We returned from a holiday in Sicily and Malta on October 22.
It had started on October 8, dreadfully stress-loaded, with a 2.5 hour Toronto delay on the tarmac in Air Canada 890, followed by an Air Canada “welcomer” in Rome October 9 who commanded us to “Run!” to our replacement flight – an impossible and dangerous marathon pre-destined to fail epically. We “ran” for 25 minutes…
Though we were both almost 74, no motorized transportation was offered. In fact, when requested, it was denied. We missed that replacement flight and, at one point, my wife and I were so breathless that I was worried that one of us would have a serious medical incident at FCO.
We went to about 4 disinterested, misinformed Alitalia desks/gates until we finally found a veteran Alitalia supervisor who knew exactly how to solve our problem in about 10 minutes. He and his super efficient staff got us and our bags on Flight 1741 to Catania that left at 3 PM, 2.5 hours after our original Alitalia flight 1711 had been scheduled to depart.
Our destination was Siracusa, that ancient, sacred place that was once more important than Corinth or Athens. We easily found the Interbus kiosk at Catania Airport that sold tickets to Siracusa for €5.70 pp and arrived at Maison Ortigia in the dark. Emanuele was waiting for us and for a few other patrons of his B&B who had also been delayed in their travels.
The beauty of what we experienced in these two ancient, war-torn lands more than made up for the stress we went through on October 8th and 9th in getting there.