Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Archeological Ruins, Wine Tasting and Marsala

We left Siracusa early this morning for Mazara del Vello which is on the west side of Sicily. On the way we stopped at the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento. The interior landscape of Sicily is more arid than the coast. It was more like Malta.

The ruins were gorgeous. The temples are spread out over a long sloping ridge (not in a valley) connected by a wide pedestrian walkway . There are parking lots at each end and we started out at the high end of the walkway at the Temple of Guino (Juno) which has a commanding view over the countryside. At the midpoint of the ridge is the most intact temple (for a ruin) called the Temple of Concordia. These temples must have been quite the sight in their day! At the far end of the walkway are the jumbled remains of the once massive Temple of Zeus along with many other ruins but almost nothing of the ruins is left standing.

From Agrigento we took the coastal road to Mazara del Vallo to the villa we are staying at with friends. I was totally impressed that despite the small streets with numerous twists and turns John found the place.

A number of us were meeting at this large villa in order to celebrate our friend Karen’s milestone birthday...after all, what better way to celebrate than a week in Sicily?

After freshening ourselves up, the twelve of us headed over to a family run winery. The father and daughter gave us a tour through the facilities which ended up in a room with a large table laid out for tasting and eating. The mother and winemaker soon joined us.

The wines (many of them medal winners)were delicious as were the local home made foods. Best of all was the company. The father pulled out his accordion and we drank, ate, sang and danced. What an amazing time. I would recommend this wine tasting experience to wine lovers staying in the area. It needs to be booked in advance.

Our next stop was Marsala, where many of our group grabbed a bite to eat and drink at an outdoor cafe. John, Darren and I strolled around the small town enjoying the scenery of buildings lit up at night. 

We ended the night chatting in the courtyard of our villa before hitting the hay.

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