Imagine sitting on a rooftop with nothing but the warm sun kissing your eyelids and a small breeze blowing through your hair. Seeing to the right a clear blue Mediterranean Sea and to the left seeing grassy mountaintops almost touching the sky. About two years ago my family and I took a Christmas vacation to my parents’ hometown in Sicily. That vacation has by far been the best vacation I’ve ever been on. I got to spend Christmas and New Years with family I haven’t seen in awhile, I saw breathtaking sites, I tried new and amazing food, my Italian has gotten better, and because of that trip photography has become my latest passion. When I saw all of the beauty in Sicily I wanted to capture it – not in the sense of taking a snapshot here and a snapshot there- I wanted to take dramatic photos and create stories with them. I wanted people to see and imagine what I was seeing and imagining while I was taking the photo.
Being in Sicily and seeing all its’ natural beauty is amazing and breathtaking. Words cannot describe in detail how beautiful Sicily is; one has to see it to experience all the splendor Sicily’s landscape has to offer. It is an island surrounded by the clearest water and topped with magnificent mountains. Mountains that can be seen anywhere in Sicily, that are brighten by the sun, and that shine in the moonlight. The Mediterranean Sea is so grand- with its’ white waves hitting against rocks and pulling seashells back into the tide. Just smelling the sea gives one an idea of what it feels like for Sicilians when they get up in the morning and open their windows to let the sea drift in. Sicilians are very lucky to have La Montagna Longa (the Long Mountains) on one side of their homes and to have the Mediterranean Sea on the other side of their homes.
Getting to spend Christmas with my extended family and staying with them was an amazing part of my vacation. My family and I had so much fun going out with our cousins and making new friends. They would take us to different restaurants, shopping sprees, and museums. The restaurants had unique dishes such as pasta al nero di seppia (pasta with squid ink) and delicious desserts such as La Cassata (traditional Sicilian cake). Shopping in Sicily like in any other part of Italy was astonishing; there were so many stores to choose from and different styles not seen in America. Italians have a way of making themselves standout without even trying, I loved how simple but extravagant the fashion is in all of Italy. However, I especially enjoyed seeing all of the museums in Sicily because they carried various works of art and priceless treasures. It was amazing to see creations used to build ships, traditional Sicilian costumes, and extinct wildlife.
I believe one can find anything on this beautiful island. Sicily has so much history and culture that one has to spend more than a month to discover it. One can find some of the most appetizing food, unique fashions, and breath-taking sites in Sicily. “ The single best attribute of Sicily is that it manages to be a fascinating place while hardly trying to do so” (Amore). As a Sicilian I feel very blessed that I can visit Sicily from time to time and keep in touch with my family there, because Sicily is my home away from home. I strongly encourage anyone to travel to Sicily, because it is an experience one will never forget. Italy is nothing without Sicily.
Amore, Katia, and Ronald Ashri. “About Sicily” Love Sicily. Apr.2003.18Sept.2009
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