Our last holiday in Sicily was from 1986.
At that time, we had two children, then three years later, Antonella was born, the last of three children. Today she is married, like the other two. And it was she who insisted that we go to Italy, last year, 2019.
So, between the hesitations and the strong desire and longing to return, we booked two Montreal-Rome and then Rome-Palermo plane tickets, where we waited a long time for the car we had booked.
I made a premise, I am Sicilian from the province of Agrigento, precisely from Cattolica Eraclea. My husband is Cosentino. This time we chose Sciacca as our Sicilian holiday destination, also because I absolutely wanted to go to the b & b of my friend Angela De Michele.
It was late afternoon on August 4th when we finally left the airport and boarded “our” hired Panda. We headed towards Sciacca.
It is useless, every time I get a strong emotion, I cannot contain silent tears at the sight of that splendid panorama that only Sicily can offer.
Angela came to meet us, and after a warm and familiar welcome as only she can give, she settled us in the very comfortable room, where when you first opened the door you could smell a clean scent and where two white swans made with towels were lying on the very comfortable bed.
A stay of two wonderful weeks spent at the sea of the “Mahili” beach, under a scorching sun with the fresh caresses of the Mediterranean waves where I found refreshment. The water was crystal clear and pleasant.
In Sciacca, there is no shortage of activities in the evening.
A splendid bustling town. The first week there was the week of Azzurro Food, where you could taste the local delicacies prepared by the greatest chefs of Sicily. All accompanied by music with good artists.
The second week there were the celebrations of Ferragosto and before that, the night of San Lorenzo that we spent on a farm. An evening of good food, good wine, good company and all of this under a magnificent sky of stars. Memorable evening.
In August, in Sciacca, the Madonna del Santissimo Soccorso is venerated, another pleasant celebration that I will never forget. I did not expect to see such a flood of faithful … Impressive faith and fervour that the Saccensi have, very devoted to this Madonna of great miracles.
It was all a surprise to me to see the hundred barefoot sailors carrying the Holy simulacrum with the statue of the Madonna on their shoulders.
There was no lack of thunderous applause at the exit of the statue from the basilica. I got involved in the procession that lasted about two hours.
What to say about the gastronomy of this spectacular town? Simply tasty, genuine made with passion and with fresh and genuine products. The tastiest pizza can be found in Sciacca.
Same thing for the arancine and fish, and speaking of fish, how can we forget the beautiful evening at the home of our friends Franco and Genny, a very good cook. Everything to perfection.
Not to mention gelato, granita, cannoli and the whole range of desserts and flavours.
Then, there is the fruit and I will never forget the great feast of fresh figs thanks to the generosity of our friends Stefania and Liborio.
A wonderful evening with them too.
The friendliness of the people is very moving. I just want to tell about one little episode.
One afternoon when we didn’t go to the beach, we decided to explore the city on foot. The sun was really strong, and this explained the deserted streets.
I live almost at the north pole in Canada and am not used to the strong heat, I had a small malaise due precisely to the heat, and I had to sit on a wall to recover.
To my surprise, two unknown passers-by were extremely attentive. A lady wanted to offer me a bottle of water and the other gentleman, after her, offered to take me home in his car.
Which I politely refused, but I was overcome with tears.
Now, I look at the photos and already feel nostalgia for my land. I thank the Madonna del Santissimo Soccorso for allowing me to make the trip of my dreams, and I ask her to grant me the grace to be able to return once again before my “last trip”.
I end with a verse of one of my poems written on the seashore, on that little beach opposite the cottage, “time will erase my footsteps but, it will never be able to eradicate my roots from my heart“.
I breathe caresses of
crystal clear water
where fiery rays
are reflected and are
They even breathe
the stones in the sea
they know of real people
and infinite history.
Mediterranean, my sea!
From here they were born
transplanted to distant lands
My land, land from
much goodness, and a good heart.
How do you leave,
and never to return …
I leave a piece of my heart
in this stretch of sea.
Hopeful are my sighs
while I look at you
and walk away.
Time will erase
my footsteps but,
it will never be able to eradicate