Salt flower & Cookies

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui

When you live in three different houses and you move with many things in different bags, losing something is inevitable, above all in the house where your family lives.

I had lost my Fleur de Sel.

I searched and searched and then it reappeared in the most unimaginable place and , above all, it was reduced to a half O_O
Once my mother forgot to go to supermarket and use it to cook the pasta. Tablespoons of Fleur de Sel thrown away for the pasta…

Now I have to wait for the end of summer for the new harvest.

Thanks to connection, or rather I’m Giovanni’s girlfriend, Giovanni is Salvatore’s friend, Salvatore is the Lord of Saline Calcara (Calcara salt pans, I talked about them here), I’ve the last sack of this precious salt from the last harvest at Saline Calcara one year ago, and it was free.

But…how much is the salt at Trapani?“…mmm in effect the normal salt is a cheap substance BUT this is NOT a normal salt, this is the first salt, the best one, and it could be very expensive.

Two years ago I didn’t know fleur de sel (salt flower, if you prefer) but knowing the owner of a salt pan could be useful and romantic! During the summer nights in August, when there aren’t tourists at the salt pans, they are the perfect location to have a party with friends and walk between the pans with your boyfriend under the moonlight.

When there isn’t the moon, salt pans are immersed in the darkness and you can see only lights of far near town, over the sea, because Trapani port and the salt pans look mutually. You could see the Milky Way and thousands of stars, without that urban light. But when there is the moon, which illuminates the pans, stars are on the water.

Between August and September the sun beats down in Sicily and the sea water in the pans begins to evaporate. The first salt on the surface is fleur de sel, little salty isles even surrounded by much water and unadulterated because all impurities sediment. They look like crystalline water lilies which sparkle the thin moonlight, the salt flower indeed.

I don’t know if they call it flower thinking the water lilies or because it’s the best quality of salt.

It’s an unrefined salt but however fine enough, without manipulation. It’s hand-picked by “salinai” (the salt pickers), like in ancient times, when it’s crystallized on the surface because of the mix of wind and sun, and for this reason it’s a Slow Food Presidium product.
There aren’t additives nor preservatives and it includes a more varied mix of mineral salts. It has less sodium chloride, because which it doesn’t cover flavours of foods. I’m looking my Fleur de Sel and it’s silver-grey, damp and friable.

Don’t use it to cook pasta, as a person I know are doing because she forgot to buy it at supermarket. Conserve it for more refined dishes and the unusual recipes.

I wanted the Fleur de Sel to prepare cookies. Yes, Fleur de Sel cookies.

I was looking for an alternative to the usual biscuits for the breakfast at Giovanni’s B&B and I like to test new recipes. I was looking for something of particular and typical in the same time (Trapani sea salt is a Slow Food Presidium but serving it alone for breakfst is not a good idea 😀 ) so I used a Sigrid Verbert recipe from her wonderful food blog Cavoletto di Bruxelles. It’s in italian but there is Google Translate “luckily”.

I tried to translate the recipe for you below:

Fleur de Sel Cookies (Estimated time : 2 hours for kneading, leaving to stand and baking)

• 250 gr/8,82 oz/2 cup “00” Italian Flour”
• 125 gr/4 oz butter
• 125 gr /4 oz/ 1/2 cup white sugar
• 10 gr / 5 tsp vanilla-flavoured powdered sugar ( I used directly 2 gr/ 1 tsp of vanillin)
• 1 egg
• Half teaspoon of Fleur de Sel

I hope that the weight conversations are correct O_O For types of flours I found this article with descriptions of Italian flours

Ok, now we make the cookies:

You have to sift the flavour and mix ith with white sugar, vanillin and fleur de sel.

Add the cool butter (before dice it) and start to knead crumbling all ingredients, the flavour has to “absorb” the butter.

Create a little mountain with flavour crumbs, make a well in the centre and break the egg into it.

Now knead, knead and knead.

When you have a consistent dough, create a ball, cover it with a film and put it in the fridge for one hour.

After you have to roll the dough on a slightly floured surface and obtain a thickness of about 4 mm. Now you can cut the dough in the shapes you prefer while the oven heat at 160 °C. Arrange the cookies on a baking tray ( cover it with the greaseproof paper) and cook for 13 minutes (10 minutes if you want a light color)

With these doses you can have 35-40 super good cookies, with few cheap ingredients you can make a good impression :). You see the little salt crystals “sparkling” on the surface. The flavour? Much vanilla with some crunchy salty crystals distincted. Particular!

This post is short but the translation was very hard. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed for your cookies 😛

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to have breakfast at Belveliero in front of Trapani port, you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com .
If you prefer to have breakfast at Boutique B&B Granveliero and partecipate to cooking workshops with us, write to granveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email to receive a discount! 😉 )

Annunci

Trapani is an invisible town

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui

Every day I wake up, brush my teeth and sit in front of pc, answer emails and give away hours and hours of my life surfing on internet, all morning and all afternoon but it’s above all for job, I swear. Today, during my usual nautical activity and while I was trying to follow something called diet (because surfing make me hungry every time ) I bumped into an article about itineraries to do in the west side of Sicily. The diet was proceeding well, till the moment I read ” Trapani isn’t a particularly attractive town” and BUM , the blogger went ahead leaving me with the broken heart.

And an unexpected disappointment (my real reaction was “heyyyyyAndHowDoYouDare,EvilBlogger?!?!?!?!?!“, sorry)

Actually, when I lived in Palermo and my adult life started, I snubbed my hometown too. When tourists said “ But Trapani is so nice, I didn’t imagine, there’s nothing about on guide books“, “Well, there’s no ​accounting for ​taste“, I said to myself.

But now I begin to like this town, I don’t know why, maybe because I met Giovanni or because by now I live here. I hope it isn’t because of the old age. It’s hard to see really the place where you always live, so taking a break for a long time is good to revalue it. And 11 years more in the brain and the heart too. Palermo is hard, you either hate it or you love it, there are no half measures. You have to take all of it, the culture and the crumbling buildings, the theatre and the shouting people. It’s a “passionate” city, I love it because it’s beautiful, dirty and lively, no good for who have a delicate stomach.

Once Giovanni told me about a guest who took the bus to Palermo. He arrived, looked around, frightened himself and returned on the bus to go to Trapani! :’D

Trapani has a softer sicilian character, not less genuine but rather less traumatic, poised between the torpidity of small islands and the colorful roar of big cities in Southern Italy.


It’s a bright town, the sea sparkles and the buildings in the old town give back tens of yellows and off whites and you feel like sunbathing as a lizard. The domes covered by emerald majolicas…
A quite and bright town, but not drowsy.

You go out and see people greet with a smile, old people and storekeepers meet every day but every day find something to say in the middle of road because the traffic and its noises are far.

You can cycle around the old town, from Villa Margherita up to the sea, under the warm sun, tinkling when you meet an acquaintance, without the fear of dying at the crossroads. I love ringing the bike bell, it resounds in the quite of the street, DRIIIIIINNNN (Ok, I’m feeling a little bit stupid 😀 )

Go under the Mura di Tramontana (old northern city walls) and find the sea (and if they removed the seaweeds from the beach you can bathe, but usually they clean the beach in June)

Go to Torre di Ligny (Ligny Tower) and find the sea and overlooking behind the tower is exciting in every season. There are only sea and rocks and a thrill runs down your spine, not only because of dizziness.

Go to the port (and find the sea 😀 ) and your mind runs among all those brighting spots between the sun and the water. In winter it’s cold, you cover the nose with scarf, against the biting wind and watch the seagulls during their immobility exercises in flight. They are strange. They stay there, fixed, suspended on the bursting water, balancing between the winds, neither too high nor too low.

If you pass through Porta Botteghelle you could notice an old table with stripped paint and three chairs. For Heaven’s sake! Don’t touch them, nobody do it. In Sicily you understand if a chair is abandoned or just put aside to use them the next day. It’s almost certain that those chairs have an owner and if you see them, you can sit but you can’t break, move or throw away them.

The handicraft, traditional or reinvented, rediscovered or never forgotten by faithful keepers become artists by now. The red coral, the fishermen nets, the silver and the majolicas, the sweets and the embroideries.

A small town, where you can find the unexpected you don’t expect

For the rest Trapani is always a sicilian town so the markets are always colorful and noisy, with sellers who shout compliments trying to attract some vain girls. If you don’t find a parking spot you can create it. The results could be artistic works, the traffic policemen take a picture before giving a ticket.
Old men set up living rooms in small spaces next their houses or shops to chat with the old friends or the neighbours.
But these things are normal in Sicily, luckily.

I think I’m not even so good at writing and explaining this place but every time I walk along the port and look the swinging boats, I feel a “bright quite” inside of me (do you know the italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti? He said that the real love is a bright quite), maybe because I consider this place as one of many pieces of that puzzle called Love. Giovanni gave me this puzzle.

“You love a city not for its seven or seventy-seven wonders, but because it has an answer to your special question”

And Italo Calvino was right.

Right, that’s enough hearts and flowers, one month ago I wrote a long city walk on Trapani, but I didn’t know where to start because I thought that Trapani was culturally UNINTERESTING. I feel ashamed of this but I made up for lost time. I researched and researched, among scores of bites with the same 4 words and bare (and often wrong) information. The devastation of copy and paste.

I discovered that Trapani is really a nice and small town. As a typical sicilian town, it is a little bit medieval, very baroque and with a pinch of Liberty, scattered where you don’t expect it…


…it has a History but we don’t know it because that church is where my cousin got married or I went to that high school, those buildings and churches have been ever present.

I like the history of this town and you can discover it in a long city walk of one or two days but I’ll write it in the next post 🙂

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in B&B Belveliero in front of Trapani port, you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com;
If you prefer to sleep at Boutique B&B Granveliero and partecipate to cooking workshops with us, write to granveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email to receive a discount! 😉 )

Condividi:

Tourist Cards in Sicily: the whole truth (+ list of all sicilian tourist cards)

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

[WARNINGS: THIS POST IS VERY LONG. In the beginning I chat like an old dumb but the useful part is further down]

Yes, I’m here…late. The original version of this post (in Italian) was written in February but I hadn’t time to complete the translation, all sorts of things are happened in the last month.

February was very cold in Sicily this year and we waited the snow on the coast again (fortunately not as in New York). In fact it was rather probable. This winter is totally strange and crazy, it’s snowing under the sea too. Usually it’s not so cold in Sicily, it doesn’t snow near the sea here, maybe the Apocalypse is coming…
During those cold days I thank to stay at my sweet home and do a big research for you. When I began to write this blog, I promised to give you also useful information for your holidays in Sicily, but I’ve got lost chasing the butterflies, as usual.

I noticed that the tourism season is coming (snow in June permitting) and remembered that a very popular question from who wants to come to Sicily is “Are there Tourist Cards in Sicily?”, the pass that allows to travel on the bus free or buy a disconted ticket for a museum.

Mmm, the services for tourists in Sicily are very inadequate because sicilians think that the attractions of the island are enough for tourists and they come in any case here. In this setting sicilians are often indolent and disorganized and all tourists notice that the island is beautiful but services are pathetic or non existent.

Attention, please! Appeal to IDontKnowWho, we want more Tourist Cards because the Tourist Cards are #VeryBello.

Who has more facilitations, wants to do more things durin the holidays because he/she has more money, can discover more (unless the rats in Palermo, I hope), spend more money. The feedback is simple, giving motivation. If you are a 20 years old tourist or a father with three sons or an university student, it could be hard visiting one, two or more museums. But if the ticket is discounted I could spend my time without excessive privations. We are late with services in Sicily, basic services too. Maybe these things are usual for other Europeans but they are extra-ordinary for us. The discount logic is never losing in my opinion. I make an example. There is a shop in Via Roma 178, in Palermo, tiny and busy of things, its name is Miele (Honey. They trade “metal and gothic stuff” (sorry, but my knoledge ends here). This shop is full of stuff, full of rings, full of sculptures, full of clothes but there isn’t the space to damage anything. And back the counter of stinking new truck tires a figure appeares, like a ghost, a little old man with white hair and a simple azure shirt, he’s the owner. The salesgirl is invisible among the exposed merchandise, too dark, too piercings, too laces but the owner stands out seraphic among the skulls. Some years ago I decided to buy the Christmas gifts fon my brothers in this shop, because is the most equipped one in the Western Sicily. I don’t remember the exact conversation but at a certain point I congratulated with the old man for his shop and said that I went purposely from Trapani, it was true. He looked up to me and said “Where do you come from, Miss?“, “From Trapani“, “And how much is the ticket for the bus from Trapani?“. It was about 8 euros, “Therefore I reduce the check of 8 euros, to repay your dedication” (my check was less than 30 euros). I still tell this episode and not because the shop is well equipped. Do IDontKnowWho understand?

[End of appeal]

I know you couldn’t care less about this economy tale, but I think that, sometimes, it’s sad renouncing to something that we would like to do because the money aren’t enough. I like to see works of art which I usually view in the books little like stamps, and I like to talk about them, for many times, to many different people. In this way you have high topics and win a package of “Aunt, you know everything!” and self-esteem from your niece 😀 . Anyway I think that other people have the pleasure to discover new things and all (could) have the pleasure to see happy and satisfied tourists 🙂
Beautiful things start beauty circuits, give ideas, light creativity and…and…I had to talk about the Tourist Cards in Sicily and I’m roaming like an old dumb! @_@

I FINISHED 😛

After this very very long introdution I can say that some Tourists Cards exist in Sicily (Hurrah!, Hurrah!) but their research is hard. Somebody gets a move on and many cards are very recent. I found these cards but I could modify the post sometimes, to add or change some information. I’ve written the general information considering the questions which I could ask to understand if the card is suitable for me and there are all links.

WESTERN SICILY

    – Trapani Area

      1.Trapani Welcome Card
      This Card lets you have discounts for services and visits in sites of naturalist interest in the areas of Trapani, Erice and Aegadi Islands.

        GENERAL INFORMATION
        A. What it looks like? It’s a book of coupons
        B. Concerned AreaTrapani town, erice, Marsala, Salt Pans, Aegadi Islands.
        C. How many days is it valid for? It’s valid for 3 days starting from the date written on it.
        D. How much does it cost?If you buy it in the indicated points of sales, it costs 12 euro, whereas it’s 11,50 euro if you buy it HERE with Paypal. There aren’t time limits between the moment of purchase and that one of reclaim, you have to indicate the point of sale where you want to pick up the card. You have to exhibit the printed voucher and an identity document.
        E. Discount size From free entry up to 50% discount. You recover soon the expense for card, considering that a ticket with return for Erice cable car costs 9 euro for non-residents.
        F. How many people is it valid for? One card for one person.
        G. What is it valid for? Examples: all travels by bus are free and one ticket with return for cable car to go to Erice too. There are discounts for excursions to Egadi Islands or the entry for little thematic museums. The detailed list is HERE ( in the drop-down menu)
        H. Where can I buy it? In the points of sales indicated HERE or online HERE
        I. Is there the App? Yes 🙂

      2. Pantelleria Tourist Card
      It’s Pantelleria Tourist Card. It’s the sicilian Cards which offers the smallest discounts but it’s better than nothing, Pantelleria isn’t a cheap isle.

        GENERAL INFORMATION
        A. What it looks like?
        You’ll receive:
        • The Card
        • A Pantelleria Tourist Guide with tips about what to do, itineraries, the best beaches and other sights. There are road indications too.
        • A detailed Map of Pantelleria
        B. Concerned Area Pantelleria Island
        C. How many days is it valid for? It’s valid for all duration of holiday. They write the expiry date back.
        D. How much does it cost? 10 euro
        E. Discount size From one free drink up to 20% discount for several purchases.
        F. How many people is it valid for? One card for all
        G. What is it valid for? Some restaurants and dress and typical products shops but there are also boating tours and free tickets for some pubs and bars. HERE the complete list
        H. Where can I buy it?
        • At the Policardo car rental desk in the Pantelleria Airport
        • At Policardo rental car in Via Messina 31 (in the village center)
        • At “Consorzio Turistico Pantelleria Island”, Piazza Messina 18 (in the village center)
        I. Is there the App? Yes, it’s detailed, easy and free. You can download it HERE

    – Palermo Area

      3. PMO
      It’s the Tourist Card of Palermo City

        GENERAL INFORMATION
        A. What it looks like?
        You’ll receive:
        • The PMO Tourist Card (you can use it to benefit of discounts for visits in cultural sites, the exhibits, shows and purchases)
        • The City Map of Palermo It indicates to you all the museums, churches and cultural sites (look the list at Nota Bene in the description “Palermo City Guide” and at the point 3G), There are also 4 different walking itineraries in the old town and all the bus lines to be found
        Bus Ticket thanks to which any Amat city public bus will drive you “merrily” around the city
        Palermo City Guide. It includes the descriptions of 4 itineraries and the locations of cards selling point . There are also suggestions about private and public transportation and you can find all addresses and opening and closing time of all the museums and shops in town. (Nota Bene 1: you’ll receive also an additional update list of cultural sites and shops where you can have the discounts. They are less than those ones indicated in the printed map. They can’t throw away the old maps, paper costs much and we don’t understand the concept of recycling! Nota bene 2 Among benefits you can receive medical care by phone or outpatient medical aid in an agreed clinic. Good to know)
        Vouchers They can be used for free eating and drinking at bars and restaurants where you can taste typical Sicilian specialities. (But I prefer the nameless little kiosks but well known by citizens 😉 )
        B. Concerned Area Palermo Old Town (Do you really think it’s not remarkable? Therefore I say that it’s one of biggest in Europe)
        C. How many days is it valid for? There are cards valid for 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours
        D. How much does it cost? From €13 to €75 if you buy it at Palermo. If you buy it online, you can save from €2 to €5 ( Look HERE)
        E. Discount size From free up to 50% discount
        F. How many people is it valid for? There are cards valid for one person or two people
        G. What is it valid for? Churches, Museums, Theatres (Teatro Massimo and Opera dei Pupi (Sicilian Puppets Opera) included), Public Transport (Bus AMAT and the City-sightseeing Tour) and Private Transport (taxi, rental car and bike, Ape Tours and even a Theatre-Bus with a live concert show on the road), Medical Assistance, some tours and purchases in typical shops and pubs. The complee list HERE
        H. Where can I buy it? You can buy it at Centro Informazione Turistica (Tourism Info Point – corner between Via Maqueda and Piazza Bellini) and other points of sale, they are all HERE with addresses, opening hours and phone numbers. If you click on the pictures find a detailed info box.
        You can buy it online HERE by credit cards or your PayPal account and you’ll recive a voucher valid for 60 days, within which you must exhibit the voucher and an identity document to reclaim the card in one of the points of sale indicated. So don’t buy the card online 5 months before, because they won’t give back the money! Moeover if you change idea about your card you can revoke the purchase online within 14 working days if you want your money back.
        I. Is there the App? Yes, HERE

      4. Musei Palermo Card

      It’s an unique ticket to access 4 museums and 2 exhibition centers in Palermo. It lasts a long time so if you stay in Palermo for many days or live here, if you come often to Palermo or if you are a group of people with different interests or you like the shopping at museum bookshops this is the Card for you.
      I don’t know why they don’t create a page in english so use Google Translate from the italian page 🙂

        GENERAL INFORMATION
        A. What it looks like? It’s a red card.
        B. Concerned Area Palermo city
        C. How many days is it valid for? It’s valid for one year starting the date of emission in the first museum.
        D. How much does it cost? 13 € if you buy it at the museum ticket office, €14,50 online.
        E. How many people is it valid for? One entrance for every museum, but the card is not personal.
        F. What is it valid for? One free entrance for following museums: Galleria d’arte Moderna “Empedocle Restivo” (the Modern Art Gallery), il Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino (the International Museum of puppets. Only for the museum, the shows are excluded) , Palazzo Branciforte, Ecomuseo del mare (Ecomuseum of the Sea), the exhibitions at Palazzo Ziino and at Cantieri Culturali della Zisa (ZAC).
        Cooking class organized by Gambero Rosso, an important italian multimedia editorial group which is involved in all about food and wine.
        A 10% discount for the puchases at museum bookshops and cafés.

          NB 1. the Modern Art Gallery (GAM) is one of sicilian museums of the italian event “Domenica al Museo” (look at the point number 9 at the end of this post)
          2. The tickets for some of these museums are discounted with the PMO Tourist Card (look the preceding point). So consider the best card for your need.
          3. Before the purchase check if you can have other discounts for your age/nationality/job

        G. Where can I buy it? At the museum ticket offices or online HERE
        H. Do I have to book it before? No
        I. Is there the App? NO.

    5. Carnet for “Le Vie dei Tesori”
    “Le Vie dei Tesori” (Treasures Ways) is a wonderful festival born in 2006 thanks to a Palermo University initiative. It’s proposed every autumn, in October, and lasts one month by now, 4 weekends to be exact. Nowadays there are other institutions/partners, as Diocese, the municipality, the Federico I Foundation and the port authority. During the Festival many places and buildings, closed for much of the year, are open to the public, so unknown to most palermitan citizens too. NB Actually, over the years, they included other places in the list, that you can visit on other days of the year, to attract more people. The best thing of Festival is that the Treasures/Places are disclosed and experienced with guided urban walk tour (the guides are volunteers of Palermo university), in Italian and English language, with exhibits, concerts and shows. For the time being it’s only an autumn initiative (October) but the Festival is increased in these years and its duration will extend in the future. Here the link of Festival (you can read it with Google Translate)

    NB In the last few years other Treasures, outside Palermo, are added to the list. They are in isolated areas of Palermo and Trapani territories (but very far from the towns!).

    Below I describe the discounts with the Carnet of Coupons to visit many different “Treasures”

    TIPS
    1 – The guided urban walks are very valued but with a limited number of subscriptions so book it long time before the fixed date.
    2 If you want to visit a particular place, check if it’s open only for this event before. If you can visit that places in other days of the year probably it isn’t advantageous choose these days to see it because the row is very very long, above all during the last weekend. You save few euro but waste your time. To drain the row, often, they don’t open all floors in the villas but just one. So if you want to do a complete tour choose the other days. Sometimes they create surreal situations, for example to visit the Chiesa dello Spasimo. The visit is free for the rest of the year but during the Festival you have to waste a ticket.

      GENERAL INFORMATION
      A. What it looks like? The Carnet of coupons is just a QR code. You can buy it online and they send the code to your email address. Print the code (or bring the smartphone) to avoid to pay the full price ticket at the site. The price for each coupon decreases if you buy more coupons. If you want to visit many places buy the Carnet and not the single ticket each time.
      B. Concerned Area Palermo City and some places outside Palermo and Trapani. Someones are very far from these towns.
      C. How many days is it valid for? The calendar of Festival was 5 weekends in October, last year. Obviously each event has a different duration. The urban walks last from 40 minutes to half an hour, for example.
      D. How much does it cost? The cost is variable. A type of carnet costs € 10 for 10 tickets to visit as much indicated places (there were more than 60 treasures last year); another one costs € 5 for 4 visits and then you can buy just one coupon for one visit spending € 2 . Each urban walk is € 3 whereas the events are free or cost from € 1 to € 6.
      E. How many people is it valid for? One coupon is valid for one person so if you are a group, divide a carnet! 🙂
      F. What is it valid for? The calendar is full of dates and it changes every year. Last year you could visit crypts, libraries and palaces, the Museum of Sicilian Puppets and the wings of Teatro Massimo and Teatro
      Biondo, various naturalistic museums, the catacombs and the Miqveh (Jewish Bath). HERE and HERE the complete lists of places and walks (Only in Italian), they are so beautiful that it turns heads 🙂
      G. Where can I buy it? You can buy all ONLINE, they will send a QR code to your email address. Don’t forget to show the code, printed or on smartphone! If you are more people and want to visit different place you can buy a carnet. Anyway you can buy it at the site but only to visit the places, you need a booking for walks.
      H. Do I have to book it before? The booking is NECESSARYfor the walks, there is a toll free number and an email (The website describes the last Festival so I wait for the new edition to write them in a revised version) to do it. The booking for the events is ADVISED if they don’t write different instructions or if the number of partecipants isn’t enough and you are in those parts you can ask for partecipating. The booking for visits ISN’T NECESSARY.
      NB You can’t book the day before but you have to do within the Wednesday preceding the concerned weekend. I suggest to book some weeks before for walks, to not find sold out.
      I. Is there the App? NO.

EASTERN SICILY

    – Catania Area

      6. Catania Pass
      It’s the Tourist Card of Catania City

        GENERAL INFORMATION
        A. What it looks like?
        You’ll receive:
        • The Pass
        • A Ticket for Transport With this unique ticket you can use all the urban routes managed by AMT, the Alibus fast line
        (Airport-Center) and Ferrovia Circumetnea Metro line.
        • A Bilingual City Map with useful information about Catania and the museums.
        B. Concerned Area Catania City
        C. How many days is it valid for? There are Cards valid for 1 day, 3 days or 5 days
        D. How much does it cost? From €12,50 to €38
        E. Discount size For the time being all sites indicated (see the dots at point G) have FREE ENTRY, except the special exhibitions. In that case you have however the right to a discounted rate. For other places (for example shops and restaurants) there is from 10% up to 50% discount.
        F. How many people is it valid for? There are two types of Card, Standard just for one person or Family, designed for a family of two adults with one or two children under 13 years.
        G. What is it valid for?
        • Castello Ursino
        • Museo Belliniano
        • Museo Emilio Greco
        • Museo Diocesano
        • Terme Achilliane
        You cand find more activities and shops HERE scroll down, there is Discounts and Agreements. There are tours but I’ve found also an antique bookshop and a download mp3 audio-tour of Catania city center (Click on GUIDES)
        H. Where can I buy it?
        • Catania Tourist Info point at Vincenzo Bellini Airport
        • Catania Tourism Bureau (Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 172)
        • All Museums included in this program
        • AMT Subscriptions Office
        • AMT authorized retailers joining the initiative which expose Catania Pass logo
        I. Is there the App? No

DIFFERENT PLACES IN SICILY

    7. Onsicilycard
    It’s a Card that allows to have discounts and to access to a digital tourist guide. The Card is constantly updated both the partecipants list and prices of tickets and opening times. It’s a card/guide in English and Dutch language.

      GENERAL INFORMATION
      A. What it looks like? It’s a Card (but there is the digital version) that allows to have discounts and to download an up-to-date file for navigator to find all partecipating places indicated. Moreover you can find many information about Sicily.
      B. Concerned Area Many different places in Sicily
      C. How many days is it valid for? It’s valid for a whole year.
      D. How much does it cost? It’s free for children younger than 12 years, €5 for children from 12 to 18 years and €10 per adult. If you buy it online there is a 25% discount. You can buy one card and add all people of your group/family.
      E. How many people is it valid for? All people added on the card.
      F. What is it valid for? There are discounts for B&B, restaurants, workshops, activities, shops and others. All partecipants are HERE, just select the category interests you.
      G. Where can I buy it? You can order it online HERE and they’ll mail it, so it’s better if you place the order at least 10 days before your departure. Anyway there is the option “I’m already in Sicily” with a list of places where you can buy the card

    8. Sicily Card App
    It’s a newborn App for various places in Sicily but on the website there are few information so far. When they’ll advertise more information I’ll write them here 😉

      GENERAL INFORMATION

      A. What it looks like? It’s an App
      B. Concerned Area Many places in Sicily
      C. How many days is it valid for? There are versions valid 24 hours, 3 days and one week.
      D. How much does it cost? They’ll advertise the prices to the end of March (maybe the first days of April maybe first days of June Last post on Facebook, 15th June 4th February: Work in Progress >_>)
      E. Discount size They’ll advertise it to the end of March (maybe the first days of April. maybe first days of June Last post on Facebook, 15th June 4th February: Work in Progress >_>)
      F. How many people is it valid for? They’ll advertise it to the end of March (maybe the first days of April maybe first days of June Last post on Facebook, 15th June 4th February: Work in Progress >_>)
      G. What is it valid for? They’ll advertise it to the end of March (maybe the first days of April maybe first days of June Last post on Facebook, 15th June 4th February: Work in Progress >_>)

I’ve found other tourist cards but discounts are minimal so I decided to not write them here.

9. Extra Tip

There is a wonderful initiative in Italy, #DomenicaalMuseo, every first sunday of month there is FREE ENTRY in all national museums (not for private ones). You find the complete list of interested museums in Sicily HERE

Finally I’ve finished this post 😛

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com;
If you prefer to sleep at Granveliero and partecipate to cooking workshops write to granveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email to receive a discount! 😉 )

Comic Strip: “When it snows in Sicily”, post about Christmas folly, the snow in american movies and the sicilian concept of technical apparel

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

New type of post today, short and with a comic strip (the illustrator is Palzaz) at the end 🙂 for a faster and, I hope, more pleasant reading. Actually because my neuron is still confused by the tons of butter and eggs of last days and I can’t write more 😛 but two days ago the Poetess announced an extraordinary event, the snow at Erice and I wanted to share this pleasure with you.

It was a hot Christmas, litterally, 18 degrees (I remind you that Christmas date is in December and Sicily is located in the northern hemisphere, good deal above the Equator), I cooked the Christmas Eve dinner wearing just a T-shirt and the weather didn’t look winter-like but luckily the childhood Home Alone binge had shaped my american taste for Christmas decorations and looking around in my home it was impossible to forget that date, there were: tree + three tons of decorations (did you ever see Macy’s trees? 😀 ), crib with real stones and real cypress branches and all insects that lived under the stones and on the cypress branches, additional small trees and little cribs strewn everywhere, lights, theme pot holders and apron and finally my favourite ones, the handmade paper ice crystals, those which my niece shows to her pals while pass by schoolbus to go to the gym (There aren’t gyms in almost all schools at Trapani and children and guys have to go in other crumbling town gyms. Just one in reality).
Trapani is a seaside place, every year it’s cold for two months but with 12 degrees (a low temperature for us) and a violent cold wind, the turists sneer when listen this our impatience, they know the real cold, probably they know the snow!

The snow, the real dream of people of Trapani and all sicilians who live near the shore. Who has ever seen the snow? Here there is the rain, often the wind and nobody likes the winter, at least there was snow! :/ To play with snowballs. Because it’s very romantic, as in american movies. Because the schools would be closed and this is more romantic, above all for my niece. When my friend, the Poetess, said “It’s forecast to snow for the next days” my heart shouted “HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erice is on the mountain that overlooks Trapani. Its high is 751 metres, it’s little taller than a hill, and people of Trapani have many expectations about it, snow included, but there isn’t ever hardly ever it.
Many years ago, maybe 16 years or 15 or 13, here everyone remembers a different period, there was a great snowfall and all people went up to the Erice mountain, as far as they could reach without the chains, here nobody have them. I remember a tiny plot covered with snow and stormed by tens of people, old and young, everybody wanted a bit of snow and mud to make a snowman, there were one hundred of wonky snowmen but we weren’t trained. The children wore two pairs of pants to engage the Great Cold and after that winter there were just few hailstorms and sleetstorms, but that memorable Snow Glory lasted two days was unique and we still talk about it. Maybe you deride us but the snow is a wonderful and very romantic thing for us, so enjoy the first comic-strip of the blog “When it snows in Sicily

When it snows in Sicily

When it snows in Sicily

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero and see the snow by surprise you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )

Ancient wooden ceilings?

Il pannello di legno dipinto di un antico soffitto

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

Three or four weeks ago, during a walking full of relax and love, Giovanni wasn’t able to stand and tried to provoke me saying allusive “Do we go there?

Therefore, if your boyfriend, appealing to your weakness and taking advantage of the distance from everything and everybody, looks at you with that hopeful gaze because wants to take you there, where you mustn’t go, because you can’t, because it’s prohibited, absolutely not…how can you say no?

So we went to our favourite antique market

This place (that for now I don’t reveal, bacause you could go there and find a bargain earlier than me) is our perversion/ moment of masochism.
Yes, because they sound off hysterical prices for an old jug of the end of XIX° century but really hip during Norman domination in Sicily (ehm…>_>)

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s a real antique market and there are many beautiful antique things but not so antique! They amplify the dates, very much, above all if they see two simple looking guys. Here we negotiate until the last cent, after all we descend from Arabians, so often that’s how it goes sometimes: you ogle a thing, after 5 minutes you found a position in your home, grow fond it, not even it was a found heirloom, ask the price, the heart falls and you walk on, two expensive, this is called hurting yourself

However, when you are here, it’s good asking, bacause asking is still free and they could say a passable price, nobody knows!

So there that Giovanni found this painted board. In the dude’s opinion who sold it’s dates at 1600 (BOOOOOOOOUUUUUUMMMMMM). In reality it should be “only” two centuries years old. This board derive from the ceiling of a house. We didn’t imagine it because, usually, these panels are in the churches or important ancient buildings. A day I will tell about Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri at Palermo and you will see what they were able make with just wood and colours 😉

Ancient painted wooden panel

In my opinion this is better than a painting ^_^

Ancient painted board from a ceiling

Ancient painted board from a ceiling

That one to cover the ceiling with painted panels is a very ancient idea, even medieval, and today finding it is a venture, because they have a reckless life among woodworms, fire and seepages and they were used also in the normal houses until XIX° century (also for us it’s an occasion to learn something of different, see how much is antique market beautiful? 🙂 )

Ancient painted wooden panel

I adore antique market for this reason. Whi knows how many hard knocks did this board go through

With much “preo” (pride) Giovanni has one of these panels now, spikes, holes and blots included, but it will be swell hunging up a bed of his Bed & Breakfast Belveliero and I love this idea. Usually these objects are on the ceilings, are beautiful but too far! Only their creators and the restorers can appreciate them closely, see well their drawings and colours, whereas for the most part of people they are unapproachable artistic beauties.
Surely there are other more beautiful panels, more particular and ancient, but we can see this so near and so good, in my opinion it’s fantastic (Please, say to me that I’m not fool 😛 )

Piece of ancient cieling in Belveliero Bed and Breakfast

Piece of ancient cieling

Now we have to find the suitable position and the way to bed those spikes. The merchant said “Don’t forget! Don’t throw away them, they are originals!” (In fact they have the head big like a Mentos) but if we leave them like this, one day they will snatch the arm from somebody who has the good idea to jump on the bed O_O (MMMM maybe it’s better leave them as are, to prevent a break, but I like to jump on the bed and I’m dolt 😛 )

Ancient spikes on the board

Mmmmm it will be better leaving them >_>

One day I will show where we have put it.

However the best part of that day was discovering that Giovanni dupes about the prices, he doesn’t reveal the real amount who has payed :D. Not big lies, of course, but he declares 20 euros less, just the difference between a good deal and an unique occasion. There are so many unexpected ways to discover your soul mate! 😀

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com

Cloudy salt pans. Story of two lovers who haven’t time to go to beach…fortunately there is Calcara salt pan!

Trapani salt pans with Erice view

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

If you have a relashionship with a man who works with tourists in a seaside resort, summer doesn’t exist! There aren’t holidays to melt yourself in the beach, your brain doesn’t evaporate while you read Cosmopolitan and there aren’t embarrassing situations in front of kids in beach….but the wrinkles by suntan are a problem only for your friends 3:D

In summer my relashioship with Giovanni becomes a sequence of (very) little romantic escapes, like in a clandestine love story the instant is fundamental, Latins said “Carpe diem“, the tiny “diem” in which the world forgets Giovanni’s mobile number, two fast little hours, during which people are with beautician, at tennis training or at beach with a friend and you, poor lover, very busy girl of which a fleeting thought slips into the realization of her impossible summer love, get that all desired phone call “I’m free until 19.00!“.

HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH finally we go to beach!!!!

Finally we can behave like a normal boyfriend and a normal girlfriend among unknown tan experts who don’t want anything for this summer because their cabana has been reserved ten months ago and their oily shaved eyebrows snub your worm skin.

I take out the swimsuit from mothballs, spread three litres of sun cream (kids protection), introduce the beach towel in the backpack, after a search of two hours because it was lost in a forgotten place, like a stupid I think “Hurraaaahhh we are going to the beach, finally we are going to the beach, hurrah! We won’t look like cadavers, hurrah, will I remember how to do it?

HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

It’s in this moment that my boyfriend goes into a coma and recovers energies lost in the first terrible week of August and hours pass.

Dang! And the sea??????

Every adult knows that when kids are disappointed you MUST REMEDY, there’s no excuse. So we decide to run to Calcara salt pans in one hour and half.

Ok!

Also because the lights after 5 p.m. change and among water, salt, flamingos and sparkle it’s a very romantic little escape. So let’s go fast, direction Nubia up to Calcara salt pan gate. Once you can enter, now no longer, but Marruggio is our friend and so we can do it (it’s not indifference, it’s male confidence in the friendship 😀 )

And indeed when we’re surprised they say to go back, the entrance is forbidden, WWF ordered it. Optimistic guy goes back by car and I take some pictures easy and without ringing mobiles near. Only pools and water. Silence.

Calcara salt pans

Calcara Salt Pans View
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Silence Sparkle Soil Sun

Calcara salt pan in Sicily

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Silence
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Trapani salt pans
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But silence becomes to make a noise. The water isn’t all fixed in the pools, there is a little salty river from the sea, where there are those few strange plants, green blots among salt and red soil desert. The water flowing is so soft that you can hear it barely but under the small waves the river is alive and something, maybe a fish, scares you with its sudden spurt, but you can see just the circles. It’ s the place or the moment or both in which you think nothing.

You just see.

You see and listen.

And enjoy it without thinking.

You feel it

Boat in Trapani salt pans

Insect in salt pans

Now birds let their voice be heard, desert is their and their calls are different, strange, they’re similar to a dialog, a tit for tat, not all toghether, maybe because here the Nature is free to express itself. During the breaks of this dialog I hear almost ant steps. Again, I want Nature once again, I want peace just one more time. It’s the time to walk along the thin walleds between pools.

A little way full of unknown plants and water everywhere, by now I’m here and there’s no going back, so I continue the walk among clouds mirrored in the water and pick up shells under webs.

clouds mirrored in the water

plants in salt pan

unknowon plants in Trapani salt pans

clouds mirrored in the water of salt pan

Tuff and shells of salt pan

Here the human presence is far, there are some turists, in the usual big main way, that one seems authorized. I don’t know if I can walk along this wall, simply nobody says me no and for now I enjoy the light desert, where ever and anon I see an abandoned thing, a wheel barrow, the salt harvest is beginning but not today.

shells in salt pans

Trapani salt pans

cocoon on the plant

salt pans particular

In this moment my prince charming arrives and fortunately he doesn’t think “She’s totally fool” seeing me during this strange walking.

Toghether we jump from a wall to another, staying away, for this time, the familiar wind-mill, going around it to see it in a different way, watching the “ammucciati” (hidden) sides, up to a tiny beach, there is also a beach in the salt pan, low shores of martian soil, incrusted with salt and wetted by terrestrial water. The little black fishes swim near the shore without fear of you, you are big but don’t exist for them.

Trapani salt pans view

a beach in the salt pan

red soil encrusted with salt

shells in salt pans in Sicily

salt pans in Trapani with windmill

Trapani salt pan particular

In the end you arrive here, the desert changes, from hot red to “ice” white that burns, makes your skin like leather mirroring a thousand of suns and blind you but the oasis, near and far in the same time, doesn’t realize it and squads of flamingos lift orderly.

By now we are in the main way frequented by turists. One hour and half is past.

clouds in salt pan

my feet in salt pan bridge

prince charming at the salt pan

salt pans pools

salty desert

clouds mirrored in the salt pan pools

salt in the pool

salt pan pools

flowers in salt pan

Also in the salt pan there are flowers!!!!! 🙂

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and partecipate to cooking workshops write to granveliero@gmail.com

Melaccollo, first lesson about sicilian adventurousness.

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui!

Just a few days ago we had dinner with Monsieur Gaspard, from Rivoli with love, transplanted in Marsala, Sicilian melanin and northern italian accent … I was saying… we were having dinner with Monsieur Gaspard and he asked to me “But what does “Me l’accollo” mean? ”

Ah?

But…. isn’t it Italian expression? : D

Apparently NO! Or even not with the meaning that Sicilians give it. According to the dictionary the entry of verb ‘Shoulder‘(in Italian Accollarsi): ” To deal with or accept (something) as your responsibility or duty ”

Mmmmmmmm, that’s no good….

Rather, yes, the concept is correct, but the sicilian undertone is totally different! If you knew with whom complicit smiles and entrepreneurship a Sicilian says to you ” Compa’ me l’accollo!” , you would understand that he’s not taking charge of responsibility, least of all a duty! It wouldn’t be in the spirit of a Sicilian.

Accollarsela” means that when your friends propose a risky feat which, in theory, you shouldn’t do and that has a high chance of being discovered, you agree and take responsibility of the risk, praying that all goes well. Obviously when it’s bad reproaches about responsibility for the consequences follow the great feal. The amount of profanities / reprimands / eventual dissolution of pluri-annual friendships is directly proportional to the damage.

I know individuals, of which I don’t say name nor the description because they would risk of being denounced and arrested, who do the SpazzaTour.

I don’t know about where you live but over here there’s a bad habit, especially in certain areas, to not throw garbage in the dumpster but to place it outside the door or worse hang it with hooks to the window, sometimes at the right height for swinging in front the face, because in this way they not only don’t have to get 200 meters to reach the dumpster (one day I will talk also about the concept of “lagnusìa and surroundings” (the terrible sicilian indolence) because it’s veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long and complicated) but it’s not necessary exceeding even the balàta (the marble board) on the doorstep, so they can keep wearing pajamas, singlet and slippers without having to make the effort to put on more decent something to expose themselves to the public of the old / young schiffarate who follow you with their eyes, blatantly when they are in balcony or cowardly when they are hidden behind the shutters of windows on the ground floor (there are, there are).

Anyway I was saying … so here they use to do it in some, many, too parts of town and inventors of SpazzaTour, overwhelmed by their civic consciousness, with so much zeal, when they understand who was the lagnùso who put out the door munnizza (trash), because anyway tomorrow dustmen take away it, if he/she lives on the upper floors (okay, on the first floor 😀 ), they throw back it on the balcony at night!!!!

Image that captures the essence of SpazzaTour  (

Image that captures the essence of SpazzaTour (” What you leave, you find” )

When they are sad and go through a street full of hanging pouches, which not even during Christmas you see so richly decorated, indignation takes over and Civic Education Program starts.
The lesson of Civic Education also manages to deflect in a lesson of Physical Education, giving rise to a highly formative experience for all those who, in active or passive mode, become part. The launch of the munnizza provides a considerable physical preparation as well as a certain insight for the choice of the bag, not too light, no glass and no anvils, good aim, average level of training of biceps and a noticed calibration of the launch. The difficulty increases with the balconies of old houses, which have higher ceilings ergo a distance of ten meters between one floor and another, practically in heaven, if you’re untrained you need Sputnik.

These “criminals” who pretend to be athletes and pride of being good citizens, sicilian heroes makers of cleanliness of streets and many (perhaps) consciences, now are thirty years old and taken by various commitments they have reduced frequency of SpazzaTours, so they no longer have the trained eye nor the biceps, that is they pick up bags with glass or three-ton concentrated in a small bag and they’re not so quick to get in the car, so the risk of being beat up by a whole neighborhood or however, getting spit from a balcony / getting revive the bag full of glass when it manages to get on the balcony / receiving it straight on the head when it doesn’t get on / getting caught by the police or any pedestrian or even worse by the owner who comes home late or have Fate on the side of uncivilized lagnùso that floods your car, it is highly likely and the malafiùra (“bad impression”) guaranteed.

Compa, te l’accolli uno Spazzatour?“. Here.

If you know this movie you understand Spazzatour inventors ;)

If you know this movie you understand Spazzatour inventors 😉

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com

It seems Games of Thrones but it’s Erice! We come back to Middle Ages…thanks to actors, fencers and…tailors!

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

Story of date lasted a weekend, not a couple of hours.

First attempt on last Saturday evening: we go to Erice by cable car, dine in a very good restaurant, it’s 22 o’clock, we hear the distant drums and we try to move towards the tam tam.

Nothing, they have passed and they’re done.

We meet a young girl in tunic whereas we are dropping the hands because of cold and nothing, the procession with the fire-eaters will pass through the square in half an hour but in the meantime we can try to go to the castle where other actors still make something, there are the stands and a theatrical performance. Come on!

…and after a long day of work they don’t wait us, they are clearing out all. While others take off their costumes we succeed to pick up a glass of Inzolia with free offer, poured from a majolica jug, so that makes the scene, and by a medieval innkeeper, which makes the scene even more.

Hey, hold it! Go back to the square, she said there are fire-eaters. We go back to square then, oh well do you think we don’t find the show already over and the flood of people who have seen it all and comments?

This “date” was a failure, only the vision of fluttering brocade drapes in the main streets remained 😦 “Honey, go for a walk in sweet little lanes, while you look in the courts I admire the knockers” and after a quarter of an hour, defeated by the cold (actually Giovanni): “Honey, let’s go back home.”

First Round End.

By the way, it’s FedEricina, an event to commemorate the coming to Erice of Frederick III and his wife Eleanor of Anjou during the Sicilian Vespers. It ‘s the first year that they do it and drew different groups of musicians, actors and fencers from all over Sicily.

Frederick III of Sicily

Frederick III of Sicily

and his wife  Eleanor of Anjou

and his wife Eleanor of Anjou

Second Round.

Two days later, on Republic Day. John unexpectedly free, weather threatening rain ‘Honey, where do you want to go?‘ … But once they do a cool thing don’t we come back? It rains and you don’t appreciate the salt pans with the clouds, then back to Erice!

Hurraaaaahhh!! The parade there’s, there’s, there’s still! We are late as usual, but we are here!!!

It’s the gathering of the “Historic groups of Sicily” and we find them during the parade in the main street, towards the Real Cathedral. It’s a show that gives satisfaction because it is really long, but not too much and you can enjoy it enough without getting bored. In addition, the street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is not large, so we could see the impressive tailor work and also have the nerve to touch it, so we were close. Among pearls, embroidery and metal mails it seems a (very) convent school versin of Games of Thrones.

“My” Frederick and Eleanor

federice14A (FILEminimizer)

federice5A (FILEminimizer)

The Three Graces

The Three Graces

federice17A (FILEminimizer)

Which historical episode is remembered? The coming of Frederick III and Eleanor of Anjou to Erice during the Sicilian Vespers, in the thirteenth century. But how, is Erice so ancient? Well, if you think that the first settlements were of the eighth century B.C. Frederick came yesterday practically . I don’t want to bore anyone with a long history lesson (maybe another time), Vespers was a rebellion of the Sicilians who didn’t want to be dominated by the French and asked for help to Aragon. The Sicilians asked Frederick III to become their king and he was elected officially by the Sicilian Parliament, a well-advanced Parliament, even in advance of the English one, since there was also a representative of middle class who could participate in the drafting of laws ( at least in theory). In short, Frederick agreed, and from that moment he didn’t leave Sicily, but he moved in far and wide in the island and arrived also in Erice, where he stayed to continue the war against France and against Naples.

Sicilian flag was born during Vespers!

Sicilian flag was born during Vespers!

The tower next to the Duomo in fact was a watchtower, then recycled into a bell tower. The cathedral was built by Frederick, as a thanksgiving for the hospitality, it’s a shame he used to build it pieces of the ancient Venus Temple and in fact they say that you can see much older Egyptian crosses (” they say” because I’ve been entered there only once and I don’t remember it very well, so with the excuse of the blog I sign a second visit and then I’ll tell you 😉 ). The Cathedral in reality also served to put many stones over the worship of Venus has not yet disappeared completely.

federice36A (FILEminimizer)

There's also a monk! :D

There’s also a monk! 😀

federice37A (FILEminimizer)

Inside it’s not like the original version, and one day I’ll run away and show it, it’s in neo-Gothic style and is all white, seems to be made of whipped cream, then you’ll understand why! I said, Frederick arrived here with his wife, Madame Eleanor, of which we know little or nothing because, although she’s the queen, she was always a woman so she’snotimportant. Bah. But we know her marriage when she ten years old with a peer and annulled because of too young age of the spouses (eh!). But she wasn’t considered too young two years after to marry Frederick and give birth the first of the nine royal puppets. I do not know how this could be interested but the gossip is always less boring than dates of Vespers.

About the FedEricina I have little to tell you bacause despite the choice of blazing sun and storm proof date, that day we caught assuppaviddani rain (drizzle that spills the farmers did not take off work) and a wind that just in Wuthering Heights, so there’s not fire shows, much less flag-wavers! Anyway we saw a beautiful medieval dance and above all, a medieval fencing duel with swords weighing 8 kg each. If there weren’t antennas on the roofs, with all the extras around, it would be really the thirteenth century, and we enjoyed it seated on the stairs of the cathedral, while the people escaped because of blows of the wind.

federice93A (FILEminimizer)

federice91A (FILEminimizer)

Ehmmm...

Ehmmm…

federice98A (FILEminimizer)

federice116A (FILEminimizer)

Shame for their efforts but good for us because if wheater was good here would have been packed and I really don’tt like. Erice is beautiful when there are few people and you walk on the quiet lanes and can look inside a former church from the cracks of the door. Certainly I don’t recommend it in the summer, you should elbowing, literally, and you won’t see anything. In the end we even had fled and we started to walk for the tertiary streets and courtyards. Without the mini (thankfully) confusion during the parade, paradoxically, we appreciated more the medieval atmosphere, but the splash of color of the girls costumes was not bad. 🙂

Floweeeeeeeers :)

Floweeeeeeeers 🙂

Bad weather, nice guy ;)

Bad weather, nice guy 😉

While we put head in the courtyards we even asked an old man to let us admire his one, one of the most beautiful Erice according to him, but I’ll tell you this story another time!

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something,
you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com

Always seen but never discovered (until now). Colombaia Castle.

Castello della Colombaia a Trapani

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

This is a blessed event, because Colombaia was abandoned from many years (when our parents were babies) and hard to reach. Together with us there is half of Trapani citizens because the only way to reach it was the boat or choosing Jack Colton‘s alternative without heeding the danger, among rats and unsafe buildings (and somebody did it).

blog4 (FILEminimizer)

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The organization was impeccable, the ticket was only 3 euros, with a free contribute for boatmen (they had worked for hours and free!). Obviously we don’t go by motorboat but a little wood boat, good for ten or so people, it was nice!
This inusual view of Trapani port is touching because since we were children we saw Colombaia Castle from the port and it seemed mysteriosus and near legendary, although before your very eyes. The guides were guys of middle school, they were knoledgeable and desirous to explain Colombaia’s history. Someone of them was so young and tender that I wanted to ask if they had eat lunch or were thirsty (being seven years old child’s aunt changes you into a too sensible crazy, once I was children terror). Sorry, I’m roaming, I know 😛

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Just arrived we see this impressive castle and seagulls everywhere (rats, fortunately, no). It has a massive and very essential structure, without decorations, there are only two or three friezes used by kings of that time to say “This is mine”. A big monolith that has been a fortress, a doves refuge, a illustroius prison for queens, a fortress again, and in the end a prison for petty thieve functioning until 50 years ago!
When we enter there is a courtyard into which lead some cells, small and bare cells where tens of prisoners were piled, they have unique small window with double grating BUT wonderful sea view.
Probably the bullying was the norm in this place, times change but men no, and I imagine the “sciarre“, fights, to grab a place near the window and the poor relegated near the outhouse (turkish model, of course). And since it never rains, it pours, there were also the cells to have (all get out) company (of other 70 people) and WITHOUT window, to evade distractions, or confortable isolation cells, 1×1 metre (I swear!), without roof but with so muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch fresh air, rain included. I don’t know if they went mad before, when they were among so many people and the isolation cell was the punishment or they went mad after the isolation. Sea, cliffs, cells, terrible imprisonment….it’s impossible not thinking about Edmond Dantés and If Castle. Better no. I’m perplexed in front of the little frescoed chapel, how much did it comfort in this hell? Or maybe just for this reason it was necessary….mah

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Obviously the higher-ups weren’t like that and captain’s office had a compelling sea view and also if this was necessary to sight the enemy ships and prepare for the battle, at all for happy our. Today this is the past and we can open our eyes widely innocently in front of sea twinkle and say “ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh….”. If Amilcare’s soldiers knew it, they would return to throw us into the sea probably.

Captain's billet. With tiles. Better than nothing.

Captain’s billet. With tiles. Better than nothing.

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Also in the other side, close coast, there is a fantastic terrace from we can see all Trapani port. For years Trapanesi looked out he window in the port to see Colombaia Castle and that day it’s so strange recognising different parts of old town from here, we were in a postcard! If you didn’t realized it yet, this castle disputes the title of the symbol of the city with the Tower of Ligny. The ancient tower-lighthouse is visitable and maybe it was the only nice part of castle, with stars painted on the ceiling. It was built by Arabians, they liked beautiful things.

In the tower-lighthouse

In the tower-lighthouse

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Up ahead there is another lighthouse, modern, and I would have go and see it but it wasn’t possible. It’s in a thin strip of land, surrounded by sea and covered by green grass, I made to feel in Ireland, for a moment.

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…phew! Why were there these peolpe here? I would have enjoyed this place in silence and in the peace of tempestuosus wind that whipped our hair for two hours but without quiet of loneliness. (Yes. maybe this sentence is a little buttery but a visit here in solitude there would have been all over and it was very poetic even with the wind. It’s a little ‘Sturm und Drang‘)

Also the seagulls had had enough of us, that was their headquarter, there were their nests but we could come near us, because they were the masters of that island and we the intruders…

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pity that we had to go back to town knowing that Colombaia won’t be opened for other many years…..or maybe yes?

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Obviously, I conclude the post with a picture that has nothing to do, that the flowers of the Navy League

Obviously, I conclude the post with a picture that has nothing to do, that the flowers of the Navy League

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com

The Mangiapane Cave (“EatBread Cave” :D ), Second part….where the goats say hi!

Grotta Mangiapane a Custonaci
I dont know why but I really do enjoy taking photos of plants :D

I dont know why but I really do enjoy taking photos of plants 😀

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

We left with the terrible Medlars that made fun of me for my photographic passion here… fortunatly they meet Mr Mangiapane and begin to talk with him. He is the old keeper and lives in one of the houses of the village.
He’s relative of the last owners of the cave (yes, there is someone in this world that had a cave 😛 ).

Here one house is still inhabited :)

Here one house is still inhabited 🙂

Giovanni likes old people’s stories and loves this place because when he was a kid, he played here and his grandma’s family lived in the village. Then he and Mr Mangiapane meet again and toghether with Signor Carlino decide to remember the past drinking a glass of red wine (Signor Carlino NEVER says No! so look out for your offers to him! 😀 ). While they are in a authentic ancient kitchen , me and the Poetess can discover this place.

Two inquiring Medlars (+ a well)

Two inquiring Medlars (+ a well)

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secrets....

secrets….

You can't see them but there are chickens here (peacock is a favored animal)

You can’t see them but there are chickens here (peacock is a favored animal)

The cave seems a giant’s house and the little houses his toys, maybe Polifemo is arriving, we hear also a pealing in the distance, two goats are climbing down the mountain to return to their little cabin in the village. Where can you see the goats climbing down today? Here everything is colour and peace and I imagine the primitive men who went home every evening and benefit the panoramic view on Cornino Bay during the sunset. Today the sea is grey because it’s March but before long it will be only shining and the sunset pure rainbow. Considering that tomorrow is monday, I envy Mr Mangiapane. He can forget everybody and everything but maybe others forgot him. Here. When you are in isolated places you can abstract from your routine and forget things to do, duties, responsabilities and you wouldn’t go back, three hours are few but I would forget for a little while yet and stay here, in peace. Egoism (but maybe only it’s only tiredness for daily pressure) and hypocrisy blab for me. Living like primitive men, forgetting home, family, university, staying with goats….also if I can live without a bathroom, running water and electricity for indeterminate period I doubt that I could stay far from everything for long time…..maybe because we want to forget something or somebody for a little while but we don’t want to be forgotten by others. Tiredness, Hypocrisy….I want to forget also you and enjoy the beauty of this place, a quite and wonderful place, with a new air and relaxing green because this short trip is ending and there will be neither tiredness nor hypocrisy but only the peace of this place and tomorrow will be another day

Polifemo's House

Polifemo’s House

No bats (for the time being)

No bats (for the time being)

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Polifemo's ricotta cheese

Polifemo’s ricotta cheese

The mountains are reddish-brown with white injuries, they seem Polifemo’s giant baked ricotta cheese! (yes, food is my perversion, I see it everywhere ) . During our walk me and the Poetess approach to the smithy and find many abandoned rusty things. By now it’s dark and we don’t understand what are but anyway I find a iron heart and I take it with ironic displeasure of the Poetess who will declare to all that I “stole her heart away!” 😀 …. Maybe I wouldn’t have to take it but it was thrown away and I liked the idea of finding a heart here because it was like this one year ago but that’s a different story…… 😉

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Wall's secrets....

Wall’s secrets….

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....and Mr Mangiapane's secrets! :)

….and Mr Mangiapane’s secrets! 🙂

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There aren't only happy goats here....

There aren’t only happy goats here….

I found again my heart :)

I found again my heart 🙂

Itinerary: You can reach the Cave
1) by car, from seafront Dante Alighieri go on Nord-Eastward, enter SP 20 (Trapani – Bonagia). At the rotary turn on the left, SP 18 (Via dei Marmi) for Custonaci up to Scurati
2) by bus (AST company)

Distance: 19 Km

Time: 30/40 min

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com