I am so excited for my October vacation! It has been years since I have taken off work for over a week, and this year I am headed to Sicily.
I am so excited to visit Valle dei Templi, or Valley of the Temples in English. After doing some research on this UNESCO World Heritage Site, I found out it is not a valley at all, but a ridge on the south side of an ancient Greek city. It is very close to Agrigento, where we have found a lovely rental home. I was a History major in college and am so excited to see these seven monumental temples, all preserved incredibly well. What an amazing feat, since they were constructed by the Greeks back in the 5th and 6th centuries BC! They are some of the best preserved temples in the world, outside of Greece.
The name Agrigento comes from the ancient Greek city of Akragas. It was one of the most important cities of Magna Graecia when Greece was at the height of its power. I am such a history nerd, I remember studying the Greek influence on Sicily in college and now I am finally going to see it with my own eyes. Wow!
I am also so excited to get a taste of the Sicilian cuisine. Food is another huge passion of mine, and as I live in New York City I have access to all kinds of ethnic food. I have a favorite little Italian diner in the west village, and I am nervous that after eating Sicilian food in Sicily I won’t be able to go back! I am convinced that food should be eaten where it is made, so I am super excited to try real Sicilian cannoli as the sea breeze wafts through my hair. My sons will just love the Sicilian salsiccia, I know it. They love sausages and bacon in the mornings, and from what I have read the Sicilian sausage blows them both out of the water.
And the ice cream, the wine, the granitas, the fresh seafood, the arancine, I just cannot wait! My husband’s grandfather immigrated from Agrigento and his father, my father-in-law, speaks the Sicilian dialect. I am very excited for my husband to trace his roots back to this Mediterranean island. We have even been in contact with some of his cousins on Facebook. They gave us tips about what neighborhood to stay in, and of course begged us to stay in their house. They haven’t even met us yet! I can already tell the rumors about Sicilians being some of the warmest, most welcoming people in the world are true.
And the cherry on the cake, or should I say, cannoli! Scala dei Turchi, the stair of the turks, is a huge white cliff off the coast of Realmonte, which is just west of Agrigento. It is made out of marl, which gives it this white color. It looks like a huge staircase that lies between two sandy beaches. You can use the dust from the marl to give yourself a skin bath, then jump into the sea below to rinse off! This is one place I absolutely must see. Can October come soon enough?! Click here to see more images and info from Scala dei Turchi!