As the week went on, the walks became slightly harder but the views were getting better. We visited places such as Taormina and, on our day off, a couple of us chose to go to Syracuse, a place bursting with rich history: with amphitheatres, catacombs and castles, there is too much to do and see in one day but it is definitely worth a visit. Although there were only a few of us that decided to go it was a fantastic trip and the weather once again was beautiful.
Further on in the week we made our way through even more countryside. We were greeted by locals, invited in for wine, but as ramblers do, we carried on walking. We even managed to visit a place where a section of the ‘Godfather’ was filmed – a huge highlight for us film buffs!
We stayed at Hotel d’Orange, a very well run three-star family hotel. The rooms were proportionally sized and included a balcony. Although Francavilla is quite isolated, there is public transport that departs daily across from the hotel. The breakfast was served from 07:30 to 10:30 and dinner from 8:00 pm; as we were a small group they were very flexible with us. For lunch we had the choice between a picnic made by the hotel or simply popping to the local supermarket or panini shop which offered very tasty sandwiches at reasonable prices. Or you had the choice to go to a very well known coffee shop in the town of Francavilla famous for its almond cakes – you even got a couple free with your coffee; we returned to this place several times!
The rooms are fully equipped with fridges, safety deposit box, hairdryer, television (only for fluent Italian speakers), air conditioning, and fresh sheets and towels each day. The hotel also comes with wi-fi, or you can use their computer. In the summer months you also have access to the rooftop pool! Each morning we were welcomed with freshly picked fruit that we could help ourselves to. We all enjoyed staying at this hotel very much.
Overall, the trip was truly fantastic and as I had never been on a walking holiday before it was an achievement, albeit at times a challenge, and a great week away. The other ramblers and I would definitely recommend this to anyone as there is so much to see.