Monday, May 30, 2011

My Favorite Places, Fontane Bianche: Payless Beach Flip Flops –Red

Ciao, a tutti!

Today, my shoes are taking us to the south-eastern shore and to my favorite summertime destination –Fontane Bianche. Literally translated, White Fountains, Fontane Bianche boasts of the one thing most other Sicilian beaches do not have –white sand. Black sandy beaches to the North (Aeolian Islands), Rocky Beaches to the East (Taormina), and Red Sandy Beaches to the West (Selinunte), these white sands and crystal clear water attracts not just Sicilians, but tourists from the entire European Union.

We happened along this beach four years ago and return a couple times a week throughout the summer. Venturing onto an Italian beach is just that –an adventure! Without much regard to personal space, as the temperatures rise, don’t expect much room between you and your beach neighbors. But that’s okay…arrive early (most locals don’t show up until after breakfast) to secure the best spot (we preferred near the water’s edge), and bring some food. I consider myself a profession beachgoer, so we bring food (and water) for the entire day. We also bring chairs and umbrellas –the Sicilian sun is desert sun and can become quite hot, quite quickly…don’t forget the SPF 50!

Note Bene 1
During beach season, it is not unusually to seen ‘vendors’ along the beach. They are usually carrying their wares or wearing them (hats), and will ask you if you would like to buy something. Be forewarned…they sell things that you can find at the market (or store, i.e. beach paraphernalia), but usually at an increased price. Sunglasses at the beach may cost you 10 Euros, where you could find the same sunglasses for a Euro or two at the market. But if you find yourself without a towel, paddle boards, water wings, earrings, sunglasses, cover-ups, soccer balls, a head scratcher, an inflatable tube, a beach ball, a sand pail or a bracelet, they are a quick fix.

Note Bene 2
If you a more of a Lido (paid beach) person, but would like to try this local beach, go for it! Don’t worry about food, there is a bar on the beach that serves every thing from espresso to sandwiches…and ice cream (gelato)!

Note Bene 3
Driving, take the Tangenziale toward Siracusa. After you have passed the Siracusa exits, continue south towards Gela. Exit at Cassibilie (the Cassibile exit is about 8 km after Siracusa). At the end of the ramp turn left, then make a quick right. Continue on SS 115 towards Noto/Avola/Fontane Bianche. About ½ mile down on your left, you’ll see the brown sign pointing towards Fontane Bianche. Turn left and continue on the main road about a mile until you see the restaurant La Spiaggetta on your right (it’s the one with the seahorse). 

Immediately after the restaurant, turn left into the parking lot. This area is parking for the restaurant and the beach. The cost for parking here is 3 Euros for ½ day (mezzo giorno) or 5 Euros for the entire day (tutto girono). Although there is no gate closing the parking area, the times read from 0800 in the morning to 1900 in the evening.

Note Bene 4
Do not park on the road. We did our first year because that was where everyone else parked; saving three Euros for the 7 or 8 times we made it to the beach. Out lst visit that first year, we returned to our vehicle to fine our car, along with the 15 others parked near by ticketed –to the sum of 30 Euros –which averaged out to 3.75 Euros a trip…but when you pay and Italian parking ticket, you pay the ticket price, plus you have to pay for them to process it. And if you don’t live in the province where you received the ticket, unless you return to that particular province, you have to pay for them to process the ticket where you pay it and where the ticket was issued!

So I saved the pictures of my shoes (and me) for the last...a little camera shy I suppose...and yes, I do wear flip flops on the beach!

Baci a tutti!

Stella Notte

Day 71: 05-30-2011
Shoe: Payless Beach
Color: Red
Style: Flip Flop  
Material: Manmade

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