While we were having dinner at the restaurant in Ostuni, the Locanda dei 7 Peccati, my cellphone started ringing. It was our friends Elio and Giovanna who had received the gift we sent congratulating Giovanna on finishing her degree. We had sent her a book on the national parks of America (hoping to tempt them to make a visit to the U.S. in the future) and they wanted to thank us. And to invite us to come for a visit before we returned to the states. Originally when we came to the Amalfi Coast we thought we might make a trip back to Ragusa but just ran out time. Giovanna was insistent! We just could not go back to the states without one more visit to Sicily to say goodbye and they even offered to put us up when we got there. I told her we would have to talk it over and we would get back to them.
Bob and I just looked at each other and said "Somehow we have to figure out how to go Sicily!" Our British friends Janet and Stephen were expected for a few days visit at the end of February and we were looking forward to seeing them again. And our daughter Jessica is going to be here from the 1st to the 14th of March. We leave here on the 31st so it didn't give us much time. We looked into taking the ferry again but that didn't seem very appealing and we wouldn't be able to drive since we are selling our car on the 27th.
The very day we were trying to figure out what to do I had the opportunity to meet our next-door neighbor Rosaria's son's fiancé who just happens to be Sicilian and flies here via AlpiEagles airlines and said it takes an hour to get to Catania and is pretty cheap! We went straight to their website, found a cheap fare and shot off an email to Elio and Giovanna, asking if they were really serious about us coming and telling them the dates we thought we could come, arranging a few days around a weekend so they wouldn't have to work when we came. They thought it all sounded good and told us to go ahead and book, which we did.
We then had to go next door to ask Rosaria’s son to come and help us since the site was only in Italian and we couldn’t figure out (even with the help of our dictionary) if the reservation had been made and what to do next since we had given them our credit card information and everything but then nothing happened. Antonio (there are many Antonio’s here!) kindly stepped over the low wall that separates our two terraces, looked at what we had done and called them on the phone to confirm that we did indeed have reservations that were soon confirmed by an email. We were very grateful for his help! We often feel like the character in Tennessee Williams play “relying” on the kindness of strangers. And kind they have been. We don’t know how we would have done most of the things we have done here in Italy without the help of many, many people.
So now we will drive Jessica to the airport in Naples early in the morning on the 14th and go back again on the 15th in the afternoon for our flight to Catania. We are very excited to see our "Bella Sicilia" and spend a little more time with our lovely, generous friends, maybe even take walk on the beach in Marina di Ragusa, stroll around Ragusa Ibla, or nibble a few cannoli in Modica, who knows. We are very excited and indeed fortunate.
Rosemary e Robert