My first breakfast in Sicily, that’s espresso and almond milk granita eaten al fresco with a plate of fresh brioche buns.
Yo, I lived la dolce vita for exactly five days. Everyone kept asking why I was only there for such a short time. I DON’T KNOW?! Reality is cruel. In an alternate universe, if Americans had off all of August, I’d have stayed longer. Sicily is spectacular.
I flew from Dublin into Catania – there’s a direct flight! – and explored the city of Catania in the morning with my friend Lisa and her uncle Aldo before we drove to meet her aunt Mira at their beach house in Sampieri. I couldn’t get over Catania’s fresh produce at the market.
Post granita, we drove down to Sampieri. I had no idea where this was, and it’s basically this tiny beach town in the very southern spot of Sicily, across from Malta and Tunisia. It already sounds awesome, right? I thought so too. And then I arrived and saw THE VIEW of the Mediterranean. Their adorable cat. The hibiscus flowers. I was like, whoooooaaaaaa, sensory overload. This is all too cool.
Mira and Aldo’s house is also very artsy and I was essentially obsessed with everything, down to their hand-made raku ceramic towel-rod holders in the bathrooms and the mosaics on their walls.
Lisa and I slept here!
Shortly after arriving Mira, Lisa, and I went the beach AND to the market (love a double market day). I laughed at the pasta aisle at the grocery store: SO MUCH PASTA.
The next few days had a similar routine: wake up, read a little outside, drink espresso, maybe grab a granita, go to the beach.
Head home – 1:30ish – for a big lunch. (I’ve never eaten so well for lunches in my life.)
Then we’d relax and go on an afternoon excursions, gorgeous old cities like Scicli or Modica or places with ancient Roman ruins. I MEAN…and I’d usually eat gelato somewhere in there everyday. One afternoon, we also saw a proposal on the steps of a beautiful church. He had set up a little table on the steps outside, complete with flowers and wine. It was soooooo romantic.
*Lisa and I look so weird and creepy here – we are literally posing in a tomb that Aldo thought would make for a neat photo opportunity.
Then we’d have a late dinner and drink bitters with their friends – usually Sergio, who was absolutely hilarious, would stop by. Lisa would laugh because I was NOT used to staying up so late. I needed a few more days to get on the night owl routine! I think this explains why I have no dinner food photos? At all. And the dinners….oh the dinners. The creamy ricotta, salty olives, sweet tomatoes, pastas, grilled vegetables, and wine. The wine was homemade, as was the olive oil, so I’d pretty much drink wine at every meal and drizzle everything in this delectable oil which Aldo had in a barrel in the dining room.
On Sunday we went to the festival of St. Sebastiano, or what Lisa dubbed as the Naked Baby Festival. He’s the patron saint of Palazzolo Acreide. I can’t even describe this properly, and I could look up the actual religious description (but I don’t feel like it, or care to). It’s more fun to tell you how crazy it was as a bystander who knew nothing of what was going on – the church pretty much exploded with confetti for a full ten minutes and then people handed guys standing on a Jesus statue their naked babies to hold up in the air. Afterwards, we all went out for pasta and wine.
On my last night, there was a super moon. My camera couldn’t capture it’s amazingness – okay, lunar photography just continues to elude my photography skills even after I spent a good amount of time dragging tables and boxes and rocks out on the patio for height/camera stability and playing with a variety of ISO/aperture/shutter speeds – but I think you get the gist of its loveliness. Much like my blogging can’t really capture all the loveliness of Sicily.
Lisa’s aunt and uncle were the most incredible, sweetest, coolest hosts ever. It made me want to learn Italian and go back again and maybe never leave. I think Lisa’s onto something here!