Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mazara del Valle

I love the villa we stayed in. I highly recommend  Baglio Sciacca for a large group. It is large, has a pool, a wonderful courtyard area, a large great room with a pool table and many fruit trees including pomegranate, orange, lemon and olive all around it. I peeled a number of ripe pomegranates right off the tree. Delicious.

The best part are the owners Francesco and his wife who helped us in so many ways. They took us under their wing, introduced us to so many local places and things that we wouldn’t have known about any other way. Best of all was the dinner they served last night including their own olive oil and Marsala. They did so much to make our visit to Sicily such a memorable experience.

Last night nineteen of us comfortably slept at the villa.

We stayed close to the villa today. The Archeological Site of Selnunte was only a half hour away so Chris, John and I headed out to explore it. 

The 5th century BC ruins were beautiful in the bright sunlight. Little green lizards scuttled around the ancient stones. So many temples.

The waves rolled in to the beach below as we walked towards a distant hilltop temple.

Unfortunately as we were walking downhill on the gravel road, I felt my feet slide out under me and I went down full force on my left knee. Oh it hurt. It didn’t take long for the blood to start running. I washed it with my bottle of water and we continued on.

It hadn’t stopped bleeding by the time we arrived to the temple so I sat on the stairs by the bathroom while John and Chris walked around the temple. A lady saw me, dug into her purse and pulled out some bandaids and pads and walked on. She came back ten minutes later to check on me. So kind.

I took a few pictures of the temple before starting the long walk back. The deep goudges in my knee started to bleed again. We flagged down an electric golf cart and he called another cart to take us back to our car at the entrance.

Chris and I stopped to check a couple ceramic shops and we drove back to the villa for lunch. Both Debra and Kate were nurses and Leonie (one of the villas owners) had medical supplies. Aunt Sylvia poured me a big glass of wine to dull the pain.

We then had an fabulous lunch from last nights leftovers.

My leg was throbbing but I still joined our gang for a tour of Mazara del Valle. On the way there a herd of sheep crossed the road.

We met up with a historian/guide in the square. Joanne would translate what he said into English. We passed a number of beautiful churches. We went into San Francesco church, that seemed fairly ordinary on the outside but as soon as you went in, your breath was taken away by the intricate carved work on the walls and paintings on the ceiling. We went into the Catacombs. They accidentally turned the lights out on Mike and Angie while they were still in there.

The guide took us through the narrow streets of the old Jewish section and the Tunisian and casbah sections of the city. There are many tile details on the walls  and on the walkways. Many of the tiles were hand painted by the mayor.

We stopped in an old baroque church that had lost its roof ninety years ago.

Our final stop was in a museum dedicated to the Dancing Satyr statue that had caught on some fisherman’s net in 1998. One of those fishermen was our friend Angie’s cousin. We found his picture in the museum. Small world.

I hobbled back to the car and we all returned to the villa for a few hours.

We all went back into Mazara del Valle for supper to a wonderful seafood restaurant called Al Pesciolino d’Oro.

After supper (about 11pm), we went Mucho Gusto for some of the best gelato that I’ve had on this trip. I had Rocher (as in ferrero). It was sublime.

It was almost midnight when we walked back to the car. It seemed like everyone was out socializing and enjoying the night; old, young and even toddlers and babies.

My leg was aching so it was time for bed.

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