A Story of a Village Morning

February 4, 2011

Village Scene in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaVillage Scene in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaVillage Scene in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaVillage Scene in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

This is Monterosso Almo in Southeast Sicily (population 3300), where tourists dare not tread. Go, if you like tumbledown places with warm-hearted folks and heart-stopping views. This is OLD SICILY, folks. Step into the surprising chiesa madre in the upper part of town and have a drink at the bar across the street with the charming old onion farmers, then wander down into the lower (older) section of town and hunt for the stone fountain where women once scrubbed clothes. You’ll think you’ve stepped way back into a bygone time, except for the windmills taking over a nearby hillside like so many nasty weeds. In season, ask for directions to the mushroom (funghi) restaurant just outside town.


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23 comments to A Story of a Village Morning

  • Kelly

    Thanks! I guess I will avoid that area if I am there in August again. Hmm. The mushroom restaurant sounds like heaven.

  • Stela

    Hi, dear Jann 🙂
    Great photos not only these but the others as well.
    I wouldn’t crop any of them… They are all compositions conveying both the atmosphere and the identity of the place… Sharp eye to discern and catch the said…
    By the way… any intentions of leaving -your- Sicily 🙂 and doing some seminars or alike here on the Balkans?

    • Jann

      My dear Stela–how wonderful to hear from you!! I love Sicily, of course, but Macedonia is awesome too. 🙂

  • Kelly

    Can you give us the details of the mushroom restaurant? I love mushrooms. Secondly, when is onion season? Are they farmed mainly around that town? I am highly allergic and have started having reactions from airborne particles. It would be helpful to know when to avoid coming there. Being covered in hives for an entire vacation would not be fun.

    • Jann

      Hi Kelly–re the mushroom restaurant: that’s what everyone calls it, though it must have a name of some sort: when you drive up on the hilly road from Giarratana to Monterosso Almo, the mushroom restaurant is all by itself on your left maybe a half km before you enter the town (there’s nothing else around except trees and hills). Mushroom season lasts from mid to late fall until spring in that area (for wild mushrooms).

      Re onions: Giarratana (and to a lesser extent Monterosso) is the onion-growing capital of Sicily. They are harvested in late summer–the markets are full of them in August.

  • I love that the lady in black is wearing an apron. I can’t help envisioning a cropped version of that photo, featuring just her, framed by the doorway. The old guys sitting around in their winter jackets is classic.

  • sandee wheeler

    Jann, I love to notice all those wonderful tall doors!! Have you done a blog yet about the doors? with pictures?

  • Can these shots be any more pintoresque? I almost feel as if I’m trespassing as I “peak” in at the lady at the door and the crowd of gentlemen joined at the table. Lovely, Jann!

  • Sam

    These photos seem to tell a silent story, with the old men at the end serving as a Greek chorus.

  • catherine Billups

    I hope that you write a book about Sicily. I would certainly buy it.

  • May

    Lovely as always, Jann!

  • Bob & Marianne McNamara

    Reminds us a little of Donnalucata. We will be there 2/18 – 3/5. Give is a call if you are around.

  • Giovanni

    Jann, I think you captured the spirit of the town beautifully! Great shots as always. That’s what I love about your site, you capture the spirit of the island, not just show us all the touristy hotspots… there is great beauty in both…

  • OMG did you say Funghi restaurant! did you know in Rome I ate my first plate of mushrooms at age 11! Yes a full plate just for me was ordered! Thank you for the tour!

    • Jann

      And, Lucy, did your 11-year-old self eat the whole plate? If so, that’s VERY brave of you, don’t you think?

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