Agence France-Presse reports that foreign buyers are swooping on deserted villages in Sicily to snap up homes for as little as 10,000 euros ($13,000), propping up a property market in free-fall as Italy suffers its longest-ever recession.
“When you go to the pizzeria now, you often meet more foreigners than Sicilians,” said Salvatore Sansemi, mayor of Cianciana, near the southern city of Agrigento.
Half the population of the village — set against the stunning backdrop of the Sicani mountains and close to the sea — has emigrated to Canada, France or Germany in recent years, leaving only around 3,500 inhabitants.
“We have just signed off on 140 sales to British, French, Norwegians and Poles, as well as a few Canadians and Chinese,” Sansemi told AFP.
One of the latest buyers in the village is Ray Winstone, a British actor and producer who bought an old farmhouse for 50,000 euros ($65,000) and is entirely redoing it to the tune of 1.3 million euros.
“Prices are very low. A house needing repairs can cost from 10,000 to 30,000 euros. An apartment or a renovated house from 60,000 to 80,000,” he said.
Raffaele Impallari, a local tourism board official, said: “Thanks to our hospitality, here they have the feeling of being at home.
“Maybe they feel even better since the weather is always good and we are only 20 minutes from the seaside,” he joked.
|June 13, 2013 10:00 am||to||June 16, 2013 12:00 pm|
Granita is a frozen dessert made with water and a syrup base, much like sherbet. It’s origins date back to the Arab domination in Sicily which has left so much to the island in spite of its relatively short period (827-1091 AD).
In the past the granita was a privilege only for the rich and aristocratic families as it was made using the snow gathered on Mount Etna and on the Peloritani and Nebrodi mountains, then stored in natural caves and extracted during the summer.
Acireale celebrates this frozen dessert with its own festival from June 13 through 16. For more details and program, please visit www.anivarata.it (ITALIAN).
Photo © Franca Calderone
|May 28, 2013 6:00 pm||to||July 27, 2013 6:00 pm|
La Materia di un Sogno – Collezione Palo Brodbeck, curated by Gianluca Collica, Alessandra Ferlito and Gianpiero Vincenzo and promoted by the Fondazione Brodbeck in Catania, is opening today. The exhibition showcases artworks by Gabriella Ciancimino, Carmelo Nicosia and Carmelo Nicotra on eight bus lines around the streets of downtwon Catania. This initiative is one of the many that precede the opening on May 25 at 5:00PM of one of the most important contemporary exhibitions that Sicily has hosted in the last few years.
For more information, please contact:
|May 17, 2013 10:00 am||to||May 19, 2013 7:00 pm|
The Mediterranean diet – declared by UNESCO “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 2010, is the protagonist of a cultural project created by some Sicilian students. The Rassegna Vino & Olio (Wine & Oil Festival) organized by the students of the P. Mattarella-D. Dolci Institute in Alcamo has the purpose of promoting the Sicilian culinary tradition.
Students, public institutions, wine and oil producers are all working together to promote local products and sustain economic development. Three days of exhibitions, music, sport and culture starting on Friday, May 17 at 10:00 AM with the conference - The typicality of the Sicilian territory and the Mediterranean Diet - at the Marconi Congress Center (free entrance). Friday and Saturday at 6:00 PM (and Sunday starting at 10:00 AM) everyone is invited to the trade show in Alcamo’s gorgeous Piazza Ciullo, the heart of the town’s historic center. Local producers offer tastings of traditional food, olive oils and wines.
“The Mediterranean diet” says Sebastiano Bonventre, mayor of Alcamo “must not simply be considered nutrition, but a lifestyle”. It is a combination of habits, knowledge and traditions that go from the countryside to the table.
Sicilian food follows the Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by olive oil as the dominant fat source and a high to moderate consumption of fruit and vegetables, grains, legumes and fish in combination with small amounts of meat and – of course – wine with meals. Studies confirm the positive health effects of the Mediterranean diet and let’s not forget that the Mediterranean way of eating is tasty, flavorful and enjoyable!
Post and photos by Maria Lina Bommarito
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Municipio Centro Congressi Maroni
Corso Sei Aprile, 119
91011, Alcamo (TP)
|July 21, 2013|
|9:00 pm||to||11:00 pm|
Luisa Kuliok, the Argentine actress who moved Italy as protagonist of the Woman of Mystery, returns to Taormina. On July 21, Kairospn presents Luisa Kuliok in The String of Pearls, a monologue by Helena Tritek, adapted in Italian and directed by Piero Nicosia, at the Teatro Antico in Taormina.
The show is a theatrical journey of epic tones that through poems, stories, philosophy and ancient fables confronts the themes of life, love, war, starting with the strong message of dialogue among religions. On stage the versatile actress becomes different characters. The live music, written by master Giallanza, is performed by Calogero Giallanza (flute), Augusta Giraldi (harp) Paolo Rossetti (percussion).
More at Taoarte.it
Address: Corso Umberto, 19
Phone: +39 0942 21142
Fax: +39 0942 23348
By Natalie Cammarata
This Sicilian city is full of secrets, but its street food isn’t one of them. Monday through Saturday, the locals follow the smells and sounds to any one of Palermo‘s open-air markets for a taste of regional fare.
My experience eating mozzarella and gelato in central Italy did not prepare me for the entirely unique animal I encountered in the Sicilian capital. The foods I found here were simple — some simply delicious and others simply best left to those with strong stomachs.
Behind the Teatro Massimo, Italy’s largest opera house, lies a spider web of alleys that make up Mercato di Capo. I started along Via Sant’Agostino and made my way through the hanging linens lining the narrow streets, past the tables of socks, baby clothes and Sicily-shaped magnets, the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” DVDs, the ceramics stand and the tables of earrings, and came to a narrow street filled with fresh fish, homemade pastas and butchers awaiting my order. On this street, a young woman named Arianna and her brothers served the most heavenly arancini (Sicilian rice balls) in Palermo for 1.5 euros (about $2).
More at ChicagoTribune.com
|July 26, 2013|
Roberto Bolle and some of the brightest stars of the American Ballet in NY perform at the ancient theater of Taormina on July 26. A unique and special event that Taormina Arte, in collaboration with Artedanza and Musica and Suoni of Nuccio La Ferlita, offers to the enthusiastic public of dancing. L’étoile of La Scala, already in Taormina in 2009, for the first time this year has managed to achieve an exceptional project: gathering around him some of the greatest talents who animate the ballet season at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
More at www.taoarte.it
More at Taoarte.it
Address: Corso Umberto, 19
Phone: +39 0942 21142
Fax: +39 0942 23348
Four important Sicilian associations (Sicily Hotels and Tourism Industrial Association, Streets of Sicily Wine and Flavors Federation, Sicily Wine Tourism Organization and Enterprise Europe Network) have combined their competences and expertise into the “Sicily Tasting Network”, a new initiative that aims to promote food and wine tourism. The network will focus on tourist-local marketing actions involving wine cellars, accommodation capacities and farm entities.
The Hotels of Sicily Industrial Association will improve communication with tourists thanks to the staff training provided by FISAR and ONAV professionals and will be instrumental to increase network cellars exposure through the exhibition and the presence of oils and wines on hotels menus. Streets of Sicily Wine itineraries will complement the offer with cellar tours and provide the contents for holiday packages in collaboration with Sicily Wine Tourism Organization. The Enterprise Europe Network will finalize the internationalization of these proposals.
There are many external partners which decided to support the “Sicily Tasting Network” with their professional free contribution. “One of our objectives” – says Ornella Laneri, Sicily Hotels and Tourism Industrial Association president – “is to give form new young professional figures, and we are working on protocols of agreement with the universities in Catania and Palermo”. Through training and information, and sharing a huge cultural, food and wine heritage, Sicily Tasting Network will represent a complete tourist offer on international scenery. It will be worth a taste!
You can discover Sicily following the itinerary of its seducing flavors, scents and scenery. For example, “Mamertino” DOC wine is one of the oldest in the world and it has been produced for centuries. It was Julius Ceasar’s favorite. You will be captivated by the strength of the elements which characterize Mount Etna. Wonderful towns rise at its slopes within a breathless natural scenery: woods, valleys and extinct volcanoes such as Monte Ilice, situated between Zafferana Etnea and Trecastagni. It’s here you can taste the sweet aromatic flavor of the honey. You can go a little further on and discover Bronte, birthplace of the green gold, the pistachio, which reigns among the desserts of Sicilian tradition. From Nelson Castle to Caltabiano and Randazzo you will find the ancient splendors of medieval towns, panoramas and cultures only this Mediterranean island could offer.
Summer’s sunny days and breezy nights are studded with events which enrich tourist proposal with taste. During Cantine Aperte on May 26, you can discover wine world and culture in this area. For Calici di Stelle on August 10, you can enjoy food and wine tasting and open-air shows under the stars. Benvenuta Vendemmia on September 8 is a unique opportunity to discover and live the feast linked to grape harvesting.
More information at www.sicilytasting.it
Special offer for SicilyGuide readers, book this itinerary tour through Open Sky Expeditions and do not forget to mention SICILYGUIDE when you call (800) 978-8890.
May 26-June 4, 2013 (with optional extension to June 8)
Personally led by OSE owner Alex Ros
•The finest hotels.
•Top guides, carefully vetted and extraordinarily knowledgeable.
•Fantastic Sicilian food with menus showcasing the island’s varied cuisine.
•Wine tastings at wineries in Marsala & Mount Etna.
•Enchanting Taormina —which Goethe called “a corner of paradise”— with its spectacular views of Mt Etna.
•Historic Syracuse, one of the most powerful cities of antiquity, with its archeological treasures and lovely old town.
•The picturesque towns of medieval Erice on a hilltop & beautiful Cefalu on the coast.
•Amazing mosaics at Palermo & Monreale.
•Excellently preserved Greek ruins at Segesta and Syracuse.
•Private cooking class at a palace in Syracuse.
•Special tastings of almond cookies & marzipan at a world-‐famous pastry shop in Erice, and of honey on Mount Etna.
•A thoughtfully planned itinerary including time at leisure for “dolce farniente” (“the sweetness of doing nothing”).
May 26, 2013 Depart USA
May 27 Arrive Palermo, Italy
May 28 PALERMO | MONREALE
May 29 Palermo: ERICE | MARSALA | SEGESTA
May 30 Palermo | CEFALU | Taormina
May 31 TAORMINA
June 1 Taormina | MOUNT ETNA | Siracusa
June 2 SIRACUSA sightseeing
June 3 SIRACUSA cooking class & at leisure
June 4 Fly home from Catania
June 4 Siracusa | NOTO | MODICA | RAGUSA
June 5 Ragusa | CALTAGIRONE | PIAZZA ARMERINA
June 6 Ragusa | AGRIGENTO
June 7 Agrigento | SELINUNTE | Mazara del Vallo
June 8 Fly home from Palermo
For more information, please go to Open Sky Expeditions
|April 11, 2013 9:00 pm||to||April 14, 2013 9:00 pm|
The Duke of Aumale was the son of Louis Philippe, the first “bourgeois” King, known as the King of the French. He was exiled from his beloved France and in Sicily found a land where he could apply the agricultural precepts of Virgil, an author also loved by his childhood educator Cuvilliere-Fleury, who transmitted to the young Duke his love for books, art and wine.
The production of the Vin de Zucco began in 1856 in an avant-garde winery which provided work for the majority of the population of Montelepre.
Zucco’s wines became famous for their purity winning fifteen international awards. This natural wine was obtained only with a five-year ageing in oak barrels without adding any alcohol and was appreciated by European kings and rulers.
Unfortunately, these wines are no longer produced today but they have left indelible memories at the Castle of Chantilly in France and the Feudo Zucco in the province of Palermo.
Pietro Galioto, biological agriculturist, has inherited a piece of the old Zucco estate from his father. “I grew up listening to the legends about the Duke told by old field-workers”, he says. One day Pietro hears a voice … the call of the Zucco wine which surpasses time and will perhaps change his life…
This fascinating story captured by Lidia Rizzo, young Sicilian movie director, and becomes a film. Lidia Rizzo – disciple of Folco Quilici, a renowned documentary filmmaker – has also directed other works such as “Sicilia, un Mare di Vino” (Sicily, a Sea of Wine) and “Isole del Vento Divino” (Islands of God’s Winds). The documentary, a Blue Film production already presented at the Biennial of Venice, will be shown at the 16th International Sonoma Film Festival April 11 through 14, 2013.
For further information:
The trailer of the documentary