Naples: The Sacred and the Profane

Naples, which was the last stop on our recent European adventure, has a reputation for being many unsavory things: from noisy and chaotic to dirty and dangerous. My BF and I had been to the area before to tour the ancient sites at Pompeii and Herculeum but we stayed a few miles away in Sant-Antonio Abate. This time we were intent on seeing the National Archeological Museum.  We found a charming B&B with an advertised “excellent location” right nearby.  Our 2-day experience was filled with paradoxical surprises, from the sacred to the profane.
Map of Naples
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The Sicilian ice cream sandwich

Sciacca, SicilyOn my recent trip to Sicily, I was determined to visit Santa Ninfa and Partanna where my grandparents were born.  At the last minute, the agriturismo we had booked in Santa Ninfa cancelled our reservations (they were having serious mechanical problems) so we decided to stay in Sciacca, a small fishing village that was a reasonable driving distance south on the Mediterranean coast. Continue reading

Figs: In Honor of My Grandparents

My fig treeIn 1993, I transferred jobs within IBM and moved from New York to North Carolina.  Not only did I find a much better work environment, I found a better hardiness zone for growing plants. As soon as I bought a house, I planted 2 fig trees in honor of my grandparents and all the Italian immigrants who struggled to grow figs in the northeast.
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Three Delightful Surprises in Sicily

A trip to Sicily promises many rewarding experiences; it has several UNESCO heritage sites, historically interesting architecture, fabulous food, beautiful scenery, and warm, friendly people. These are expected; you can read about them in any travel guide and I can testify that they are all wonderful, often better than anticipated. But, on our recent trip, we came across three unexpected delights, all sweet little surprises.
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