Day 8

Today Salvatore came to meet us as Alessia had a test and Carmella was working. He took us to Modica a town famous for chocolate and about 30 minutes away. On the way we stopped by another town to visit his friend who had a good view of Fendi’s (handbag designer’s) house which was located next door. Everyone is so friendly here and Salvatore seems to know everyone! We arrived at Modica and went up to St George’s church which was located up quite a few stairs. There were great views of Modica from there. We also went up to the bell tower which has very narrow staircases. After this we headed down to the town to check out the artisan chocolate shop where we tasted many different flavors as well as the local modica sweet chocolate filled biscuit. Then ended our visit at Modica with cacao brewed beer and a photo with another Occhipinti branded truck!

In one of the churches there is a small hole in the wall up on the corner to let a dot of light through which then shines on marking on the floor to indicate the time of year. There were the zodiac signs too but it was a little hard to understand how to interpret this properly because it’s all in Italian!

After Modica the plan was to go to Salvatore’s mum’s house for lunch as her sister Gina and husband had just arrived from Australia for 3 months so it was a family lunch affair! We arrived at Nonna’s house to a busy house of people and these delicious cassata which had ravioli sheets for the tart base and ricotta, sugar and lemon filling. They were delicious 😍. After that we started the actual meal which was a beef broth with pasta bits and then beef, chicken and salad. The soup pasta dish reminded Steve of his childhood days! There was so much food and lots of Italian chatter between so many people. Lets not forget the delicious biscuits made by Nonna! Definitely have been fed a lot here and touched by the warmness of all the extended family here.

There seemed to be a lot of people wanted to catch up with Gina as there were so many people coming in and out of Nonna’s house and of course an endless supply of little snacks to eat. Salvatore and his niece and her husband offered to take us down to the pier. The sun was out and yet the beaches were quiet. It’s not until next month that the beaches will be packed. Steve decided to give his drone a go, although Salvatore was a little worried as we weren’t sure if it was okay to fly - we did anyway! Finally on our way back we went back via the piazza and sneakily Salvatore’s niece paid for us to get gelato! We were so full but still were able to fit in some gelato and tried blood orange, lemon, Nutella and strawberry flavours 🐷

After dinner we drove out to Salvatore’s other house that he has been working on for 6 years! He had built everything himself and it will become a bed and breakfast like hotel that can accommodate 20-30 people! It’s pretty amazing!

He brought some left over food for the dogs there and they were so excited they were literally climbing the walls of their pen.

We brought the drone and got some nice footage of the construction site. We also gave Alessia a go at flying. He predicts this will be completed in a years time so we can use this footage to compare when it’s finished!

The place is on a big block and there are lots of plants including capers that had a nice pink and purple flower and it was growing out of the concrete! Even smaller, new plants were found growing here and there out of the walls of the driveway

From Salvatore’s hotel we went to get some dinner, we were after pizza because we haven’t really been to a proper pizza place yet. First we tried a place called “stasera paga io” (which means “tonight I’ll pay”) but it was booked out so we ended up at another place called “La Falena” (which is a type of nocturnal butterfly).

We all ordered pizza and I ordered a calzone (a folded pizza). It was all really nice food! Much better than the pizza I remember last time I was in Italy!

We haven’t been able to buy a single thing for our generous hosts because everytime we try they prevent us! This time I quietly stepped away from our table after we finished eating and went to the bathroom but along the way I tried to pay for our table but the first person I spoke to pointed me to another person and that person said he wouldn’t accept me money unless he checks with Salvatore first! My plans were foiled! I was planning on yelling “stasera paga io” but Salvatore has too many connections here!