It was our only chance to carve out something resembling a real vacation. We would need a reprieve from the hordes of hungry grandparents and the grande raccordo anulare so we decided to escape to Sicily for a few weeks. There was also the matter that it is relatively close and the fact that G’s entire family is from the island, his parents transplanted to Rome to establish their working lives just around the time of G’s birth.
It was heavenly.
Sicily is stunningly beautiful and culturally wealthy beyond measure. It is a model for pretty much the entire history of western civilization in an area just short of 1,000 square miles – surrounded by gorgeous beaches and the Mediterranean at its best. But perhaps best of all, it isn’t mine. Despite my ties to G and his family, I was just a visitor. We stayed on an incredible beach in a part of the island run principally by organized crime but to me the ill effects of years of m.afia rule on the lives of ordinary Sicilians are words on a page, theory. I don’t know enough to actually feel them. Sometimes it’s nice to simply sip granitas and gorge on arancini without paying attention to the fact that the country’s economy and government are falling apart and the reality that the resulting austerity measures will take a toll on Italians for years to come. Sometimes it’s nice to just build sand castles and be with the people that you love.
Thank you Sicily.
*Sicilian for Sicily, the beautiful.