By Faith Tallchief-Underwood
This summer I went to Cianciana, Sicily. It is a beautiful island just south of Italy. Cianciana is a town in the center of Sicily, and it is two hours away from Palermo. Cianciana was founded on October 4, 1646.
Cianciana was known for its mining of sulfur until it closed in the 1960’s. Many of the unemployed people left Cianciana for England to pursue a better life, but recently the grandchildren of those employee’s are returning to their ancestral home for summer vacation. In fact just below the center of town there is a great museum that showcases Cianciana’s history from the minors to famous poets they even have a section of art where local artists sell their art. Cianciana is a great place to visit because they people are nicest people you will ever encounter. Surprisingly, there are a lot more English speaking people then you would imagine in Sicily, and if they can’t speak English they’ll find someone who can. They enjoy foreigners coming to Cianciana because they say it brings life back, and they love foreigners who try to speak Italian, because it shows them how much you appreciate their culture, even if you’re terrible at it.
For example there is this ‘bar” called the Clock Tower Café where I became addicted to this drink called Lemon Soda, and it took me awhile but I learned to say “Vorrei La Lemonata” which translates to “I would like a lemon soda” the waitress clap excitedly and said “good job.” What’s so great is now I can walk into the bar and she’ll already know what I want. If there is anything in Cianciana that I can recommend to eat it is Arrancini.
It is a deep-fried rice ball filled with meat, mozzarella cheese, and vegetables, but everyone makes it differently. It’s called an Arrancini because it looks like an orange but don’t be fooled by it’s size it is very filling! More over if ever go to Italy, make sure to stop at a “bar” because it’s not just a bar they can have gelato which is a healthier, better ice cream made fresh every day. They also have chips called crisps and various drinks and foods to eat. Like wine or juice. Another great thing about Sicily is they literally have fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheese. My favorite cheese is a smoky, mozzarella cheese called affumicata. Furthermore everywhere you go, is like a paradise with Cianciana’s amazing weather, beautiful landscape and colorful townhouses. One of the main reason why I love Sicily is the architecture. Every where you go each building is different; some are even from different time periods. The one building below is one of my favorites buildings in Ciacianca because each level as added by a different conqueror. The three designs are Roman, Norman and I believe Catalan.
All in all Cianciana is a great place to visit with lots of history, food, and kind hearted people, there is something for everyone to enjoy. But Cianciana wasn’t the only place I visited a big town called Agrigento. Where there is a open in market with various items from cloths, to house supplies and fish. Afterwards my family and I saw the Valley of the Temples which our the best Greek ruins outside of Rome.
The second place I visited is Sciacca. It’s called Sciacca because Arabic’s that arrived thought it was an iceberg, and Sciacca translates to iceberg. Sciacca is known for two things their ceramics and their shipping port. If you love sea food this is a dream come true for you, because even before you see Sciacca you can smell the oceans breeze as you draw closer to this town. When you finally arrive their you look out onto this lift and you can see how big this shipping port really is, because this port delivers fish all over Sicily. My mom and I couldn’t be the well known fish, because they go to the restaurant but we were able to buy other fish and they let my take pictures. They were probably thinking why on earth is this girl taking pictures of our boat? After that we were on our way to visit Mount Edna, which is the world’s most active volcano!
It actually erupted two days before my family got to see it. It truly is a sight to see! Even more surprising there are over twenty towns on mount Edna, along with a water park, and a winery called “Gamebino’s”. I asked this woman will I was waiting in line for a chocolate dessert I hadn’t tried, because I literally try to eat a different pastry every where I go. Anyway I asked her why do you choose to live on an active volcano. She replied I live here, because it’s my home, just as it’s been my families home for generations, if it does erupt I’m alright with it because you only get to life once” As I looked around the people seemed genuinely happy to be here, and with it’s beautiful landscape who wouldn’t be happy. But I felt like I had died and gone to heaven with that pastry! The last place I visited was Sircusa. Sircusa is a little island right next to Sicily it actually connected by a bridge. Sircusa is actually surround all four sides by the Mediterranean, and the locals love it. I enjoyed standing on the balcony looking out at the Mediterranean feeling the cool ocean breeze on my face. Another interesting spot in Sircusa was the main street. I thought was like a Hollywood set when I walked down the street. Not to mention I couldn’t my eyes the white church is Roman on the front, but on the left side it’s Greek, that because the Romans conquered Sircusa, and decided to alter the beautiful temple into a church, but when you go inside it’s a gorgeous Catholic church, who has a special wing to honor Saint Lucy. She is a saint who was tortured and killed because she wanted to be a nun instead of getting married.
If you can visit Sicily, you must definitely should, because it has so much to do and see from ancient ruins to fantastic food. Plus the people are incredibly kind, and they love Americans! But not of all it is a great place to be with the people you love. Ciao!