Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Sassy, Spicy Sicily" by Rick Steves

Rick Steves, my favorite travel writer, released a new article about Sicily on called "Sassy, Spicy Sicily." I think he does a remarkable job of capturing what I consider to be some of the charm of Sicily in this short article.

He writes: "If you like Italy for its people, tempo and joy of living -- rather than for its Botticellis, Guccis and touristic icons -- you'll dig Sicily.

"Sicily, standing midway between Africa and Europe, really is a world to itself. On this spirited island, in spite of Italian government and European Union pressure, the siesta persists and motor bikers' hair continues to fly in the Sicilian wind."

He writes about the Capuchin crypt in Palermo, the view from the top of Etna, Cefalu, and Vespa-worship, ending with this description of an old fisherman in Cefalu: "Since the 1950s, Il Presidente has spent his nights fishing, gathering anchovies under the seductive beam of his gas-powered lampara. As he takes the pre-Coleman stove vintage lamp off its rusty wall hook, I see tales of a lifetime at sea in his face. As he shows me the ropes he wove from local straw and complains that the new ropes just aren't the same, I lash him to the rack of memories I'll take home from Sicily."

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