Exploring Catania

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During the last week we spent most of our free time running to the park, playing with our football, running to the beach and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

On a couple of afternoons we did take a break from our daily routines to explore a little bit more of Catania. It’s about time we did a little bit more exploring considering we’ve already been here three weeks and we only have a week left!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our first mini excursion was to Aci Castello, which is about a 20 minute bus ride north of the Catania city center.

Aci Castello is a small town with a population of nearly 20,000 people built around the Norman castle Aci Castello.

The castle is perched above the ocean on a high cliff with bright blue waves crashing into the rocks below.

Upon our arrival in Aci Castello we stopped at a street truck to get a drink before walking down onto the rocks to explore the tide pools below the castle.

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We hung out on the rocks for as long as we could, but we had to head back up to safety before the tide came in too far and crushed our weak gooey bodies into the cliff face.

With the sun already getting low in the sky we headed back to the hostel to eat dinner in the restaurant.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Since we don’t speak Italian we’ve been stuck pretty much only working the night shift (1 a.m. to 9 a.m.) at the reception desk at the hostel. While it’s nice not having to feel like an idiot staring blankly back at a guest who is babbling in Italian at light speed, it’s done a number on our sleeping schedule.

Even Tarynne is sleeping in late into the morning on most days. And on this particular Saturday I think Tarynne set a new personal best…she didn’t emerge from her dorm room until 4:30 in the afternoon.

Since I had been patiently waiting to get out of the hostel for a majority of the day we decided to head down the street to check out the archaeological complex of Catania’s Theatre and Odeon.

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The ancient Roman Theatre and Odeon was built in the first century A.D. on an existing Greek theatre. It’s decline occurred between the sixth and seventh century A.D. and beginning in the Middle Ages the theatre was covered with houses that prevented its view for centuries.

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In the early 1990s the Arts and Environment Office of Catania began excavating and restoring the theatre.

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The main theatre had an original capacity of 7,000 spectators and the smaller theatre, called the Odeon, had a capacity of about 1,500 spectators.

The Odeon was intended for musical performances, poetry readings and the rehersals for the performances that would have been played in the main theatre.

Since we got such a late start due to Tarynne’s excessive snoozing we had to quickly high tail it back to the hostel to cook dinner before the restaurant opened.

Even though we had leftover chili from the day before, I opted to bring a little home sweet home to the heart of Catania and grill up a truly American cheeseburger. Of course I used fresh vegetables from the market and fresh bread from the bakery across the street. If there’s such a thing as a Catanian cheeseburger, then this is it.

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Oh, and for those who’d like to attempt the replicate my culinary brilliance, here’s the recipe for the Jimmy Mac. Boun appetito!

 

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