I Love Sicily And Keep Returning For More – It’s in my DNA

I Love Sicily TrinacriaI love Sicily for its enchanting and unique blend of diverse cultures. Its allure seduces you and remains within you forever.  A magnificent Island, subjected to 13 foreign dominations over the centuries,  yet it shines brightly like a beautiful gem in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea.  It is a treasure chest chock-full of amazing architecture, beautiful beaches, and delicious food and wine. 

My love affair with Sicily is firmly rooted in my DNA.  My great-grandparents left their beloved homeland in the early 1900s in search of the American dream.  Thanks to them, I have Sicilian blood running through my veins, Italian dual citizenship, and a never-ending desire to return to Sicily in the hopes of discovering something new about my heritage.

Fortunately, I am going to Sicily in a few days.  So, as I am preparing for my upcoming adventure, I find myself reflecting back on my last trip to the province of Ragusa.  I saw so many stunning sites and stumbled upon quite a few unexpected finds.  Now, I would like to share them with you.

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The Province of Ragusa – One more reason to love Sicily

I Love Italy Baroque StyleThe Province of Ragusa is an architectural pearl.  In 1693, a devastating earthquake wreaked havoc on eastern Sicily.  However, the mass destruction opened a door of artistic opportunity.  As a result, Sicily’s skilled architects and craftsman gave life to a unique style of architecture and sculpture.  Extraordinary examples of Sicilian Baroque style are abundant in each of the provinces twelve towns.  In fact, UNESCO recognizes the quality of design in Ragusa, Modica and Scicli as World Heritage Sites.

Modica

I Love Sicily Modica ChocolateDo you need another reason to love Sicily?  Well, if you love chocolate then you should stop in the charming town of  Modica.  Undoubtedly, the best known local product is Modica chocolate.  The Spanish introduced an ancient Aztec chocolate recipe that uses unprocessed cocoa mass.  As a result, the end product contains all the cocoa butter creating a rich and creamy texture.  Initially, the chocolates boasted vanilla and cinnamon flavors.  Today, the chocolate is infused with a variety of natural flavors including, almond, orange, and lemon.  Step into the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto to sample an explosion of flavor.

Vittoria

I Love Sicily Gulfi WineIf you don’t already love Sicily for its wine, you will after a visit to Vittoria.  There is only one wine in Sicily that holds the highest level of distinction, DOCG. Clearly, the honor belongs to Cerasuolo di Vittoria.  Cerasuolo is a nearly equal mix of Nero d’Avola and Frappato grapes.  On the whole, a surprisingly pleasant balance between weight, body, and fruitiness.  Planeta and Gulfi are two local wineries that merit a visit.  Additionally, Gulfi offers a complete experience for wine lovers.  You can choose to stay in a farmhouse on the vineyard.  Also, they are open for lunch and dinner, offering an enjoyable wine and food tasting tour.

In Search of Montalbano

I Love Sicily MontalbanoAndrea Camilleri, the author of the popular crime novel series and creator of Inspector Montalbano, is from Porto Empedocle, Sicily.  His books examine the Sicilian culture and the contemporary way of life.  Furthermore, they address the political problems, social class, and the influence of the mafia.  Also, the stories consider the impact of increased tourism and arrival of refugees from Africa and the Middle East.  As a result, Inspector Montalbano has come to life in a popular TV series.

Today, I luoghi di Montalbano (Montalbano’s places), are an increasingly popular aspect of the tourist trade.  Although the places in the novels are fictitious, the TV series is filmed in various locations in the province of Ragusa.  Punta Secca, a quaint seaside village with a lighthouse and small harbor, is where you can find Inspector Montalbano’s apartment.  Offseason, becoming a busy B&B with a terrace that overlooks the sea. Also, on the trail of Montalbano are Ragusa Ibla, Scicli, and Donnalucata.

 

Marina di Ragusa

IMG_2050Marina di Ragusa is a village on the Mediterranean coast.  It is a popular seaside destination in the summer months.  Unbelievably, the population explodes during the tourist season from a modest population of about 4,000 inhabitants to over 60,000.  It is renowned for its red sandy beaches and lively nightlife.  It boasts the largest port in Sicily, allowing more than 800 boats to dock.

Do you love Sicily for its food?  Here are three suggestions to sample while you are visiting Marina di Ragusa.  First, stop at a local bakery and pick up a savory loaf of fresh-baked olive bread.  It is great as a snack on its own or toasted with a drizzle of olive oil.   Next on the list, stop at a bar and get a couple of filled to order cannoli, because one just isn’t enough.  Look for the shells that have insides lined with dark chocolate.  Finally, Order a Pizza Alla Norma.

Ragusa may be the smallest and youngest province in Sicily, but it packs a big punch.  From the high peaks of the Hiblean Mountains to the coastal plains it is teeming with natural and architectural beauty.  What do you love the most about Sicily?

I love Sicily Grammarly

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LauraLee

I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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