Enna and Villa Casale
Viev from Enna over central Sicily with Calascibetta
Enna and Calascibetta
These are two examples of the typical villages and towns in the mountainous central Sicily. Former centuries built their settlements on top of steep rocky hills for purposes of security and defence.
We had a quick stop during the bus transfer from Agrigento to the east coast in Enna. The bus drove us up, for which we were glad. We just had time for a walk through the town to the viewpoint. From the terrace on top of the steep cliff we had a wide view of the surrounding landscape over to the neighbouring smaller town of Calascibetta, located on a steep hilltop just like Enna.
Enna is the geographical centre of the island, nicknamed the Navel of Sicily, and the seat of the provincial administration. The town has several interesting historical buildings and is crowned by a castle.Palazzo Chiaramonte belonged to one of Sicily’s most important noble families in the late middle ages. I would have liked to see more of the town.
The "Bikini Girls" of Villa Casale
Piazza Armerina: The Mosaics of Villa Casale
Villa Casale is an ancient Roman villa urbana from the 4th century A.D. near the small town of Piazza Armerina in central Sicily. The luxurious villa must have belonged to an important, very rich and very influential personality – researchers are still not sure about the identity of the owner. It must have been someone who could afford hiring the best artists and craftsmen and who had knowledge and taste.
The archaeological site is most famous for the mosaics of the floors. Each floor is devoted to a particular topic. The elaborate pictures show scenes from the daily lives and the festivities of a well-to-do society in the countryside as well as mythological themes. The mosaics depict hunting scenes, feasts, playing children, exotic animals, sports, birds and flowers, a couple of lovers, circus games. The best known figures, and every male tourist’s favourites, are probably the “bikini girls”, young female dancers in very light clothing.
Our base for the next couple of days was Acireale, a medium-sized town about halfway between Catania and Taormina. There is not much to write home about Acireale, I did not even take photos.
Our hotel there - I forgot its name - was a bit of a nuisance, though. The hotel had a pool and a roof terrace and other nice facilities, but they were all closed and could not be used. They open the pool only in August, for the rest of the year they save themselves the work, who cares if the weather is fine and the guests would like to have a swim. Our group got the worst rooms they had, on the ground floor facing the noisy road and exposed to the smell of petrol from the petrol station across the street as well as the stink of cigarette smoke from the adjacent bell boy's office. Our group leader very quickly organized himself a better room but did not care a thing about the others. So who had to deal with the reception and organize a room change for half the group? Well, guess...