "cobble-stones" have such wide cracks that it's dangerous with the bike. Once in a while a bit of asphalt but that's not much better. The road-maintenance budget is probably always in the "red". In Pompei it gets better.

The camping ground was open. Near the showers I saw a washing machine - it's high time I wash all the piled up laundry and there's plenty of time for it to dry. From Terry and Cathlene Paul, who invited me for a drink, I was able to borrow a clothesline.

Just before Naples, at Pozzuoli, looks like a crater filled with water

04.05.05-Wednesday Day of Rest in Pompei 0 km

Retirees usually get a reduction in entrance fees for various happenings. That was also the case in Pompei, but only for members of the EU, consequently not for Swiss citizens. I had to pay the full price of 10 Euro.

It's a widespread and interesting city - much bigger and better-kept than I had imagined. I spent 4 hours there, then in the afternoon replaced four brake pads which I had brought with me from home, and got the light working again (it had come lose after all the vibrations) After a visit to an internet cafè I spent an enjoyable evening with the English people from York.

  No sand on the beach in Naples   Road-surface out of volcanic rock      Once in a while "wash-day"

    Road surface 2000 years ago


            Old road in Pompei


Reliefs of victims of the Vesuvio eruption in 79 A.D


05.05.05-Thursday Pompei - Salerno 105.93 km

Via Salerno to the end of the Sorrento peninsula. From sea level to 450 meters in Sant Agata one has a view of both sides of the peninsula, to the left below lies Sorrento, right the Amalfi coast. The next 65 km were a dream, in every aspect. The road was super smooth, the villages on the hillsides neat and tidy and nature was at its best! Where the roads are too narrow for two buses to pass one another, police regulate the traffic by walkie-talkie.

Amalfie is known for its marvellous coastal scenery, but what is less known is that Amalfi was an independent country in the 9th century. In fact it became one of the leading trading ports of Italy and had strong points in all the Mediterranean metropoli i.e. Cordoba, Cairo, Constantinople, Antioquia. In the 10th century Amalfi was the middle point of trade between the orient and the occident. A terrace on the harbour was the middle point for me for a cappuccino!

   Sorrento is situated north of

the peninsula with ferry

          connection to Capri


  At the end of the peninsula, uphill to S. Agata 450 meters.Left Sorrento, right the Amalfi coast


   Amalfi coast - for taking pictures too cloudy, but perfect for biking

06.05.05-Friday Salerno-south - Palinuro 129.67 km

When I woke up I heard raindrops on the tent. That means breakfast in the tent and packing everything wet. While getting my bike ready for the road it stop raining. I had my raingear on and started out toward Paestum - there was a separate bike path until there.

Paestum is a temple founded by the Greeks ca. 600 B.C. and is today on the most important centres of Greek art in Italy. The city wall is 4.75 km long with various towers. At the entrance of the ruins is the Neptune-temple "Hera" from the 5th century; south the Basilica (6th century) and the third temple was called Ceres.

When I arrived in Agropoli it was time for lunch. In the afternoon a few raindrops but by evening the sun was out again. Up until Agropoli the country was flat, then it goes up and down again.

At the camping ground in Palinuro I was greeted by 3 couples and their children from Naples who were spending a long weekend there. I was invited for dinner and treated just like one of their group. Many thanks to Luigi and his friends for the nice.

        In the distance Sorrento

    Cemetery in Ascea

In the evening the sun arrived in Pisciotta

This fig tree had so much fruit that I wanted to look at it more closely. As I attempted to climb over I noticed that it was growing directly out of the wall.



07.05.05-Saturday Palinuro - Scalea 92.26 km

For breakfast I drank a cup of coffee with my "hosts" then went on south. Headed a bit inland and was soon from sea level to 425 meters. It's noticeable that there are many "3-wheels" which drive around here and they stink and make a lot of noise!! The number plates are the same as for "rollers" and probably one doesn't need a driver's licence which is why you see so many of them out here in the country.

The side roads are advantageous - here and there some local traffic, but otherwise you have the road to yourself.

Today there was hardly a tiny cloud in the sky, just once and a while for "decoration", otherwise blue from left to right! Sapri Siesta. I have a huge appetite while underway. It's amazing what I eat between meals - a tin of sardines in olive oil and a piece of wholegrain bread is gone in no time! And I can't get enough of sweets either.

In Scalea, directly on the waterfront I pitched my tent. My camping neighbour was a pair from Venice who I met again later on the ferry to Sicily.

In Polinuro, campground right on the lake

Luigi and his wife, with friends

  They know where it's cool


   The beautiful blue sea

 in Golfo di Policastro

08.05.05-Sunday Scalea - Vibo-Valentia 161.39 km

Today I rode through the region "Catana Costiera" (part of Calabria). In Pàola I met two motorcyclists from Langnau. (Switzerland) They wanted to go a bit inland and then along the coast to Réggio. After about 60 km I heard honking behind me and recognized them again by their Berne number plates as they passed me.

In Pizzo the campground on the beach was closed so I rode on further to Vibo-Valentia where I stayed in a hotel.

Towers like this are often seen in this region

Between Maratea and Praia a Mare

  Don`t mix up with Rio

  Praia a Mare

     Holliday resort

  Looking back at Pizzo

09.05.05-Monday Vibo-Valentia - Ali-Terme 113.75 km

Before Bagnara I was already at 400 meters again, then in the shortest time via hairpin turns back down to sea level. At 12.30 the ferry took me from Villa San Giovanni to Messina (Sicily) in 20 minutes.

On the ferry I met the Venetian couple again. While we were talking a Sicilian joined us and it sounded, as usual in the south, lively and with lots of gestures. Originally I wanted to go around the island counter-clockwise, closing up with a route inland from Catania via Enna back to Palermo. A Sicilian woman advised me against this route - "have you ever been in the desert in Nevada?" she asked me "that's what it looks like there". "There are no hotels there and "campground" is a foreign word there" she continued. Only in the capital, Enna would I have maybe been able to spend the night. Since I don't like wild camping I made a quick decision to change my route and rode south towards Etna. A minimum of hygiene I like to have.

In Ali-Terme I was the only person on the new campground which had a huge, over-dimentional restaurant and really modern sanitary facilities! In the evening I took care of my mail in an internet café,

Olive groves as far as the eye can see

   The ofen seen and "smelled 3-wheel"

    Scilia 9 km to the ferry


        Harbor in Messina. Mainland Italy in the background

10.05.05-Tuesday Ali-Terme - Nicolosi 71.15 km

My goal for today was along the coast to Nicolosi at the foot of Etna. Taormina, probably the most well-known bathing resort, was pretty busy with tourists. I took a coffee break anyway. Normally I avoid such crowded resorts if possible.

Between Taormina and Nicolosi I made a stop on an orange plantation. I noticed that orange-like fruit was hanging on the trees,(but they weren't oranges) - "nespola" they call them when I inquired ( in English medlar ) The tree belongs to the rose-family. In the evening I saw them in a fruit shop and bought a few. I took the huge seed home with me and planted it - we'll see what grows!

Nicolosi is on the southern slope of Etna, at 700 meters and is the starting point for the climb to the ever "bubbling and smoking" mountain. At the camping ground I was greeted by Anna and Harald from Kümbdchen, both retired "bike-tour-riders" (many tours on Corsica and Sardinia). Because of an accident they couldn't ride their bikes this year but had a mo-ped (roller) on the back of the camper. I was invited for dinner that evening and we had lots to talk about hence it got later than usual! For dessert Anna made a fruit salad with oranges. I hadn't tried any fresh ones from Sicily yet and discovered how delicious they were, fresh from the tree. After that I bought some every day. I never knew before how declicious they could be - not comparable to those we buy at home. . .

       Alone on the campground

            3 fish on 1 hook

      Etna for the first time

 "Medlar" tree (in Italian "nespola)

           Orange plantation

          Sant Allassio Sicuto

11.05.05-Wednesday Nicolosi - Etna (day of rest) 36.84 km

The climb to Etna - from 700 to 1900 meters on a newly finished road , this time without any baggage, to Refugio Sapienza. (From Nicolosi a bus goes up there regularly). With a cablecar it goes up to 2500 meters, then a 4-wheel drive ready for even higher altitude, and the last part is by foot with a guide (obligatory). The cablecar is new as it was destroyed, together with the road, in an Etna eruption (2002). The whole deal costs 42.50 Euro. It's possible to go up on foot, but the last stretch requires the mountain guide for 7 Euro. By foot is strenuous because the Lava dust is slippery and very dusty. Nothing grows, not even a single blade of grass.

I spent the evening with an Austrian couple who run a paragliding school in Zillertal. They teach "gliding" by means of tandem flights. When we parted Paul gave me a line from such a parachute - super light with pulling power of 250 kilos which I can well use as a clothes line.

  Volcanic rock on the Etna path Lava flow of 2002 covered this road            Met during the trip

                     Etna peak

       New gondola since 2002

                4-wheel drive

Secondary crater, warm steam

Strong wind and cold

From here up with the gondola

12.05.05-Thursday Nicolosi - Seracusa 110.55 km

Today I overslept. Couldn't say goodbye to Anne and Harald as they had already left. Until Catania things went fine, from 700 meters to sea level in 15 kilometres.

From Catania it's difficult for bikers to reach Siracuse. For more than 10 km the superstrada" (114) is made into a freeway with no alternative for bikers. By coincidence a police car came by while I was standing in front of the prohibit sign and I asked him for another possibility. He didn't think there was one. "Ride carefully" he said, pointing to his eye with his index finger," in 10 km the freeway becomes the "superstrada" again." With uneasiness I rode on the 2 meter wide emergency lane and was overtaken by a police car twice, but they ignored me. Still, I was happy when the freeway ended.

From Augusta to Siracusa, 25 km, the road is called "zona industriale". For more than 15 km there are refineries from oil companies (like Esso, Agip, etc.), chimney stacks which stretch toward the sky, pipes out of which steam and thick smoke rise, and in the bay, the tankers waiting to unload . . Fortunately on both sides of the road big oleander bushes grow, the white ones already blooming and the pink ones budding so that one doesn't see too much of this industrial zone!

This time there were several "bike-trampers" on the campground - French, German and late evening a couple of Dutch arrived too.. Italians are only seen with racing bikes.



Oleander hedge both sides of the road

  May is the most beautiful month

 Here and there one saw the towers




           Wonderful gardens

     Did Italians see this?

 Pantalica in the middle of town

13.05.05-Friday Siracusa - Marina di Ragusa 96.19 km

Most of the time when I took off in the morning at 8 am it was 20 degrees (celsius) and by midday about 30 degrees.

Via Avola to Noto. A nice town where things were in "high-gear" in preparation for the coming weekend. "Infiorata 2005", where a street was decorated with flower mosaic. At the information office I received a camping guide for all of Sicily.

In Marina di Ragusa I was the only camper again. It was a 3-star camp with resaurant. Unfortunately there wasn't a menu card and the waiter only understood Italian. I rode into town to eat as I like to know what I'm getting on my plate! Later I did my mail at an internet café, drinking a cappuccino while preparing all my letters.


          Was it an accident?

           This weekend in Noto

    preperation for this weekend

      On the left of the road and

      on the right of the road

   Cactus in front of a restaurant

Full of buds and blossoms

Surely more than 100 km


14.05.05-Saturday Marina di Ragusa - Agrigento 132.57 km

Today was characterized by greenhouses under which I saw strawberries, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes the whole way, over 100 km ! In between, as everywhere in southern Italy, orange and olive plantations.

        One of the many bays               For dry periods        Slope with bougainvillea


Olive groves as far as the eye can see

15.05.05-Sunday Agrigento - Mazara del Vallo 137.49 km

First I had a look at the Hera and Herakles Temple (ruins) in Agrigento - yesterday it had gotten too late. The temple is a sign of Greek architecture from ca. 450 B.C. which stands under UNESCO World Heritage today. The Hera temple is in surprisingly good condition but from the Herakles temple there are only 8 columns standing.

Further west there were fewer greenhouses, but more and more citrus and olive trees. Shortly after Sciacca a huge bridge spans a valley. This was closed as it was in repair. Afterwards the road led across country, up and down the valley.

After Menfi I can take the SS 115 again. In Castelvetrano (somewhat inland) I rode into the town to take a break, and mainly to fill up my emply water bottles. From Rome on they recommend that you buy water in pet bottles and to avoid tap water.

Inland on Sundays all the restaurants and bars are closed, so on further to Mazara del Vallo. For the first time I had a Swiss couple (from Geneva) as my tenting neighbour. Over coffee we communicated in German.

Hera temple in Agrigento

Remains of Herakles temple


Family graves - not individual graves. Shows how important the family bond is

      This bridge was closed, hence a strenuous detour


Castel Vertebrano

Garden in Memfi

16.05.05-Monday Mazala del Vallo - Castellamare del Golfo 110.26 km

From the downfall of the Roman Empire until the 19th century Italy was un-united and was a playing ball of the European powers. Austria controlled the biggest part of the north, Germany, France and Spain took care of the rest. In 1860 Guiseppe Garibaldi landed here in Marsala with his troops and started uniting Italy.

From Marsala there are two ways to Trapani. The 115 and the secondary road along the coast. The coastal road is called the "Salt-road". Windmills bring the seawater into basins where it evaporates. The remaining salt is collected and processed.

Trapani, with a population of 80,000, is the city of portwine. Since I'm not a fan of big cities, after lunch I rode on to Castellamare del Golfo, a nice fishing village on the bay with a campground on the beach. The water temperature was perfect for swimming.

          The "Salt Road"

      From Marsala to


        Windmills pumping

basins full of salt water from the sea

 After evaporation it's "harvested"

This salt road follows

the ocean coastline with

possibilities for swimming

17.05.05-Tuesday Castellamare - Isola della Femmine 51.00 km

It's always nice to ride along the ocean. That was mainly the case until Isola della Femmine. This campground is also situated on the ocean and ideally only 15 km to Palermo and Monreale with bus connections.

            Trapani's own hill

    Quarry in Balata di Baida

     Castellammare del Golfo

      My constant companion

    Harbor Isola della Femmine

    Preparations for the season

18.05.05-Wednesday Palermo (in the evening to Naples)

Early in the day I went to the harbor in Palermo to buy a ferry ticket for tomorrow. I discovered that there was also an evening ferry leaving at 8pm arriving in Naples at 5.30am. This somewhat changed my plans. I went back to the campground to pack then returned to the city with 7 hours left in order to see the most important sights.

Once you find the Via Vittorio Emanuele you are in the center of all the places of interest.- the cathedral and the Normann Palace (location of the regional parlament of Sicily) with its Capella Palatina. The whole chapel is decorated with mosaic tiles. Then there is the capuchin (monk) closter which exhibits 8000 mummies in its underground vaults. They are monks and important citizens of Palermo in the best of 16th to 18th century attire. Understandingly, out of respect, no photography is allowed, though photos can be purchased at the entrance.

The 7 hours went by in a flash and the ferry left the Palermo harbor at 8pm. In the dining room the piano was playing tradional melodies and the Italians joined in, singing loudly!

Partanna, suburb of Palermo


    Vegetable market in Palermo


          Palermo's own hill  

These "rollers" abound in the city and they overtake left or right at whim


    Palermo's Cathedral