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Monday, June 6, 2016

Sicily continued June 2016



Sunday was our first full day together. We met Laura, a city tour guide who is so good at her job that even accidents work out well for her. The Bersalieri had a yearly anniversary in the center of Palermo today, but Laura took us first to Montreale, the amazing gold mosaic inlaid cathedral outside of town. Laura wanted to beat the Germans and the Japanese, whom she feels, camp out at the cathedral so they get there first and have the best views. After our visit during which she explained all of the Old Testament large scale mosaics on the walls, then the Christ story as if we were illiterate pilgrims, I bought a small flower mosaic with a gold Leaf frame and we rode in the bus to the new city gate where we not only watched and listened to the parade, we walked along with them until we reached the cathedral of Palermo. We investigated the crowning of King Roger by Jesus( not possible of course) in beautiful gold mosaic and in marched this year's group of First Holy Communicands. The children looked so lovely; the choir sang so beautifully. We watched in awe. We followed the Bersalieri reunion to the Four Corners where we left Laura and the parade and walked through the square where we saw two more churches, one from the Moorish times,, the oldest stones of the city, street names written in Arabic, Yiddish and 
Sicilian and then to the fresh food market. We saw zucchini two feet long, a swordfish head, chunks of red tuna, many eels, artichokes, really fresh beautiful Corona tomatoes and then we sat at a food stall and ate a wide array of seafood, fried potatoes and fried chickpea flour patties and salad for lunch.
We met later for a discussion about the Mafia, talking with the son of a convicted Mafia boss, whose life is hampered by his unwillingness to condemn his father's actions and the government and the people not willing to let him be.
I joined Ruth and the threesome for dinner at Vino and Pomidoro, we ate outside, salad and pizza.And we drowned two bottles of red wine of which Ruth did not drink.

On MOnday we drove to Castelbuono in the morning and Cefalu in the evening, both lovely cities along the northern Sicilian coast. In Cefalu I saw a sign Via Guidecca which means the street o the Jews and a sign indicate this was the Jews' gate, Porta Guidecca.. Mauro was hesitant to read to me from Google that this was a ghetto. He had no idea that ghetto was originally not a pejorative word.We walked by the sea, saw bathers and a sailboat, many wonderful waves against the rocks which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Today was Tuesday. We left Palermo and drove along the coast to the Western tip of Sicily to visit Erice, a medieval town on top of a steep mountain. We heard about the pagan gods, Venus, god of love and the church's conversion of the temple to Christianity after the Norman Kings took over Sicily. We climbed stone inlaid steep streets, hear
Sunday was our first full day together. We met Laura, a city tour guide who is so good at her job that even accidents work out well for her. The Bersalieri had a yearly anniversary in the center of Palermo today, but Laura took us first to Montreale, the amazing gold mosaic inlaid cathedral outside of town. Laura wanted to beat the Germans and the Japanese, whom she feels, camp out at the cathedral so they get there first and have the best views. After our visit during which she explained all of the Old Testament large scale mosaics on the walls, then the Christ story as if we were illiterate pilgrims, I bought a small flower mosaic with a gold Leaf frame and we rode in the bus to the new city gate where we not only watched and listened to the parade, we walked along with them until we reached the cathedral of Palermo. We investigated the crowning of King Roger by Jesus( not possible of course) in beautiful gold mosaic and in marched this year's group of First Holy Communiads. The children looked so lovely; the choir sang so beautifully. We watched in awe. We followed the Bersalieri reunion to the Four Corners where we left Laura and the parade and walked through the square where we saw two more churches, one from the Moorish times,, the oldest stones of the city, street names written in Arabic, Yiddish and 
Sicilian and then to the fresh food market. We saw zucchini two feet long, a swordfish head, chunks of red tuna, many eels, artichokes, really fresh beautiful Corona tomatoes and then we sat at a food stall and ate a wide array of seafood, fried potatoes and fried chickpea flour patties and salad for lunch.
We met later for a discussion about the Mafia, talking with the son of a convicted Mafia boss, whose life is hampered by his unwillingness to condemn his father's actions and the government and the people not willing to let him be.
I joined Ruth and the threesome for dinner at Vino and Pomidoro, we ate outside, salad and pizza.And we drowned two bottles of red wine of which Ruth did not drink.

On MOnday we drove to Castelbuono in the morning and Cefalu in the evening, both lovely cities along the northern Sicilian coast. In Cefalu I saw a sign Via Guidecca which means the street o the Jews and a sign indicate this was the Jews' gate, Porta Guidecca.. Mauro was hesitant to read to me from Google that this was a ghetto. He had no idea that ghetto was originally not a pejorative word.We walked by the sea, saw bathers and a sailboat, many wonderful waves against the rocks which we all thoroughly enjoyed.


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