Stirring Sicily East with Nino 

We’re working hard to publish our Stirring Sicily East itinerary for September 6 to September 14, 2017, our hands-on cooking experience co-hosted by Nino Elia (pictured at the sheep farm we visited… Did I mention fresh ricotta?) and Zest of Lititz, Penn. Like last year’s itinerary, we’ll have three hands-on cooking classes (including Modica chocolate!),…

Monreale’s Bagpipe

In Sicilian mountain towns, playing and crafting zampogna, or bagpipes, was a part of life. There aren’t too many zampogna players left–just like there aren’t too many shepherds (the livelihood most closely tied to the mountains and zampogna) either. David Marker, an american of Italian heritage, has made it his mission to keep zampogna alive….

King of the Sheep

In this case, I wish photos had sound. Then, you’d be able to hear the bells of the sheep as they grazed on this lawn. Perhaps the sweetest moment of this spring scene was the sheep dog hanging with his flock. He’s a king among his buddies, no doubt. Photo taken near Salemi in Trapani…

Zampogna, the Italian Bagpipe

This fellow is playing a zampogna, an Italian bagpipe. Zampogne (plural for zamponga) are found throughout Italy. Sicily has a strong tradition of exploiting the droning sounds of zampogne—created from air vibrating through either a single or double reed—for its folk music, specifically from mountainous regions where sheep and goat herding are prevalent. The air…