August 30, 2014
driving through the middle of sicily1st entry – italy 2014
Our various flights from Pittsburgh to Sicily were very different than any others I’ve been on. In Pittsburgh, we got to ticketing and the agent signed Sarah up for an AE card with 50,000 ai-rmiles. Afterwards, she walked us through the priority line and we had no wait-time. JFK was a bit more work, but we got through the lines and to our gate. The plane was delayed an hour. (The Alitalia agent told that we would still make our connection, because the Palermo flight was also delayed.) When we get to Rome, there was an agent at the gate who collected the Palermo passengers and walked us through the airport and put us on a fast line through immigration. But even with that, we still missed the 7:40 connection. She got us new boarding passes and made sure our luggage also go on the later flight.
We got to Palermo and our luggage was there. The Palermo airport is very nice. There was even someone with a broom and pan, cleaning the debris the travelers were leaving behind. (Fiumicino has gone through a massive renovation and the new space is comfortable and clean.) We got our rental and we left for Modica.
The drive along the northern coast was a visual contrast. One the left was the very blue Mediterranean on the right these tall brown mountains. (We actually drove the section where Giovanni Falcone’s car and the accompanying security cars all got blown up by the mafia. There is a marker on the auto-strada commemorating this event.) We then took a right and headed inland. The majority of the inland highway is a super-structure built on pylons and concrete support pillars. Inland Sicily is all farmland the northern area dedicated to wheat and the central and southern area gives way to vineyards and fruit orchards.
The image on the left is a riverbed under the super-structure and over an ancient road with 5 arches over the riverbed. (The super-structure was a huge post-war, put-everyone-to-work project. And I’m sure no one understood or was aware of the amazing environmental significance of this design. The super-structure leaves the land un-scared.)