SICILIAN SUMMERS: SANTA MARGHERITA DI BELICE & SCALA DEI TURCHI
I have been going to Sicily since I was 8 years old and have unforgettable memories and great friendships that every year it feels like going home.
My Dad was from the province of Agrigento which is a very small village of Santa Margherita di Belice. From the moment you step your foot off the plane you feel the warm sun beaming down on your skin, the clear rustic air and the beautiful mountainous landscape surrounding you. Santa Margherita is about 1 hour drive give or take from Palermo airport and is known for the 1968 Belice earthquake that destroyed surrounding towns within the Belice Valley including my Dad’s town of Santa Margherita di Belice. At that time homes were not built to survive and the earthquake hit a magnitude of 5.5 leaving at least 100,000 people homeless and killed around 231 people in total with 13 being from Santa Margherita which included my dads Grandmother.
About a week before I fly to Sicily all I can think about is the beach, clear waters, pizza, cannoli and the ice cream! The food in Sicily is soo good and not to mention such great value for money.
Over the years I have travelled all over Sicily and every year it pulls me back. The Sicilian people are warm, friendly and extremely generous. Driving skills not so great and driving in Sicily especially in busy cities like Palermo are not for the weak hearted either 😀
From my previous visits I can see some work has taken place which I think is great. I have to say it has taken which seems forever to get the smallest of work to happen, but with the increase of tourists that now visit Sicily it is essential. Visiting Sicily is like going back into time, time stands still which I suppose is a positive and negative thing but has a feeling of authenticity to it.
One week is never enough but made sure I took my camera to Scala Dei Turchi (The Turkish Steps) where we spent the day!! Its a beaming white cliff in the form of steps!! You couldn’t believe how easy it is to burn!! As I suffer from vertigo I couldn’t make it all the way to the other side but quite impressed with how far I did get!! LOL .. If you go to Sicily its a must on the list as the views are SPECTACULAR!!
Me and my dad would make it a habit every year that we would go to the cemetery and light a candle for certain family members. We would go to my grandparents, my GREAT grandparents, my uncle and a friend who died when he was 16. I never met my grandparents but I always felt a connection.
Looking back on these pictures with my dad it does make me sad. But at least it gives me peace knowing he with with the rest of his family.
Apparently these trees are hundreds of years old!
Have you been to Sicily? What did you enjoy most?