CASA VALENTINE…

………WHEREVER WE ARE TOGETHER, WE ARE HOME

Everyday Sicily………The Events.

Written By: Arlene Ridolfi Valentine - Aug• 17•16

For us, a true travel pleasure is to go to a place we want to visit, find a comfortable accommodation, stay there for the whole of our allotted time and just take in the life that is going on all around us. It’s one of the easiest and perhaps most meaningful way in which we can really get to know a place.  Even though we have lived in Italy for the past thirteen years and visited Sicily before, we have always wanted more…..we have wanted to understand the slow lifestyle we heard so much about. And since we are true-blue foodies, we were particularly curious about the food habits, the shopping, the recipes themselves. Well…..Scicli did not disappoint on any front. We learned, firsthand, about living in intense heat. We learned about shopping in a very small-scale way, i.e., daily. We learned what going to the beach is really all about. And we learned about open-heartedness among strangers. We also found time to have a lot of fun. Here are some of the “cose quotidiane” …..everyday things…..that played out in front of us and brought us such pleasure and contentment while we lived among the citizens of Scicli, one sweet little corner of the Sicilian world.
We started off with two weddings the day after we arrived…….

Sicily Wedding, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Wedding, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Wedding, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Wedding, Scicli, July 2016

followed by two funerals during the week……..

Sicily Funeral, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Funeral, Scicli, July 2016

Then there was the unexpected spectacle of the Scout Troop Installation, right in the main piazza, followed by a blessing in the Church……….

Sicily Scouts Sworn In, July 2016

Sicily Scouts Sworn In, July 2016

And early one morning we opened our shutters to see why people were running past our door…..and we encountered a marathon in progress right through Scicli……

Sicily Marathon, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Marathon, Scicli, July 2016

Another day we were surprised to hear a very loud engine noise coming and going and we went out to discover a tiny little one-man earth mover slowly transferring a huge pile of sand and dirt from our street corner all the way up a very steep and narrow alleyway where a bit of construction was going on……..

Sicily Tractor, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Tractor, Scicli, July 2016

and later that day, construction events of another kind would appear.  Finding electricity for power tools requires a bit of creativity in Sicily as we discovered while walking over extension cords that snaked their way through a couple of streets in our neighborhood…….and we were not surprised when, a few hours later, someone plugged in one too many power tools and knocked out the electricity in the center of town for a couple of hours.   Now we know what how that big burn spot on the wall across the street from us got there!

Sicily Power Source

Sicily Power Source

Sicily Power Source Continues

Sicily Power Source Continues

Sicily Close Call

Sicily Close Call

For all the daytime activity going on, you’d think things would calm down by evening.  No way.  Scicli holds its own in the night life department.  To our great surprise, everyone goes out at night……everyone.   The piazzas are full, and tourist season has not yet really started.

Sicily Small Town Nightlife...

Sicily Small Town Nightlife…

As is the Italian custom, families are out with babies in strollers late into the night but here we also noticed a wider mix.  Many young people, dating or hoping to, young children playing games in the street, and most of the senior population (a considerable force in this town) also

Something For Everyone

Something For Everyone

dressed up and headed out for the evening.  Everyone has a good time.
On the home front, meanwhile, our daily experiences were sweet even if they were a bit different than what we are used to………

Sicily Veggie Man, Scicli, July 2016

Sicily Veggie Man, Scicli, July 2016

our veggie man, Dennis, showed up faithfully three times a week with the most outrageous array of produce.  See that curved basket at the rear of his truck?  Large, dark, aromatic cherries….each one perfect! By the time he left our stop, my neighbors and I would clear out that basket…..and I can’t even begin to describe the watermelons.  We would stay home just to wait for him…..his horn announced his arrival and he would hop out of the truck and take care of three or four of us at the same time and then be off in a roar.  One day he brought his assistant-in-training……his two year old son, Elio.

Sicily Veggie Man and Assistant

Sicily Veggie Man and Assistant

At this stage of his training, Elio was a bit more interested in all the goodies that his father’s customers offered him…..but still, he’s getting the hang of the route and the pleasure of being with his father all morning…..not a small thing in itself.
Our daily routine unfolded as daily routines usually do…..but our equipment was a bit different…….

Sicily Dishwasher

Sicily Dishwasher

our dishwasher and clothes dryer were models we hadn’t seen since the 50s……..

Sicily Clothes Dryer

Sicily Clothes Dryer

but in the area of home surveillance, we were covered on two fronts……..

Sicily Surveillance, First Line

Sicily Surveillance, First Line

first, by Ombra, the ever-alert puppy who lived above our front entrance and then………

Sicily Surveillance, 24/7

Sicily Surveillance, 24/7

by our kind and generous and ever-present neighbors who sat at their stoop pretty much non-stop……they were the ultimate nonni (grandparents) who had an unending stream of visits from kids and grandkids and even we two, strange as we were to them.
We loved our daily life here……it really is slower…..and I don’t think it’s only because of the heat.  I think it’s because of a mind-set that is most unusual in its patience and contentedness……and the heat.

 


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.