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.