From the Stone Garden

The Parrocchia San Sebastiano in Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily offers a classic example of the elegant, UNESCO recognized architectural design of the “Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto.” Palazzolo Acreide is one of the towns that make up the UNESCO site. The town was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 that flattened much of…

Ragusa’s Duomo

The Duomo di San Giorgio in Ragusa was built in the 18th century in the late baroque Sicilian style, following the historic earthquake of 1693. We’ll visit Ragusa, one of the UNESCO towns that is part of the Sicilian Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, on Day 2 of our Sept. 2018 Stirring…

Sunset Pairing

Today, during our private family heritage tour, it was a day of food and wine. A hands-on cooking class in the morning, then a winery tour and tasting with dinner pairing this evening. The wines were so varied and complex… A straight Nero d’Avola that was smokey with cherry overtones; a fruity Grillo, and a…

Keep Your Eyes on Sicilian Wines

Starting on Friday, Oct. 21, the Sudest Wine Fest a Siracusa takes place in Ortigia. Within the charming setting of the Antico Mercato di Ortigia, cooking demos, street food offerings, theater presentations, jazz music performances will please attendees, and of course, wine tastings will take center stage. I can only hope that the spectacular wines…

Modica Bassa in the Morning Sun

The city of Modica is divided into two parts: Modica Alta and Modica Bassa (pictured here). Modica Bassa is a shorter hillside division than Modica Alta (i.e., a taller hillside). These opposite hills, once dotted with cave dwellings, are now seas of ivory-colored, Baroque buildings. Outfitted with pedestrian staircases and alleyways, Modica is not automobile-friendly….

A Lady in the Rough

A pearl set in the midst of an ancient gorge, San Bartolomeo Church in Scicli is a sublime example of Sicilian late Baroque. The church’s dome sits proudly like an elegantly dressed woman donned for the ball in the midst of rugged cliffs and antique homes carved out of caves. Realized by Syracusean architect Salvatore…