Niscemi is about 90 minutes by car from Catania. More if you are a tourist struggling with the challenges of driving in Sicily. We renegotiate our way back through Catania and take several wrong turns again before eventually finding the right road to cut across the island from the north east to the south. We are amazed at how similar the countryside is to the Australian landscape. At several places we feel like we are variously traveling along the M5 through south-west Sydney or the highway through the Monaro region. It is dry, with gentle hills and where there are trees they are more often than not eucalyptus.
As we approach Niscemi we see that it is a hill-top town. The town is perched across the top of a flat-top hill which rises suddenly from the plains below. As Jeremy guides us to the family's home the streets become progressively narrower until we are literally holding our breath as our car squeezes through the impossible space between parked cars and the opposite kerb. I am not a nervous passenger but driving through the streets of Niscemi is definitely nail-biting stuff.
It is lovely to finally meet the family who have been caring for our son for the last five months and after a welcome home-cooked meal we are taken to another apartment several blocks away where we will stay while in Niscemi.
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