Leaving Noto, we drove through the towns of Ispica, and Scicli.
Spying a courtyard palazzo garden in Ispica, we sneaked in to discover more ideas for the back yard. Wayne and Sue will have to provide a few more citrus.
While arching my neck to view the fine ceiling of another church in Ispica, a woman gave me a tour of the treasures of the church, a Caravaggio school painting and a large gold and silver chest which is used in the grand Easter parade through the town. In her halting English and our horrible Italian we were able to somehow communicate and she took us on a walk to another church to view the grand gallery, built on the model of Bernini’s colonnade in St. Peter’s square. These towns have a lot to offer.
It was hot when we returned to the car. Hot enough to dry tomato paste.
Coffee, cold drinks, a gelato and a wander hugging the shady edges of the Scicli streets past more palaces and grand municipal buildings.
The apartment in Ragusa had a fine view of the old town rebuilt on the medieval streets after the earthquake. But we were on one hill and it was on another.
Stairs led down then up through the town. One night, a bearded man in black stopped us from descending.
“We are filming. You cannot pass,” he said pointing to another narrow lane. Over his shoulder further down the stairs, we could see a woman sitting in a chair. A cameraman pointed a big lens at her, others were shining big torches and a man was holding a long stick with a furry possum duct taped to the end. This he held very close to the woman’s face.
I told him we could be in the film but he said we would need money. When I told him he could pay us, he laughed. I was serious. The tour through these wonderful architectural towns was sending us Baroque!
Although there are tourists here, it is less hectic than other places. We wandered the streets, poked our heads into the fifty churches in the town, climbed to the panoramic viewing points, ate Sicilian pastries, sampled the fine local drops, slipped into the local bookshop, bought a t-shirt and sampled the gelato.
In towns in Sicily, we find posters advertising funerals and services for the anniversaries of deaths. We practise our Italian reading them.
It was late by the time we climbed the hill again. The film makers were still at it and this time a large crowd had gathered to respectfully watch the stars eat a meal at an outside cafe. The possum still hovered over their table. I hoped it was not like the millions of pigeons that perch on buildings here!