Saturday, June 28, 2008


The tellina is a very small shellfish with an elongated, oval, smooth exterior shell that lives in the sand of the Mediterranean. The meat of these tellina are delicious. We usually pick them up whenever we can find them, as they are not always available.

There are a million ways to enjoy these tiny clams, but for us the best way to savor every bite it to eat them with your fingers! With their vibrant violet interior, these clams are a delicacy for all the senses. They are tiny and one has to eat quite a few to satisfy a hunger, but with a nice slice of crusty bread, their taste is ever so good.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Auguri Miriam e Andrea!!

This morning we celebrated the marriage of our dear friends Miriam and Andrea. We had the pleasure of dinning at the same villa our wedding was held at last year. One year and one month ago to the day! After our first visit, Antonello and I knew we were going to have our reception there.
La casa del grecale is a beautiful place, check out their site to get a taste of their style and atmosphere... Our wedding was held in the evening, so it was nice to be a guest during the afternoon.

Our niece Elena and I posing for a picture outside the church in San Gerardo.

The ladies of the table... (L-R) Viola, Elena, myself, Connie, and Vita.

We had a beautiful day... The sea below us was the perfect backdrop.

Davide and Viola

Salvo and Vita

The guys urged us to get up and take a picture all together... They just wanted our bench!

Thank you Elena! I had such a nice time with you...
Un bacio!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Schools are coming to an end and what does that mean? SHOWTIME! Yesterday my class took a walk through town down to the concert hall where they will perform on Sunday afternoon. They are too cute! Their faces just shine when they sing, "Hello, hello, hello how are you?"

Yesterday evening Mario also had his recital. This is his last year at the pre-school and he will be missed! He is so talented, and his charisma in front of an audience is that of a true natural.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pera di San Giovanni

I asked around yesterday and discovered that the miniature pears that I enjoyed so much were actually called "Pera di San Giovanni" (Pear of Saint Joseph). These little sweet drops are named after the saint because they are ripe for picking around the end of June near the anniversary of St. John, which just happens to be today.

Many years ago, young adults would play several different types of games on the eve of San Giovanni. After all, San Giovanni is known to look over those in search for love. At least in these parts of Sicily before bed, boys and girls would gather three fave beans and prepare them for bedtime. One fave bean would be left intact, while one completely shelled, and the last only would have the head popped off. They would leave the fave beans under the pillow and fall fast to sleep. In the morning, they would reach under their pillow and pull out one bean. Depending on which they pulled would predict their fate in love. The intact fave bean meant that they would find true love.

Was San Giovanni on your side today?

Monday, June 23, 2008


Where ever does the time go... These past few weeks have flown by and I have a lot of catching up to do! With the warm weather, I have spent many days on the beach, taking in the fresh air and sun. The heat does not leave you with much of an appetite, but fortunately, we have been overwhelmed with fruits this year. The apricots, peaches, and cherries are busting out all over! Our apricot tree has such sweet little beauties that you find yourself taking one right after another. Then there are the little pears; I must remember my camera next time for these mini creations. You literally tear off the long stem and pop the whole pear in your mouth.

With these few days of not writing, I have received many more emails from passer-byers opening up and telling me about how a piece of this island remains with them. Whether it be from a long ago travel that introduced them to the tastes, sights, and romance of Sicily, or from someone searching for more information in their family history; my little blog has touched them. Through this blog I have encountered many new people. People who read and reminisce of years ago, people who for the first time see the images their grandparents would always talk about, and people who see where their family traditions and family came from.

As some who search for parts of their past, I am thrilled to discover that my simply words touch others so deeply. I never imagined that writing and documenting what I find to be so fascinating about this place others, too, find interesting. I started as just a simple journal of sorts, for family and friends to see what I was up to day to day. My husband and I love living here, love all that there is to discover and embrace. I am touched that others can and do embrace the same!

A presto!

One day last week I took my niece, nephew, and mother-in-law to the beach. It wasn't a perfect sunny day, but we all enjoyed the same!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


2008-06-08 214206 Piedimonte comizio RIPENSARE
The town elections are just hours away... Tomorrow and Monday, the towns people will be casting their vote for the new mayor of the town. The past few evenings the streets have been packed, people lining the streets to hear all the ideas each candidate intends to implement. Not just listening, however. Flags swinging, air horns firing, chanting, and yelling; I felt as if I were at a soccer match. I will be watching from afar tomorrow, as I can not vote. Apparently, you have to have lived here for two years. In any case my sister-in-law is running as an advisor for the candidate ALBERTO PUGLISI.
2008-06-08 221732 Piedimonte comizio RIPENSARE  I.Puglisi

Monday, June 09, 2008

Summertime is coming!

There is a change in the air with all the tourists and vacationers visiting the island. Yesterday at the airport, buses were loaded with people heading out to enjoy the Sicilian Sunshine.

Summer is on it's way! We're getting ready for the lungomare, but for now I like to skate along the long, quiet street in Giardini Naxos. I'm not real fond of Rollerblades, so I was fortunate to find these beauties!

In the morning, the street is all ours...

Thursday, June 05, 2008


During the middle ages in Messina, a profession existed known as the "U Nevarolu", that is a man who would transport and conserve the snow from Mt.Etna all year round. In the Peloritani mountains these particularly fresh natural gorges can still be found where they conserved the snow. When the warm temperatures arrived in Sicily, Nobel Messinesi bought this snow and squeezed lemon on top, thus creating the Granita.

During our hike to the top of Etna we found many patches of frozen ice.

Noting says SUMMERTIME better than a refreshing morning granita! Here in Sicily, the birth place of this sweet treasure, families and friends gather in the late morning over a delicate glass of smooth, soft, flavored ice. Accompanied with a warm doughy Sicilian brioche, this breakfast treat can be found in almost every bar in the area.

The texture of the granita varies from city to city on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo it is at its chunkiest, and in the east where we are it is nearly as smooth as sorbet. From our travels, we have to say that we have the best...

Common and traditional flavors in our parts include lemon, coffee, almond, strawberry, peach, Black Mulberry, and chocolate.

Here we have the classic lemon.
If you find yourself in Sicily, notice how the brioche is eaten. First, pop off the top and save it till the last bite.
Then, break away piece by piece the soft dough and dip it into the delicate granita.

Yet another gift from Mt. Etna... Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hike on the rooftop of Sicily; 10000 feet above sea level

Sunday morning we had planned to take a short hike on Mt Etna and watch the sun rise. We began our hike across the lava, along the flattened area where the 4WD buses transport tourists to the top of the volcano. It was early and we were the only souls around. The moment was perfect!

Evidence of the 2002 eruption. This eruptive fracture destroyed the area Piano Provenzana at the base of the mountain. Tourist attractions including skiing and hiking were completely wiped out. I can remember my first trip to Etna, back in 2003, when the streets were closed off by a massive river of lava. Years of hard work have now brought this area back to life . The Ski slopes are active again and all the streets have been rebuilt.

From below it looks as if all the snow has melted. However, the mountain is still covered with thick icy snow just covered with a layer of ash.

We later gave up our first idea of taking a short hike just to watch the sunrise. We were now on our way to the top!
The 9th of June starts the 4° edition of one of the greatest Sicilian running events: The Etna marathon. While hiking our way we encountered a few men preparing for the The Etna marathon, a distance that goes from 0 to 3,000 meters of height. Beginning at the beach of Marina di Cottone (Fiumefreddo) and finishing 3000 meters high at the North-east crater of the volcano. I can't even imagine... This year we will be there to see this event. They run right through our town!

This was the last bit of vegetation before the climb crossing the ash desert.

There she is!
This is the "Bottoniera", a composed volcanic formation similar to the buttons on a shirt. It is composed of 25 craters that were created during the eruption of 2002.

We met a few friends along the way. Here, Antonello sits and chats with his new friend Mario, who just happens to be from Riposto.
When we arrived at the "Belvedere", it was possible to observe from a panoramic point the famous and huge volcanic depression "Valle del Bove" caldera's rim (7x5 Km).

The sights from here were amazing. Unfortunately, my camera was always to slow to catch the eruption, but we witnessed the fire shooting out from the crack of the earth. The lava flows down into the "Valle del Bove".
We must make another trek in the evening for that is when the lava's piercing flames are evident.

The red is where the eruption is happening right now. Above there are the four main craters.
My camera could not capture the view clearly, but in the distance we could even see the eolian islands, Catania gulf, Taormina, Peloritani mountains, and Milazzo in the distance.

Whenever we would drive up to the mountain, from the car I would always see a little white speck in the distance at the top of the mountain. And now, here I am standing right next to it! This is the Observatory. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia Osservatorio di Pizza Deneri, quoto 2820 m s.l.m

Ariel view of the craters.
In a place black and barren, without any sign of life, there was one thing that I did see. Ladybugs were everywhere??
Our decent was a pleasure! We were stopping along the way as other hikers inquired how much further it was to reach the top.
We did it!