Mi Manca La Sicilia I miss Sicily

We understand that this year Italy and our favorite Sicily is out of the question. 2022 will be in our minds while we travel in a Camper Van where we can in the US. Waiting for time to pass

The ferry from Reggio Calabria to Messina Sicily

It started in 2001 when we made our third trip to Italy and Sicily. The goal in visiting Sicily was to discover relatives of Angela’s family.

The park in Melilli Sicily

This is where it all began. The park in Melilli,Sicily where Angela’s Family came from My wife knew that this was not a huge town and we might find some people at the park where we could get some information. We spoke only a few words of Italian at the time and now we are straining to get some information. One gentleman referred us to a man named Tommy. He had returned to his home town after retiring from a company in Connecticut ( that is where we are from). He referred us to the Girgenti family and arranged a meeting. We met and managed to communicate with help of Enza who spoke some English and Patrizia who also spoke some. We met Ludivico and his wife and we have kept in touch and visited for almost twenty years. This began our love affair with Sicily.

Sicily is sorounded by the sea.
A beach in Taoromina
Enjoying the beach in Milazzo, Sicily
St Sebastian Church, Melilli

St. Sebastian Church in Middletown CT was built to have the same appearance as the one in Melilli. Many residents or Melilli moved to Middletown CT over the years.

The residnets of Erice, a hill town nears Trapani, Sicily
Little angels in Erice for a festival.
The fish market in Catania, everything you could want.
Tuna
Teenagers in Siracusa enjoying the sun.
A Sicilian Cart Wheel
Ceramics
Every day a wedding
Playing a song from the Godfather Siracuas.
the DUOMO in Cefalù, Sicily

So much more.Will continue with this post next time Ciao a tutti.

This post was created with WordPress for the iPad and BIRU for WordPress

A year in Italy or more????

As we have been in quarantine and survived, we are dreaming of staying for a year, or more in Italy.

This is not he easiest of things. Especially right now as restrictions on travel for Americans exist. I do not blame Italy, the US has had its own problems and has excluded visitors from a number of countries. The hard part is getting permission to stay in Italy for more than 90 days. Permesso di soggiorno, permission to stay, or residency permit.

After a bit of research, it first appears to be a daunting task. If anyone reading this blogs has ideas, send me an email at greg@gregsitaly.com

AIRBNB Milan

Spacious apartment in Milan would be perfect for a long stay. Large living room kitchen combo. Bedroom with queen bed and nice shower. About 100 feet from tram stop and walk to many restaurantes

Airbnb in Cortina d’Ampesso

The bureaucracy of dealing with the Italian Consulate, can be very trying to ones sole. You must be financially secure and not a drain on the Italian economy. Banking records showing your last three months records are required. I am exploring several types of visas.

Woman drying her hair in the sun in Cefalù

Our destinations would ideally be on the shore. Possibly Sicily with its many beach areas. This is going to be along project, and may never come to pass. It is possible to stay for 90 days without a visa, this is also an option. I will continue to write about this in future posts. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Italy Photo Journey

Every place we visit, we find some beautiful sights.

These are a few of the over 15,000 photos from the last 20 plus years of traveling to Italy.

About a week ago, but some years ago. We celebrated our retirement and explored new areas of Italy.

Arena di Verona

It was July 5th, 2008. We arrived in Milano and started to explore. We learned about the trams, the buses, and getting lost. It was fun.

Our trip went everywhere, Verona, MIlano, east, west, north south. At one small town, Tessimo, the innkeeper spoke only German

Now it is 12 years later,and my and possibly your world has been changed by the Covid19 virus. American are not welcome in Italy. I understand this and the need to protect the citizens of Italy.

It has not stopped our planning for out next trip. Sicily is our next destination.

Capri

Angela and I have visited most of Italy. From the north and Cortina di Ampezzo to Calabria and Reggio. Sicily has heritage for my wife’s family. That will be our next return is it. It is also amazing. So much is on this island we will never discover it all

=Plemmirio SIcily Sunrise

The duomo, Siracusa

Siracusa

It was a one hour walk to the top to Castelmola. When I got down to the bottom, una birra e una pizza. I was definitely wiped out, but the view was beautiful.

Another Hill Town
Castelmola

The walk was worth it. At the top a festa was I progress.

A happy wave from a woman in Palermo.

Published with WordPress on an iPad as we are in Connecticut away from the virus hitting Florida so are. A little behind as usual in posting.

I Never Forget A Meal

I am borrowing the title of a book by Michael Tucker who also fell in love with Italy and has always loved food.  Italian food and Italian meals are to be savored and enjoyed. His book was great and you can find copies on Amazon. Also recommended is “Living in a Foreign Language” also by Michael Tucker which is similar to Under the Tuscan Son, but with more humor and a bit of attitude. 

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We are on the island of Ischia, a small island off the coast of Napoli. We stayed in a small hotel with great views of the area and had a pleasant lunch of  Prosciuto e Melone.

 

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We also hand Insalata Capresse with fresh mozzarella di buffala

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At anolther ristorante in ischia we had frutti di mare. As fresh as you can get.

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While staying on Lake Carda in the town of Brenzone we had a waterfront dinner of Cacio e PepeIMG 1785

Lunch at a winery in Vicenza IMG 1787

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Below is home made pasta in Milano, I took a pasta making class. 

Felt is was time to lear how to do it, I had a pasta making machine at home that my bother bought about thirty years ago.

 

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Nothing like your own fresh pasta

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IMG 1445Pasta alla Norma 

 

 

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Mixed fruit that we bought at the market in Siracusa  Sicily

Below is beefsteak Florentine

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You start with aged meet. This is from Il Pandemonio, Florence Italy

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It comes rare to medium rate, It is a think steak, about 1.5 to 2.0 inches. 

There is nothing like it.

 

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Back in Catania, Sicily

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An entire meal of antipasti 

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My wife Angel and I after a wonderful meal.

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Il Torre Del Mangia, Siena

Piazza  del  Campo

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Insalata Capresse

Pasta with Pesto

There are more to come. This Brunello from 2011 met it Demis in 2020 as we reminisced about Italy.

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More Photos From Past Trips. The Daily Market in Siracusa, Sicily

AT THE MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SICILY

 

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Cipolla di Tropea.: The Calabrese cuisine is a reflection of its history – it is not refined or elaborate, normally simple, using most of the time vegetable such as the onions, in particular the red onion, the red onion of Tropea. These famous red onions are grown in an area which stretches in both directions along the coast from Tropea. Important enough to be sold in Sicily. (Google)

 

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WHEN THE STREETS WERE CROWDED

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Milan Italy, September 2019

 

It is hard to believe this city was alive and well when we visited in September.  Vibrant, crowded, and totally alive with people.

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan September 2019

 

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The Apple Store, Milan September 2019

 

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Starbucks, Milan September 2019

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Street Vendor Blowing Bubbles, Milan September 2019

 

It is hard to believe this country has been hit so hard. Hopefully we will return to an Italy that will recover. I have visited Italy 20 times in the last thirty years, and I will return again.

Italy’s Travel Restrictions, What Does It Mean?

The blog The Points Guys starts out there post with a line from the Kenny Rogers song

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run”

 

 

With all the headlines it is difficult to figure out what is happening and what to do for your international trip planning. Yesterday I said I was canceling my trip to Spain for the Camino de Santiago. My age group is more susceptible to flu and coronavirus. For detailed and good non panic advice on Italy I always go to my favorite Italy Blog. An American in Rome by Natalie. To quote her blog “-If you are a citizen of another country and not a resident of Italy, you can freely leave the country. You are not “stuck” here. Just be prepared for screenings at the airport departure and requests to self isolate when you return home.”

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This is the link to her blog 

https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2020/03/thank-you-for-thinking-of-us-italy-on-lockdown/

I have followed her advice for many years, she even directed my wife to a great hairdresser in Rome when we were traveling to Italy for two months.  Check it out.

 

Another useful source of information it the blog The Points Guys.  Normally they guide people through maximizing the points value of credit cards but todays posts include canceling trips because of the concerns for Coronavirus. 

Here is the link to their post of today”

https://thepointsguy.com/news/cancel-trip-coronavirus/

 

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There is a lot going on out there. As a trips draws close check on what you can and can not cancel or change. As the situation becomes critical, carriers and hotels may be more amenable to allowing changes on flights and stays.Keep checking the US Govt Sites for CDC and  the US Dept of State Travel Advisories

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

 

 

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Line outside Starbucks in September 2019.  Before the need to keep 1 meter apart rule. 

Photo Greg Speck , 2019

 

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La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in September. 

Photo Greg Speck 2019

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La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II yesterday

Photo NY Times, Getty Images, France-Presse

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