Off Season in Sicily

January 28, 2014

There’s something wonderful about being in Sicily on winter mornings: you have the piazza all to yourself.

Oh, there might be a mutt or two coiled in a corner… but otherwise there’s a deep calm, far from the clamoring crowd. You’re free to breathe in the empty island air and indulge your inner lone wolf.

(Is it the decade of a too-busy life in NYC that’s made me crave solitude? Shoving my way on and off the 6 and 7-train every day?)

Dog in Marzamemi, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

This is Marzamemi, a honey-colored fishing village on the east coast of Sicily (south of Siracusa and not far from Noto). I won’t set foot there in summer (crowds!), but in winter I could linger for hours. I hope heaven is as nice.

Won’t you join me for an open-air caffè? Now I’m feeling a little lonely.

Marzamemi Piazza, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

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40 comments to Off Season in Sicily

  • I like your dog’s eye perspective, Jann. And yes order me a café latte and I’ll pop over xx

  • Love the Mutt!
    Love the cobblestone & cement.
    Love you.

  • Anasthasia

    So still and quiet, and it doesn’t look near as cold as it is here.
    Makes me wish I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Really!

  • Anitre M

    Caffe in Marzamemi. Delightful! Next time, try an aperitivo and watch the sunset over the harbour. Bliss! 2 proseccos and a plate of nibbles for 7 euros. A bargain! Lovely photos. Brava, Jann.

  • Linda

    Jann, feel the same way. I run to the countryside as soon as Ortigia and Noto start filling up. I cringe to see the cruiseships that have started to dock here. Maybe need a change. Last Sunday we went down to Scicli and I think it stole my heart!

    • Jann

      Linda, Let’s hope Ortigia doesn’t become like Venice with its cruise ships. Venetians have a protest movement going. Especially since the cruise people are day trippers, and the city gets crammed and ruined without profiting economically. (Ortigia’s really too small a place for cruise ships–who made the sad decision?)

    • Linda

      must be the same folks who opted for the mess of new roads and roundabouts between Lido di Noto and the town. I pray it stops.

    • Jann

      I’m praying right along with you, Linda. I noticed those garish new roundabouts. What are these people thinking?

  • Diane

    Thanks Jann…I am in Cianciana and it hailed yesterday. Thought if you were sitting outside drinking caffe I would drive right over there!

  • Beautiful photos Jann! Even though I am here in Sicily, your photos makes me breathe a big sigh of happiness…… 🙂

  • I would be happy to join you for a coffee, even though I am presently perched on a balcony overlooking Lake Toba in Sumatra.

    • Jann

      You sent me to Wikipedia, Francesca. When I hear Sumatra, all I think of is coffee. Now I’ll also think of gorgeous Lake Toba! I envy Australians because you have “at your doorstep” so many exotic south Asian lands.

  • After 20 years of bucolic country living, I am eager for the city buzz…however, I could most definitely be tempted by a little lone-wolfing in such a lovely, inviting place as this!

    • Jann

      You’ve had too much of a good think, Lynne? That’s because it’s mid-winter. Your bucolic countryside will look better when May rolls around. 🙂

  • Sam

    I just looked up Marzamemi, and I see that they have an international film festival in July, and they project films on the walls of buildings surrounding the piazza.

    • Jann

      Really? Thanks for the info Sam. But anything with the word “international” in it makes me run the other way.

  • I’m there, Jann—in the far corner. Can’t you see me? Or maybe it’s only my mind lurking behind the potted palms.

  • Off season in Italy can be heaven on earth Jann. You said it! Glorious post. Enjoy it for me….xox

  • Angelo Milo

    Love that photo with the two cups…the sugars are typical…one is enough but the sugar back here in N America is not quite the same. Oh, maybe it’s the nostalgia for Sicily and inhaling the air of my ancestors. Do ya think so?

    • Jann

      I love inhaling the air of your ancestors, Angelo. The coffee is so good and non-bitter in Italy that really, sugar can be skipped. (Maybe it’s the sweetness of the whole milk??)

  • I loved joining you at the open-air cafe! What a fabulous place to gather one’s thoughts (and possibly write in one’s journal??) You’re wise to realize how hectic life in the States is right now — and to willingly back away for some peace!

  • I love Marzamemi. I was there last March and it was brilliantly sunny and blue and the wind blew through my hair. It was free of tourists then, too. I enjoyed the Campisi store, full of the most enticing items. Near there also is a small winery, Feudo Ramaddini. In a dark back area, they have a little museum devoted to vintage wine making tools and accessories. The labels are all in Sicilian. It is the most charming experience to go through with them and have them beam with pride about their collection and their wine. Sigh. Such a beautiful place.
    Thanks, Jann.

    • Jann

      Karen, thanks for these tips! Right on the piazza is a place called (I’m quite sure) Liccamuciula, also filled with wonderful Sicilian items, and a very cute coffee bar, too–good for when it’s raining and you need to stay inside. And some general advice for people: retired fishermen and boat captains sit around on benches, and they all have such interesting stories to tell! Strike up a conversation.

  • Is that second cup for me? You are always thoughtful. I would love to indulge myself in dolce far niente. I am FINALLY planning to return to Italy this fall. Goodness, it will have been 2 years since I was there. Your site has been instrumental in my remaining somewhat sane during this long break.

  • adore theses photos!

  • Gil

    Jan..Just be glad you are not back home is bitterly cold here! It’s even snowing in My native Louisiana. I’d love to be over in Sicily now.

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