My Sicilian Village: Now and Then

March 4, 2014

Here’s my beloved Piazza Duomo, with the church of San Giorgio perched atop a high staircase, her chest puffed out, proud and lovely. The piazza is our salon–it is here that we celebrate, gossip, soak in the sun, raise a glass of wine, listen to the clamor of the bells.

Piazza Duomo, Ragusa Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga

And now a shot from days gone by. It’s from an old postcard–shot maybe 50-60 years ago? The clock appears to have been in working order back then, but other than that not too much has changed, thank goodness.

Old Postcard of Piazza Duomo, Ragusa Ibla

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One Evening in December, Sicily

December 19, 2013

Stars burn. Leaves whisper. The village is waiting for Natale, waiting for 2013 to run out.

You can sometimes catch a glimpse of a Christmas tree behind shutters. Boxes of panettone crowd out everything else in mini-markets. Poinsettias shimmer red on the piazza. But otherwise, no hoopla in the village. Just a quiet wait.

Ragusa Ibla Gardens at Christmas, copyright Jann Huizenga

Quiet Christmastime Evening in Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga

Scooters in Ragusa Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga

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Back to Sicilian Me

December 5, 2013

A whirlwind two weeks of work (read: hard labor) in Republika Srbija is over.

As we rolled from one misty town to the next, the slate-gray sky spewed rain, sleet and snow. There were mutterings of discontent: We’re waiting for more war, someone said. There could be revolution, another whispered. Coal dust fell from chimneys. I felt dim. Everywhere I drank cappuccino, but nowhere did it taste anything like it should have. I looked for cornetti where there were none. Only the brilliant eyes of 450 teachers kept melancholia at bay.

Today I had real coffee on my very own sun-dazed piazza. Hot rays hit my cheeks and I yanked off my scarf, then my jacket and sweater in a kind of joyful frenzy. My impish pal Salvatore sat across the table. It’s the scirocco, he said, pointing south. From Africa.

Later, sitting with my cutting board in the blue air, I snip off rosemary and bay leaves from the clay pots. I set a tomato sauce to burble away on the stove and turn up Bocelli, who belts out an old Sicilian tune, E vui durmiti ancora.

I guess you could say I’m undergoing a metamorphosis. Back to Sicilian me.

Cooking Near the Cathedral at Ragusa Ibla, copyright Jann Huizenga

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Moonrise & the Cathedral

November 19, 2013

Somewhere deep in the heart of Sicily, there’s a moment of pure peace.

Moonrise in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

 

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Dawn Stroll, Deepest Sicily

May 1, 2013

Tumble out of bed at dawn and meet me for a wander about town.

Street Sweeper in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Lion Fountain in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Red Door in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Clock tower in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Fountain in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

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