Before our train arrived in Palermo, the men in our car were quickly telling us it would be OK.
“Don’t worry. They don’t hurt women and children,” a young man said in English. He warned us about the mafia.
My roommate Betsy and I decided to travel to Sicily on our break from classes in Florence. Others in our program planned to visit other parts of Europe, but we decided to work our way down the boot and visit Sicily.
It was the best travel decision I made throughout my study abroad program. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterrean Sea and has a long history — I couldn’t name all the rulers back then and had to look at Wikipedia for a reminder — Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans to name a few.
I enjoyed visiting the ruins from the various periods in Sicily’s history. It all added up to a diverse culture.
I took pictures at ruins and in cities, but didn’t take many in Palermo. The men on the train were not the only ones to warn us about the dangers of the city. Police officers also stopped me a couple of times and told me not to take pictures. They warned me of the dangers of being in the city.
Despite the fear-filled warnings, we had the most fun in Palermo thanks to a couple of guys, who decided to make sure we enjoyed our stay. I returned to Florence with a variety of new experiences.
One adventure left my friend Giuseppe feeing a bit behind. Before Sicily, I told him I’d never been on a motorcycle.
When he arrived to pick me up in Florence with his motorcycle, he seemed confused when I said, “Oh, I’ve been on motorcycles.”
Thinking it somehow explained everything, I said, “I was in Sicily for a week.”
Susanna Leonard Hill says
Sounds like a fun trip – worthwhile in spite of the possible danger… although it’s always easy to say that after you’ve done something and returned unscathed! 🙂
This Kid Reviews Books says
I love the picture! Sounds like a very adventurous time!
Karen S. Elliott says
Sounds a little scary, with all the warnings! Glad it was such a success. That’s an awesome photo.
Have to admit the added danger would have made it an exciting week! And from now on whenever someone asks how you know how to do something you can just answer, “oh, I went to Sicily for a week.” LOL.
Cathy Mealey says
Hmm…I’ve been nurturing this idea of taking the family on a Sicilian agritourism farm stay…now reconsidering LOL!
Robyn Campbell says
Fantastic photo! But I think I’ll rethink plans to visit there after Ireland. I’m a little nervous now. 🙂 But glad you made it through.
Susan Oloier says
You were quite adventurous! I’m glad you had a wonderful (and safe) time.
Susanne Drazic says
Hi Stacy! Great picture. I’m not the adventurous type, so I’d probably not stepped out of the car after hearing the danger warnings. Glad you had such a great time.
Sounds like fun! I’ve never been on a motorcycle, I’m looking forward to it someday! (I hope.) I have a Liebster blog award for you if you’d like to accept it! Thank you for following! Here’s the link Flash Fiction Liebster Blog Award
Patricia T. says
Stacy, what a lovely photo! You truly love an adventure. Risk and all. Sounds like a great time.