Piazza Armerina, Mount Etna, Taormina, Catania. Just two days and yet, thanks to our organized guide Tita and driver Carmelo, we were able to enjoy places that are so different from each other and, only a few weeks ago in the confined space of our Clapp classroom, so remote and exotic. The Roman mosaics in Piazza Armerina; the beautiful, almost unreachable town of Taormina, perched up a steep hill [thank you, Carmelo, for taking those curves ever so slowly today]; the mysterious, dangerous but (as we learned) much beloved Mount Etna; Catania’s Baroque churches and monasteries and a final, unexpected, treat, Aci Castello and Aci Trezza, where we admired the ‘very’ house that inspired Verga’s Malavoglia, the set for Luchino Visconti’s La terra trema and the ‘very’ rocks that Polyphemus threw at Ulysses.

Today, Ulrich and I took our morning jog to a new level (literally) when we decided to run up the hill to the ruins of the Moorish castle. The view, needless to say, was even more breathtaking than the already amazing view from Taormina: Etna on the right and the Calabrian coast on the left. There were no cars, no noise, no people, just us and a few birds.

In a few minutes, we’ll head downstairs to enjoy Jazzy’s oral presentation. Yesterday it was Michaella’s turn, about Mount Etna, and we ended up with a Geology discussion. Maybe we should do the whole semester in Sicily…

Mimi in Piazza Armerina

Jazzy in Piazza Armerina

Alberta in Piazza Armerina

Anne Gabrielle in Piazza Armerina

Luckily, Michaella did not fall inside Etna, as she had an oral presentation later that day

Daring photographer Briana on Etna

Jaymie and Michaella in Taormina

Nancy Drew is not auditioning for a Wes Anderson movie, she is just stylish...

Happi in a rare moment of rest, and in between granitas
not quite at the castle yet, but already declaring victory...

Taormina from the castle with mainland Italy in the background

Swordfish at the Catania market

group picture in Catania. Left to right: Mark, Paula, Emma, Priscilla, Briana, Jazzy, Michaella,  Ombretta, Anne Gabrielle, Evelyn, Tita (our guide), Jaymie, Lauren, Maddie

The Malavoglia house in Aci Trezza

Polyphemus' rocks

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