24 Jul 2019 – Wednesday.
En route to Catania, Flo and I made two stops. The first of which was to Cefalù.
We didn’t expect it to be as busy as it was, but the gorgeous beachside town was filled with lots of local tourists. Colourful umbrellas littered the beaches, and beachgoers laid underneath on top of their towels, enjoying the heat from the sun.
I was gawking at how crystal clear the waters were. So crisp and clean, bouncing off a lovely shade of turquoise under the azure blue skies.
Flo and I walked into the town centre where we found and Cannoli/Gelato shop that had an overhanging balcony over the calm waters.
Flo bought himself a cup of gelato and an espresso,
and we took in the beauty of it all while hidden nicely away in the cool shade.
It was a quick stop and go for us here because we wanted to have a poke around Enna as well. We’d seen a video online about a castle we could visit, and going to Cefalù from Palermo meant that we had to bypass the turn to Enna, which sits nicely between Palermo and Catania. So we now had to drive back towards Palermo, before turning off to Enna, and from Enna, continue on to our final base in Italy, Catania.
It was an extremely sweltering day which made the greens look a shade of yellow.
Enna sit towering over the hills and valleys of its surrounding countryside, and upon arrival, Flo and I marvelled at how untouched by tourists it appeared to be. As in, there were no hoards of tourists, or tourist buses bumbling in and out, and the entire town was sleeping since it was their afternoon siesta time.
Drive through the town and you’ll find that right at the end of it, where there’s a rather spacious parking area, sits an old castle – Castello di Lombordia.
It looked very run down and almost abandoned.
It’s actually open to the public so you can walk right in and through their gift shop, and from there, have a tour of the castle. Or what’s left of it.
Flo and I did exactly that, except we were quite fatigued by all the sight-seeing we’d already done throughout our entire trip, so we kind of skipped taking the castle tour. Yes, I’ll admit to saying to Flo that we’ve been to castles before and they’re all not particularly different from each other… But hey! There are people who love these kinds of sites, and others who enjoy seeing church after church, and others who prefer doing outdoor activities. Just so happens castles aren’t our thing.
We do however, have a penchant for beautiful sceneries and I especially love the feeling of being on top of the world – that’s the only reason why I go hiking with Flo. Or went. Pre-pregnancy.
After our short time in Enna, we hopped back into our car and made for Catania. We checked in and had a nice chat with our B&B host who highly recommended restaurant after restaurant to us to dine at around Catania. We asked if there were any good seafood restaurants around and immediately, she directed us to Pidatella ‘for the best!’.
Upon entering, you’ll see all their fresh fish laid out. Customers can choose to have these cleaned and bought home, or they can point to whatever they want and have it cooked their preferred way, again to be taken home or to eat in-house.
There was also another section selling Antipasti.
It was around 7.30pm when we arrived and considering that our B&B host was telling us that Pidatella get extremely busy at dinner, we were their first and only diners.
We were served an assortment of breads (bread fee applies here), including a delicious mini olive roll, addictive sesame grissini, and some other breads we cared a little less for.
Again, I couldn’t resist having Cozze. I love how juicy, plump and sweet the mussels are in Italy. I never had them overcooked each time I had them, wherever I ordered them.
The cozze I had in Positano, I believe, was the best I had throughout Italy, but these ones were definitely better than what you’d get anywhere in Singapore, so no complaints!
Flo had the Seafood Tagliatelle.
A must-order in Pidatella. This came with lots of seafood and the tagliatelle absorbed the briny sauce wonderfully without being too salty. It wasn’t as heavy as one would have thought, and was delightful to the palate.
Happy bellies, we drove a little further out to Catania centre.
Contrary to what Flo was saying about there being not much to do or much to see in Catania (him having been here a good 10 odd years ago), Catania turned out to be quite a magnificent city.
I enjoyed our evening walk around their town centre, spotting the grand looking Cathedral of St. Agatha along the way…
As well as Fontana dell’Amenano, which was turned off.
We made our way to Piazza Duomo where we saw Fontana dell’Elefante.
Underwhich there was a magic show being performed.
As with all the evening we’d had in Italy, the air felt refreshing and cool. A welcomed contrast to the dry heat of the day.
There were lots of little nooks where contemporary eateries and restaurants were serving the more hip, younger crowd. Again, another one for next time. Similar to Singapore, I think that the sights in Italy can be covered a lot faster than places to find good food. By this time though, I was already missing Asian food, and the plethora of cuisines Singapore offers compared to Italy where we stuck to mainly Italian food since that’s what they do best!
This fateful night, Flo and I returned to our car, and found a long white piece of paper under our windscreen wipers. We’d been so careful to avoid restricted zones and had been paying for parking where applicable, This evening though, we misunderstood their parking sign, thinking that the time period that was on it meant that we had to pay if we were parking within that time frame. We had arrived after 8pm, and so assumed free parking. Turns out, we were wrong. Still, It was a lovely ‘gift’ to receive from Italy at the tail end of our trip. And yes, we did manage to pay it off like good citizens, before we said ‘Ciao’ to this beautiful country.