Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sicilian Something Or Other

A newsstand in Palermo, Sicily.
As we have done for the past couple of years, we spend most of our summer in Putignano. Upon our arrival this year, we rendezvoused with my parents at the airport in Bari (they had been traveling from England) and, after spending a couple of days with Angela's family and recovering from the lag, and then left on a road trip for Sicily. It took some time for me to process our trip, which happened at the beginning of June, but, on the eve of our return to California, I'm ready to let go.

First off, everyone got sick except for me. That might sound fortunate for me except that, once we had returned to Putignano, it was my turn to get sick. And it seemed to last forever. I don't think I have been completely healthy all summer until about one week ago.

Anyway, we were in Sicily for seven or eight days with stops in Messina, Taormina, Catania, Agrigento, St. Anna, Corleone, Palermo, and Cefalu. I won't go into detail, but you can see more revealing photos of part of our adventure on Flickr. It was almost too much ground to cover in such a short time, but such is touring. For the ancient Greek temple ruins, the historic city center and the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Greci, the panoramic locale, excellent food, and the wonderful accommodations, Agrigento seemed to be the place the all of us really enjoyed.

The trip was memorable for many reasons; however, back on Italy proper, to break up the long drive home, we stopped in a little town called Pizzo. Angela managed to find us a spectacular bed and breakfast (I believe we were its first guests), which was a short walk down a very steep hill to a little beach. The town wasn't overrun by tourists, and we felt like we had the place to ourselves. It was quite peaceful with the swallows circling throughout the day, and a much-needed relaxing conclusion to our vacation.

In the evening, there happened to be a festival in the little community, which was a welcome surprise. The people were out in force (although it wasn't crowded), le luminarie (lights) were hung above the street, a procession marched an icon through town and people followed in prayer and song, fireworks illuminated the cliff that overlooked the sea and the town's little houses, and karaoke music blared until well after midnight. I've included some audio of the procession here to more deeply immerse yourself in the experience.

Among the new food that I sampled during the trip, I tried some new modes of eating gelato. One, the typical Sicilian breakfast, which is basically a kind of ice-cream sandwich, is simply a roll with a heaping layer of gelato in between. The other, something like what is pictured on the right, is called a Tartufo. I imagine that there are numerous ways to make it. The one I ate was a ball of two types of ice-cream and rolled in chocolate powder. I also found chocolate syrup and a candied cherry in the mix—something like ice-cream with a surprise in the middle—but it was delicious!

Now, the three of us return to California to begin the next chapter. We'll look forward to seeing you there!

1 comment:

Bob said...

Bah! I tried to schedule this to post tomorrow (I wasn't quite finished with it), but I guess it posted already...