In my last Bits & Bobs, I left a cliffhanger. I mentioned a grape varietal that caught my attention for various reasons when Susie and I went to Sicily. If you want to know what I was referring to, check out my latest YouTube episode, where I review said varietal (It will be a two-parter). Cliffhangers are a big part of writing and I need to use them more often. I want to thank Sharron for her comment about that. I hope you watch the episode and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already.
I mentioned that I would write a bit about our trip to Sicily. Susie and I had an amazing time there. The food was fabulous and, of course, the wine as well. We spent the first week in Palermo, where we did a walking street tour exploring the back roads of Palermo and indulging in the local cuisine with our guide. The local foods were quite intriguing and delicious. She took us through some amazing local seafood and produce markets wedged between buildings along the ancient streets of the city. The only food I was not very interested in trying was the spleen bread (Pani ca meusa). Mainly because it was near the end of the tour and I was already pretty full. Otherwise, I think I would have given it a go. We ended that tour near the marina with gelato in hand.
We spent our time in Palermo checking out the local scenery, finding great restaurants, trying different wines and also went to an Opera in one of the largest Opera houses in Italy. From there, it was off to Taormina on the east side of Sicily. I can hardly do justice in words about how amazing the views were in this small, bustling town. Breathtaking would be the best word I can think of. We live in a beautiful spot on the earth in the San Juan Islands, but nothing can compare to the stunning views from this part of the world. Once again, we indulged in the local food and wines, finding some cool restaurants to eat at. There was one restaurant right next door to our hotel that blew us away! We tried to get in a second time, but they were booked up. That didn’t matter, because there were plenty of great places to choose from.
We were able to go to an ancient Greek amphitheater, located on the outskirts of Taormina where Andrea Bocelli had performed just a month earlier (that would have been fantastic to be a part of). All around us were hilltop villages, stunning water views with jagged cliffs meeting the emerald-blue water of the sea. Beautiful villas peppered the hills. We walked and walked, getting all the exercise we needed to work off the exquisite food we were enjoying. The weather was perfect as Susie and I walked hand in hand down the streets of the town. However, there were a couple of dramatic thunderstorms while we were there. One lasted for quite some time. Of course, we both like thunder and lightning storms, which just added to our enjoyment.
One of the coolest things we did while we were there (it wasn’t planned), was to take the Godfather tour. I know it sounds a bit cliche, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience. Our tour guide came to pick us up (just Susie and I) and he took us to these small, ancient villages, which we would have never seen had we not taken the tour. Our guide was a super friendly guy, who took his time showing us around. Some of the places Hollywood found to shoot some of the scenes for that movie were unbelievable! How they scouted them out, I do not have a clue. The tour was supposed to be around two to three hours, but we hit it off with our guide and ended up getting back to our hotel just over four hours later. Plenty of pictures were taken and we will never forget the experience.
There is so much to share and only so much space to do it in. Next week, I will write about our experience going up Mount Etna to visit the winery Planeta. I’m also going to share some thoughts I have about my experience this past summer in the wine department that kind of threw me off. It’s something that was new to me and I hope it doesn’t happen too often in the future.
Stan The Wine Man