ITALY – SICILY ISLAND

Picture this: Sicily in the midst of July, with temperatures soaring to 40 degrees. This volcanic island cradled by the Mediterranean Sea exudes an aura of ancient history, scorching sun, dramatic cliffs, charming villages, and azure waters. Amidst this fiery landscape that seems plucked from the scenes of “The Godfather,” one might half-expect Marlon Brando himself to materialise, offering iced lemonade and sagely advice on surviving the heat. The film’s echoes harmonise with Sicily’s backdrop, a mesmerising terrain that has enchanted travelers for generations.

Take Noto, for instance – a medieval gem radiating with Baroque splendour, a testament to the artistic brilliance of the 17th and 18th centuries. Following an earthquake in 1693, the historic center was painstakingly reconstructed in ornate style. In Noto, you find refuge from the unrelenting sun – its labyrinthine streets and architectural marvels form a haven of shade and respite. It’s almost as if the architects of old anticipated the modern yearning for shelter from the blazing sun.

In the midst of this heat-soaked inferno, the Sole di Vaddeddi villa, where we stayed beckoned – a luxurious oasis that defies the laws of physics, maintaining its cool even under the gaze of ancient olive trees or by the poolside in temperatures of 44 degrees. It’s as if the villa and the sun struck a silent pact – “Shine brightly, but bestow upon us some shade.”

Day two was spent sailing along the waters of Portopalo di Capo Passero. It was akin to living within a postcard – the sea breeze, a refreshing dance amidst the heatwave, offered a revitalising escape.

A day on Reitani Beach was a juxtaposition of elements – scalding sand underfoot harmonising with the cool, inviting embrace of the Mediterranean waters. It’s a battle between fire and water, where your only arsenal consists of an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini, sunscreen, a hat, and unyielding determination.

My cherished haven, Porto Ulisse in Ispica, remains concealed like a crystalline sanctuary from myths. This hidden cove, with its spaciousness and superb beach services, is graced by a simple good restaurant.

One evening at Liccamuciula in Pacino-Marzamemi unfolded as a culinary odyssey to escape the relentless heat. Sicilian fish pasta, a recipe steeped in centuries-old tradition, transported us through a symphony of flavours, brimming with passion and love. As strains of the Godfather’s theme softly serenaded the square, it added an extra layer of enchantment to the moment.

After dinner, a leisurely stroll through the fishing village unveiled a diverse array of Sicilian Moor head sculptures – a testament to the island’s rich craftsmanship and diverse cultural heritage.

Over the span of five days, Sicily’s scorching July heatwave didn’t just turn into an escapade, it transformed into a whimsical adventure – our canceled flights and the Catania airport fire compelled us to embark on an incredible journey by train, which was seamlessly woven into an extraordinary tapestry, all embraced by the island’s irresistible charm. Embrace the warmth and allow Sicily’s fiery magic to unfold before you.

QueenB!…….Abuzzing off

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