When we relocated to Sicily we left our car behind in hopes of selling it and paying off our loan which wasn’t the best of planning on our part. You see, when you hear me tell you that I live in Sicily, you probably think I’m walking down to the corner cafe each morning and grabbing a cup of espresso. In fact, I’m actually surrounded by farm after farm for miles.

Our first bus experience was a nightmare. Not only did we wait close to 4 hours for the bus to come, unsure that we were even at an actual bus stop, but when it finally arrived we had to wave it down and just pray that the driver would stop for us. On our way back that day we were dropped off on the side of a highway and had to walk back home with cars consistently honking at us to get out the way.

To get to my point, we were absolutely desperate to buy a car that we wouldn’t have to finance. We bought what is called an “island beater” around here which is essentially a cheap, beat up, manual car, that will hopefully get you from point A to B. The first few months with our new car I was terrified to even go anywhere in it for three reasons. We were rookies in driving a manual, the car itself wasn’t entirely safe, and Sicilians drive like maniacs! I developed such bad anxiety being in our car that I couldn’t even make it to the nearest grocery store without having a full on panic attack. I mean, I’d panic so bad to the point where I couldn’t feel my hands or feet and my husband would have to pull over. As time went on I’d choose to just stay home and watch everyone else live their lives on fb rather than “take a risk”. Weeks would go by without me leaving my house at all, not once. Deep down I knew the only thing holding me back was myself and I knew it was no way to live. I couldn’t understand why I was being so irrational and I was frustrated with the way my life had changed so drastically since living in the states. I finally decided to let my husband drive me somewhere farther than 20 minutes away with the condition that he goes slow, doesn’t tailgate, and doesn’t get frustrated with me if I start to panic. Our first destination was to Ortigia. As I’m sure you’ve already gathered, we made it there and back safely. Not only is Ortigia’s beauty absolutely breath taking, it was 10 times better being that it was my first real start to being human again and the start to my appreciation for my new home. This all goes to show that life can take you to some awesome places when you conquer your fears!

2 Hours in Ortigia

We were told in advance by some friends not to park in the parking structure because car theft is really common. Instead, we parked in the open pay-to-park lot right across from it. From our car, we walked aimlessly with no specific destination in mind.

We came across this tiny little wine bar called “a Putia” delle cose Buone on via Roma. I was absolutely starving and wasn’t expecting nor looking for anything so cute! The minute I slid open the glass sliding door and walked inside, the first thing that caught my eye was the decor (of course).

From the ceiling hung quirky DIY-ed lanterns. Each one was unique to the rest. They were embellished with things like dried pasta, popsicle sticks, seashells, playing cards, and beads. The red chili pepper one was my favorite! The chairs were all hand painted and the booths were covered in large decorative cushions. On the walls hung large, funky painted canvases.

Our waitress, who also seemed like she may have been the owner, was extremely sweet. I guess our lost faces gave us away because she immediately walked over to us and handed us translated menus. My husband ordered pistachio pasta (his favorite) and I ordered a simple caprese sandwich. Both were decent. To be honest, we eat these same dishes so much we’re almost immune to the flavor at this point. I don’t want to mislead you into thinking it either sucked or it was the best I’ve ever had lol.

After we ate, we left the bar and continued our walk in search of a place where we could eat some more, duh! We stopped at Cafe & Tavola Calda right in front of the water for some canoli and gelato.

Below are a few more pictures of the beauty we got to witness. Hope you enjoyed reading!






  • Danica April 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Nice blog! I definitely agree that Ortegia is definetely gorgeous! I wish I have enough savings to travel in your beautiful countrt. Good thing you’ve got a new car. It is easy for you to go whenever you wanted. It actually saves time and energy . Btw, i like the vintage design of the chairs. It complements with the other designs. And I love pistacio pasta too!.

  • Elena May 4, 2017 at 11:16 am

    It seems like you had wonderful time in Ortiga, judging from your photos. I would like to spend more time in a such a lovely place though!

    • HIShadiaHarper May 4, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Totally! We’ve gone back since several times lol.

  • vivomigsgee May 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    You sure know how to maximize your time eh? Thanks for sharing.

  • One and Half backpacks May 6, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I am glad you overcome your issue and traveled so we can read this story now ☺ we used to have a bad feeling from our first car too so I get you 😀😀😀 I love your blog 😉

  • you.theworld.wandering May 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I’ve actually never heard of Ortegia! It looks absolutely beautiful and the wine bar you discovered also sounds fab!

  • Rosemary Palmer May 6, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    You had me at wine bar. I’ve not heard of this but looks very charming. Hoping to visit that area one of these days.

  • Sanskaara May 7, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I’m glad you overcame your fear and travelled. Ortegia looked gorgeous and I’d love to visit! A sweet read 🙂


Leave a Comment