From the Ionian Islands we ferried back to the mainland and drove north to Igoumenitsa, a port city with several ferry lines running across to the south of Italy. The crossing was overnight and took about 10 hours which was perfect as we slept through most of it anyway. The noise of the engines and the waves crashing on the hull were reminiscent of our cruise ship days and even the smell in the crew area was the same, a particular mix of grease, sweat and stale cigarette smoke that is hard to define but very particular to ships.
Once we arrived in Italy we headed straight for Sicily as we were meeting up with friends who were there on holidays to see family. Sicily is one of those places that you can´t see in a rush, and we left after a week with the distinct feeling that we had barely scratched the surface of what the island has to see and do. Politically, it´s part of Italy… geographically, closer to north Africa and culturally, it´s a land all of it´s own. We spent most of our time in and around the city of Siracusa, with short day trips to Marzamemi and the fish market in Catania, which was an incredible experience. All the more visceral because I was wearing Havaianas and by the end of the day my feet were coated in fish scales and stinky unidentified gunk as the cement floor is flooded with fishy water. A fragrant experience, to say the least.