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Touristic Catania part 2

The bougainvillea in Catania are beautiful and make up for crumbling facades

From the markets we wandered through the old town, passing decrepit and some renovated buildings.

This inviting alleyway beckoned to us and we enjoyed patting a cat at the corner

In a small piazza we watched two men finish a game of cards and one of the men stormed away from the table and started yelling at his opponent, making a huge scene. It was refreshing to see that we aren’t the only ones that make a scene in public (not everyday but travelling in summer with 2 children can mean that one of us is out of sync with the others and conflicts arise).

Castello Ursino

We tried to visit the grotto but it’s closed so we walked around admiring the old town and approached the 13th century Aragonese castle (Castello Ursino). It has the characteristic towers of Spanish castles. I’ve visited castles in Latvia, Japan, Wales, Poland, France, Italy and Spain and fortresses in Norway, Bahrain and Finland, and I’ve decided that Spanish castles are my favourite. Obviously the fairytale castle in Segovia is spectacular but even the simple castles are elegant and beautiful.

These look like Norman mosaic floors

For some reason there’s a spooling machine on the top floor

One of the two hand operated spinning wheels in the museum

The castle houses a museum of artefacts from Greek and Roman civilizations and it’s possible to enter the base of a few of the beautiful conical towers. Currently they are showing a temporary exhibition of modern art that we disliked. We were relieved when our children didn’t ask too many questions about why the Mona Lisa had no pants on and her penis on show. The middle floor holds Christian art, some by unnamed Sicilian artists. The top floor holds an exhibition of ancient coins, engraved copper plates with matching prints and old architectural plans. Somewhat randomly, it also holds two spinning wheels (hand not foot operated) and a spooling machine. It reminded me of the excellent Toyota museum that we visited in Japan.

Don’t you think it’s beautiful?

The gift shop for the museum is worth perusing. I bought myself a pair of earrings that are miniature, leather-bound books. There were several other things that I would have liked to buy but I’m conscious of luggage space with our carry-on suitcases and cost.


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This entry was posted on July 5, 2016 by in Europe, family and tagged , , , , , .
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