Catania is our last stopping off point on this trip and we’ve explored the town for two days now. It is dominated by Mt. Etna which is 10,000 feet and reminds us of Mt. Shasta though at this time of the year it has no snow. According to Thucydides, the city was founded in 729 BCE by Greek colonists. It was flooded with lava, shaken by earthquakes and yes, razed to the ground in 1693. The city today is the result of 18th century rebuilding that includes broad straight streets (though there are many little alleys as well), unevenly shaped piazzas and a different color of stone from the lighter colors you see elsewhere in Sicily. Unfortunately there is quite a bit of graffiti everywhere which detracts but we’ve seen some interesting things and our hotel is a bit out of the way (cruise ships come here) so we’ve had some great meals in local restaurants and found this a great way to end the trip.
On our last morning in Catania we went to see one last sundial in the church called San Nicolo l’Arena. This one is quite large, crossing the whole transept but the strange thing is the church is completely empty and filled with dusty chandeliers, niches, and even confessionals. It was a strange last church to see.
We fly to Rome for one more night and then make our way back to the US.