Sunday, March 08, 2009

La Festa della Donna

In honor of this special day, also by coincidence because our friend Katharine was visiting for the weekend in Catania, we ladies set out for a night in Catania. Diana reserved a table at the Agorà Hostel. The Agorà Hostel is in the historical centre directly in front of the ancient Roman ruins and beside the famous Pescheria, Piazza Currò, 6. One of the oldest rivers in Catania passes right underneath the hostel in a cave formed 300 years ago by an eruption of Mount Etna, and the atmosphere is very unique.

"There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of places in Sicily where you can sip a glass of Zibibbo wine as you nibble on traditional sesame biscuits, or other specialities of some local master baker. But if at the same time you are 60 feet underground in a cave made of lava, with your toes bathed by the cool clear waters of a mountain stream which gargles and gurgles past, reminding you both of the lowly washerwoman who scrubbed here, and of the noble Ancient Romans who came to partake of the spa water, then you can only be in the Agorà Hostel. Above ground, the ambiance is dynamic: restaurant, bar, Internet, all animated in unpredictable and extraordinary colours. You can hear young people from all over the world speaking different languages, playing different music, wearing different clothes, as they relax in the sea, sun and climate of Sicily. The hostel is on upper floors. Next door, the medieval fish market provides fresh colour, food, flavours, and aromas every morning, to furnish a typical Sicilian cuisine which is nevertheless conscious of European taste."(Pippo Mascolino)

With it's long list of antipasti, we each ordered a plate to share... We sampled crostini di Norma, bruschetta, grilled vegetables, the crostini di mascarpone, ricotta, miele, and pistaccio was one of my favorites, along with the antique cheese sample and Carpaccio di bresaola e rucola plate. Then came or meal... We each ordered the cuscus, as it was known as their specialty. But, to show just how great the staff was, our waitress recommended that we each share a plate of cuscus because the servings were quite big. Everyone working at this restaurant was kind! To finish off a great night, we each ordered one of their tempting desserts. I dove into sweet ricotta cream filled with chocolate and drizzled with orange syrup. For those of you who like ricotta, this was a must!!

We were fortunate to also have Carmelo share the evening with us... He and his harem of six ladies...


mandi said...

fantastic pics jill!!
i had a brilliant night!

South of Rome said...

Hey, I had totally forgotten about this place! I never went and always thought maybe it was a legend that it existed!! V. cool.

We are coming to Sicily in April. Hopefully this time we can coordinate something. I'll keep you posted.


Jill said...

Do keep me posted!!