Visiting Sicily has been in our plans for a while.
We wanted to go for many reasons. The food, of course, was the most important aspect that drew us to the island. But then there was the landscape, and the chance to enjoy warmth and seaside life. We wanted to see the trace that history, cultures and people had left behind. We wanted to see Sicily’s beauty and its difficulty, with our own bare eyes.
I wanted to share some highlights from these two weeks with you, mainly visual. I took a lot of photos along our journey that took us from Palermo to San Vito, Scopello, Erice and Marsala during the fist week; and then across the island, through Enna and the Iblei, to land in Modica, Vendicari, Noto and finally, Siracusa. Many times, though, I left my camera behind, capturing what I saw with my pupils only – sometimes with my phone, too. As a result, I have few images from each and every single place I visited, but many more sensations stored in my memories, and perhaps more things to tell and to put down in words.
Here we go.
This time – our second in Rome – we stayed in Testaccio. The courtyard of our tiny apartment seemed to belong to an old Italian movie: climbing roses, clothes hanging from the windows, old pensive(or rather nosy?) ladies at the balcony, and neighborhood cats. Emiko‘s little one really loved the cats – just as much as I did.
We spent our handful of days wandering aimlessly. It seems to be our favourite way to get to know a city – only second to plan visits around restaurant reservations. I got to peep through the keyhole at the top of the Aventino hill, the one where the edges make a perfect frame of St. Peter’s dome. We idled around the Orange Gardens, filling our lungs with the scent of orange blossoms, smiling at the sight of many inedible Seville oranges peeled, bitten and abandoned on the floor. Scenes from the stunning movie that is The Great Beauty – La Dolce Vita and Roman Holidays didn’t seem to apply any longer – came to mind along the way: nuns chasing pigeons, the deadly view from Gianicolo, the feeling of decadence, of langueur…
Although we landed in Naples for reasons other than tourism, we still managed to fill our spare time with many leisurely stroll, and as much food as we could possibly manage.
What we quickly realised is that Naples isn’t the sort of city that leaves you indifferent: nothing is neutral, everything is bold, challenging, dense with meaning. The same, in a way, can be said about its food.
I only had two days to spend in the city, barely sufficient to truly get to know the breadth of its cuisine, but still enough to get the gist of it. I collected some of my favourite places to eat from the trip, and distilled them into this small food guide, which I hope I’ll get to expand upon another trip sometime soon.