Day two of our car hire was another big day driving. We travelled inland to the city of Enna. Situated up on a hill at a height of 931m above sea level. The highest point in central Sicily. We left Giardini Naxos and headed onto the toll autostrada. The cost to the edge of Catania €1.50. Then we entered the free autostrada to Enna. The central countryside is so different. Around Catania, the lava fields still evident from previous eruptions. Then volcanic hills, green with a mixture of baron land. Stone houses dotting the lower landscape. Sicilian orange groves are all around, its something I really love here. The fresh fruit is some of the best we have ever eaten. Our sat nav decided to take us off the main road up to the parking spot, about 15 minutes from the destination. Goat tracks and narrow dirt roads are really a nightmare in Italy. Climbing finally up to the summit, the road falling away. We arrived in the back-end of town. Parked below the Castello di Lombardia. The entry free to this, we walked around with the dogs. Met by a guide he asked if would like a free 5 minute tour. We agreed and he asked if we were english. We said we were kiwis, but live in Wales. Then the brexit talks started. He was quite funny saying CATASTROPHIC, with an italian and almost russian accent. As the history tour continued he goes on about Berlusconi ( the previous Italian prime minister) and his bonga bonga sex parties. Saying that the history that happened at the castle isn’t as CATASTROPHIC as Berlusconi. In all it was hilarious, Jason didn’t understand him and his jokes about politics weren’t as funny as he was describing CATASTROPHIC. We walked around for a while and then headed out to the rock on the edge of town, that gives an amazing view back of the castello, Enna its self and the opposing town of Calascribetta. The weather was a mixture of rain showers and clouds, but it cleared enough for us to see out and over to Calascribetta. After lunch we decided to head to Villa Romana del Casale. Situated just outside of Piazza Armenia. Again the sat nav taking us the crazy route, we hit a bump of a pothole. A short while after we sounded like a boy racer, the exhaust seemed to hum. Villa Romana del Casale houses the best mosaics ive ever seen. You could spend hours walking around the house. The hallway holds a huge mosaic the length of the hallway. The great hunt pictured in such detail. Nearly every room, and this place is huge, the floors covered with mosaic pictures. The central courtyard with what looks like baths or water fountains. Outside the remains of other structures. Overall so worth the €10.
The weather settling in we decided to go to Caltagirone. The town known for its ceramics and tiled staircase, Santa Maria del Monte. Parked up we walked into the town arriving at the foot of the staircase. A school trip sitting on the stairs. Flower pots dotting up in the shape of a word. We couldn’t read. As the kids moved to the top we could see the coloured tiles, with pictures of various things all the way up. As you climb the mammoth staircase, ceramic shops line the sides. From the top the view down over the Cathedrale de Castiglione and its turquoise dome. Standing out on the dreary day. Passing the school of ceramics on the way out. You can see ceramics in handrails and ceramic pictures all through the town. By this time of the day it was getting late, time to head back. As we arrived at the autostrada, the noise from the car getting louder. We now were thinking that it’s the engine that’s stuffed. We just wanted to get back in one piece. Back at the sosta, we tell Paolo that we think its unsafe to drive as the noise is bad. He tells us he will call in the morning. After taking it for a two-minute drive Paolo agrees that it needs fixing. At least we have done most of the big drives at this stage. Day three car number 2 arrives, a bigger four door, automatic, with a big dent in the side. The petrol light on and no cleaner than the last. We smile as our neighbours arrive in a brand new hire car from a different company. The only good thing about this €30 all inclusive, its dirty so we can take the dogs in it, and it already has dings. I don’t think we would be happy driving a brand new one in case someone hits us. Which in this country is a common thing. The insurance from some of these companies 2-3x the cost of hiring the car.