The route to Siracusa had us in awe of Barry's driving skills in Sicily - he exhibited the necessary assertiveness of a native.  The drive showed us lush hills and took us through towns with buildings that clung to the narrow streets we zipped through.  We stopped in Polizzi Generosa when I needed a break from the car sickness I can't avoid.  There we had a fabulous lunch prepared by a sweet restaurateur and his family at Ristorante U Bagghiu.

Siracusa was refreshing.  My initial concern that the town would feel too touristy was quickly dashed by the comforts of cleanliness and ease and beauty.  An old town over a bridge from the new town, each with qualities of stateliness and a lightness.  A bustling outdoor market where we purchased fresh roasted peppers, cheeses, meats, and bread for a lunchtime picnic.  Octopus straight from the sea with lime juice.  Funny encounters with locals regarding Barry's beard.  A stunning Greek theater that overlooked the Mediterranean.  The heat as we explored the ruins and saw Archimede's tomb; the relief of being underground in the cool nearby catacombs.  Misunderstood orders at a restaurant.  Evening strolls through streets that were sleepy during the day but that bustled at night.

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