After a reasonable breakfast (Italian of course) we set off from our B&B today to explore Ortigia Island. Beautiful day and we really saw it at it's best. Lovely old sandstone buildings, ruins of Apollo Temple, partly restored fort at the foot of the island (very Moorish in look) . Streets and laneways cleaner than what we have seen before today. Still lots of tourists around but prices are much less than the mainland. Interesting to note that the faculty of Architecture is located right at the foot of the island directly next to the fort.
Afternoon we decided to drive up to Noto - usually a half hour drive, but not for us - we decided to take the country road which of course came to an end as they were doing work - no warning, no signs just a blockade. We found another country road down laneways with stone walls reminscent of mother England and eventually there was a sign for Noto and we ended up on the Autostrada so we knew we would get there (around an hour more than expected). We arrived during siesta time so it was nice and quiet and everything was closed so we had a gelato. Things came back to life and we saw a couple of churches and admired the architecture which is baroque in style and almost all in a sandstone colour - quite impressive in scale and grandeur. The streets and lanes are more grid-like and it is a bit easier to find your way around without getting totally lost.
We made our way home to Syracusa and after a short rest headed out for dinner on Via Cavour (restaurant street on the island). We were partially impressed but still not very memorable. We are so lucky in Noosa with the exceptional quality and choice that we have - it is really hard to beat.
We have decided to treat ourselves tomorrow in Taormina and have booked a very nice hotel with balcony and seaview so we will see how that works out.
Our time in Sicily is coming to a close and tomorrow is our last day of sightseeing as Thursday we fly to Crete for 2 weeks before our committment in Turin for the international Slow Food Terra Madre.