Pietraperzia

Sicily by car has been an amazing experience so far.
Even thoug I was far from any beach I had to admit again there is not a single chance you can’t enjoy this region.

A week ago the sicily weather map was quite clear: I was actually heading the bad weather (if by chance “bad” weather exists).
Everything I experience here is extremely joyful no matter what. There were actually some damages around and flooded other cities in the area. But I didn’t give up and I got to visit this beautiful site, a tan walls city in the middle of sicily.
Pietraperzia is a little village in the district of Enna.

I was coming from the south east throughout ss 115 and ss 640 (now closed due to the flooding of the most recent days).
The sky was leaden on top of the hills around Enna and the swooping roads, but this didn’t affect the beauty of being in such a remote place in this big island ind the middle of the mediterranean sea.

Pietraperzia has a privileged point of vew above the Himera meridionale river. That is why was prescious to Sicani people at first and Siculi later on.

Things to see

I highly suggest a walk around the ancient town that is on top of the hill. If you are rushing up like I was I would pay attention to this three spots:

Gouvernor’s palace:

Historiscians couldn’t date this palace, but we know it was built by locals with sandstones and the finest details tha we still can see under the balconies, stairs, colums and the inner courtyard.

Barresi Castle

On the very top of the hill the Barresi castle ruins dominate the town giving to those who walk around it a panoramic point of vew. It is believed this castle was way bigger than how it appears. Its perimeter was probably containing around thirteen thousand squared meters area.

Santa Maria Maggiore Mother church

This church lays mighty on the main square. It dates the XVI century and never got finished.
The church is free to access and it has gorgeous barrel vault naves, parietal decorations and coffered ceilings.

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It might be useful to know that Pietraperzia hosts the tradition of “Lu signuri di li fasci” (literally: the christ of bands).
During the holy Friday the community reminds the passion of christ with a 5 hours procession where people bring around a big and heavy simulacrum with a cross on top. The Simulacrum is meters 8,51, a size that stays for 33 sicilian inches. The linen bands have to be 33 meters as well, like the age of Jesus Christ.

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I got fascinated by this town totally built on sandstone. Walking around its little roads, among very old buildings made me have a perception of being steady over time, a time like a thousand years ago.

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Road to Eraclea Minoa

Eraclea is an ancient greek city located in the district of Agrigento in Sicily. This area is packed of beautiful greek ruins and stunning landscapes.

When the Scirocco wind blows here everything changes.

Strong events and tan sandy sky take over and the landscape is affected considerably. Like almost everywhere in Sicily the weather shapes the territory as well as the mood of the people living or travelling here. Who is not ready to face big changings is not ready to embrace the beauty of this rough land as well as its most fine secrets.

Eraclea Minoa has a wonderful easy -to- access beach surrounded by a maritime pine tree forest growing onto a white marlstone cliff which rises nude soometimes, especially on the west part of the beach to admit its majestic nature. When the tide allows that, you can walk along side the cliff and reach the mouth of Platani river that flows in the Platani river natural reserve, an other perl of the Agrigento province.

The condition of this shore is, like unfortunately happens very often in Sicily, quite polluted. Even if waters are clear and nice, they carry, especially after a Scirocco storm, a certain amount of rubbish. On a quick vew, it is visible that Agrigento province itself has suffered a lot for illegal building over the years. Driving around this amazingly beautiful area, among cliffs and hills it is a shame to spot huge palaces among greek temples and theatre dating more than 2000 years. I love Agrigento province bytheway, and I will be always happy to pay a visit to this enchanted lands.

I strongly believe that ignoring history or nature would let this sad goal of modern human being take over and win his hugly battle against the beauty. And that’s why it is necessary to claim it, writing about it, travelling around it, being into it.

Cous cous

Cous cous is a traditional dish in sicily that heads back the arab colonization. Making cous cous.
1 Incucciare (making from row flour)
2 making a soup (I chosed vegetarian even if our traditional cous cous from Trapani is with fish soup) and prepare the cuddrura, a line that you would use to attach the two pots together
3 Cook and wait

Cous cous in sicilia
1 Incucciatura e frisculiatura
2 Preparazione della cuddrura e della zuppa
3 Cottura

Reduce food waste while eating what you actually need / 5 rules

Today is 21st of August and I threw in the garbage the first potato after 3 months of been in charge of the kitchen while managing a hostel. I feel proud that my methods worked and I want to share some (maybe well known) tricks but not really followed by the most of the people. That happends beacuse we need to live fast on the end and some advises for washing up or preserve something imply efforts or time. We don’t want to put an effort on the food cause when we come back home we want just to relax and eat something quickly. We don’t take “time” for food cause the last thing we want to do after work is standing up in front of the stove, unless you have a serious passion about it. We can cook for lovers, we can cook for friends but on the end we don’t put this effort for ourselves and even the best intention ends up with lots of side effects such as waste of money, food or time.

Since I hate to spend time cooking I applied some tricks to reduce it while I committed to eat things that are good for my own mental and fisical health.

Rule number one : Don’t buy compulsively.

Some of us, once in a market or super market get the fever of stocking up. This is dangerous for our wallet and for our time. Going in a supermarket to watch around and buy chips or drinks with friends has nothing to do with a proper shopping. I love to do both and I love to go shopping with a plan. I observe myself or those who I’m cooking for and I have a clear idea of what I want every time I’m shopping. Maybe you can get wrong once, but twice is hard if you just do yourself the favour of having a “quite” specific diet. Doing this mistake is intolerable especially when you end up in a supermarket and you spend 3hours there, watching the emptyness most of the time. As I said, it’s fun, when you step into it just for fun. Leave the stocking up issue for stuff on sale and that can’t expire, soaps or shampoos but not for food. Observe what you need in one week and go at the market with a clear vew once per week. If you do so, It takes no more than 15 minutes to check out.

Rule number two: being aware.

As long as it might seem boring, tidying up makes yourself aware of what is going on in your fridge and when you do it frequently you will notice it is not that hard. Put the new stuff at the end and the old ones ready to be used as first. In This way you won’t deal with stinky, sticky, messy crap. By the time your going to have the next shopping you’ll realize things have been shifting in the fridge with a meaning and this organization is clear in your mind and you won’t feel the panic of not knowing what’s going on behind.

Rule number three: Don’t cook following recipes

This is a tough one, because it touches our feelings or perhaps our wickenesses.

Following a recipe is the first step through a organic bag full of waste and the impossibility of learning the properties and the behavior of some foods. If your mind, eyes and hands stick always at the plan, soon or later your dishes will become boring and static and you will never see the beauty and risk of acting “outlow”. Some food just need to be handled differently by different people. I’ve eaten more creepy things coming out from recipe then from creativity.

I stopped to follow recipe when I started to understand the food better and how I like it, but, most important, I always found recipes something you can afford to follow when you can afford to buy all the ingredients from the scratch. I Never really got the chance to afford it, while other kind of food is dying in the fridge. It turned up that this was an essential skill, travelling and especially sailing wild. I still love sometimes to make some beautiful cake or tiramisú especially when I’m cooking with my friends.

Rool number four: Cook on forehand.

One thing I hate doing while I’m starving is cooking. When I’m hungry I want to eat, not to cook. I guess this is one of the main reasons why we end up eating junk food. Well, I admit I love junk food too but I try to keep it for fun not to feed myself with it. So, instead of feeling guilty because I put rubbish on my body I’ll feel good because I did my job and I fullfilled that need of crashing it sometimes. And here is how I fullfill my duties: I cook when I have time to do it and when I’m not hungry yet. I noticed that when I do this I’m focused on what I need/want to put on my dish. I also multitask instead of praying in front of the pan, because I can’t wait to eat. We have a proverb for this in Sicily : “pignata taliata un vugghi mae” that means “pan is never going to boil if you watch it”, so make sure you get busy with some other stuff while you cook. Cooking is also multistasking and being patient. I love to have the food ready when I’m hungry, I don’t like that feeling of not being hungry anymore when I cook for a long time and somehow I feel full just by the smell. I love instead to prepare several dishes to share or save for the next meal. I even love more when I take care of the leftover because I know that next meal, than, is going to be various.

Rule number five: make a choice

Don’t go out for dinner if your salad is going to die in the fridge. Or don’t buy the salad if you are lucky enough to know when it’s going to be a busy week. If it is totally unexpected and I can’t help with it, I prefer to leave the food cooked so I can give it an other chance the day after (boiling eggs up to expire, using the yogurt for cakes or desserts, cutting fruits and turn them in a salad, baking veggies)

The clown senza frontiere Austria at the Timbuktu hostel

So we did: organize a beautiful afternoon for the kids of all the villag e in Sanvito Lo capo, to have fun, talk about this beautiful group of clowns and their activity, to laugh togheter.

Finally we had some real “young” guests at the hostel thanks to the clown senza frontiere.

The Show was playful, the girls are fantastic.

Check their facebook page for more info and updates.

Saint Vito celebrations in June

The “antenna a mare” is
a game where a mast is put in horizontal position at the Sanvito Lo Capo harbour with a flag at the end. Participants have to walk all the way till the end on a soapy surface to grab the flag. No need to underline that this thing can become dangerous. It takes place around 16:30 during the patron saint day, the 15th of every June.
Same day the saint (a “live version of him”) arrives from the sea in a boat. Everybody Onshore waits for him to have a procession till the Sancuary and fireworks for the religious community.

It’s an other tradition where sacred and profane melt into the same frame of celebration, the same day, the same supporting elements which are the sea, the boats and the crowds watching, living and rewarding them.

Chillin’ at Tewantin Memorial Park

Heading south while crossing Queensland till Brisbane led me to Noosa heads. I Didn’t really follow a strict plan and for that reasons I discovered how stunning Queensland is. I must have been quite spoiled from the remote places I have seen cause I remember I could stay in Noosa not even 15 minutes. I found myself running away from the crowd of December. Parking was a big issue and I gave up quite fast. I don’t regret I didn’t had a walk around cause I actually enjoyed Noosa surroundings very much. Tewantin for istance is a suburb in Noosa that lays on quite river waters. I was quite tired still from my adventures in Frazer island and all I needed was just a place with not to many people around.

At the memorial park me and my travel mate started to play with water, have pictures, organizing the car and finally chill. It was a super nice day. On the end, the fact that I couldn’t stay in Noosa turned good. It means I can go back a discover it in a different light, possibly in a low seasons light.