December 24, 2005
Sicily. Short but Sweet
We have started a tradition, leaving Florence in the cold winter, for our anniversary..and head off somewhere to see Christmas celebrations.
So I have started a short list, for some short holidays.
Going to Sicily has been one of my dreams for years.
I have a long list of places to visit in Sicily that I would need to move there to see it all. Next on the list is Modica, Noto and Ragusa all for foodie trips to the masters.
First on my list was Palermo, for the Baroque art and the open air food markets, not just one, but FOUR!
I am a market Babe.. ever since my first trip to France, then again in Greece, the Plaka really had me going... the late night trips to eat soup still remain in my memory.
The Bocceria in Barcellona is calling me back, they only close for a few hours a night to clean and it is such a vibrant place, filled with tiny Tapas bars.
In Palermo, I first visited the Vucceria during the day and was rather disappointed with how small it was. I thought perhaps it was a slow day or I was either too late or too early.
My second market was Ballero', much more lively, perhaps because we went later?
We also hit Capo and the flea market, but the best find was the Sunday flea market in Piazza Marina. Got some great stuff!
Heading back later one day to the Vucceria, we found it hopping, and then walked back through again after the market was closed, to find food stands open in the late evening!
This is what I was looking for!
We had grilled Stigliole, which are lamb or veal intenstines, of milk fed veal, very tender, grilled and served with lemon and salt. FABULOUS and FRESH.
This butcher- grill guy, had a whole table of goodies to chose from, my hubbie spotted another client getting a sandwich made from a green onion wrapped with fresh pancetta grilled and then topped with some secret sauce ( looked like chopped raw veggies).
I had just ordered Jamies Italy before going.. and this was it!
It was too bad I am not a guy to hand out like he did.. taking pictures and being one of the boys, perhaps on another trip.
I still need to think about what I saw in Palermo, before I write more.
The Centro Storico, historic center, still has an immense amount of destruction from the second world war.
One of the foto's I took, I later foundout, was used as an art happening by a Austrian performance Artist named Uwe Jaentsch,graffiti,decorations and a foto show.
We saw some of the foto's when eating at Ferro di Cavallo trattoria, the Mario's of Palermo. Reminded me of a young Andy Warhol.
This shot is of one of the buildings bombed in WWII, and never rebuilt, some of te building around it are being restored,but there are many left like this.
He painted the inside of the building with the BLACK SUN on the top floor, a take-off on the Sicilian orange sun which is seen everywhere, and then built this red cross on the inside, where he tied himself to the cross, and had people throw balloons filled with red paint. You can see where the paint hit.
We did 4 days in Palermo, and then headed down to Marsala, Mothya ( the salt flats) Trapani and Erice.
Each of these require a post of their own!
I am still overwhelmed by what I saw in such a short time that I need to think about it more!
Suffering from Stendahl's Syndrome.
The same thing happened to me in Oaxaca.. sensory overload in the big cities in a short time.