Along Noto’s ‘high street’ on Corso Vittorio Emanuele lies a 100 year old institution serving up warm-weather favorites gelati, granita, and some of the loveliest pastries I’ve see yet in Italy — using products local to the area of the highest quality. I had no idea this family-run place was featured on Chef’s Table and you wouldn’t have guessed as much on a quiet Sunday afternoon in July. Locals and visitors alike vied for a table for a cool delight after visiting one of the city’s baroque masterpieces, a generous granita (half sized or full), a pastry box wrapped up with ribbon, an espresso slung back as someone waits for a friend. Just everyday life in the middle of summer. #GirlinSicily#ItalyMagazine
Move over Capri, you’re not the only one with magical “Faraglione” — in fact the rock formations that you see here have been shaped by erosion cause by water and wind for thousands of years in the seaside resort of Aci Trezza on Sicily’s eastern coastline. According to legend, on his way home from the Trojan war Ulysses docked on the island of Cyclops where he was ‘welcomed’ by a savage, man-eating Polyphemus (the one-eyed son of Poseidon and Thoosa) who proceeded to devour many of Ulysses companions. To escape he proceeded to get Polyphemus drunk and then blinded his only eye. This caused the giant to become enraged and throw large boulders in Ulysses’s ships as they sailed away, thus forming the majestic Faraglioni. Glad to see these local bathers aren’t at all concerned for a returning one-eyed madman 😂 #GirlinSicily#ItalyMagazine
The grand monumental staircase of the UNESCO-recognized Monasteri dei Benedettini di San Nicolò l’Athena — one of the largest monastic late Sicilian baroque complexes in all of Europe with its maze of cloisters, cellars turned into a faculty library (it houses the department of humanities of the local university) a Roman domus, a peekaboo balcony looking into the nearby church. Two thing are worth knowing before you visit: there was a lava eruption in 1669 followed by a devastating earthquake in 1693– both of which greatly color the layers of architecture that reside here. My advice? Get the guided tour. #GirlinSicily#ItalyMagazine
Built at the foot of a rocky ridge where once two rivers flew is the beautiful city of #Modica. A baroque dream, just have a look at the impressive Cathedral of St. George up high, you’ll need to climb 160 steps to reach it (which means you can eat more cremolata at @caffeadamo). Today the town is composed of two urban areas (an upper and a lower), both fascinating and worth exploring with a mandatory stop at @bonajuto — the island’s oldest chocolate shop for a sample of its signature Aztec-style artisan varieties. We only spent a few hours there this trip but is just as magical as I remember. I loved walking along the tiny alleyways with gorgeous views of the city, capers growing wildly into the stone. It’s good to be back. #GirlinSicily#ItalyMagazine
‘Multitasking’ at one of Italy’s largest fish markets ‘La Pescheria’ in Catania, Sicily.
Here you’ll find a mayhem of fish mongers and sea guts of every variety daily (except Sundays) between 7am-2pm. We stopped by quickly before checking out the Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena (a late baroque monument and one of the biggest Benedictine monastery in Europe) and I’m so happy we did. Truly there is no better theater than watching the daily frenetic action of a busy marketplace. Just.. come early 😉 to avoid the fishiest time of day. #GirlinSicily#ItalyMagazine
My favorite kind of Tuesday indulgence in #yourflorence, parmigiana di melanzane and a proper catch up with the lovely @tessakiros at the always reliable no-frills Sergio Gozzi. Not pictured were my perfectly cooked peperonata. Tomorrow I’m off to Sicily — Catania first and based near Scicli for @italymagazine’s annual team meeting. Any tips for this area?
Like a little corner of Paris in #YourFlorence, Dolci e Dolcezze and its elegant mint green interiors has long been a favorite place for a treat yourself pick-me-up moment ie: coffee break with the loveliest pastries you’ve ever seen. Ps: Don’t miss the their fabulous selection of fruit and chocolate tarts.
Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. This weekend was a surprise in every single sense of the word and I’m very grateful to @engineerbydayinflorence and our awesome friends for making this one unforgettable birthday. 😘 Also.. @borgoivicelli we may just leave #yourflorence and move right in!
Today I’m 35 🎉
A birthday I wasn’t looking forward to celebrating, not because I’m getting older (in italy it is easy to always feel young, another reason I love this country) but because I assumed we would have other reasons to celebrate.
I’m well aware that Instagram is for the pretty things. The beautiful landscapes, the big smiles and enviable lifestyles.. but I believe there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the good and the bad that makes up our REAL lives, the parts that at times contain less of a rosy filter. Also because I know it personally helps when you feel like the only person on the planet dealing with real life problems •••
My husband losing his mother, us losing our baby boy at five months a little over two months ago; things that change you as a person and how you look at the world.
Life at the moment is still trying to get though the daily routine that encompasses a normal life, just trying to figuring out ‘what’s next.’ One thing I’ve realized during this time is that grief is a funny thing. It hits you at the most bizarre moments.. like when you’re waiting for the bus, buying apples at the supermarket or simply walking to your next meeting. Some days you feel infinitely more positive about the future ready to tackle the world, others are a struggle to get even the most mundane.. deadlines done. It’s just getting used to a new normal.. and that’s ok •••
That being said, there has been laughter, returned smiles and good times during this less than stellar time for us.
Thanks to our awesome friends and family both near and far, they have lifted our spirits more than they can ever imagine. That to me is something really worth feeling grateful for today •••
The beauty of people showing you the meaning of what it is to be truly there for somebody. It’s a reminder to me that when in doubt assume that people need you more than they might admit. A reminder to reach out, be present and care TODAY. Grazie a tutto voi, you know who you are. 😘
There is nothing more precious than the 24 hours after you’ve gotten your hair done... hence the need to take that new “do” on a spin around town before humidity hits! Grazie Mille di cuore to the talented team at @wavefirenze for making me feel like a million bucks every single time! #yourflorence#fridayfeeling