Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Final Reflections on Sicily

I love Sicily. I love the food, the people, the history and the culture. I wish more Americans would visit there. All of my friends have asked me, in one way or another, about the Mafia in Sicily. Yes, the Mafia exists, but they don't bother tourists. We are much too small potatoes for them, plus they want the tourist dollars to come into the country, so if you are hesitating because of that, put that concern out of your mind.

Sicily has much to teach us about culture and history. One Sicilian told me that he thought Americans were quite similar to the French in that we are very nationalistic. That is not the approach of Sicilians because they have been invaded so many times by so many different rulers that they have learned to assimilate, integrate and respect the differences that other countries bring. They speak often of the Arabs who brought sugar, chocolate, wonderful desserts, language and music. Now, I'm sure at the time of the invasions, the Sicilians were not so accomodating, but it is interesting to see how open they are in spite of the issues with the current refugees, to foreign people.

If you are looking for a vacation a bit off the beaten track, I recommend Sicily to you.  I would not go there in July or August, but the spring and fall would be lovely. These are a people who welcome tourists. Compared to the rest of Italy, it is quite inexpensive. If you want to escape the tourists crowds, this is your place. You will find many French and German tourists but very few Americans.

The food is reason enough to come.

Did I mention wonderful wine and beautiful people?

If you are in Trecastagni, you must stop in and say hello to Mariella. She could not have been nicer to us. Thank you Mariella.

 But there is more than food here. Beautiful cities, ruins, and shopping. Ortigia is an enchanting place to walk around, get lost and explore. You are on an island, so you can never get too lost!

And then there is always the sea to look at......

Until next time...Ciao

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