FALL!

I expect to be somewhere else in a few weeks,but for now it’s great to be in the Twin Cities, which even HuffPost recognizes as amazing.

And look how these Cronin boys love the leaves —

My bags are packed…

I loved calling Cianciana My Home for awhile:

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Certo, la vita è bella a Cianciana

Odysseus, The Cyclops, Aeneas (& Anchises): All Present & Accounted for, and…What’s THAT???

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We turned right along  the Straits of Messina and kept driving until we saw it, the volcano which,  even in the past week,  has been playfully erupting.

From Taormina -- Mt Etna

From Taormina — Mt Etna

We’ve now been two days in Catania, with better sightings of Mt. Etna, better photo ops than ever, yet I haven’t bothered. I should begin with full disclosure: I am a sucker for mountains. Anyhow, a couple days ago,  as we started the short walk up to chic, bustling Taormina,  I saw  the great, to me mystical, mountain for the first time (outside of the car ride, when Etna was something of a moving target).It  was  like seeing the Taj Mahal – those first views erase the cliché and etch the thing itself in the cerebrum, forever. No longer any need for pictures.

And Catania? It seems to be a grimier version of Palermo, and I mean that in the nicest way.

First, there were the Breakfast surprises:

Then, ah! a market to rival any I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something

LOST in Sicily

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Today was to have been  a 3-hr, 300 km drive.  About 80 km into the missed the A19 exit, I mentioned that I thought we were off course.

Tunnel

A few hours, several mountains, many  tunnels, and a long series  of adventures later, I tossed aside Lonely Planet  and Rough  Guide. 

Our Fiat is small, but the streets of Western Sicily are narrow. Result: large scratch. Today, we waited the 30 minutes requ

Our Fiat is narrow, but the streets of Western Sicily are narrower.  Result: large scratch. Today,  Guido reduced the scratch to niente.

View from the hotel in Brolo

View from “Sea Palace Gattopardo,” Brolo

We asked a delightful  Brolo native   if he could help us  find a hotel, and now  here we are, about 150km away from our day’s intended destination, but in  A Room with a View – and WHAT A VIEW

On the Road: Palermo ––>Trapani

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IMG_2844   trapani
Trapani2
Arriving here, we drove along the Tyrrhenian, and to get our bearings in the city, we walked along the Mediterranean. Trapani’s rich history (Virgil’s Anchises, father of Aeneas!) was the initial draw,  and the people and views are keeping us a couple more days.

 

I love that , since Easter,  crucifixes in/over the main altars have all been replaced by statues like this one in Trapani's S.Antonio de Paolo. BTW, I''m quite certain that's CRYSTAL behind San Salvatore!

I love that , since Easter, crucifixes in/over  so many main altars have  been replaced by statues like this one in Trapani’s S.Francesco di Paolo. BTW, I”m quite certain that’s CRYSTAL behind San Salvatore!

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Cianciana Webcams

http://ion.it/ciancianacam/

The Webcams  capture sites and sights just around the corner and down the street from Elizabeth’s studio (MacFlip4 required).

It’s been pouring for an hour, and either neighbors are slamming their doors in unison, or it’s thundering, too. Absent Kare 11 TV Weather,   I flipped on the village’s webcams to see if it were worth going out.  I found my answer: YES, but  I can expect my  umbrella to be whipped inside out.

The Cameras capture sites and sights just around the corner and down the street ( Flip4Mac may be required).

Anyhow, today is a far cry from recent days — (gallery below is a random sample from those  sunnier moments!)

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La Mia Vita Glamour in Sicilia:

…a number of you have written to say how enviably glamorous is my life in Sicily. I love it, but full of glam, it is not, and this post is meant to set the record straight.

Let’s consider a morning – THIS morning – for example…

A dear friend

Once I’ve had the courage to push off the heat-holding duvet, and the presence of mind to hit the red button, count to 15, while turning the dial once-twice-three times (highest flame power), The Bombola becomes my dear friend.

Actually, I realize for the purist, bombola simply refers to the canister of propane fueling the heater, but I love the sound of the word, and “bomb” is also what I hear as I hit that button first thing in the morning.

brkfst

My day really begins with breakfast in front of the windows: except for the pigeons in the rooftiles outside, it’s quiet this time of day.

espmakerWithin an hour, the garbage truck arrives (no picture, b/c even I won’t hang over the balcony to snap a photo of that). Today being Thursday, it was the “humid” waste (coffee grounds, banana skins — compostable, I think – hope! – this means). Tomorrow it will be “undifferentiated”, and as examples, the instructions suggest “old shoes…nappies…toys”

Today's "humid" trash,  tied up and hung on the railing.

Today’s “humid” trash, tied up and ready for pickup.

The earliest Mass in town is at S. Antonio (“Il Convento”), and it’s not until 10 o’clock. I love Sicily!
Il Convento

Besides a statue of Padre Pio (who is actually everywhere, and I mean EVERYwhere: street signs, restaurants, side altars of every church), there is this one, which is San Calogero, patron saint of this area (Agrigento) of Sicily.
MoorBen

It’s now 10:30a.m. in my day, and I will leave you here, but not before sending along the men I see this morning and every morning, standing outside a bar up the street from Il Convento

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