Friday, May 8, 2009

Sicily by Land & Sea - Week's End

We bid you a wonderful weekend, whether it be calm or stormy. While the generous Giampaolo Macorig obviously uses colors, filters, & tints to achieve his dramatic, painterly photographs, let us assure you that Sicilia looks like this, out of another time or a dream--often. It can be quite harsh, too, & Giampaolo captures the intersection (& clash) of the past & present, the land & the sea, beautifully.

For the best (non-sentimental hoo-hah) books about Sicily, read one of the Inspector Montalbano series by the magnificent Andrea Camilleri. His translator, Stephen Sartarelli, is the best we've read from Italian into English. Truly, he is an artist, as well. You will not be disappointed. And the Inspector Montalbano? Salvo loves food & the descriptions of his enjoyment of even the most simple of snacks is a marvel of prose.

Camilleri's immensely popular (& often controversial-to-some-Italians) mystery-novels are increasingly popular in English-speaking countries. Like all series, you can begin anywhere, but particular favorites are The Terra Cotta Dog, The Snack Thief, The Shape of Water, and Rounding the Mark. If you read any two of these, you will understand a lot about Italy, Sicily, organized crime, culture, politics, food, wine, & what is really happening. It's not all Tuscany & la dolce vita, you know. It's so much more & much more do yourself a favor & read at least one. If nothing else, your mouth will water & inspire some excellent meals. (Or give a go at making the Inspector's favorite salty snack, calia e simenza. Are you intrigued?)

mille grazie e ciao-meow