In these times where travel is limited, I offer to take you to Sicily with me in this journal entry I wrote four summers ago.
“This fall, when the Surrey sky was covered with heavy grey clouds, I had the chance to go on vacation under the Sicilian sun. For a week, I sailed along the east coast of the island, from the Strait of Messina in the north to the baroque town of Noto in the south, passing through Taormina, Catania, Syracuse, Ragusa and Modica. I encourage you to read the following on my travel with a journal.
I have retained two impressions from my trip to this thousand-year-old land where so many peoples and civilisations have followed one another.
FIRST IMPRESSION of my offer to travel with a journal (first pages)
The first is of course, a feeling of wonder at the beauty of the island. This island is located at the heart of the Mediterranean. Sicily offers its travellers all the sweetness of its Mediterranean landscapes. Not only that, but also the poetry of its countless baroque churches and palaces. At this time of year, it blends the soft green of orange, cypress and olive trees with the intense azure blue of the Ionian Sea, against the backdrop of the towering, dark and cloudy mass of Etna.
While in Taormina in 1885, Maupassant already wrote: “it is nothing but a landscape. A landscape ,where one finds everything that seems made on earth to seduce the eyes, the mind and the imagination“. Even today, the island is still largely preserved. It has been preserved from the ravages of modernity.
SECOND IMPRESSION of my offer to travel with a journal (further pages)
The second impression, I will have of my stay in Sicily is a sincere admiration for the hospitality and kindness of its people. In our regions, the Sicilians suffer from a rather deplorable reputation, very often associated with that of the mafia which made them sadly famous. It is true that the criminal organisation is still very present. During our stay, the daily newspaper on the island told on the front page the misadventures of a bar owner. This landlord has been beaten up for refusing to pay the pizzo. This is the name of the “tax” taken by the octopus from traders.
But it would be unfair to reduce the Sicilians to this image. The image from which they are the first to suffer. For my part, I did not meet a Mafiosi in Sicily. I have met rather ordinary people. They all felt very passionate about their island and eager to share its history and beauty with their visitors. Such was the case of this guide who accompanied us on the flanks of lava from Etna by disserting on the virtues of the microclimate in the production of Etneo Rosso wine. Even this director of the Landolina palace in Noto, who organised for us a private visit of the palazzo. He and his team lovingly restored it and kept their passion about the project for twenty years. Sicily is undoubtedly a land thousands of years old. However, it still has many wonders to offer its visitors.”
I hope to have opened an interest on this beautiful island https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicily