Sicilia! I’ve always wanted to go to Sicily for as long as I can remember. My great great grandmother came from Sicily to America and I have always wanted to visit Ciminna, the town where she came from. Our first stop in Sicily is the town of Randazzo, we stayed on a vineyard with a view of the mighty Mount Etna. We had a nice pasta dinner, and then went to bed in preparation for the hike up Mount Etna in the morning.  The next morning, we all got dressed and got picked up by a car. We drove as far as we could with the car up the volcano, and got out and began to hike.  We were able to climb down into a crater and see all the lava rock. It was an amazing adventure! Next, we visited Agrigento! In this part of Sicily, there are a lot of Greek ruins. Some say that Sicily has better Greek ruins than Greece itself! We stayed at a hotel overlooking the enormous temple of Athena. The first day there, we drove to the Turkish Steps. The Turkish Steps are white chalky cliffs on the coast of Sicily.  We walked along the cliffs and enjoyed the view for awhile before returning to our hotel. We relaxed and went in the pool that night, preparing to go explore the ruins in the morning. The next day, we walked through the ruins, seeing all the temples and artifacts on site. To imagine that thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks were here worshipping their gods, was an amazing thought. Then, after leaving Agrigento, we headed of Palermo. Along the way we stopped by Caltanasette and Ciminna, the hometowns of our Italian ancestors. We explored the markets of Caltanasette and got some delicious cannolis. In Ciminna, we drive around and went to the Municipal office to see if we still had family here. Sure enough, we found our grandfather on the family tree and tracked down our cousins who live in the town! We met our cousins, and they were so nice. Upon meeting us, they immediately invited us to dinner at their house! I was sad to leave, but it is so cool to think that we actually still have family in Italy! Palermo was a very interesting city. We explored the market and the catacombs. The catacombs were pretty freaky. They weren’t like the ones in Paris. The dead inside were mummified, so their entire bodies were hanging from the wall! One little girl in a coffin had been so well preserved, that it didn’t even seem like she was dead! Her hair was perfectly intact and so was her face and body. It looked as if she were sleeping, not dead in a coffin. Palermo was the last stop on our Italy adventure. I was definitely sad to go back home, but one day I’ll go back to all my favorite places. Ciao Italia!

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