Programming Note: Castellammare on RAI2

20150619_165841The hit national Italian tv program Sereno Variabile came to my Castellammare del golfo yesterday. They have been in the province of Trapani all week, filming three days in Castellammare and then three in San Vito Lo Capo. This travel and tourism program entertains and educates audiences on the national channel RAI 2 every weekend. I better start bracing myself for the wave of tourists these broadcasts will bring to my neck of the woods because I don’t see how anyone watching the bellezza of this part of Italy and Sicily will be able to resist booking a trip.

Legendary host and endlessly likeable Osvaldo Bevilaqua (with me in photo) took his crew around the marina and castle of Castellammare, then to the faglione and the historic tuna fishery in Scopello as well as walk through the jewel of nature, Sicily’s first natural reserve, Lo Zingaro. Oh, did I mention the show will also highlight the now soon-to-be-famous Castellammare sewing club?  Stay tuned!!

Now in the interest of full disclosure I must confess something. Part of my excitement of this installment of Sereno Variabile is that I was chosen to be part of the jury. Yes, there’s a jury to follow Osvaldo around, feed him tidbits about Castellammare you won’t find in LonelyPlanet and then at the end of the show vote on what we found most interesting about the sites and people visited.  There are always three jurors and one, I think, is always a foreign transplant and well, foreign transplant, duh!…..the call immediately went out to the americano americano.  And when I say call I don’t mean a cellphone call. Nah, that’s too New York. I mean a Castellammarese call across the street, “Americano, you want to be on tv?” “Well,” I hesitantly and shyly replied, “if it will be of help to my community.”

Fellow jurors are local teacher and writer Enzo Di Pasquale, who you will read more about in a future article, and Sabrina Vinci, a chef and cooking instructor at the Ignazio and Vincenzo Florio cooking school in Erice. It was both an honor and a great experience to share a day and food with both of them, especially, but not limited to, riding the sea to Scopello on an official Coast Guard boat.

000P10602231The Castellammare episode is, for now, scheduled for Saturday, July 18th, followed Sunday by the San Vito Lo Capo episode. International readers of Times of Sicily can try…try…to access the show through either the RAI website or the Sereno Variable site, either on the date it is initially aired or in the archives section.

Of course, you could always just skip the show and come visit us here. We’ll leave the light on.

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Gary Drake
Gary Drake
Gary Drake is American freelance writer who lives year-round in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. Gary has lived in several big American cites and spent time in Milan before settling in Sicily. He is the author of "Silent Bell" "Digital Lives" "Daily News of Sicily" and "Conversation With A Settler". Gary's pastimes include, among many things, Palermo soccer, baseball, Dylan, Sicilian history, philosophy, and discussing the meaning of life with the wise sages that gather at the coffee shops of Castellammare del golfo.

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  1. We’ll see the show via the stream from their website. Looking forward to this and to relive last September’s visit to Castellammare del golfo.

    Drake’s of Florida

  2. Hi Gary, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. I’m a retired American with Sicilian roots and have questions about studying Italian and living in Sicily–thinking of coming for a month of Italian lessons this September in Palermo. Any recommendations re language schools/accommodations? Please contact me, thanks, Jan

    • Hi Jan,

      I highly recommend my alma mater: International House Palermo. Tell them I sent you. Here’s the link:
      I’m sure they are closed until Aug 24, but write them or call that day to find out more. They can also offer help on Palermo accommodations.

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