Normally, this weekend would be the height of Carnevale in Acireale, Sicily. Carnevale or Carnival is the period leading up to Ash Wednesday and Lent. In pre-Christian times, this outdoor, spring festival, which took place before the arduous planting season, turned everything topsy-turvy: Masters would become the servents and servents the masters. Revelers would hide…
Sicilian Sunrise Over The Ionian Sea
One of the “obvious” secrets of eastern Sicily is that when you have the perfect terrace on your room, you can watch the sunrise over the Ionian Sea. I’ll tell you more such secrets during our Experience Sicily online presentation on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 7PM ET. Let’s dream of your next trip and how…
Lookout Tower On The Sea
Lookout tower, Santa Maria La Scala on the Ionian Sea
Orlando Inspired Us: The Opera Dei Pupi in Acireale, Sicily
Live from Sicily! We laughed, shouted, booed, and cried for Orlando during the opera dei pupi (marionette theater) last evening. The magnificent Opera di Pupi Turi Grasso theater company showed us the joys and craftsmanship of their multigenerational master work! We were all so inspired–us and the Grasso family too!
Galatea’s Grief In Acireale
Live from Sicily! Today we stayed local to the villa we have rented, visiting sites in the town of Acireale and environs. Acireale is shrouded in mythology with the story of Aci and Galatea at the core. I was thrilled to see this magnificent statue depicting their myth in person for the first time! Galatea…
Carnevale in Sicily Is Underway
Carnevale is underway in Italy, and in Sicily that means the towns of Acireale and Sciacca are throwing big parties. The main festivities are this coming weekend, leading up to next Tuesday’s finale. This photo is from 2017, when I was fortunate enough to be dancing in the streets with all of the other revelers….
When She Learned
The basilica cathedral of Maria S. S. Annunciata (the Blessed Virgin Mary) in Arcreale, Catania Province (built between the 17th and 18th centurires) … March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation.
A Treasure Chest of Marzipan from Sicily
A colleague from Acireale, Sicily visited me this weekend and brought me a box of “paste di mandorla” from his local pasticceria, O. Condorelli … i.e., marzipan pastries from Sicily from a pastry chef that specializes in making marzipan. What you see here is only half of what was in this box on Sunday morning….
Carnevale, Valentine’s Day, Mythology, and Love in Sicily
Love is in the air! Today is Martedì Grasso–Fat Tuesday–the final day of Carnevale! It’s also the day before St. Valentine’s Day… mmm… considering the ancient practices of Carnevale, could it be related to how we interpret Valentine’s Day today? I’m not really sure, but I’ll venture to guess there is a relationship between the…
Sicily’s Almond Nougat
Freshly made almond nougat is prevalent at street festivals like Carnevale in Acireale, Sicily. The craftsmen who make the sugar and almond sweet, called cubaita in many parts of Sicily, put on a show right in front of your eyes, mixing and forming the boiling-hot, teeth-cracking bars in seconds as it quickly cools on the…