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I want to Spend a Summer in Sicily

Updated on November 26, 2014

I want to walk around the Island of Sicily

Before I kick the bucket, I will spend a summer in Sicily. A Sicilian summer, of course, which corresponds to my winter.

The weather in Sicily is very much like my own, I won't freeze to death or swelter in impossibly high temperatures, it may just be cooler and balmier than my own summers.

Whatever the weather, I must see, I will see, this jewel of an island.

katedra

Schooldays and children of Sicily

Shortly after World War 11, Australia welcomed migrants from Italy, mainly from the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Their welcome was in stark contrast to the treatment of Australians of Italian descent during the war years.

In primary school, one memorable year, my classroom alone swelled with a round dozen of dark-eyed. olive-skinned Sicilian children. I remember clearly my awe at their beauty, so different from my pale-skinned, freckled contemporaries and the lovely lilt of their language sang in my ears.

Their homes fascinated me. The strange food aromas, the exotic vegetables I had never tasted before, the grape vines crawling up the fences, the quick excited chatter. And, in more than one home, the beautiful image of the Black Madonna of Tindari.

I knew then, at age seven, I had to go to Sicily myself. One day I will.

The Black Madonna of Tindari

sicilia.visitaci.it


Nigra Sum Sed Formosa (I'm black, but beautiful)

Tyndaris was a Greek city, a settlement of the Messenian exiles, driven there by the Spartans after the close of the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE.

Pliny told of a great calamity which the city sustained, when half of it was 'swallowed up by the sea', probably from an earthquake.

I want to walk around the considerable ruins of the ancient city, and pay my respects to the Black Madonna.

I want to walk in the ancient places

There are just so many elements in Sicily.

The Phoenicians founded Palermo; the ancient Greeks are still present in the temples at Agrigento; the Romans left a legacy of beauty in the exquisite villa at Piazza Armeria; the Normans built cathedrals; the Swabians built castles; the Spanish built palazzi.

Everyone left something wonderful to see in Sicily.

Views of Sicily

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Mangiamo, Beviamo and Cantiamo!

The exhortation to eat, drink and celebrate is a common enough Australian sentence these days, but I'm especially drawn to the foods of Sicily.

Like the architecture, and the Sicilian language itself, the foods show an eclectic combination from the history of the island.

After being invaded and conquered by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Angevins, Hapsburgs and Bourbons, you can expect a style of cooking different from other regions of Italy. But the key to Sicilian food is the rich volcanic soil which produces an abundance of fruit and vegetables.

I spend a lot of my time trying to learn Sicilian style cooking, with its emphasis on fresh vegetables, the mint, raisin and pine nuts of the Arabs and the fish, olives and broad beans of the Greeks. I'm helped by the fictional character Montalbano.

Watching Montalbano makes me more determined

Just look at this stunning place!

Easy to Cook Authentic Recipes

A rich exploration of Sicilian cuisine and its influences, with recipes from real Sicilian people! This book is a treasure for everyone who likes good food, with 75 recipes that cover the Sicilian culinary heritage.

St Joseph's Table

Tavola di San Giuseppe

Sicily's most important saint is Giuseppe, whose day is celebrated on March 19 with an ancient tradition called St Joseph's Table

Legend tells us that, sometime during the Middle Ages, there was an exceptionally severe drought in Sicily. No rain fell for an extended period of time, no crops would grow, and countless people died of famine. The people prayed to God for rain, and they also prayed to St. Joseph to intercede with God on their behalf.

They promised that if God caused it to rain, they would have a special feast honouring God and St. Joseph.

The rains came and the crops were bountiful. With the harvest, the people prepared a feast of foods which has become known as the Tavola di San Giuseppe.

Through the centuries, people who have prayed for a favour and been granted the favour, use this festival to show their thanks

Stunning Sicily!

I could stare at these photos for hours, waiting until I get to see them myself.

Mt Etna

Mount Etna, at almost 11,000 feet, dominates the Sicilian skyline, and must surely be a constant threat every day on the eastern coast.

Etna is the most active volcano in the world. Since 1500 BCE, the volcano has erupted around 200 times, the last in 2001, with lava flows almost reaching Nicolosi.

Mythological Mount Etna

The children of the nymph Aetna, were.fathered by Zeus. They are the Palikoi, the Gods of thermal geysers. There's also a giant buried beneath the bulk of Aetna, and his restless turnings cause earthquakes and fiery lava-flows.

Haephestus, the Smith of the Gods, has his forge under Mt Etna. It's here that he makes the mighty thumderbolts for Zeus

Siracusa City of Legend
To the ancient Greeks, Sicily was a land for Gods and Heroes. Persephone returned to the world here, and Spring continues to arrive earlier than anywhere e...

How about you?

Do you want to visit Sicily?

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    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 

      5 years ago

      Every time I see Sicily it makes me want to visit. You can see the mix of cultures even on TV and in the movies, so want to see that in person!

    • terracroatia profile image

      terracroatia 

      5 years ago

      I also want to visit Sicily, hopefully this autumn! And for me, Etna is the top attraction! Thanks for the nice picture!

    • profile image

      victoria-webb-1023 

      5 years ago

      Susanna...Was Sicily everything you dreamt it would be? I am so envious of you. I have also been inspired to learn Sicilian cooking, to teach myself Italian (not anywhere near as easy as I thought) and to visit Sicily. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am now in Sicily on the last night of our trip here. It was a great 2-week experience of discovering the island and the various peoples who had been here leaving their imprints. We were in Agrigento yesterday and enjoyed the view of the ruins from our hotel window.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 

      6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Hoping all is going well, Ostia apart.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Hi Susanna,

      How like minded we are! I am here for the same reasons as you right now also in October!! Maybe we will cross paths

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 

      6 years ago

      I'm so pleased for you to be getting this wish to come true - Bravo!

    • nickybutler profile image

      nickybutler 

      6 years ago

      Keep us updated on your trip in October - I'm thoroughly jealous.... it's one of my must-visit places I haven't managed yet :( Hope it lives up to your expectations :D

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 

      6 years ago

      I love the idea of spending an entire season in Sicily and really getting to know it.

    • gregoryolney lm profile image

      gregoryolney lm 

      6 years ago

      Do it Gal ! I've been and I lived it !

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 

      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      You surely present an enticing view of Sicily. Yes, I would love to go there... in spite of those steep climbs, which would wear me out. But it would be worth it, as the views of that beautiful water from up high must be something to behold.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Have been to Italy but never Sicily - would love to make that trip!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      6 years ago

      I could definitely find a lot to keep myself busy there.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 

      7 years ago from New York

      Definitely one of the top 10 items on my bucket list. Great job! Sprinkled with angel dust and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," our tribute to the best lenses we've found since donning our wings.

    • profile image

      golfspice 

      7 years ago

      If you ever get to Sicily, I recommend touring the island to see as much as possible. On my visit I stayed in Taormina (great place to relax and tour the Mount Etna region). Agrigento for the temple, but avoid the modern part. Stay on the island of Lipari from where you can visit Strombolli etc. Also try Erice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      oh well, I went to Sicly several times and I love every place I visited: Taormina, Catania, Siracusa, Agrigento and so on... not to mention the wonderful sea!

      I'm italian and I do know well that we have this infamous plague that is called MAFIA, I don't deny it, but Sicily is not such a dangerous place because clans use to fight each others, not tourists!

      I don't live in Sicily, I'm from Rome, but I like Sicily for its history and the beautiful landscapes (and obviously the food), I hope to come back soon to see the other places I haven't visited yet!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 

      7 years ago

      Not sure that I would want to spent 3 months in sicily. All I keep hearing about is the Sicilian MAFIA. If I should say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time, I might end up dead. No thanks.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I've been to Italy but never to Sicily and I'd love to go - even more now I've read this page and seen the pictures.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 

      7 years ago

      Very nice lens! Love the pics

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 

      7 years ago

      What a great lens to warm up this cold winter day! Thumbs up for this gorgeous lens.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Would love to go to Sicily!!Will come with you and eat all that beautiful food lap up some Sicilian culture!

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