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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Italian words used by Westerners (FB post)

I just posted this in one of the FB group in which I participate. I thought that folks here might find it interesting...

New topic (bound to be controversial!) 

Let's talk about how Italian words are used by Westerners (specifically, English speakers). 

Often, English speakers will modify foreign words to make them sound better within an English sentence. For instance, in English, a person who practices "Wicca" is referred to as "Wiccan". However, a person who practices "Stregheria" is "a Strega", not "Streghan". Personally, I feel that if someone is going to use a foreign word, it's important to understand the word in the native language from which it originates and use it in that context. Of course, it can get even more complicated when we start to get into colloquial expressions! If one still chooses to anglicize a foreign word after knowing it's origins and use, then at least it is an informed choice.

Below are common Italian words that we use in this forum. I'd like to offer how *I* use them. This is not meant to tell others that they aren't using them correctly but is instead offered as a way of explaining how I heard them used when I was in Sicily:

Stregheria - archaic word Witchcraft. As Raven says, "The 18th century writings of Giorlamo Tartorotti refers to "Stregheria" as the survival of the cult of the goddess Diana". I use Stregheria to indicate "Pagan religious Witchcraft" based in the Italic cultures.

Stregoneria - the common word in modern Italy used to indicate Witchcraft. As Raven says, "In mainstream Italian culture "Stregoneria" means harmful magic and is associated with the Devil". (Vinnie notes - just as the word "witchcraft" does in most mainstream Western cultures.) I use Stregoneria to indicate witchcraft as a magical practice regardless of religious, spiritual, or ethical association; i.e. folk magic and tradition as a practice rather than a vocation.*

Strega (una strega) - singular, female witch

Stregone (uno stregone) - singular, male witch

Streghe - plural of strega; i.e. a group of female witches (also commonly used to indicate a group of witches of mixed sex)

Stregoni - plural of stregone; i.e. a group of male witches

della strega - possessive singular; i.e. The witch's broom (La scopa della strega)

delle streghe - possessive plural; i.e. The witches' broom (La scopa delle streghe)

Words that are not Italian but commonly used by English speakers:
Stregan, Streghan, Stregherian - These are American derivations of Italian words but not actually Italian. They are often used to indicate a practitioner of witchcraft (stregheria or stregoneria). However, a person who practices stregheria (or stregoneria) is not "stregan" or "stregherian". A person who practices Stregheria is a "a strega" or "a stregone" (English) [or "una strega" or "uno stregone" (Italian)]. 

*Nota bene: I was always told that in Italy/Sicily, the word Strega was always negative and never used as a self-identifier. I was very surprised to find that to be the case "for the general, non-magical public" but not necessarily for the magical community. For the general public, like in parts of our culture, Strega (or any type of witchcraft) most definitely has a very negative connotation. However, that's starting to change. There are dozens of shows (mostly for teens and pre-teens) where the good guys are witches. Kinda like the Disney show "Witches of Waverly Place". What I did notice was that the word Strega was almost never used on its own by the *general* populace. It was always clarified with something like: strega cattiva, strega buona, strega bella, strega maga, etc. to indicate what type of strega, as if the word (on its own) was simply an indicator of a practitioner of magic (folk or cultural).

I encourage all my students to get a basic understanding of Italian music, culture, food and language in order to understand the context from which Italic Craft is derived. I hope that you found this "buon argomento di meditazione" (good food for thought).

Benedizioni

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Feast of the Seven Fishes - an Italian-American Tradition, but is it Italian?

The Feast of the Seven Fishes - an Italian-American Tradition, but is it Italian?

Well, it depends on how you define Tradition and how you define Italian.  The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a Christmas Tradition for many Italian-American households.  The idea is that on Christmas eve (Christmas day for some), the feasting table is laid with seven dishes that represent the bounty of the sea. The exact number seems to be contested and that, like the specific dishes that are served, seems to be family-specific.  Some families have seven and some families have 12 while other families use a different number of dishes. Many Italian-Americans have very specific and heart held beliefs about this event known as The Feast of the Seven Fishes.

A great article on the history of The Feast of Seven Fishes is by Amy Zavatto and can be located at http://www.ediblemanhattan.com/z/topics/history/the-feast-of-the-seven-fishes/.

One of my favorite quotes from that article is:
“I think something is not authentic or real when people want to do it all perfect. If there’s anything food culture is not, it’s perfect. And Italians don’t give a shit about these rules—they’re the most anti-rule culture there is! Rules are for the French. The number seven doesn't matter. The meal is a heartfelt, imbedded thing. You eat fish on Christmas Eve, and that’s it.”

From my research, it seems like The Feast of Seven Fishes is an American-Italian Tradition but not an Italian Tradition.  In Italy, you often find fish and no meat on the Christmas evening feasting table. It's often refered to as the feast of the magro - no meat. This custom is directly from Christianity. The "event" of the Christmas evening meal is called Vigilia (a vigilia).  

Vigilia - (http://es.thefreedictionary.com/vigilia)
1   Retain a person awake or asleep.
2   Lack of sleep or difficulty sleeping. insomnia.
3   Day immediately preceding the one that is festive for the Church. before.
4   Work or activity that takes place at night

In more agricultural times, a "vigilia" was the time that the family gathered together after work in the fields. They would often finish chores, feast, and tell stories as a way of teaching and passing on traditions.

In relation to Christmas and the Christmas evening meal, the Vigilia is the family feasting event where the family gathers, shares joy, stories, and traditions. The mean itself can be quite varied but due to the heavy church influence, meat abstained from and fish figured prominently.

Although the Italian-American Tradition of Christmas dinner known as The Feast of Seven Fishes" isn't "native Italian", you can see how it is strongly based on the traditions of the native Italian culture and practices.

Rather than arguing whether it is "authentically Italian", Italian-Americans should be proud that we've held onto the heart of the traditions from our ancestral land and adapted them to our unique culture of being both Italian and American. Traditions that connect us to the continuity of the past are extremely important - as is making sure that the traditions are more than just handwaving. We should be proud that we've connected these traditions in a way that honors our ancestry and speaks to us as modern day Italian-Americans.

Whether you celebrate The Feast of the Seven Fishes, Vigilia, Christmas, Solstice, Sol Invictus, Yule, Festa della Befana (American Style) or some other holiday at this season, I say to you, "i migliori auguri"!

I'll close with the last paragraph from the first article I references:
"“The important thing is to maintain the tradition,” says DiPalo. “That’s what Christmas is—a way to celebrate family and invoke the memories of all the people that have passed on. It brings them back, and we’ll see them alongside us, those who used to make this dish the best, and who wouldn't eat that one. To an Italian family—and an Italian-American family—what’s special takes place around the dinner table.”"

Benedizioni,

Enzo


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Here is a good article about Limoncello, that intensely lemony liqueur loved by millions.

http://www.italiannotebook.com/food-wine/amalfi-lemon/

It focuses on the Amalfi coast area.

My favorite Limoncello wasn't from Amalfi, but was instead from the tiny island of Capri. That's [ˈkaːpri] with the emphasis on the first syllable.

That was, until I tasted the Limoncello from Sicily which is made from their GREEN lemons. The Sicilian green lemon tends to be less acidic and more floral.

Whichever type of lemons are used, this is a nice Italic beverage that you can get in most local liquor stores.


Ci vediamo più tardi!

---Enzo

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sicilian Gnocchi - an American variant

I made this recipe the other night. It was a big hit so I figured I'd post it here for folks who might be interested.  The pics aren't in order but you'll get the idea.

Ciao!


My pictures (in reverse order!) of the process can also be found at: https://www.facebook.com/nivho/posts/10152055025804810

Ingredients
·         2 large russet potatos, baked & mashed smooth
·         1/4 - 1/2 cup pistachio flour
·         1 3/4 cup flour (more as needed to get the right consistency
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon white pepper
·         4 oz toasted pine nuts
·         seeds from 1 pomegranete
·         12 - 16 oz butternut squash chunks*
o   6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
o   1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

Directions

Pistachio Flour -
Make pistachio flour, if need be by putting the roasted, unsalted nuts into a food processor until smooth enough. Grind in short bursts to retain the flavorful oil naturally in the nuts.

Potato -
Preheat oven to 400F. Prick potatoes all over with fork. Bake 45 minutes, or until soft. Cool 10 minutes, or until easy to handle. Peel potatos and then into a large bowl, mash them until smooth. I use a potato ricer to get a nice consistency.

Roast butternut squash -
Place the butternut squash chunks in a roasting pan (or on a baking sheet with edges). Add the butter and brown sugar. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and smooth into a single layer, if possible.  Roast for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times so they brown evenly. Set aside (I drain off any remaining liquid and just let the squash begin to cool).

Pine Nuts -
Toast the pine nuts in a *dry, non-stick skillet being careful not to let the pine nuts burn. You only want them toasted. Let them cool on a papertowel, spread out in a single layer. Set aside for later.

Pomegranate seeds -
De-seed the pomegranate into a bowl. Cover and put in the fridge for later use.
VIDEO: http://lifehacker.com/5895852/deseed-a-pomegranate-in-10-seconds-using-a-wooden-spoon

Gnocchi -
Lightly flour a baking sheet (or two) and your work surface.
To the bowl with the mashed potatos, gradually add the flour until the dough is firm but smooth and slightly "tacky" but not sticky. I start by adding 1/4 cup of the pistachio flour and folding it into the potato. The I add 1/4 - 1/2 of the normal flour at a time until I get the right consistency. Use your hands so you get a feel for the dough. About 5 minutes or so of kneading is what mine generally take. Once the dough is smooth, put it back into the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes.

Cut the gnocchi dough ball into four equal pieces and put all but one back into the bowl and cover. Transfer the first piece of dough to lightly floured work surface. Roll into a long snake/strand about 3/4-inch thick. Using a pastry scrapper, cut into 1 inch lengths. Do this for each of the pieces of dough.

Roll each bite into a ball quickly and then gently press each ball into the tines of a fork to form grooves in the dough. Hold a fork at about a 45-degree angle (I face the back of the fork away from me but other folks hold it so the back is facing towards them) with tines of the fork touching the work surface. With your thumb (perpendicular to the work surface) gently press each "pillow" of dough down the tines. As you press, the dough will begin to curl around your thumb or fingers. Help it along, as you remove it from the fork. There will be a pattern of raised stripes across the gnocchi.

Place the finished gnocchi onto a lightly floured baking pan as you finish them.

Cook only the amount of fresh gnocchi that you will be eating immediately (that day). Any remaining gnocchi can be frozen. Put the excess fresh gnocchi on a baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between each piece. Freeze. Once they are frozen you can place in a plastic freezer bag.

The Gnocchi Boil -
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of sea salt added. Lower the temperature so the water is at a gentle boil, not a vigorous boil.  Add the gnocchi but not too much at once. Stir lightly so they don't stick together or to the bottom of the pot.  Watch them and once they are ALL floating at the top (1 - 3 minutes) use a slotted spoon and scoop them out of the boiling water into a warming (medium heat) non-stick fry pan with 1 tablespoon of organic extra virgin olive oil. Be careful when putting the gnocchi into the frying pan because the water from the gnocchi could spatter when it goes into the oil.

When the gnocchi start to brown *slightly*, add the pine nuts, and squash (I drain the liquid/butter from the squash first). Lightly toss until all ingredients are warm, transfer to plates and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.


Good alternate recipe with pictures: http://www.chezbettay.com/pages/dinners1/dinrs_gnocchiN.html


Here are my pictures from dinner. Sorry they're not in order!




















Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Samhain!


So on this day of the Dead, now November draws near,
Set a place for the Dead, with a cushion and soft seat,
And serve the best food and the fondest wine for your Dead,
Your unseen Dead, and with your hearts speak with Them, 
Encourage Them, give them peace, and do Them honor.

In the dark night we call to one another.
Brothers and sisters call to each other,
Parents to their children, lovers to their beloved.
Then let us drink to our love, and death,
and to those who have gone before,
and renew our troth of faith that they and we are friends,
and that King Death is friend of both,
For Death divides not the wise.
A toast then, to Life, and Death, and Love!

Happy Samhain Everyone!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Strega in Sicily...

As some of you know, I recently spent a month in Sicily for vacation and reconnecting with my ancestry. While there, I (eventually) met what we in the USA would call Streghe.

I was always told that it Italy/Sicily, the word Strega was always negative and never used as a self-identifier.  I was very surprised to find that to be the case "for the general, non-magical public" but not necessarily for the magical community.

For the general public, like in parts of our culture, Strega (or any type of witchcraft) most definitely has a very negative connotation. However, that's starting to change. There are dozens of shows (mostly for teens and pre-teens) where the good guys are witches. Kinda like the Disney show "Witches of Waverly Place".  What I did notice was that the word Strega was almost never used on its own by the *general* populace. It was always clarified with something like: strega cattiva, strega buona, strega bella, strega maga, etc. to indicate what type of strega, as if the word (on its own) was simply an indicator of a practitioner of magic (folk or cultural but not ceremonial).

Most of the Catholic magical practitioners that I met held the same opinion: strega = diabolism, just like the general population over here. The Catholic practitioners had a huge variety of names that they self-identified with, most commonly benedicaria.

The pagan magical practitioners that I met often used Strega-XXX or simply a dialectical word.  I heard: "magara", "maiare", "maga/mago/magoi" (which my family uses), and even "fattucchiere", "maghiardzha", and "pratico". It seems there's no end.  Those pagan religious witches that I personally met often used one word to describe the magical practice  (what we do) and another for their spiritual practice (what we experience/believe).  Apparently, context is KEY. A word may be appropriate in one setting but WRONG in another setting.

One of the most interesting things is that I was told is that "religion is what the community does and since the community is Catholic, everyone is Catholic if they are going to be part of the community". Apparently, you can be "socially Catholic" but religiously or spiritually something else - just don't talk about it.

I didn't notice any "pagan community" to speak of as one might find in the USA or Europe probably because the Church is so pervasive in all parts of live and culture.  However, when it exists, it seems to be just a couple people who got together and it was considered a spiritual practice or a vocation. That lead to an interesting discussion of "covens" which I was told were NOT training groups or where someone learned but were instead "gatherings for magic and celebration" - congrega (if unrelated) and clan or tribù (if the people were related) were the words that I was told were most common.

Just goes to show you that the words religion, spirituality, vocation, and magic are incredibly varied and often depend on context.

Just some food for thought.

Ciao,

Enzo (short for Vincenzo)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sept 18 (Etna on the 15th)

Mi dispiace che non ho scritto. (I supposed to be learning past tense but I find it EXTREMELY difficult! I just can't seem to remember.)

It's been a few days since I've written and I've mostly been walking around, trying to meet locals, and practice my morning lessons.

The big event since I last wrote was that on the 15th, I visited Etna. What an amazing time. There was 1 guide (Sebstiano), 1 assistant (Luca), myself, and 3 other tourists.  All but one of us  thought that we were going to be taken up Etna, get a presentation, and so some wandering around. Turns out that our Italian wasn't as precise as we though. Apparently, we signed up for a 7 hour HIKE up Etna. We were so not dressed for it but we did it anyway and it was so worth it!

The guides refer to Mt Etna as "Her Majesty crowned with/wreathed in clouds. Interesting.

As I said, the internet here is very poor so I'll attempt to post some photos and then log off for the day.  The lessons are still going well but very slowly. I guess that happens when you get older. ;-) Today was 3 hours where I wasn't allowed to speak ANY English. Talk about difficult (and very amusing for my professoressa!).

Here is a cave entrance on the side of Etna (we did NOT go down the tiny hole!:


My view at the start of the hike:




 
Descending to the lava floor:




Eating lunch (arancini) on the lava floor:




Apples from Etna:


And finally, the lava tube entrance (we explored several hundred meters of it):


Well, that's it for now. Ci vediamo a tutti!

---Vincenzo

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sept 11 - recipes...

Oh gosh, let's see. My brain is about full but I'll do what I can.

Peperoni in agrodolce - sweet, sweet red peppers chopped/sliced (almost diced). In a dry pan, fry on HIGH heat so the natural sugar in the peppers begins to caramelize. When you hear that they are done (sizzle sizzle, mmmm), add some oil (peanut oil has a high flash point so it is preferred). Cut one onion in half and set the other aside for later. Take the onion and slice it very very thinly. (we only used 1/4 onion) Add onion. Still on high, add 2 Tablespoons good vinegar, 5 good pinches of sugar, and when that starts to caramelize, cover and reduce to simmer for 10 - 20 minutes.

Sgombri (Mackerel) con nettarne is a "light opener dish" served first. It’s 2 nectarines, diced. Add (good) olive oil, sprinkle with fresh mint (torn) and a dash of balsamic. (edit: toss in cooked, flaked mackerel). Mackerel is cooked on high heat, maybe 2 minutes each side.) I don't think there was anything else but I'll think on it.

The Pasta con acciughe e mollica is pasta with anchovies and mackerel. To a pan, sardines, 3 sage leaves and 4 sprigs parsley. As it cooks, "mashed the anchovies almost into a paste).  Toast semolina bread crumbs in a dry pan. The bread crumbs are toasty and crunchy and will be sprinkled on top of the pasta in place of grated Parm. I was told that "the poor" used breadcrumbs in this dish instead of cheese because the cheese was expensive and leftover bread could be used. In yet another pan, fry the slicked mackerel (narrow strips, skin side down) for a couple minutes until done. Let stand, then dice. Add to the anchovies. Add pasta (which has been boiling) into the anchovy pan to "finish and toss".  Serve by topping with the bread crumbs.

Cotoletta di sarde is sardine cutlets. We got them fresh and whole so I learned how to clean and prepare them. Wow! They are breaded with semolina bread crumbs. You can get them already made, just add 4 - 6 basil leaves (finely chopped) and a bunch of parsley (finely chopped.) Set the crumbs aside. First, turn the large sardines (1 kilo) into cutlets. Then, in a bowl, combine 2 beaten eggs, 2 pinches salt, spalsh of good vinegar, and which together well. Dip cutlets in egg mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs, pressing firmly. Heat pan and add oil. When hot, fry cutlets for ~1 minute per side (until golden brown).

Eggplant Parmigiana & Fresh tomato sauce. The sauce goes (lightly) over the pasta. This is a modern update on the "traditional" dish. The sauce was made from scratch. Tomatoes, the other 1/2 of the onion (thick slices). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium for about 20 ish minutes. Pour through a food mill to remove seeds and make smooth. Return to pot and add 2 large clove of garlic each sliced in half and a dash of oil. Keep warm but bubble. Eggplant: stand on end and slice top to bottom for slices, not across. Place slices on a plate, lightly sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Place next layer of slices on the first, lightly salt, continue until the eggplant is all sliced. Place paper towel on table, one slice of eggplant, cover with another paper towel, press down FIRMLY. Move slice to new plate and continue until all slices have been pressed.
   Step one - DRY nonstick-frypan, very deep. Get it very hot. Fry each slice for 15 - 30 seconds then remove.
   Step two - now that each slice has been seared, add 1 - 2 fingers of oil into the pan. Get it very hot. When very hot, fry (again) each slice for 15 - 30 seconds each side (I did 30 - 60 to get them brown) but don't over lap them. Allow excess oil to drip off slice when removing it from the fry pan. Continue until they're all fried.

In a baking dish, put a thin layer of sauce (enough to cover but not too much). One layer of eggplant. One layer of sliced parm (thin or thick, your choice) leaving space between the slices so you can see the eggplant beneath.  Add 3 - 4 basil leaves (torn small). Add a tiny bit of black pepper (or red if you like). Start over until all the eggplant is gone. If the day isn't hot, bake for 10 - 15 minutes (to warm it). If it is a hot day, serve the dish cold since all the ingredients are already cooked.

OK, now I'm going to bed. :-)

P.S.  I'll try to get the translating for "Sgombri" and some of the other words. I think I'm also missing an ingredient for that one.

Sept 11 - Cooking class


Mercoledí, Settembre 11

 

For today, by "luck" a woman came by and wanted to know if she could take an Italian cooking class.  That was perfect because we weren't sure that I would be able to do one by myself since it can get expensive and there is a lot of work. Yay us.

 

First, we spent the day at the market (pictures will be added at some point). Then we went to my teacher's home (another honor!) to make and eat our creations.

 

The menu was:

 

1 - Peperoni in agrodolce

2 - Sgombri con nettarone

3 - Pasta con a cuige e mollica (with toasted bread crumbs instead of cheese)
     Correction: pasta con acciughe e mollica

4 - cotoletta di sarde

5 - Melanzane parmigiana con pomodoro salsa fresca

 

con frutto per dolce

 

OMGs, I made a 5 course Sicilian dinner!

 





Sept 10


Martidi, Settembre 10

 

Part of my homework was "Scrivi la giornata"

 

Mi sgevlia alle sei di mattina ma mi alza alle sei e mezzo. Dopo faccio la doccia. Poi mi lavoro i denti con lo spazzolino e dentrificio.

 

Mi vesto alle sette e un quarto. Dopo faccio colazione: espresso, frutto, e cereale o forse qualcosa dolce.

 

Alle otto vado fuori e cammino da Piazza Archimede. Prendo un'altra espresso e bevo a Fonte Diana. Dopo vado mi lezione dalle nove alle dodici. La lezioni di giorno fine alle dodici o dodici e un mezzo.

 

Dopo la lezione, compro atricoli a il negozio. Io compro lo standine e deterviso a mano. Passara a supermercato e compro cibo per pranzo. Alle tredici o quatordici ho mangio pranzo: proscuitto, formaggio, pane, e frutto.

 

La oro mi vestiti a mano. (Yes, I am actually washing my clothes by hand during the hottest part of the day as a way to cool off and save money.)

 

Alle diciassette faccio una passaggiata. Prendo un spuntino a Cafe Minerva e collegormi (mi collegare?) di internet.

 

Quando ritorno a casa, ricevo invito a cena di Singnori Aliffi.

 

OK, that was part of my homework - mistakes and all. The rest in English.

My hosts, Mr. & Mrs. Aliffi, invited me to dinner: "a simple spaghetti dinner".  Of course, I dressed for it and brought a very nice bottle of local wine as a gift for my hosts. Apparently, bringing a small gift for the host is traditional (arrivare mai a mani vuote) and/but hey didn't expect me to know about it. You'd think that I brought them something precious. ;-)  I was told "we eat as amiche, non c'é formale". To be invited to your hosts’ home for a home cooked meal as a friend is a great honor and I was almost struck dumb.  I did say almost, right?

 

The "simple spaghetti dinner" was amazing. Antipasti, pane, frittata (pomodori & cipolle), funghi (quatro tipi!), e cinque tipi olive. After that, there was the spaghetti with homemade salsa (sauce). For dessert, there was an assortment of frutta. They showed me how to eat fruit like a native Sicilian (how you eat it depends on the type of fruie). Simple, huh.

 

Dopo a cena noi guardanno il calcio a televisione. I didn't get to bed until mezzanotte.

 

Oh, did I mention that the one other person in the class dropped out? 4 individual hours of active lessons per day is making my brain full.

 

Big day tomorrow, cooking class!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sept 9

Sept 9
Bright and early, first day of classes! It started with espresso al bar a Café Diana in front of the Fonte Diana.

Class is very small and taught by Professoressa Luisa. There is only one other student, Tina. She is from Australia and is here visiting family who spend 6 months of the year in Sicily. Class was very intense but very good.  We even have homework. 

After class, Tina and I went for a leisurely lunch followed by caffe and gelatti.  Afterwards, we went shopping. Tina showed me some wonderful “local” mercati. She has been here for some time and has already cultivated relationships with some of the locals. With her help, I was able to avoid the worst of the American faux pas. Tomorrow is shopping for necessities such as a clothes rack and handwash clothes soap.

For dinner, I tried to go to a very upscale restaurant – O’Sciná. Try doing a search for it.


It’s hard to do when you're one person. They offered me a table that was outside the restaurant which I gladly accepted. During the appetizer, a nice Australian woman also asked for una tavola per uno. When they told her that they had none, I invited her to join at the sidewalk table which she accepted. Apparently, this won me lots of points with the staff.

Natalie was a wonderful, intelligent, interesting dinner companion. We exchanged contact info. Conversation was so involved, I hesitate to try to summarize it. Imagine my surprise when I realized that dinner took 3 hours and it seemed like it flew by.  I really enjoy this “slow food dining” experience that is the norm here. It didn’t that the waiter was gorgeous and told me that I looked just like his best friend, a web designer/internet professional. Of course, I liked him from the moment that he told me my accent was pure Sicilian. :-)

We topped off the evening with a complimentary glass of local dessert wine. I think I may have found heaven.

Buona Notte amici i miei!

---Vincenzo

Sept 8

Sept 8
Fare Colazione: espresso al bar è late solo a Café Apollo.

When they say that nothing is open in Italy on a Sunday, they really mean it!  I spent the day walking around the island and getting some sun. I do mean walking AROUND the island. I really need to find an electronic store. The adapter that I purchased at the airport is the incorrect type. No adapter means no power means no internet.

I just saw the Galaxy S4 – 700 €.

Fonte Diana:







Fonte Aretusa:
     







Some miscellaneous pics:










     
And, finally, a wedding. There were 3 brides maids holding a white lace veil and “best men” under it with them. I think they were doing some sort of kissing game.



Well, that’s it for today. Io ho fame! Ci Vediamo a tutti.