Corona was not inspiring yours truly to write much. Ok, not at all. Sorry!
We drowned our sorrows this winter in Sicily, Italy with Prosecco. Well, it was not as extreme as it sounds. The given circumstances were a quasi quarantine in the widest sense of the meaning of the word. We carefully managed our social life, tasted and tested various Prosecco’s, Coppa (kind of ham) and other Italian delicacies. We needed a while getting used to a new variety of foods offered in Italy. Initially, we had ‘insisted’ on our tried and true recipes, but finding the ingredients for foreign recipes is a mismatch here. Now, our appetites have migrated to fruits, fish, tomatoes specialty meats and anything fresh you can use with olive oil. The rich choices of plant based food invites vegetarian cooking, which we do from time to time.
This past week (blog entry written on May 16) we were still zone orange. So technically, one can only move within the postal zip code (see map below). As we are now halfway vaccinated, we use our rental car more for sightseeing. We have done a little looking around before, but posted nothing. Maybe I find the energy after the spring boat projects are done. Our project accomplishment level is at 80%, so we should be in good shape.
Marina di Ragusa – Marina di Ragusa is the coastal village where the Porto Turistico and hence our Marina is. Anytime we return here the view wows us with its turquoise waters surrounding the port and we feel happy about our choice to berth here during the winter.
Ragusa and the area north of it
Yesterday, we drove north, past the town of Ragusa. More about this interesting town in another blog entry (if I overcome Blogprocrastinitis 😁). We found roads not traveled by tourists.
Mural in Ragusa
The mural above is in Italy. The country is Catholic, and this is not a special mural. It creates no tension or friction because of its existence. Imagine, you paint this mural on the Empire State Building. What would happen?
Country Side North of Ragusa
The landscape north of the town is hilly and alternating with small high plains making for an enjoyable drive and walk.
I have a tangential background in agriculture. I always loved the subject and being loosely involved with it in my past. Never, did I realize that far in the south of Europe (I am born in Northern Germany) the first grain harvest (wheat) begins in May and ends in July.
Imagine the smell of fresh straw and grain mixed with the song birds chirping and otherwise total quietness except natural sounds like the wind. Great!
It’s no surprise that prehistoric settlers around 20000BC to 10000BC stayed here for good. Temperatures are not hot in May -today 24°C. The soil is not rich, but good enough for a solid grain harvest sufficient to feed a family in ancient days. Water was not scarce and Sicily was rich in forests – until the Romans came. A lot of the forests disappeared during the long Roman Empire era (about 6 centuries). Sicily was the first grain supplier of the empire. The Romans deforested almost the entire island in order to enlarge the wheat crops.
I hope we’ll go sailing in some weeks again. We have some ideas, but do not plan anymore. Our feeling is that anytime we plan, someone high up there thinks it’s funny to throw a wrench into our gearbox. We’ll have to go to northern Germany late this month to see family and then return here and wait a little for our second vaccination early July. After that we are free.
Creative thinkers, so I believe, are prone to drift away with random thoughts. Hey, where else should all the good ideas come from. Following are some subjects that took the liberty to pop up during writing this piece.
Stay safe, get vaccinated. See you next time.
Your LUNARA Crew
I am the master of random thoughts and ideas, or must I say master finder of marginally subject related Google finds?
Here are some facts about Sicily totally new to me.
Did Sicilians invent the wheel?
3500BC Sicilians apparently invented the wheel! It took us 5500 years until we had a Tesla. What did we do in the meantime, aside from wars?
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sicily
Sicily alone has 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For reference the US totals 24 sites. If your touristic hunger leads you here, Sicily will not disappoint.
- Agrigento: Archaeological Area of Agrigento (UNESCO)
- Aeolian Islands: Isole Eolie. The group consists of seven islands (Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea) and five small islets (Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Nera, Bottaro and Lisca Bianca) in the vicinity of Panarea. (UNESCO)
- Caltagirone (UNESCO)
- Catania (UNESCO)
- Cefalù Cathedral
- Militello Val di Catania (UNESCO)
- Modica (UNESCO)
- Monreale Cathedral
- Mount Etna (UNESCO)
- Noto (UNESCO)
- Palermo: Palazzo dei Normanni (The Norman Palace)
- Palermo: Cappella Palatina (The Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace)
- Palermo: Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti
- Palermo: Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio (also known as the Martorana)
- Palermo: Church of San Cataldo
- Palermo: Cathedral of Palermo
- Palermo: The Zisa Palace (La Zisa)
- Palermo: The Cuba Palace (La Cuba)
- Palazzolo Acreide (UNESCO)
- Ragusa (UNESCO)
- Scicli (UNESCO)
- Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (UNESCO)
See also: The Wonders of Sicily
Did you know: The Bikini was invented 5600BC and made popular 286AD in Sicily!