Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Signs of the Times in Sciacca

I recently went with my friend Michael to visit our friend Steve Jonas (of Sicilian Mama fame) in the Sicilian city of Sciacca (SHAH-kuh), which is located about 150 miles away, on the south coast of the island west of Agrigento. Sciacca is a pretty little town that is known for a famous carnivale parade in February, for its ceramics, and for its beaches and vacation homes. It gets very crowded in the summer, but now, in early June, it's just very charming and pleasant. Even the light of the sun is different there. I think I took some pretty nice photos of the beautiful city of Sciacca.

We couldn't eat the fabulous seafood as I have in the past, because the fishermen are on strike, protesting the high cost of fuel (who isn't?), but we had marvelous pizza and great wine inside the ancient walled part of the city. Other than that, we shopped for ceramics, saw all the major sights, sat on the piazza and struck up a conversation with a man who had been a barber in New York City for 25 years and then moved back to Sciacca when he retired.

Sciacca had some interesting signs, which you'll see here. Above is one of the historical markers found throughout the city for buildings of interest. Notice that it is made of ceramics and wrought iron, two artisan specialties of Sicily.

This one amused me . . . you can figure out the Italian specialty of this doctor. And look at his name! Perhaps a relative of Sonny's?

This one is much more somber . . . a marker of the assassination by the Mafia of Accursio Miraglia, a communist trade union man in January 1947. There is a novel and a movie about this event called The Day of the Owl.

Let's end on a lighter note . . . sorry, dogs of Sciacca, you can't go in the ice cream shop!


At September 23, 2008 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you're back, Maryellen! I've missed the updates and the photos. Be well. AJ


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