Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sicily was the third leg on our trip. We had a driver take us to the Naples airport from Sorrento and from Naples we flew into Catania, Sicily. We had a small holdup at the Naples airport. The security officials did not like our Venetian glass. After taking the packages all out, the security officials decided that two middle-aged women would probably not be a threat with their Venetial glass cheese knives and wine openers. However, the Catania officials would not allow them in my carryon bag so I had to race back to the bag check to give them my backpack or have the officials take my knives. Flying in Italy is a little different. Our flight from Catania to Rome wasn't even on the boards so I thought they cancelled or delayed our flight to a later time. Kim was sure that the flight was still on. She was right. Don't ask me why our flight was posted on the departure board. She had said on more than one occassion "We're in Italy now". The trains and buses all ran on time. Exactly like we had expected to run.
Kim's family, Aldo and Graciela met us at the airport. Our first night, Aldo and Graciela took us to a wonderful family pizzaria. This was my first introduction to Sicilian stuffed pizza. The pizza just kept coming. I had counted about 14 pizza's that were ordered. Just when I thought I couldn't eat anymore, three more pizzas would arrive. The pizzas were always "different" so I had to try the new pizza. This was also my first experience with true Italian cannoli. Oh my Gosh!!! There were over 20 huge cannolis that arrived after already being stuffed with pizza. The cannoli's were stuffed with nutella or ricotta. I just had to have a nutella cannoli. There was probably close to a half cup of nutella in the middle of the cannoli. On the ends, there was cream with pistashios then they were doused with powdered sugar. I thought I was going to get sick from eating so much that night. I dream of the Italian desserts that we had.
Each night, we had gone out to a different restaurant. Kim's cousin Alberto would start our morning out by taking us for breakfast. We would have granita, which is an iced coffee and brioshe. Lunches were made by Graciela and Bina. We were exposed to Salomi Zurco and Italian Cream Cake. Absolutely heaven. I wish I had taken a picture of the Salomi Zurco. This is part cookie, part chocolate, dessert that is shaped into little logs then cut. The finished product looks like slices of salomi but only better because it's dessert.
Our last night in Sicily, Alberto and Tiziana took us to Siracusa which is about a 40 minute drive from Carlentini. We arrived right at sunset. Siracusa is south of Carlentini. As you can see on a map, we are so far south that we are close to the northern part of Africa. No wonder I felt like I was melting everyday.
Sicily was a different Italian adventure. This is where I got to be up close and personal to the Sicilian way of life. We stayed with Nettie's cousin Nino. His daughter and her family were gracious hosts taking us to the grocery store, fixing us meals and taking us to and from the airport. We were taken to an agroturismos outside of Carlentini for dinner one night. This is like the American bed and breakfast except you are on a farm. We had a plate of appetizers before our pasta arrived. Alberto ordered the appetizers for Kim and I. He said he ordered it because we don't eat fish. I really didn't know what he meant by that until the end of dinner. We all had plates of pasta. I would say we finished this about 10:30 pm that night. Then the plates of fried fish arrived. I'm glad I wasn't a fish eater that night. I don't know how I could have eaten fish after eating all the pasta. Dessert arrived at 11:00 pm.