Showing posts from October, 2014

The Godfather .... Movie Locations

Fans of The Godfather trilogy directed by Francis Ford Coppola are in for a real treat when visiting Taormina as many of the movie locations are within easy reach.
Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando and Robert de Niro, takes his name from the town Corleone which is situated in Sicily's mountain interior, which has historical links with the Mafia. Unfortunately the town was not deemed suitable to be used as a movie location so Coppola looked towards the north eastern towns of Sicily.
Savoca is a beautiful serene hillside village at the end of a windy steep drive approximately 40 minutes from Taormina. This tranquil spot was used as the setting for the courtship and wedding in Chiesa di Santa Lucia, between Michael Corleone played by Al Pacino and his first wife Apollonia played by Simonetta Stefanelli, an actress who actually came from Savoca.
As you enter Savoca you will find Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone discusses his marriage in The Godfather Part I with her father, the own…

Mostarda ... Wine Must

On Sunday my Sicilian big brother’s children came to our home to play with our dog Daisy, Daisy adores them and always anticipates their visits. They brought with them a gift, Mostarda … made by their Nonna (grandmother). Mostarda is very thick marmalade made from cooked wine called must. This must is called in Italian Mosta and in Sicilian dialect Mustu.
The Must is made after the harvest of grapes and the Mostarda is usually prepared in October or November especially around Feste di San Martino on 11th November when it is traditional to drink the new wine.
It is a common gift to bring to neighbours and friends.

Recipe: 10-12 lbs of grapes
4 lbs of sugar
“00” Flour
Dried orange peel
Cloves 2oz of Toasted Almonds Sicilian Sun
Wash and clean the grapes. Discard the stalks, skins, and seeds. Chop the flesh and put into a stainless steel or enamel saucepan and cook for about 4 hours. Add the sugar gradually making it dissolve well. Add the cinnamon, dried orange peel, almonds and cloves…

The Puppy Road Trip ... Day Two and Three

and so The Puppy Road Trip continues …..

Day Two
After a delicious croissant with coffee and a last stroll around Dijon to stretch Daisy’s legs we drive to the Port of Genoa to board our 20 hour ferry to Palermo, Sicily.
We drive down through Burgundy and the French Alps towards the Mont Blanc tunnel.
The views of the Alps are spectacular especially if the mountains are dusted with snow, we start to pass road signs displaying Geneva, Milan, Turin. Mont Blanc beckons us like a huge iceberg in front of us becoming larger and larger.
There are strict rules for driving through Mont Blanc after a fire in the tunnel in 1999. Speed restrictions are strictly kept at a minimum 50 km/h and maximum 70 km/h at a minimum distance between vehicles of 150metres.  You can feel  the 126 surveillance cameras that line the tunnel watching your every move.
On entering we say “Au Revior” to France and a big “Buon Giorno” to Italy on the other side. Once through the tunnel we arrive in the stunning Italia…