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Milazzo and Lipari...

Continued from: Siracusa and Noto...

After thanking Cinzia, and the hotel staff, I took a taxi to the train station and waited for the train that departed Siracusa at 10:25AM.
My train arrived 20 minuted late to Messina where I didn’t have much time to transfer trains. Thankfully, the kind conductor who was checking our train tickets had given me the track number to my next train!

I arrived to Milazzo at around 14:00 then took a local bus (#5) to the port (thanks Charlene!)

I arrived to Petit Hotel and was greeted by Maria, a friendly and most helpful receptionist.
My room (#6) was petit but comfortable and clean.

Since it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner, Maria recommended a small cafè nearby where I ate a decent lunch, nothing special, but I was grateful.

After lunch I found the market and bought water, peach juice, sweet pears, and sweet tomatoes (can you tell I love sweet tomatoes?!)

I then walked to the cathedral, a somewhat modern building with a peaceful interior. Afterwards, I walked uphill toward the old church and the castle, but I was too tired so walked back down to the cathedral.
By this time I needed a gelato fix, so found ‘Bar Chantilly’ (recommended by Maria) across from the cathedral, for the best creamy gelato.

The sea promenade was refreshing that warm sunny afternoon. I found a place to sit and enjoyed watching families with their young children running around or riding their bicycles.

The following morning, after a hearty breakfast, I walked to the port of Milazzo, steps away from Petit Hotel.
I was glad I’d purchased my ticket the day before because there was a long queue of mostly German speaking tourists waiting to buy tickets.

While waiting for the ferry I met a young woman named Maria Grazia. She works at a fancy hotel and makes beautiful purses as a hobby/ business.
She was delivering two purses to a friend who has a shop in Vulcano. She urged me to follow her as we tried to avoid the large tour group that was trying to get ahead of us while embarking ferry. We talked during the entire journey. [I was happy to have downloaded the Google Translate App!} Vulcano is the island right before Lipari. When the ferry was approaching Vulcano, she got up from her seat and advised me to get my bag so I wouldn't have to deal with the crowd when the boat arrived to Lipari. I thanked her and we said goodbye.

The ferry arrived to Lipari at 10:35am, and Giuseppe, the apartment manager, was waiting for me with a sign that read, “ACANTO APARTMENTS”. He helped with my duffle bag, and we talked as we walked to the apartments.

[Side note: I left my spinner at Hotel Petit and only packed a small duffle bag for Lipari]

Malva Apartment (#103) was a great place; a very spacious room with a comfortable bed, a small balcony with a great drying rack, a clean bathroom with shower, a sitting room with a couch, a small table & chairs, and a tiny kitchen built into a cabinet with a tiny stove, a sink and a small refrigerator.

Giuseppe was friendly and helpful and answered all my questions; good restaurants, best gelateria, etc, etc.

The once sunny day became a wet drizzly afternoon. Giuseppe lent me a great big umbrella and I was ready to explore.
The bus arrived to Acquacalda, and I found ‘Al Tramonto’ ("at sunset"), a beautiful restaurant overlooking the bluest sea, and a great place to witness the sunset (I’d been told...)

The waiter brought over a tray of fresh fish and I chose the one I wanted.
My fish was perfectly grilled with fresh aromatic herbs and drizzled with fragrant olive oil and a touch of lemon. The caponata was sweet and savory. The atmosphere was delightful and peaceful.

[Side note: fish is charged by its weight in Kilograms]

After lunch, I walked to the small church and sat for a while in this peaceful place.

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Day 2)
After a delicious breakfast. I took the bus to Quattropani. I asked the bus driver to please let me know where to get off near Chiesa Vecchia (old church).
It’s a 15-20 minute, mostly uphill, walk to the church but the vista from there is absolutely magnificent!
The wildflowers were lovely too!
The old church is very small and simple but peaceful. When I was admiring the breathtaking scenery of the verdant island and the bluest sea (up and behind the church), a small group of tourists arrived (in a taxi) and only stayed for a couple of minutes before they took off. I was grateful not to be in a rush.

One must walk back to the main road to catch the bus.
Back in Lipari, I bought a melon and some apricots from a man selling fruit from the back of his pick up truck. I also stopped at the market and bought some freshly baked bread rolls, salame with pistachios, prosciutto cotto, some olives and a ball of fresh and creamy burrata cheese.
I made myself a fruit salad with the sweet melon and apricots, and a mouthwatering sandwich for lunch- delicious!

Giuseppe had offered to drive me to the South side of the island where the buses only service during the summer months. He took me to a beautiful vista point by the observatory where we could see the island of Vulcano.
There were so many wildflowers covering the green mountains all around.
Giuseppe then drove on a very rocky road to another high point known as Fornia Vecchia. The vista of the bluest sea and the neighboring islands was absolutely majestic! One cannot even imagine how beautiful this island is until one actually experiences it.

Once back at the apartments, I asked Giuseppe where the best gelateria was and he told me that it was in Canneto, the next town over.
I rushed to the bus stop and missed the 6:10 bus, so had to wait for the 6:30 bus. When the bus arrived everyone waiting boarded and the bus became packed!
The third stop is right across from the recommended Bar-Gelateria ‘Papisca’.
I ordered my usual combination, chocolate, pistachio and strawberry. I sat on their outside patio overlooking the waterfront and enjoyed the quiet scenery.
Afterwards I picked up a handful of sea glass on the rocky beach. The sea glass looked like smooth green gems in contrast to the dull brown stones.

I boarded the bus back to Lipari at 7:45pm. I sat toward the back of the bus near a group of young adults. I overheard one of the young women speaking English, so I asked where they were from to which one of them replied, “America”. I asked where in America and they replied, “New Jersey”. They were surprised to hear me speaking English because they’d thought I was Sicilian!

When we got off the bus they asked me for a restaurant recommendation and proceeded to invite me join them at a seafood restaurant, ‘L’Angolo el Pesce’, (recommended by Giuseppe)
We enjoyed our long and interesting conversation because we talked mostly about their jobs and life aspirations.
I missed my children and I told them that they reminded me of them because they were all around the same ages (twenties)

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Day 3) My last day in beautiful Lipari...

This morning I’d decided to go to the island of Vulcano but Giuseppe suggested I go to the island of Santa Marina Salina instead. It dind't take much to convince me when he said, "Salina is more beautiful than Vulcano, there are more wildflowers there!

I’d met Marie, a French woman, at breakfast and she’d told me that she and her husband were going to Salina Island too.
When I arrived to the port, I ran into Marie & her husband Bruno and we talked briefly. They were retired and loved traveling.
When we arrived to S.M. Salina, I told them I was going to wait for the bus to Lingua and they told me they were walking there (3Km). I usually enjoy walking, but it was a hot day and I just didn't feel like walking.
In Salina I visited the church, browsed in some of the shops then walked along the seashore and dipped my feet into the crystalline water. I was enjoying the refreshing cool water when, within a couple of minutes, I saw two small jellyfish swimming toward my feet!

Lingua, is a small village with a beautiful rocky beach and a small salt lagoon occupied by a few migrating birds.
Sicily is famous for their granita, a refreshing fruity sorbet- like delight... But much better... You just need to try one.
I stopped at d'Alfredo and got a strawberry granita, then walked to the waters edge, sat on a large rock and placed my feet in the cool water. I didn't see any jellyfish there so that was good.

After a while, I walked to the restaurant d’Alfredo (recommended by Lonely Planet book) and ran into Marie and Bruno once again. They had just finished eating their lunch and had recommended the spaghetti with tonno (tuna) and it was very filling and delicious.

After lunch I walked back to the bus stop and took the bus to Malfa. There wasn’t much to see in Malfa except for a small church and some shops that were closed (most shops close from 1:30 to 4 or 5 pm)

Did I mentioned that it was a hot day? Well, since I had a long wait for the bus, I found a small cafè, watched a few minutes of the Giro d'Italia and walked out with a gelato.

Back at port I waited for the 5:40pm hydrofoil back to Lipari.

The following morning, after breakfast, I thanked the friendly and kind Acanto Apartments staff, and took the 9:30 ferry back to Milazzo. I loved Lipari! I could see myself living there... But only if my family was there too!

Next, Acireale, Taormina, and back to Milan...

P.S. Edited to add a bit more information ; )