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.