If I was a nervous passenger in the streets of Niscemi, I was absolutely pathetic in Caltagirone. For one thing we were lost and our local guide, Jeremy, was trying but having a terrible time trying to get us to where we wanted to go. And impossibly, the streets seemed even narrower - we are clearing obstacles by mere millimetres. In addition, the combination of traveling for so long in the air and doing so much walking in the heat has taken its toll and my ankles have swollen up like balloons while my calf muscles have completely seized so I just can't scale dozens of steps today. We manage to pinpoint a street which will land us close to halfway up the stairway and while the kids take the route heading down we strike across.
Caltagirone is also known for its ceramics. Traditionally brightly painted pottery in the same colours as the steps, the artisans here seem to have branched out and are now more adventurous in their palette. There are ceramic shops everywhere and we succumb to temptation to pick up a few small gifts here. At the base of the stairs is a piazza surrounded by cafes. On one corner is a large civic building housing the tourist information office. Inside, the two expansive facing walls front and back are adorned with painted tile murals and provide a pleasant backdrop for a cool drink.
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