La Bella Vita in Sicilia
In the immortal words of Goethe, “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.” In my experience, I would add to have experienced Sicily is to understand one’s own heart and soul.
On this Fourth of July holiday, it is helpful to focus on gratitude and thankfulness. In these turbulent times, the one place of unquestioned stability is each person’s ability to feel gratitude for the gift of this amazing life.
In that spirit, my lovely wife and I have been fortunate to spend a significant portion of each year living with la familia in Sicily. My wife was born in Sicily, and she moved to San Diego, California when she was six years old. Luckily, she maintained her close relationship with her family in Sicily.
After we were married, my wife and I increased our time in Sicily, spending more time with the family and making our own friends. I quickly embraced the Sicilian lifestyle, and through the years have enjoyed all of the beauty and charm of Sicily and its people.
Sicily is a land of unique treasures. We live in the beautiful western city of Marsala (noted for its famous Marsala wine). From this base, we have spent time visiting different parts of Sicily, enjoying the Egadi Islands off the coast of Marsala, and finding wonderful beaches, small villages and coastal towns to visit. Along the way, we have met extraordinary people – who express great warmth and demand nothing more than love from others.
Of course, we cannot discuss Sicily without mentioning the delicious food and wine that stirs your senses and delivers incredible delight at every meal. The main meal is the mid-day pranzo: a delightful feast lasting for two hours with multiple courses of fresh pasta, fish, vegetables and fruit. No processed food – just wonderful fresh food and delicious wine, shared with family and friends.
Aside from delicious meals, we spend time visiting beautiful historic sites – Greek temples, Norman churches, and other varieties of culture, architecture and art.
While the scenery, food and recreation are all wonderful, my wife and I are most grateful for the love of our family and friends. By nature, the Sicilian people seek only to love and be loved – life’s most defining experience. The Sicilians are comfortable with this basic and most important experience in life – we all are creatures seeking to love and be loved. The Sicilian people express their need for love and acceptance clearly and consistently by their actions and their words. They are not afraid of love or emotion; indeed, they embrace it with laughter, tears, hugs and kisses. They are comfortable expressing themselves with others and seek basic connections and warmth with family and friends. They demand little from family and friends except for these basic feelings, and freely give their hearts in return to family and friends who love them. To live in Sicily is truly to love and to laugh as an important bond with your family and friends.
The beautiful life in Sicily is basic but powerful – expressed with clarity and honesty. We have learned so much from the Sicilian people and value our ability to spend months here each year. My wife and I are grateful for the beautiful life we enjoy here, and will always treasure this time together with our wonderful family and friends.
Happy 4th of July to Everyone!!