Monday, April 14, 2014

Back in Sicily

Taormina + Mt. Etna  | Back in Sicily on afeathery*nest  |
We've been back in the town of R's birth and childhood for just about 10 days now and each day has been packed with grand lunches at the homes of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, long strolls down the Corso (made even longer by everyone stopping us to catch up on the last almost-3-years—and, I can't tell you how hilarious it is to see the older residents exclaim that they've been following R's life on Facebook), motorcycle rides on the windy hilltop roads and down to the beach, a few work and administrative things (there's the family business to tend to and drivers licenses to renew) and we even made time for a quick two-day trip just us two over to the mainland (more on that later).

As we unpeel our New York'ness, we've had to readjust (me more than R, of course) to life on this side of the world, where if we want to buy a medley of seafood for a birthday lunch at home, we have to go during the week and before 1PM, otherwise everything is closed. And, you can't speed walk down the street to get to your morning coffee, instead, you must stroll slowly and stop every time you vaguely recognize someone to have a conversation peppered with the same questions you'll hear a few more feet down the road ('how are you?', 'how long are you staying?', 'it's better here than NYC, right?', etc).

My inability to gracefully handle small talk aside, my favorite part of being here is seeing R "at home". When we're on the motorcycle and stopped along with others to let traffic pass, suddenly an elderly man reaches over and pulls up his helmet visor to talk to R and I get to hear his speech change from Italian sprinkled with Sicilian (which I can mostly follow) to full-on dialect with an Arabic-esque melody and rolled double consonants (which I most definitely cannot follow at all). Then there's coming across his old teachers or pediatricians or neighbors who exclaim when they see him all grown up and married (even though they saw us a few years ago!). Or sitting out on a terrace and looking at Mt. Etna while R reminisces teenage mischief with his best friends and I get to listen in to their myriad escapades.

Also a highlight: finding an old agenda of R's from the late 90s and seeing what he got up to then (including old girlfriend's birthdays, trips between Sicily and Stockholm, and bad days when he jotted down a few choice curses).

Corso Umberto in Taormina | Back in Sicily on afeathery*nest  |
Isola Bella in Taormina | Back in Sicily on afeathery*nest  |
Weatherwise, we're somewhere between winter and spring—if you're directly in the sun and there's no wind blowing you can comfortably sit in short sleeves, but other than that, I'm still wearing jackets, scarves and boots in the morning and at night. So while we can take a nap on the beach after lunch, in the evening it's back into our wraps we go. Hopefully the weather will warm up a little more this week so we can properly recoup after this past winter in NYC.

Of course, given this view, the meal we had, and the perfume of orange and lemon trees, I don't mind a few extra layers at all.

Terrace lunch in Taormina | Back in Sicily on afeathery*nest  |
One year ago:  Waking from a deep sleep & Mamela & Fresh and springy knit napkins


  1. it seems like you are enjoying your time there. just having water around makes everything so relaxing.

    1. You're so right! The sound of waves must bring your blood pressure down 50 points! :)

  2. Wow, it's beautiful there! What a lovely change from the hustle of city life... xo

    1. Indeed! It's been so long since I've heard the wail of a siren, the whir of a helicopter or the honking of disgruntled drivers! :)

  3. It certainly doesn't *look* cold. So pretty!

    1. Sneaky Sicilians! I didn't have bare arms or legs the entire time except for Easter because the only dresses I had were springy! Hmph.


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