Showing posts from March, 2015

Easter Doves

Cuddura cu l'ova In Sicily Pasqua (Easter) is the most important Church holiday of the year. After magnificent mournful processions held on Good Friday, Easter Eve is marked by the beginning of feasts. Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi! ('Christmas with your family, Easter with anyone you like!') is an Italian saying and thus Easter is abundantly celebrated. There is no tradition of an Easter Bunny hiding chocolate eggs in Sicily. But there are eggs which are an important part of Easter cakes. The true symbol of Easter is the dove, which adorns the bakeries from one end of Italy to the other. These doves are made of fine yeast dough with almonds and candied peel. To learn about the Easter tradition of the Cuddura cu l'ova and to try the recipe, read this link from Sicilian Simplicity The Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove) has its origins in the Italian region of Lombardy. The dre

Syracuse ... The Archaeological Park

Teatro Greco (Greek Theatre) When visiting Syracuse a visit to the Parco Archeologico   Neapolis (Archaeological Park) is a must, it is an area of incredible beauty. Syracuse was founded in 733BC by Corinthian settlers from Greece. Syracuse became one of the first Greek colonies in Sicily, Giardini Naxos being the first. It quickly gained wealth and power and through warfare became the strongest city in the Mediterranean and the ancient world. The ancient city was up to three times the size of modern Syracuse today and was divided into five zones, Epipolae, Akradina, Tyche, the island of Ortigia and Neapolis, where the archaeological park is located. After the death of the ruler Hieron II, Syracuse sided with Carthage against the Romans. After a siege lasting two years Syracuse finally fell to the Roman Empire in 211BC and was burned down by the Arabs in AD878. Syracuse never regained the importance it had held for centuries. Roman Amphitheatre On arrival t

Syracuse ... The Island of Ortigia

Piazza Duomo One of our favourite places to visit in Sicily is Syracuse and our dog Daisy loves it too. The oldest and most beautiful part of Syracuse ( Siracusa ) is located on a small island called Ortigia which is connected to the mainland by three bridges. The city was formed around 734BC when Archia left Corinth in Greece and arrived in Ortigia where he founded the Greek colony of Syracuse. Today Ortigia is a vibrant contrast of colours and sounds, the sea with its fishing boats mingling with mega yachts moored in the bay and the ancient craft shops that are interspersed with sleek modern boutiques located on the lower floors of old Baroque palaces. There are historic squares and temples, churches and museums, also seaside restaurants with excellent seafood, all which ensure that Syracuse provides a warm welcome. Temple of Apollo Start your visit on Largo XXV Luglio where you will see the remains of the Temple of Apollo. Built in 575BC it is thought to be o

The Beginning of a Love Affair ... Part III

Home Sweet Home, Giardini Naxos 'Buying a House Sicilian style'  When our adopted Sicilian big brother called to say that he had found us the perfect Sicilian home we flew out to Sicily straight away. He met us at the airport and we headed straight there to view it, after seeing the interior we headed up to the roof terrace. It was dark by the time we had arrived so there was not much to see apart from a Sicilian night sky, our Sicilian big brother assured us that there was views of the Ionian Sea, Castelmola, Taormina and of course Mount Etna. He told us the view of Etna was so spectacular that when she erupts we would be able to make toast. We loved what we saw so we decided to return the next morning to view everything in daylight, as we stepped out on the roof terrace there she was .... Mount Etna in her full glory smoking away. It was early December so Etna was covered in snow. That afternoon we went to meet the owner of the house and signed the papers to

"Excursion to Tindari"

Tindari is a beautiful spot on the North coast of Sicily and is a stunning place to visit with its archaeological site, the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna and wonderful views of the sea and Aeolian Islands. Ancient Tyndaris was founded by Dionysus of Syracuse in 396BC. The city walls and Greek theatre both remain intact. The Sanctuary of Tindari attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims each year and is situated on a promontory overlooking the sea close to the archaeological site. The church was built on the ruins of an abandoned town and is where The Statue of the Black Madonna is kept.  Supposedly found in a case by fishermen in the ninth century, the statue of the Madonna with child is Byzantine in origin. Many miracles have been attributed to the statue, and over the centuries, pilgrims have come to pay their respects to the icon. The region of Tindari is a unique natural spectacle, with The Lakes of Marinello and its own nature reserve. There is an impressiv