We travelled to Yucatan in 2012. We left behind a literally frozen Helsinki. By the time we reached Tulum, we had realized that by the end of our two-weeks holiday, we will have to be dragged back to the Finnair flight back home. Despite the 12-hours journey-or rather because of it-our little one rushed to the beach and began jumping up and down, laughing hysterically. It felt like we were releasing a “seal calf” back to nature! Our room at Villa Las Estrellas had a private terrace facing the turquoise Caribbean sean sea, complete with its own hammock. Two strawberry margaritas were brought to us. By then, we were also jumping up and down, laughing hysterically…
Some people tend to think of Sicily as a chaotic and sometimes intimidating place. To be honest, I was a little bit hesitating to take the family there. “Think positive”, I urged myself. Sicily is after all a must-see destination, the land where Mediterranean’s greatest civilizations flourished, leaving behind unique monuments. When at school, I was deeply fascinated by the history of “Magna Graecia”, the Great Greece! As I was booking our flights, my mind was already traveling towards the glorious, greater-than-life ancient sites of Syracuse and Agrigento.
The flight from Helsinki to Catania went smoothly. I love Finnair for its friendly service, attention to details, beautiful design and tasty food they serve. Next stop: Modica. We were very lucky to find a modern, 1-bedroom, fully renovated, 2-story house in Modica, just a short drive from the sea and near Syracuse. The people that run the properties are fantastic! (www.monoresort.com)
The brand new highway from Catania to Syracuse runs through a rather uneventful scenery of arid bushland, steep cliffs at a far distance and a massive industrial zone along the coast. After an hour’s drive, we exited the highway and started climbing inland. To our contempt, the Iblean plateau where Ispica, Modica, Noto and Ragusa are located, consists of colorful patches of cultivated land. Among the citrus and olive trees, you get glimpses of majestic estates, only to vanish again behind lush gardens. Suddenly, a deep canyon cuts the plateau, and there she is: Modica! The view of the baroque town rising amphitheatrically from the floor of the valley is breathtaking, almost untrue. Modica greets you with the flair of an aristocratic grand dame, elegant and welcoming at the same time. This is when our love story with Sicily began!