The Fondo Orsa sea shores of Cinisi (20 miles West of Palermo) offer sea lovers crystal clear waters and inebriating scents.
A traditional Sicilian dessert, it is certainly not easy to make cassata. The cassata is originally a sweet from Palermo, but it can be found anywhere in Sicily.
Some people trace back its origins to the Arab domination, but the etymology of the word cassata most likely comes from caseata which translates with cheese concoction. Ricotta cheese and candid fruit are the main ingredients of this super sweet cake.
Some friends visited Sicily and shared with all all these beautiful photos!
September is a lovely month to visit Sicily. The weather is beautiful and the sea temperature is still wonderfully warm which makes it perfect for a late summer swim. There are less tourists compared to August which is Italy’s “holiday month” and beaches and other top attractions are not invaded by tourists.
Prices for accomodations and rentals drop from their high season levels by the middle of the month.
The first substancial rains arrive, usually after mid-month. For the temperature, the month of September can be considered an extension of the long Sicilian summer.
The weather is ideal for sightseeing, it’s an ideal time to visit Sicily’s beautiful towns, small medieval centers, archaeological ruins and natural reserves.
In September harvests begin throughout the island. Grapes are certainly the main fruit of the season but not only: almonds, pistachios, prickly pears and figs are at their best. This is the time of harvest celebrations and festivals organized to promote typical products of the different areas.
The Cala di Palermo is the oldest port of the city, situated in a cove between Via Francesco Crispi and Foro Italico. Recently, it has been restored and about 50,000 cubic miles of illegal constructions have been demolished. The new cala was inaugurated on July 29, 2011 and represents a first, but important step for Palermo to recuperate its green space.
Vendemmia stands for wine grape harvest. Here is a vintage picture of my best friend’s family back in Sicily. It is vendemmia in 1983. How many memories of how we were and how much I miss this period of the year!
We were picking up the grapes and driving our parents crazy. In the late afternoon, we crushed the grapes together with adults by bare feet at the palmento (old traditional stone winery) and were always stung by bees. It does not sound like lots of fun, but it was. I remember how sticky we were and how our moms were cooking the grape must to make mostarda, an ancient Sicilian dessert.
- 8 cups cooked must
- 2 cups starch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Cook the must until about half of it evaporates. Then add the starch little by little and bring to a boil. Stir until the must reaches a certain consistency. When it is ready, pour it into a plate and let it cool down. Mostarda can be eaten as a pudding or let it rest under the sun to dry for a few days.
I took this picture at a market in Catania. A nice good memory of this past summer…
The temperate climate of Sicily has contributed to the development of typically Mediterranean vegetation. Vineyards, olive and citrus (lemons, mandarins, ciders, oranges) trees are throughout the island. Various species of plants grow naturally, such as: dwarf palm, mirto, corbezzolo, lentisco, oleanders, eucalyptus, pine trees and euphorbia.