We spent a glorious two and a half days in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. There aren't a lot of tourists in Sicily right now (high season starts around Easter and continues the entire summer) so we got the chance to relax and slow down a bit.
We checked out some of the shops, wandered through street vendors, and since our room at our hostel had a TV, watched some Italian shows. That was one of the best parts, which sounds awful, I know, but we experienced a lot of culture by watching our Italian MTV, La Fattoria (like Survivor), and Amici (like American Idol.
We also had the chance to make our own picnic lunches. We went to a local grocery store and got bread, cheese, and sausage to make sandwiches plus other fun Italian foods. (Think chocolate). We ate our lunches in a park one day and near the water the other day. It was the best feeling, just eating our sandwiches and enjoying the weather. By this time it had warmed up compared to the chilly/rainy weather we had in Naples.
At night we found some small mom 'n' pop diners--at one we had an amazing minestrone and traditional Sicilian sausage. We aren't sure if that restaurant was even open that night. The owner saw us peeking in the window (we were checking the place out) and opened the door for us, invited us in. They served us, but we were the only people there the entire time! At the other place we found, right below our hostel, I ate the best gnocchi of my life. Gnocchi is similar to pasta, but more like a dumpling. What I had was gnocchi all'amalfitana--seasoned with tomato, basil, and mozzarella.
So far on our spring break we had eaten quite well--the best pizza in Naples, the best pasta in Sicily, plus the best picnic lunches we could create from the small grocery stores we found. We were still in Italy, so of course we should be eating well! On Wednesday it was time to leave Italy, though...we packed up and headed to our final destination: Greece.