Pat Moriarty posting:
I have to confess I wasn’t that excited about visiting Sicily when it was first proposed. Another red sauce and pasta just sounded too much like “The Cuomo”, the Sicilian restaurant of my western New York home. Mortadella? that baloney with hunks of fat—YUK I could do without. Also, I had met my share of Brunos and Guidos growing up.
The only Italian I found any fondness for was my niece’s husband, Vinnie, a regular Italian with a salt-of-the-earth temperament who is a little (or a lot) rough around the edges, and in love with cats and all things family.
I wasn’t too sure about this whole thing. Ah well I would be a good sport, see the sights, eat the food and move on.
Well Sicily has claimed my heart. The marinara sauce that I pictured red and gloppy turned out to be a touch of tomato with “oh so fresh” just grilled seafood. Gelatti abound, and I give myself permission to eat it twice a day unless one of the times is cannoli stuffed with local ricotta cheese in a crisp homemade shell. Mortadella made with veal and none of the hunks of the fat I remember is welcome on my antipasto plate. I am still in search of the “real” spumoni ice cream loaded with pistaccio.
The people whom I expected to be curt and dismissive have been wonderfully warm. We met the local book store owner where David buys his New York Times; he speaks no English but has managed to share with us his favorite day trips through thumbing through tourist books and maps and swooning over the choices.
We walked by a cathedral renovation today in the town of Siracusa where we are staying. Beams had just been delivered, and the workers were readying them to be lifted into place. Much to my surprise, out of the chapel appeared about ten locals and they proceeded to heft the beam into the church. The guys were good sports as I took their photo and applauded their efforts.
We have visited every baroque church in Rome and Lecce. But here, I have loved learning about the Greek influence on the area, visiting a Greek amphitheater and traveling along the mediterranean coast to find a Greek Temple. —I will leave that part to David’s blog.