On a narrow, stair-stepped passage in the “centro storico” – historic district – of Taormina, there was a small shop that sets up fruits and vegetables outside. The lemons pulled me, looking like seventeenth-century Old Masters’ paintings. Some fruit was cut and drying at the edges, more thick-of-skin than there was flesh. Some was left [...]
It’s the layering of history, so pervasive throughout Italy, that stuns me every time I make a turn and come upon some incredible, very old site/sight. It usually leaves me speechless. From Wikipedia entry: “The Ancient Theatre of Taormina (“Teatro Antico di Taormina” in italian language) is an ancient greek theatre, in Taormina, southern Italy, built early in the seventh [...]
Along the eastern shore of the large island of Sicily, south of Messina, in view of Mt. Etna to the west, lies Taormina high above the shore of the Ionian Sea. It offers ancient Greek history and contemporary souvenir shopping. Mediaeval stone buildings and current luxuries. Whether one walks behind the tour groups along the heavily-trod [...]
Sitting in a hotel lobby using the wifi network. Italian game show on the TV next to me. Don McClean singing “American Pie” on the sound system. I hear more American Pop music here than Italian, both oldies and contemporary. It always amuses me, but doesn’t introduce me to Italy’s sounds.
Hardly a long drive as-the-crow-flies from Palermo, but a long time through traffic, Monreale is southwest from Palermo, and is worth the trip whether flying-like-a-crow or driving. The gold mosaic duomo interior will make your jaw drop. The bakery staff in town will make you want to stay at least a week laughing and chatting. [...]
8 May – In the “centro storico” – historic center – of this little seacoast town east of Palermo, on the north shore of the island of Sicily. The narrow, climbing, maze-like streets remind me of the towns of the Cinque Terre, rooted into the spaces at the bases of their hills. Navigation must come [...]
Palermo is renowned for its old street markets, some of which have been in the same spot as early as the 10th century! As far as I know, each one is open every day (except Sunday). Some vendors have enclosed shop spaces. Others set up and take down every day. La Vucciría – the most [...]
In short, I love Palermo, and look forward another visit. It offers plenty of dazzling sights to wow any visitor. But it remains “unpolished” (to my eye). It is genuine and without pretense, as were the people I was fortunate to chat with. I traveled in the south of Italy having heard many comments about [...]
Veal guts were caught in my teeth. Coming back from a day trip up the hill to Monreale, I got off the bus at Piazza Indipendenza and started walking home to my B&B. Off on a low side road, I saw smoke and smelled grilling meat. “Milza“? (Sicilian, cooked organ meats.) No. It was skewered [...]
In pushing myself to “pack light, pack light, pack light”… in wanting to ease any worry about leaving my laptop behind in my hotel room while out exploring for the day… and in urging myself to go as “unplugged and off-the-grid” as I can stand, I left my laptop with a friend in Milan and [...]
Journal entry from my lunch table: “In piccolo Trattoria Tira Casciuni a Palermo. Stare qui in Sicilia, in Italia, e veramente una droga che mi sento in tutto il mio corpo. E perche no? Perche non prendere questa droga?” In the little Trattoria Tira Casciuni in Palermo. To be here in Sicily, in Italy, is [...]
Stepping outside the doors at the airport in Palermo, Sicily, I smelled the salty, sea air. Riding a bus from the airport into Palermo, the Mar Tirreno – Tyrrhenian Sea – was on our left, and this rocky mount on our right.