Grazie per Tutto, Remembering Falcone

I pause from the glory of my current adventures in Sicily to recognize the sacrifices of so many who have worked to fight the Sicilian mafia. Specifically today, we recognize Giovanni Falcone on the anniversary of his death by the Cosa Nostra. Sicily is a different place than it was 26 years ago because of…

Cooking in Sicily with LoveSicily

I was supposed to rest yesterday, but I couldn’t resist the pull of the stone gardens of Modica and Scicli, nor the opportunity to meet with the fantastic Katia Amore of loveSicily cooking holidays. We’ll be spending a day in Modica with Katia during our September Stirring Sicily tour. My cousin Giulia and I had…

Infiorata di Noto, A Dream Realized

After years of admiring it from afar, last night, my cousin Giulia and I experienced the Infiorata di Noto, the Baroque town of Noto, Sicily’s annual flower festival. In order to arrive, we sat in a traffic jam of coach busses and cars stuffed with families. I wondered if it was worth it, and asked…

Magnificent Marzipan Fruit

Yesterday I spent the day in Catania with the magnificent Alessandro Marchese. Alessandro is an artist who specializes in making Frutta Martorana, or the marzipan (almond paste) sweets, shaped and designed to resemble fruit and vegetables. He sculpts each and every one by hand, and then he decorates them with the craftsmanship and skill of…

The Most Beautiful Piazza in Italy

Every time I am in Ortigia, I fall deeper in love with Siracusa’s Piazza del Duomo. I think it is the most beautiful piazza in Italy!

Oedipus at Siracusa

The 54th Festival of Greek Theater in Siracusa is underway. I just love when I am able to attend a performance like this one of Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus that I saw earlier this week in Siracusa in the ancient Greek theater. As one of my clients pointed out–the entire experience is magnificent: Walking through…

Visit A Bronte Pistachio Farm

We’ve done so much the last two days, I don’t know where to begin! For me though, something totally new was our visit today to a pistacchio farm in Bronte, the capital of Sicilian pistachios, on Etna’s western slopes. It was so cool to be up close to these beautiful trees. Did you know that…

Ascending Into A Different Realm

Today, walking up and down Caltagirone’s Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte felt magical. There is something ethereal about connecting the “upper and lower” parts of town via this 1609 staircase–here with spring flowers decorating it! It’s as if you are ascending into a different realm using the 142 steps that have unique, colorful majolica…

Phenomenal Day in the Sicilian Countryside

What a day we had today in the Sicanian mountains, north of Agrigento, Sicily! Thanks to Pierfilippo of Val di Kam and sculptor Lorenzo Reina for their hospitality and warmth! It was absolutely phenomenal.

Dining Amongst the Gods

After our visit to the Valley of the Temples, we had lunch like the ancients, hosted by ArcheoCuisine. Our hostess Alessandra, an archeologist and food historian, and her team created a beautiful experience for us in the shadow of the Temple of Hercules that consisted of foods made with Sicilian ancient grains such as Tumminia…

And He Sings Too

Meet my new friend Giuseppe, a fishmonger in Il Capo Market, Palermo. Check out the size of the tuna fish next to his big knife!

Palermo’s Renaissance and Stand Florio

I was so thrilled yesterday when I drove past Stand Florio on the SS 113 between Palermo and Bagheria. I had heard rumors of refurbishment somewhere, but when I laid eyes on it, I was so excited. The last time I posted about it was in March 2014. And it looked absolutely terrible. To see…