Dizzy in Southeast Sicily

June 10, 2010

There are rivers, cascades, torrents of steps in Sicilian hill towns.

Steps in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily

Steps in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily Steps in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily

Ragusa Ibla is a natural gym—better than a Stair Stepper. No wonder the locals live such long lives. It must be the steps (oh, and the olive oil that old-timers drink like water).

I gain no weight here, though I eat  like a monster: great bowls of pasta alla Norma, cones of toasted almond gelato, artichoke flowers, deep-fried donuts filled with sweet pistachio cream, wheels of cheese.

Steps in Ragusa Ibla, SicilySteps in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily Steps in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily Steps in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily

To the hundreds of steps in town, add twenty-five more in my house.  I lie in bed at night, head spinning and spinning. Legs aching and aching. And I’m happy.


Does this life look fun to you?

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12 comments to Dizzy in Southeast Sicily

  • Rosann

    I loved this post! The correct direction to go in Italy is ALWAYS up. After a 4 week mostly carbohydrate diet in Rome, I came home 2 pounds lighter. Definitely all those steps up.

  • Dear Jann,

    Each time I return to Ragusa I must take the steps to Ibla; it’s the ritual which brings me back to the endless games my brother Carmelo and I played walking, running, jumping and sliding on the steps nearest to our house in Via San Francesco. We never tired of playing on the steps; it was our playground.

    I loved your powerfully evocative photos.

    Grazie tanto.
    Ciao, Giovanna

  • Carina

    Can’t believe I am saying (writing) this … but I really miss all those steps!!!
    Grazie Jann!

  • Beautiful photos! I managed to gain 7 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks in italy, even walking up and down Positano and Assisi. Maybe Sicily next time!

  • Emalene Renna

    Love the steps and your photos. Thinking that when I’m in Ragusa can eat,drink and not gain weight just by climbing steps. Hope it’s true.

  • sandee wheeler

    I was wondering that exact thing…..is the last picture the stairway to your house?

    • Jann

      Dennis and Sandee–those orange ones are not the very final steps to my house. They’re one set of possibilities up from the lower village (unfortunately for my legs I live at the highest level!)

  • Dennis Berry

    I really enjoy your Blog. Is the last picture the stairway to your house? If it is what a great spot to make your last climb of the day. In Bergamo we lived on Via delgi Orti and had a wonderful covered stairway to walk through. If you look on google map our house was below La Colombina. We could see Monte Bianco from our terrace or maybe it was Russia (Russia). Fun is doing anything you don’t have to do.

  • When I’m in Italy, I love being able to walk everywhere, and honestly, my boyfriend doesn’t understand that of me. Probably because he’s used to the Italian way of life. It’s great that you can eat as much gelato, pasta, and sweets, that you want and still be able to burn it all off. In Urbino, there aren’t lots of stairs but there are LOTS of steep hills. As you walk up the steepest hill in town, you call literally feel the burn in your legs and butt. LOL

  • This life looks “bellisima” to me! Thanks for letting me live it vicariously.

  • It does look like fun, I miss it like crazy!

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