strivetoengage

Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving

Giardino Bellini, Catania

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We emerged from the Fera ‘o Luni markets into Piazza Stesicoro. I was enamored by the charm of the piazza. We took a short break at the bubbler before delightedly encountering the remains of the Roman Amphitheater. I love that in Europe, one can turn a corner and find Roman ruins ahead.

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The amphitheatre of Catania was one of the largest in the Roman Empire (125m long!). I don’t know of that’s because the Catanese deserved it or if they were particularly difficult to subdue so the Romans tried entertainment. Very little remains but it’s free to enter and we really enjoyed exploring it and trying to imagine what it had been like in Roman times.

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I don’t know why this portion was preserved when the rest was destroyed but I’m grateful!

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From there we headed east and stopped in a bar for toasted panini and the use of the toilet. I’m still trying to eat a diet low in cereal grains so I left most of the bun and ate the crudo con rucola instead.

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Next stop was Giardino Bellini. We entered through an open air sculpture gallery with busts of presumably famous people who I haven’t heard of.

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Our children had a great time playing on the roundabout you can see behind Musco.

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It was a nice park to relax in with plenty of seats and shade.

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We started to head home at 1730, trying a few trattoria on the way but finding they don’t open until later. Instead my husband bought groceries while our children played with water pistols in a park. There were lots of old Italian men in the park having a chat and some other children who eventually played tip with our kids. An old guy came up to me and started talking in Italian. I could understand some and he was talking about poo and toilets and even diarrhea. I couldn’t figure out what he wanted from me and after some awkward moments and my mangled attempts in Italian to ask why he was talking to me about poo and toilets he finally gave up and went away.
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We passed groups of teenage girls in tight, revealing clothes, platform shoes, too much makeup and with straightened hair. Our cab driver last night told us that kids come from surrounding areas to drink and party at the 24 discos in Catania.
It was a good first day in Sicily! At our apartment building the elevator is small and my husband was carrying a lot of groceries so I took the stairs while my weary family took the lift. On the fifth floor I greeted an Italian woman who was waiting for the elevator. She told me that the elevator works. I responded in broken Italian that my family were in there. I don’t think she thought it was very typical to walk up so many flights of stairs but I just opened the apartment door when my family climbed out of the lift, so it’s not slower and it wasn’t too hot either.

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2016 by in Europe, family and tagged , , , , .
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