I had already spent three weeks on mainland Italy, travelling north from Rome to Lerici, across to Florence and Siena, down to Orvieto and back to Rome, then on to Pompei and the Amalfi Coast. We took the overnight ferry from Naples and landed in Palermo. We didn't stay there, but drove to the hilltop town of Erice on Sicily's north-western coast. This town is 750 meters above sea level overlooking the city of Trapani. It was here that one would have found the most famous temple of the most famous goddess...Venus. Unfortunately, on the day we arrived I fell desperately ill and was not able to leave my hotel bed. Fortunately (for my fellow travellers), we stayed an extra day on my account and they were able to travel down to the seaport cities of Marsala and Trapani to see the mountains of salt being harvested. Click here for more information about the history of salt in Sicily. Trust me, it's a good read and not long.
As we were winding our way down the mountain on the day we left Erice, I managed to get this shot of the land and village below. It's one of my favourite shots of all the photos I have from this trip. Click to enlarge.
We also visited Segesta, not far from Erice, where we saw the first of many Greek temples. We had to take the bus up the hill to see the amphitheatre, which naturally is in ruins now. On the bus ride back down, I caught this shot of the temple far below. Click to enlarge.
This shot reveals just how HIGH the temple pillars are! If you look to the bottom of the photo about in the middle, you'll see a friend (in blue) sitting. I asked her to stay there to show the immensity of that temple. Click to enlarge.
We drove all across Sicily - covering Selinunte, Agrigento, Piazza Armenario, Siracusa, and other smaller places until we reached Taormina on the eastern coast of Sicily. We stayed at the San Domenico Palace Hotel (you must check out the pictures!), a reconverted monastery dating back to 1430. This was pure luxury overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
One day, we took in the Teatro Greco. You can see from this shot how HIGH up we were. And yes, that is Mount Etna in the background. It actually erupted the night we arrived and we saw flames and smoke coming out the top. (Unfortunately, the rest of the photos won't enlarge.)
Turning towards the city, I got this shot of the Mediterranean from the top of and behind the Teatro Greco.
Looking the other direction, we could see in the distance the town of Forza d'Agro where some scenes of the movie The Godfather were shot. Because the town of Corleone was so developed in the '70s, most of the filming was done here and in the town of Savoca. Here you'll find Bar Vitelli and the church Michael was married in.
I hope you've enjoyed some of the spectacular views I experienced from on HIGH in Sicily. But if you REALLY want to see something HIGH, come on over to Canada and cross the Rocky Mountains. Stay in Vancouver, BC, and go up the Skyride to the top of Grouse Mountain to see the city below. Or you can cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge for the scariest walk ever!