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From Italy to Greece. Sicily to Athens, before the painting tour.

From Italy to Greece. Sicily to Athens, before the painting tour.Ortigia

After the excitement of the Bersaglieri ceremony, we explore Palermo for a few days.

They have the BEST tiramisu at Lorenzo’s.

There is a private tile collection you must visit.

Even if you have never been into history, it presents a glimpse of our development throughout the ages, from artistic stimulus, equipment & material evolution, to ancestral stories, riches, ruins & hierarchies.
tiles, Palermo & Gio

It really is fascinating stuff when you see it like this.

As the locals passionately profess, Sicily gets more into your veins with each visit.

Sadly, we leave the generous embrace of the Duchess & Duke, bid them fond farewell…

And then we take a big coach diagonally across the beautiful volcanic Sicilian countryside.

From top to bottom, north west to south east. Siracusa & the old town of gorgeous Ortigia.Sicily


We stay in the tastefully renovated, generational family home of our delightful friend & hostess, Giuseppina.


She invites us to take aperitif on her rooftop courtyard, overlooking the sparkling Ionian sea.

She wants us to try the local produce & has shopped with that in mind.Ortigia

Plump olives, sweet little sun-dried cherry tomatoes, white anchovies, speciality cheeses, hot salami & 2 kinds of breads.

All with chilled Proscecco & an extraordinarily smooth red wine (prompting us to soon-after go in search & procure a few bottles for our continued travels :))pizza

Left to fend for ourselves for a few days, we find fabulous pizza, panini, good house reds, lovely strong coffee & cannoli.

As I had been there on a previous visit, I really wanted to introduce my travelling companions to the Ortigian markets, most specifically the live theatre of the sandwich man.Ortigia

They honour chefs here, & just like last time, the pantomime was performed to assemble the best sandwich in the world, to play up to me, make a show for everyone & become even more of an attraction to people passing by this well-known family stall.

Such a spectacle, such fun to be part of.Ortigia

Three kilometres around, you can’t get lost on Ortigia. It’s like a precious gem, our home right above the crashing water with it’s walking paths all around.

Alive & undemanding. A place to breathe…We ate, drank, danced in the street, chatted with the locals & stayed out way too late, again :))Ortigia

We had an overnight spot of rain, the morning streets glistened clean & fresh. We joined in a town square wedding amidst beautiful ancient buildings, they say it takes a community.

All filmed by ever-present drones…the old & the new.Ortigia

There’s something to be said about the astounding, almost cavalier use of marble noticed everywhere in our previous 2 countries.

Bench seats in public parks, floors of all shapes & sizes, walls, steps to everywhere, table tops, window sills, dressers….it’s such a sensation to walk on, touch a flushed cheek to, glide a few dance steps on… We want to bring some home…Ortigia

Off to Athens next….you could speak volumes about The Parthenon & The Acropolis. Sacred temple. Ancient Wonder of the world. Breathtaking magnificence. Humbling awe. The museums, the stories, the dedication & craftsmanship.

It stops you in your tracks….Athens

We spent a couple of days jumping on & off the topless busses, exploring, discovering.Athens

The changing-of-the-guards for the Unknown Soldier at Parliament House was fascinating… very fortunate to get some amazing up-close-&-personal shots of the pomp & pageantry in the side streets.AthensAthensAthens









With preconceived views in mind, we taxied as far as we could, then climbed to the top of a huge outcrop overlooking the city :))

After cafes, cold beers & lots more steps, we found a remarkable restaurant with an outstanding outlook of the Parthenon.

So incredible in fact, that we’ve decided to start a list of the most impressive places to take someone special on an exclusive, memorable date.AthensAthensIt’s up there!! Orizontes. Mount Lycabettus. Catch a cab to the cable car….such a breath-taking vision!

On our last night in Athens we took ourselves…we can dream :)) Athens

Then it was time to catch a cute little twin engine plane, filled mostly with just our group, & wing our way to the pretty Greek Isles…..on a 3 week painting tour with my talented sister Carolyn as art tutor.

www.sketchbookstories.comGreek Isles

  1. Great read Roni. So glad to see you are all having such beautiful weather for your time away. Keep those pics rolling in ????????
    Cheers & safe travels,

    • Thanks Val, appreciate you commenting :))
      Thinking of you lots & our past travels. Diana was asking after you too….
      You would love all the cats xxx

  2. Lovely to hear from you.
    Enjoy the Greek islands, there’s nothing like them.
    Hugs,Merope xx

    • Hello Merope, How lovely to hear from you…..
      yes, we are very fortunate. It is such an awesome experience, the people, the views, the food….the culture. xx

  3. Stop it!!! You’re giving me itchy feet!!!

    No I don’t mean it… We love your stories. Keep ’em coming!!!
    Beautiful photos xx

    • Oh thanks precious….love that you are enjoying the stories.
      And thankyou beyond measure for taking the time to engage on line, mmwwaahhh!!

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