All dreams of a week in the sun quickly faded as we plunged through five miles of cloud, water streaming past the plane windows in high-speed ribbons.

And touchdown confirmed that yes, it was raining. Just how long this was going to last I did not know but judging from Milan's rain standards, it wasn't looking promising. The countryside certainly looked far more verdant than you'd expect for an island accosting Africa with vegetation springing up between every building and on every road side as if the city had been dropped on a jungle that now struggled to get out.

And it was raining like a bloody rainforest too.

Despite the inclement weather, we went for a walk around the city to see what it had to offer. The air was velvety in its warmth and even though the rain soaked through our clothes and shoes, it was miles away from the freezing sleet of Milan.

Piazza Duomo in the centre was particularly beautiful although I didn't get many photos as the rain was driving pretty hard by this point and my lens was getting wet on my brand new darling!

We started heading for dinner when we came across this:

These are the offerings to Sant'Agata, the patron saint of Catania, that the various tradesmen offer during the religious celebrations that occur at the beginning of February. The ... things (scultpures? carnival floats? what are they??) have sturdy bases with handles on that the men hoist up onto their backs and run through the city with. This one was from the fishermen of Catania.

This is Via Santa Filomena, which is full of gorgeous little restaurants. We passed by this time but a certain place definitely caught our eye so watch this space...

One of the things Sicily is famous for, is it's dolci, in particular the cannolo which is a gorgeous fried cone full of sweetened ricotta and various additions such as cherries, candied orange, chocolate drops and pistacchi.

Take a look at that bad boy.

There are lots of other options available as well (such as those amazing marzipan pears!) but I am a die-hard cannolo lover and just couldn't resist. Normally you should go to a place that puts the cannoli together as you like it to ensure maximum satisfaction and freschezza (freshness) but this place was gooood.

They too had their own shrines to Sant'Agata:

We stepped back out into the rain just in time to catch the fishermen doing their crazy rounds. The ...things are followed by little hotch-potch marching bands playing the catchiest music and of course hordes of devotees clamouring to get in on the action.

Ciao for now!