Everything is packed! Tonight the plane leaves for Malta, where the new Spanish IberoCruceros ship "Grand Celebration" will be ported in the morning. Out at sea for a two week Mediterranean cruise, I hope to take lot's of pictures!!
The word Ferragosto comes from Latin, Feriae Augusti that is the rest of August. It indicates a popular feast that took place on the 15th of August to celebrate one of the main rural activities, the moment in which workers paid homage to their landlords that gave them a reward. In time, the Roman Catholicism adopted this date as a Holy Day of Obligation to commemorate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the real physical elevation of her sinless soul and in-corrupt body into Heaven.
In celebration of this event, the town of Randazzo proudly parades an iron cart that launches 20 meters into the sky with 25 living characters (little boys and little girls) representing the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Amazing spectacle to see... I unfortunately didn't have any good pictures of this, but found this old photo on-line.
The night before the Italian holiday Ferragosto, August 14th, is the night when most people are out celebrating. Whether in the country or by the sea, there is always a good time with friends and family. Every year we have spent the night on the beach with our friends and what seamed to be everyone else in Sicily. Imagine a beach for as far as you can see completely packed with groups of people. Bonfires, tents, and music for miles.
This year, Irene Grandi held a free concert on the beach of Fiumefreddo, which added to the weekend. After the show the streets were packed with vendors and people taking a stroll...
The small seaside town of Giardini Naxos celebrated on August 9th the historical recalling of the landing of their patron saint S. Pancrazio in the bay of Naxos. The night was alive with a performance about the origins of the town Giardini Naxos, dedicated to the patron Saint and protector of the fishermen and of the sea. There is a website dedicated to this event, check out their photos.
Kelly and I on the lungo mare... The parade began with the fisherman leading the way. Very creative costumes! Thank you Kelly for the invite! I always have a great time with you... So happy Francesco's home!!
Like I have always said, there are very few things greater than fresh fruits picked from the tree. Figs would be one of my favorite. Thought to be the sweetest fruit, figs are also one of the oldest fruits recognized by man. It's no wonder the fig has been enjoyed for centuries. Growing up, the only fig I encountered was in between the cookie of the Fig Newton. Yummy! It wasn't until my first visit to Sicily, a few years back, that Antonello reached up and picked one of these soft and delicate fruits for me. With it's moist, honeyed, rosy goodness it's impossible to have just one.
The terrace is full of figs drying out in the sicilian sun. Once the winter months come around, these will be a nice sweet treat.
You may already know that Figs are high in natural and simple sugars, minerals and fiber. They contain good levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. A compound found in Figs, called benzaldehyde, has been shown to help shrink tumors in some tests. Considered to be an antibacterial and anti-ulcer food, the Fig is also a natural laxative. All the more reason to enjoy!
Just an update--- I am currently without Internet as we are changing our Internet provider. Not a good time of the year to be waiting for a technician! I've been busy around town, so once I get it set up I will have so much to share.
I have been carried away to a world that stops to taste the sweetness of the land, and admire all the treasures that their rich black soil provides. Now my journey begins as we enjoy the simple pleasures of the life! We came from different worlds, spoke different languages, but that didn’t stop us. We have our home in Sicily, and many adventures await us. Sicilia is our home!
Sailing across the Gulf of Mexico, I had the pleasure of meeting the most amazing man. Little did I know that he would eventually become the love of my life and would change my world. We were both working aboard a cruise line at the time. He, an Italian Engineer, and I, the featured headlining Vocalist, met at a crew party and the rest is history. Our beginning... Wedding Pictures...
Towns around Mt. Etna
Take a trip around Mt.Etna and visit all the small towns along the way here. Relax and enjoy the scenery on the Ferrovia Circumetnea Train that travels around Mt. Etna.