Sicily is my land.
First Greek Sicilian colony and second Italian colony, the richest in material and intangible sites: it is a true heritage of humanity and not only because UNESCO has recognized it.
On one of the most beautiful days I can describe it as a painting.
Close your eyes and begin to imagine climbing Mount Etna, passing through many small villages and hamlets. All around a splendour of succulent and climbing plants, from the edges of the rocks to the smallest balconies.
The first artwork to be painted is that of a volcano that seems both close and far away. Imposing but intriguing that you can discover in many ways, perhaps on skis on slopes still covered in snow in May. Or with a MTB or pair of trekking shoes to walk its fragrant paths.
And in May you can get intoxicated even with the strong broom with its intense yellow colour that superbly contrasts with the black lava stone … This is exactly what captures tourists who arrive there for the first time !!
Going down, after admiring the ridge of the Valle del Bove which is unknown to many, do we decide to go for lunch to enjoy an authentic arancino from Catania or a granita with brioche with “tuppo pastry”?
The choice between sweet and savoury is hard … but I will decide as usual at the last moment!
Then the scene changes and a totally different picture is painted. A leap to the rocks of Aci Trezza in one of the most beautiful beaches where you can go for a swim … do you know the scent of the sea?
I’m with some companions. With all their wonder they are forced to tell me that it is a rare but magnificent feeling that floods the soul. Like other secret locations on the Riviera of the Cyclops, where history and myth merge giving life to eternal images.
I feel tired. But I still have energy for another picture: Underground Catania or above Catania?
An unexpected city with its baroque churches, another painting. The contrast between the Syracuse white stone and our lava stone is a combination that leaves you speechless, like a child in front of the sea.
I pass in front of a kiosk, we do not miss getting a lemon soda to refresh ourselves while I smile with my gaze at my companions who incredulously ask me how do you get such a poignant taste of green lemons.
To understand it, just breathe the scents during the lemon blossom time, but you can only know this if you come to Catania in the right month.
If you are in town at a certain time you can begin to feel other aromas, those of Sicilian fried pizza, Capomulini fish or the traditional roast cooked on lemon leaves.
All the senses are involved and you can find an outdoor concert that makes you free.
The last picture is that of the post-concert, when my companions smile at me thanking me and offering me a liqueur at the end of the day.
Does it seem like a dream? I live it every time I accompany tourists and prepare a trip tailored for them. In those moments I feel like an artist who transforms dreams into wonderful emotions.
Today I will describe them, but tomorrow I will go back to making them, like a tailor who sews the most beautiful handmade tailored suit.
And I feel as happy as wearing the dress for having been able to embroider every single piece of fabric from this first Sicilian day. For sharing memories, images, emotions, perfumes and colours, that will be put in our suitcase.