Sicily. Land of the cannolo and the Speedo.
After three days spent in Scoglitti, I soon realized one thing: they do fuck all the whole day
. Nothing. Zero.
The daily routine goes this way, with small differences if you're 15 or 65:
- wake up once the sun is up and sleeping in the bed is too uncomfortable, just in time to enjoy a breakfast with brioche and granita, reading the local newspaper
- back home or a stroll on the beach for a quick tanning / swimming session
- Lunch, that has to last at least 2 hours.
- Siesta. Until 7pm, when they wake up for dinner or they talk with the neighbors about the latest gossips.
- Dinner and out in the only piazza where everyone goes, with kids, until 1-2 am
- back home, some sleep and start again.
Do they work? Not many of them. Talking or listening to locals they just get the benefits as unemployed and then keep a shop open maybe 2-3 hours a day just to have enough to survive.
Sure, they know how to enjoy life. Shame they're doing it with dodgy money.
Ok, this was my northern racist rant. But I have to be honest. The town was beautiful,
straight from a postcard. The food? Absolutely amazing
, even if after 6 years of London probably the simplest home made food would taste like ambrosia.
We experienced everything that we could in our short stay. The brioche and granita (such a great combination!) is a must in the morning
, just like the arancine
or the sweets (the real cannolo siciliano
with sweet ricotta is something outstanding).
We tried the local pizza (with fried aubergines and ricotta cheese, way too heavy - as Gianba, who spent the night in the toilet - realized soon after).
We even tried the local fish restaurant and it was a strange experience. The place is called the Sakalleo
, from the name of the fishermen's boat that every day sails and comes back with fresh fishes for the restaurant. Even with their central location (in the piazza) they are hidden, and you need to go upstairs before realizing you're inside a restaurant. I met many gourmet-tourists, people who travel to enjoy the food, and some locals. There is no menu, just whatever the fishermen delivered in the morning gets prepared and served to the table, continuously.
I never tasted such fresh fish, with just little condiment (oil, some chili, some lemon). In only three days I put maybe 5 kilos. I had ice cream at least 4 times a day. And I forced Gianba to buy some too.
And what about the beaches? Damn fantastic.
They were free, the Mediterranean Sea was warm and, as long as you could find a way to entertain yourself, well worth for a 6 hours session of doing nothing in the sand.
Gianba and I played some stupid games with a football for hours.
I won every single time, but he's such a good loser.
The first day we looked around and we got surprised with the amount of beach bodies around us.
The girls, in very (very) small bikinis, perfectly toned and tanned, and the guys, every single one of them with Speedos (usually white, you could see the religion, not many Jews down there).
Then, not far from the youth, you could see people over 30s, well overweight and happy with their belly.
I asked Gianba about it, and we both agreed that once the Sicilians get settled, their life changes dramatically. They need to get fat to show their parents and friends that they are doing very well, just like some tribes in Africa. Girls get knocked up as soon as possible and, well, they literally explode.
I pretended for most of the time to be some English tourist, and we quickly became the attraction of the beach.
Did we see anything else? Nope.
For three days our routine was similar to the true Sicilian's. Enjoy life, don't work, swim and eat. Such a great life style.
On Monday, our holiday was over. We traveled back to Catania to catch the flight to Milan and said goodbye to Sicily, land of the cannolo in the Speedos.
And, for once, I had to admit that for so many years I was so wrong.