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July 16, 2017

Sicily: Scicli


San Bartolomeo, one of several attractive churches in Scicli Sicily.

I must admit to having a minor obsession with completing travel orientated lists. If I read an intriguing list of places to see, there’s a risk that it could become a goal. For example, several years ago Frommer’s published a list of the must see alpine passes in Switzerland. We’d planned on driving the southern route through Switzerland. Once I saw Frommer’s list, we added detours to our route so that we would visit all five passes Swiss passes mentioned in the article. As it turned out the passes were a worthy goal; the route is spectacular. Nevertheless, even if Frommer’s list was completely lame, it was unavoidable that we would visit all of the passes. Lists must be completed.

This pattern of completing lists has developed to the point that I wonder whether I have some sort of a travel goal variant of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Indeed, I now have my own list of travel goals. (Somehow my travel OCD does not extend to keeping the list log up-to-date.) And time has only reinforced the desire to complete travel lists. If anything, the lists have become more rewarding even as they have become more esoteric and obscure. Searching out oddities lets us discover things that we were not looking for, the true joy of travel. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.

Inside San Bartolomeo

And thus we were inspired to visit the town of Scicli (pronounced “sheekly”) in southeastern Sicily. Motivated by their UNESCO World Heritage designations, we visited Rasgusa and Noto in 2008. We liked both towns. It led us to return to the area in 2016 to visit Modica, another town included in UNESCO’s “Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto.” Having visited three of the eight places named on UNESCO’s Val di Noto incscription, the travel list OCD kicks in. We now have to see them all. And so it was that we headed to Scicli, our fourth commune on UNESCO’s list.

Some times, in fact many times, the travel list OCD is a good thing. If UNESCO had never put Scicli on a list, we would never have visited. And though Scicli might not be at the top of the list of Late Baroque towns, it is worth a stop as it is significantly different than both Ragusa and Modica. Scicli’s churches are not as spectacular as the ones in Ragusa and Modica. There’s no cathedral. Nonetheless the core of town has a denser historic vibe. It was easy enough for us to explore Scicli’s compact center and Baroque buildings during an extended lunch break.

The UNESCO World Heritage plaque in Scicli

Compared to Ragussa, Modica, and Noto, Scicli is less hectic and quieter. We assume that it would be a comfortable place to spend a night. Indeed, we will keep that in mind, as further travel list OCD will undoubtedly encourage a return visit to this area of Sicily. After all there are four destinations on the UNESCO list, Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, and Palazzolo, which remain to be visited. We couldn’t possibly risk developing nervous tics by not returning.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] our all-important list. And when we learned that Malta also has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, travel list OCD kicked in. Given the chance, we would definitely visit […]

    Pingback by Malta: Ferries | Another Header — July 16, 2017 @ 9:12 am


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