Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunshine and Seafood in Scoglitti

Some of my friends have been after me for quite some time to organize a roadtrip to Scoglitti, on the southeast corner of Sicily, a sleepy little beach town where our friend and auto mechanic Tony owns a restaurant. I had been there once before and told them how much I'd enjoyed it. Finally, we settled on a day and arranged it with Tony, who would meet us near Ragusa and guide us around the area before having lunch at his restaurant in Scoglitti.

After about an hour's drive from Sigonella, Tony met us "at the second Tamoil" on the highway to Ragusa. (Tamoil is the biggest gas station chain in Sicily.) We drove through Comiso and past the now-abandoned U.S. Air Force base there (brand-new school, closed). We stopped for a coffee and the best little ricotta "cream puff" with a crunchy crust I've ever had. The area is famous for ricotta made from cow's milk (usually it is sheep's). I hope to return to try the Sicilian breakfast of warm ricotta sometime.

Tony took us to his son Anthony's new house, still under construction, and Anthony gave us a tour of the whole place. He is currently laying tiles and stones mosaic-style in the entire front yard, quite a large and ambitious project. His wife studied art and it helping design it. Like many Sicilians, Anthony is doing all of the finishing of the house himself with the help of family members. This saves a lot of money but takes a lot of time. He's going to have a beautiful place when it's all done.

Next, we went to the famous Sicilian Donnafugata Castello, a popular destination for both locals and tourists in the area. This is not where the wine by the same name is produced, but it is a nicely situated and attractive palace that has been somewhat restord for tours. We enjoyed the various rooms--the standard "hall of mirrors," banqueting rooms, the bishop's rooms, the painted ceilings, suits of armor, statues, chandeliers, hand-painted wallpaper, antique furniture, and the surrounding gardens. Photos are not permitted inside, although we sneaked a few.

By then, we were all starving, so we proceeded on to the little fishing/beach town of Scoglitti (sko-YEE-tee) and the restaurant run by Tony's other son, John. Along the way, we passed the Greek archaeological site of Kamerina, where 100,000 people once lived. John wasn't quite ready for us, so we took a little walk across the piazza and down to the seaside, which has a great esplanade and fisherman statue along with a view of the fishing boats and beaches. The palm trees and sunny day combined to make us all happy we had come to see "Tony's World." Scoglitti by the way, was the site of the Allied invasion in 1943, although today there is not a trace of it. Below are Lisa, Pat, Kendra, and me.

Finally, we settled down to a fine lunch at Pizza in Piazza prepared by John for us--cold seafood salad, pasta with lobster and salmon, mixed salad, and a whole fresh fish for each of us. We ate every bit, washing it down with bottles of the local Cerasuola wine and followed, of course, by expresso.

Fine food, fine friends, and a fine day for all. Life is good!

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At October 06, 2008 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there... We just returned from Sicily and had a fab time. Next time you are in Ragusa, just down the road from Scicli, on Donnalucata beach, have dinner at Mezzaparola Restaurant on the via Martiri d'Ungheria. They serve beautifully prepared fish and seafood dishes (the fabulous selection on the mixed starter plate is a meal in itself), and the owner is delightful.

(I also got hooked on the nucatoli and chocolate & chili liqueur at Antica Dolceria Bonojuto on the Corso Umberto in Modica Basso).

Greetings from Holland,

At October 06, 2008 6:42 PM, Blogger Kendra said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm...makes me hungry all over again! What a great day.


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