Fratelli in La Bella Sicilia
Lorenzo, Leonardo &
- Catania to Noto - Heavy rains during our short warm-up ride in
Noto. Beautiful and ancient baroque architecture, guided tour of the
city, umbrellas from our guide, Marcello. Tried on our Janis Brothers shirts from
Leonardo -- Excellante!
Noto to Ragusa - 52 miles of many long climbs
and great down-hills. Extraordinary scenery - olive trees, stone fences everywhere,
beautiful vistas. Great lunch at Farm house - cheese, eggplant in bread, olives,
pizza. Our hotel, the Mediterraneo Palace, located in
"new" Ragusa (only 400 years old). Long walk
- stairs - to "old" Ragusa (Medieval). 7 course
Mediterranean coast - 55 miles - panoramic ride over gorgeous countryside, very
friendly people. "Buon Giorno"
- 19 people in our group, 20-mile option with long switchback climbs and incredible
views - only 5 people volunteered. Naturally 3 of the 5 were the Janis Brothers
and, of course, we did EFI. Our side trip to the little town of Scicli was an extremely
long and steep climb, worth the effort. Great lunch on the beach of the Mediterranean
Sea. Tour of Donna Fugata castle. Wine tasting in the
evening. 7 course dinner in old city in stone cavern-like settings.
Ragusa-- to Caltagirone - 75 miles - Down hills
to great valley with spectacular views, then up to high ridges and gorgeous vistas.
Caltagirone was re-built after terrible earthquake of 1693. Italian lessons from
Marcello and Paolo. Sang Volaré by Domenico
Modugno (1956). Still very popular after almost 40 years. Leonardo and
Paolo sang this song everyday!! Dinner at La Scala at
the base of the famous 143 ceramic stairs we climbed after dinner.
- Caltagirone to S Giovanni
La Punta - 60 miles - Roller coaster hills to Morgantina
and a walk along extensive excavation of a Greek city dating back to 600 BC. Great
picnic lunch of olives, cheese, bread, eggplant and tomatoes. A challenging 8-mile
climb after lunch. Views of Mt. Etna. We arrived at our final destination at sundown,
just in time after completing EFI. 10 Italian beers with Marcello & Paolo and
we all sang Volaré.
- Mt. Etna - We all hiked
through the top portion of this active volcano. The last eruption was just a year
ago. A small restaurant that lava just missed near the top (visited by Pauline of
Field Container - introductory pictures and note for owner - given to Larry). We
arrived early (restaurant closed but took pictures).
- Spectacular views of
lava fields and new plant life (starts after 200 years). Lady bugs everywhere. They
feed off micro-organisms. A lot of volcanic ash and dust - tiring climbs, but very
different from anything done before. "WILD" taxi ride to Catania airport
for 2 day visit to Historical Rome.
- Last night's dinner
at Villa Paradiso del Etna - Private room with unbelievable
performance of 20 local Sicilians in traditional costumes - inspiring songs and
dancing. We all joined in at the end, held hands and danced. A great experience
- Volaré - Our animated
guide Paolo with help from Leonardo.
- Certificates from Marcello
and his kind words about Janis Brothers.
- Towns built on sides
of mountains - magnificent views.
- Fabulous food - especially
- Lorenzo saying how delicious
his smoked cheese tasted - then corrected and told he just ate smoked swordfish!!
- Great movie filming
- Les - 100 digital pictures
- Lorenzo - 48 Kodak instamatic
- Sicilian people - friendly
- Very enthusiastic
- Our two guides - Marcello
Bonini and Paolo Nicolosi
- Gelato - new flavors
every night, except Les - always chocolate
- Les getting us upgraded
& Leonardo's joyful reaction - "can you believe the drinks are free?"
- "The Brothers"
being together again for our 10th ride was "the best highlight".
Hopefully, we'll ride again next year at ages of 62, 60, and 57. Even better will
be when we ride together at 72, 70, and 67!! Perfecto!!