Catania and the surrounding region had been plagued by earthquakes that had destroyed the many different architectural sites of past artistic movements. What is depicted here is the Cathedral of Sant’Agata. It is a beautiful baroque church with dramatic curves and movement that made me fall in love. I felt boujee, to use appropriate modern-day slang. Bad and boujee to be exact. I was eating a gelato while taking this all in. My feet were in pain, but it didn’t matter. The high I felt in the moment alleviated my feet from whatever strain they had undergone in this journey.
On this trip no diets existed and the idea of one seemed foreign prior so to those of you wondering what my diet consisted of on this trip, don’t worry. The result of my choices was and continues to be happiness. Now that that has been covered, let’s talk about the food that has been nourishing me with the energy to type away. Il cannolo siciliano is art. A nice hard shell filled with a ricotta cream. If that does not have your mouth watering, please close this tab. I have avoided cannoli (the plural in Italian not cannolis!!!) for a while because I thought it would be best to get them from their home, Sicily. I did not realize how addictive they would become. I gave César my wallet to hold with the excuse that I did not want to carry it around, the truth that I have been withholding from him is that I wanted him to hold it because I did not want to blow away my money on cannoli. I constantly think about giving all my possessions in exchange for cannoli.
I was not aware that some towns were completely covered by fog. I had thought this was only a thing seen in horror films to give an ominous feeling. We spent a day in Erice, this mountain town of about 150 people. We arrived in the afternoon after a long day of driving and stopping at a few archaeological sites along the road. Once I dropped off my bags in the hotel, I went on a walk around the town. I heard voices in all directions, but I couldn’t find what was producing it. I kept walking straight for a good 10 min unable to see beyond 5 meters in front of me. I was alone, lost and enveloped by the fog. I guess if I were to die a death in a mountain town in the island of Sicily, after having consumed a bunch of cannoli, wouldn’t have been so bad considering how happy I was. They would’ve probably made a movie or a short story. I’m going to stop entertaining this idea… In addition to being in the middle of nowhere, we met an interesting nun turned baker/cook who taught us how to make marzipan, le tette and other Sicilian sweets before stuffing us with an array of Sicilian delights. I asked if I could work for her over the summer and she said sure. I hope she knows I was not joking and that she should expect a call or an email at any moment.
It’s sad that this journey of trying to understand Sicily through the bits of pieces we’ve seen of its history, has come to an end. I will forever be faithful to Sicilian cannoli. What continues to baffle me about this island is the beauty that surrounds the people in so many ways. The Sicilians are used to seeing beautiful waters, mountains and hills built into their lives. As someone from a fairly flat area, it was amazing to see what I have been deprived of from my home, yet it gave me an appreciation for what I had at my second home, Maine. These Sicilian writers discussed in class weren’t just looking at the water and the rocks because they wanted to write about water and rocks. The natural surroundings are central to the identity of Sicily and its people. At the airport in Catania, I saw Mt. Etna in the back facing the airport. I smiled and got on line to go back home.(Vivimi by Laura Pausini goes with this image)
These are peripteral hexastyle Greek temple!!! You might be confused as to why this excites me, that is ok. Since the trip has taken off, we have visited many Greek temples and I have gotten it down to the tee how to determine the style of the temple. It is simply amazing how such a structure from the classical world has been maintained in such amazing conditions. One would assume that such old temples would have crumbled. This sight serves as a visual reminder of how the past remains relevant in the future. I was sad to leave the dog I befriended here. I named him Oso. I hope he’s doing ok without me. (Sous le vent by Céline Dion & Garou is a must for this post to set the move)