Saturday, November 24, 2012

Circuito di Bacco Weekend

"The Bacchus Wine Trail" is an initiative promoting a series of events at several wineries in Sicily. Information for 2013 will be presented next weekend in Palermo at a conference open to the public at Villa Belmonte in the Acquasanta district near the Villa Igiea hotel.

At 10:30 on Friday, November 30th, there'll be a round table discussion followed by an informal luncheon featuring Sicilian culinary specialties. Then guests are invited on an excursion to the Baglio Donna Franca winery in Marsala. The next day includes tours of wineries and a chance for visiting tour/travel representatives to see the choices available for wine tours in Sicily - a field in which there is growing interest.

Il Circuito di Bacco is one of the better promotions of this kind in recent years. To reserve a place, or for more information, email (mentioning Best of Sicily) ilcircuitodibacco@tiscali.it

Friday, November 16, 2012

American Express Selects Sicily 2013

Through our partners at Sicily Concierge American Express Cardmembers can claim a discount on the popular Red Tour offered by Best of Sicily as part of the American Express Selects programme. This is a 9-day tour that visits most of the island's more popular historical/archaeological sights and sites.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

St Martin's Summer

Today is Saint Martin's Day, associated with "Saint Martin's Summer," an unseasonably warm period of Autumn. That was certainly the case today, with temperatures around 79 F (26 C) in some of Sicily's coastal cities. In fact, the entire season has been far warmer than average. It seems there is a hot day or two every week.

By tradition, St Martin's Day is celebrated with hard cookies and muscat or other fortified Sicilian wines. This is a good day to toast the new governor of Sicily, sworn in yesterday. (We mentioned his election in a previous post.)

Without expecting miracles, it's clear that there will be substantial changes in public administration. Sicily's newspapers continually report unproductive phantom consulting companies receiving millions from the Sicilian regional government, and millions of euros disappearing from public agencies. This week Mr Crocetta is firing all of the "external" consultants (there are hundreds) as well as all the public appointees of the outgoing regime. A clean slate is a good beginning.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Reimagining Sicily

American film producer Mark Spano is in pre-production on a documentary with a focus on Sicilian culture yesterday and today. It is our sincere belief that film and publishing projects of this kind should be encouraged.

This is an independent production, and as you can imagine financing is difficult in the present economic climate. To read more about the project and make a contribution, visit its Kickstarter page.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Invisible Sicily

Over the years, we've published dozens of articles dealing with life in Sicily. We call it the "invisible" Sicily because these topics focus on things you won't see unless you live, work or study here for a few years.

Truth be told, most of these subjects are covered by Sicily's newspapers, which have websites, so you could read about them there if your Italian were reasonably proficient. In other words, it isn't "secret" information that we're presenting.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Autumn arrives in Sicily

Here in Sicily, Autumn actually arrives in November, when the daily highs in the coastal cities are around 69 (20 C) and there's enough rain in the country to turn the fields green. (The pic shows a place along the Platani River, the Halycos of the ancient Greeks, right after some rain.) Our Sicily weather page is good for details. This is a great time to visit Sicily.

The 1st is All Saints' Day, when schools, banks and offices of the Sicilian Region are closed.