Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pantilica Necropolis/Akria

Winds are down, sun is out, looks like it is going to be a beautiful weekend.

We see this man often. He walks holding on to the wall. Very cute

We start of the day by driving to Pantalica.  After reading about it online we decided to approach it from the Ferla side, which meant we had a bit longer drive, but nicer views for the drive.  It was a beautiful drive, and we know to stop at the last parking lot, not sure in advance how we would know what was the last parking lot, but when we hit the dead end in the road and it was a parking lot we knew we had made it.  

Actually we did stop on the way for some pictures, it is was too hard to keep driving.  Pantalica is Sicily's greatest necropolis.  It is in a gorge, and holds several thousand tombs that are hollowed out in the sides of the valley.  We only really visited two location, there are 5 locations, and it would actually be a fantastic hike to do the whole gorge.  

The site was first used in the 8th and 10th century B.C.  Some of the tombs had many skeletons discovered in them.  It really was an amazing spot, no idea how they got the tombs built so high up in the gorge.  A great place to just sit, admire the beautiful views, and try to imagine what life would have been like so many years ago.  Oh, and the wildflowers,  spring in Sicily is beautiful!

I created a separate blog for the wildflowers.

Our first stop, the Necropolis of Filiporto. We only stopped here for a short time as we knew the north one is the most popular one.

Lots of stone walling in the area

Love the steps

View of the valley at our first stop. There a 9 km trail that follows the bottom

A few tombs here
Inside of one
Lots of wildflowers

Now at Pantalica North

Was used at a chapel at one time, we think from the Italian sign at the entrance

Close up of the previous picture

Some of the older ones were circular


Admiring the necropolis

These guys are everywhere
Small river at the bottom
Panorama of the valeys

We spent so long in Pantalica we decided to stop in Ferla for lunch on the way out.  It was an early lunch only around 12:30PM, we think they might have actually opened the little restaurant for us.  It was a good lunch of pasta, no English spoken here, but we were able to work out the menu a bit, and pasta is pretty simple to figure out.  We have discovered that most of these places do not serve pizza at lunch, they only light up their brick ovens for supper time.  They had a hugh puzza menu. About 60+ choices. Plus they had pasta and non pasta dishes. Probably over 100 choices. Lunch was very affordable. 

We were the only 2 there today for lunch

Pizza menu

The priest going to open the church.

2 large churches side by side

Beautiful interior

Next stop is Akria. This area was from fifth or sixth century  BC.  Quite an impressive Greek Theatre here, much smaller than the first 2 we have seen.  One of the highlights here were there were two little puppies playing around the Greek Theatre, they put on quite a show for us.  I am afraid if Ron and Nancy would have been on this part of the trip with us we would now have 2 puppies at our apartment.  In the lower quarry here you could go inside some of the burial chambers, this was amazing.  It was very different that what we had seen in Pantalica, another great stop today.

Country views along the way

Ancient road

Looks it is still being used for shows/small concerts.Seats 700 person.

City Hall

Burial chambers from the Christians ages.

Could use a bit of upkeeping

Roman carving depicting 3 scenes/

Next off we have decided to head off to our Agriturismo that we booked for the night.  Agriturismo typically are old farms that have converted into kind of like B&B’s.  There are many different standards, some have pools, beautiful restaurants, beautiful rooms and are very expensive, ours had none of the above lol.  Rollande mentioned her friend from Paris always stays in one, I can guarantee it is not in the one we stayed in.  It actually worked out fine for us.  We were the only 2 there, we’re not exactly how many rooms they rent, 3 for sure were ready to rent out, but I saw numbers on other buildings too.  

One of the reasons we picked this spot is because it is 15 minutes from a nice beach in the Riserva Naturale di Vendicari called Calamosche.  We got to the agriturismo at about 4PM, lots of workers we were shown to our room and then told how to get to the beach to go for a walk.  We asked what time dinner was served until, he told us 8, so we asked for dinner at 7:30, then he said he would have to check with his boss.  Well his boss said we had to eat at 6PM, total shock here, most places only open the earliest at 7PM, I guess they wanted us to be out of there early!  So we are really glad we had lunch at noon, normally we only have been having lunch around 2PM.  

Off to the beach we go, it is beautiful, and what an amazing walk this would be for a long walk.   I am not sure how many km the entire reserve is, but if you could arrange drop off and pick up some how it would be an amazing walk.  Made it back to the agriturismo for 6PM, we had seen the boss out running on the beach with his dogs so weren’t overly surprised when they called him and said he would be another 10 minutes.  So trying to finish my 20,000 steps for the day we so another little walk towards the beach, boss man passes us in his car so we know we will be able to get supper when we get back. 

This place is a really busy spot in the summer you can tell, showers set up outside, a big restaurant, a nice beach close by, but now, just us.  The menu had lots of seafood on it, but we didn’t trust how old it would have been, so I chose the only vegetarian thing on the menu, veggie couscous, Andre had rabbit.  The boss and 3 others prepared our meals.  There are so many staff here, but it really looks like this guy may be helping out some new immigrants, which was great to see.  We heard many different languages, everyone was really friendly, and a couple spoke pretty good English.   Supper done by 7PM, wifi was only available outside the main restaurant.  Andre sat outside and got caught up online, I walked back and forth to get my last 1500 steps in, this was quite comical as if I walked too far one way the dogs started barking, if I walked too far the other way the staff eating their dinner of hot dogs could see me, so I walked may times back and for the about 50 steps.   We sat outside on our porch for a bit but it got really cold, so off to bed in our really cold room, I think we were both asleep by 8:30..

View of Noto on our way to our agritourismo

Wildflowers at the beach

Calamoshe Beach

Abandon house in the park. Shows how they were built.

Close to where we stays

Rabbit for Andre

Couscous for Wendy


  1. Rabbit looks à bit greasy. I think Jacques looks just as good but your couscous looks delicious. everything looks greener than here.

  2. Love all of the historical places/photos you've been to. Thanks for the pictures of the puppies. Hopefully their owner was nearby.


We appreciate any comments/questions you would have or any stories about the places we visited.