12

Oct2016

Sicily: The Godfather with volcanoes in his backyard

Apart from one cancelled flight,one delayed flight,one missed connecting flight,a 20-hour unplanned transit,an online hotel search in Rome at 1:00 a.m on an iPad with 14% remaining charge available,a ridiculously rude taxi driver and lost baggage. The rest of the trip was heavenly!

Only because:

1. It was Italy.

The country I adore! The language I love! The food a story! The drink heavenly! The music magical! The people so stylish! An amazing country.The golden sunshine, deep blue waters, red tomatoes and glistening olive oil...life can be so colourful.

2. We were with good friends.

Sicily has all the ingredients needed for a perfect vacation:the colour,the smell and the taste. Add it to your bucket list!

A glimpse from the window as the plane landed in Catania already promised a beautiful vacation. After a wonderful drive along the coast line we reached our vacation house in Taormina. The roads were nice but had a few sharp bends due to the hilly landscape of the region. The speed limits changed accordingly from 30 to 50 to 80 to 100 to 30 and 20 km/per hr at some places. Very soon we noticed that most Sicilian drivers were actually very consistent in their driving. They consistently drove at 120 km/hr ignoring all the speed limits. Almost all of them. This consistency was also inversely proportional to their patience, hence the driver from Holland who tried to obey the speed limits got frequently honked at.

After an almost precarious parking exercise (since the house was located on a slope), the car was finally parked. The Italian house owner explained some basic utilities about the house. He did not speak English at all. We spoke no Italian. But the communication was smooth and perfect. Not because I understood everything but because I did not hear a single word he said. As he spoke, I stared at his face. It was like music being played…Ah the sweet melodious language that Italian is.
Maybe he was talking about the leaking kitchen tap (which we found out later) but it sounded like he was talking about things way more interesting,probably the moon,stars and love.

Tranquilo, preoccupato, delicato, dollorosso, Biongiorno,…..a language to fall in love with.

For me the best was the “speed control” signs along the road sides.
We (non Italian, normal people) would say: “Electronic speed control”. Simple, curt, to the point. Listen carefully. They say,”Controlle electronicco della velocita” .

Repeat it to yourself a few times and you will feel you can smell the sea of Sicily…taste the pomodori and feel the Sicilian sun on you.

Once the owner left, we rushed to the balcony.The view was such that for a moment it felt surreal. The majestic blue Mediterranean was in front of us. The sound of waves continuous yet never boring. The water so tranquil yet so powerful.The blue of the sky so close to the blue of the sea yet so different.

Prawn Risotto...heaven is here here

I once read in a cook book that Indians and Italians are the two nationalities who can talk about the next meal WHILE eating the current meal. Talk about lunch while eating breakfast, talk about dinner while eating lunch…in fact talk about food anytime..on an empty stomach or a full stomach or even an upset stomach!!

It is so true. Each dish we ordered came with such a lovely description and an even more lovely smile from the Italian waiter…..the heart was content even before the stomach.

I will not be able to write about the food and the wine in such a post. That will be doing terrible injustice to both. I can either skip the topic totally or only share a few images just to tempt you with visuals.
I choose the latter. The taste is beyond any description and I leave it up to your imagination.

The one in the center called Arancini deserves special mention. It is special Sicilian food.
Arancini (arancini or arancine in Sicilian), are stuffed rice balls, coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Arancini are usually filled with ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas. There are a number of local variants that differ in fillings and shape. The name derives from their shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (the Italian word fororange is arancia, and arancina means “little orange”), although in eastern Sicily, arancini have a more conical shape.[Wikipedia]

Mount Etna

The highlight of the trip of course was Mount Etna. The largest active volcano of Europe stood there in all its majestic glory. Smoke spewing out off its head, yet capped with white snow. Fire burning in its heart but with a cool head.

This is the first time I have been to an active volcano. It is an experience that my literary skills will not be able to describe. On one hand, it was so beautiful that it took my breath away. On the other, it’s power was so evident and the noise of the internal explosions so clearly audible that it was scary. I stood and watched, humbled by its sheer size and power.The different facets of Mother nature

The land of the Godfather.
Volcanoes everywhere, quite a few in his backyard. Beautiful names such as Stromboli, Vulcan, Salina, Filicudi , Alicudi. A humbling landscape, with a riot of colours. What a feeling.

The vacation came to an end but the feeling lingered on. A beautiful place that was Sicily.

  • Written byDayeeta Roy

    Dayeeta, has her hands full being a mother of one,wife of one and full time job of one. A Physicist by education and a researcher by profession,she enjoys her daily work very much. She loves to cook and writes two blogs."Food,Friends and Fun...I have everything!!”www.dayeetasworld.blogspot.nlwww.hiji-biji-chhorar-moja.blogspot.com

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