Another one to check off the list: Sicily. I have always dreamed of Sicily…there is something about the romanticism of the island that had always attracted me. There was something about reading about fishing boats, the Mediterranean Sea, and sun that made Brandon and I talk about running off to Sicily together…someday…maybe.
Lisa and I had talked about going to Sicily for a long weekend and when we checked with Corrado when would be a good time to go when work was a little slower, he decided that we would all go to Sicily. He had never been and Valeria LOVES Sicily. E poi… tutti andiamo a Sicilia! It was like a company retreat! I thought about making us funny graphic t-shirts to wear together, but the date came too soon! We had to work quickly in the vineyard to get caught up on work to prepare for a week long vacation. We almost didn’t all make it after an unexpected delivery was to be made the day we were leaving.
But we made it. I could not have asked for a better way to experience Sicily. With my Italian family to spend time with, I couldn’t think of a better crew (well it would’ve been perfect if Brandon had been there…but you can’t have everything right?). And lucky for us, Corrado and Valeria had friends waiting to greet us with open arms. Not surprisingly, they were winemakers.
The first couple of days were a little hard for me, since I was in mourning for my camera (which decided to go into a coma a couple days before leaving). But at least I had my little phone camera. While it doesn’t take great photos, I just accepted the fact that it would have to do. When Lisa wasn’t busy using her camera she let me borrow it, so there’s a few great photos to share. We stayed in the northwest part of Sicily, basing ourselves just south of Marsala. From there it was all about the food (gelato/granitas/cannoli/arrancinnis oh my), beaches, and wine.
After feeling like I gained about 10 pounds in 3 days, we were off to the beautiful mountain of Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. There we made our way to another wine fair featuring only wines from the area of Etna. Some of my favorite memories came from our adventures around Etna. I finally learned a lesson about ordering “scallopina” from the menu, had my socks rocked off by a new sicilian dish, and enjoyed the sweet succulent air of Sicily.
On our way back we stopped in the southern city of Agrigento, home to the largest well preserved greek temples in Italy. It was possibly the most touristy thing we did, but well worth it in the off season as there weren’t too many people around, and if we came any later in the year I might have melted into a puddle from the heat (felt like 35 celcius/92 farenheit in the sun!).
Sicily was a magical and beautiful place that I hope I can spend more time in. I’m so glad I was able to spend it with some of the most amazing people I have come to know. It was a perfect way to celebrate my one year abroad…I am ever eternally grateful for Corrado and Valeria. It’s an amazing feeling to have another family and another place you can call home in the world.