Monday 19th May 2014
We woke up in the morning to the camperstop looking very empty as the flower show in Noto had come to an end and the mostly Italian fellow campers had to go back to work and school. After driving about 45 kilometres we reached the town of Modica and were to be surprized that it was situated in a valley and not a hilltop town that we had been used to visiting. We parked on the outskirts of town and headed up to one of the highest points near the old church then sat and had coffee served with a little biscuit and a piece of local chocolate. When we were walking the streets and looking over the valley we were struck at how similar the place looked like Matera, another Old Italian town we had visited in 2009. While we were having coffee we asked where the chocolate shops could be found and were told they lined the main street in the valley. Anna was keen to find the oldest chocolate shop in town and to buy some authentic Modica chocolate, who were we to say no. Chocolate at any time is good as most would agree.
In the past there were Spanish overlords who imported cocoa directly from South America to Modica and made their own brand of chocolate which still continues to this day. We visited a couple of shops where samples were offered and the decided to buy some to take with us. The style is very different from the smooth chocolate we are used to and has a crunchy texture, but very nice. We sampled a lot of different flavours and decided the Coffee, Orange, Cinnamon, Almond and Chili were very nice so we purchased some for future days. Stocked up with chocolate and a 5 litre cask of the local red wine we headed back to the motorhomes and drove to Ragusa a town only 20 kilometres away.
Ragusa is not only a hilltop town but it is built on two adjoining hills, the old part and the newer. We parked in a carpark on the edge of town where we would sleep the night then had some lunch and headed to the old town. We walked up then down, then up again and of course back down through the streets and alleyways past churches, café’s, gelato shops and a few souvenir shops. At the end of the day we our legs and feet were a bit sore from all the walking and especially the stairs and steep slopes.
Tuesday 20th May 2014
The next day we drove to the town of Caltagirone, is was only supposed to be a 60 kilometre drive but we took the back way and were slightly lost a couple of times. We drove through some green rolling hills, plots of agricultural land and a few small villages with narrow roads. Arriving mid-morning we walked to the centre of the town and were a bit disappointed as we had read that it was a tiled town with tiles on the walls and other places. Off the main square there was a large set of steps which had tiles on the bottom of each step and a few other places had tiles on some walls but nothing really exciting and the tiles on the steps were in disrepair and shabby. Sometimes our expectations are low and we are surprised and other times we have high hopes and are disappointed, this was one such place and we didn’t stay long and drove a further 20 kilometres to a farm where we stayed overnight.
The Sosta was a mixed farm which had an area for motorhomes with a shower and toilet block. It was a very quiet place with great view of the valley and only 10 euro’s.