Before this weekend, I had never been to Italy. I spoke less Italian than Spanish and German (in which I can count to four and am strugglebussing with five), and had never eaten a canoli.
Sicily was beautiful. Quite simply and in many meanings of the term.
We traveled with a group of nine and, luckily, one of us spoke effective (if not fluent) Italien. I’m not sure what we would have done without him because our hotel manager dude didn’t speak English.
We ate pasta at a small diner and I experienced pasta carbonara for the first time. It was wonderful. There was wine too and that was like nothing I had ever come across. First of all, the red was cooled. Second, it was radically different from any wine I’d ever had. Like it had come from some wine cloud instead of the earth.
We explored the city of Palermo, finding the sea and a café. That was where I first experienced Italian espresso (aka café). I call that wonder heaven condensed into a space the size of my thumb. My only regret in drinking it was that because it is so concentrated, drinking a lot of it is…inadvisable.
I should also mention the wonder of gelato. It is fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that some random guy on the street literally stopped and stared at my little gelato bowl.
Yeah, I’m not really sure why he did that either.
And this is the wonder that is the Mediterranean in all its true glory. I don’t think the sheer beauty of this region hit me until I saw this.
The Theatre Massimo is another beauty I did not expect to find. It was stunning with a tilted stage and everything made from Mahogany. Beautiful.
While we did a lot, and while a lot of that activity was eating and exploring, I won’t bore you with any more gritty details. So here are my last two bits:
The cathedral . Looks like a castle from the outside, but the inside is very much in the style of a (what I’m going to call) normal cathedral.
And my canoli. Which was a roll of heaven placed right next to a thumb of heaven.