Just when you’d thought I’d put down roots for good…

Well, life has offered up a new path for me—one that takes me WAY south to the southeast part of Sicily (on the same latitude as Tunisia). Yes, let the Sicily Adventures begin!

But not quite yet. There’s that pesky transition period. No flipped switches. No clicking one’s heels together and waking up all landed and ready to take off. If only life (and major change) could come about so easily. But it’s coming soon.

This is the primary reason that ItalyWise has been quiet these past few weeks. And the good news is that soon I’ll be exploring a goldmine of new stories and glimpses into what’s it like to actually live in Sicily!

Consider this post a teaser, with more details to come.

I’d imagine that most of you will be asking where and why.

The where of my Sicily adventure is Ragusa. I encourage you to bone up on Ragusa’s long and rich history on Wikipedia. Its beginnings go back to the second millennium BC. Folks, that’s super duper old.

The feature image of this post was taken at dusk from our new home. In this photo, you’re looking out at Ragusa Ilba, the oldest part of Ragusa.

Ragusa is a World Heritage Unesco Site and has been steadily gaining fame as a “foodie destination.” (God help my waistline!) Upscale restaurants, wine bars, and luxury boutique hotels and B&Bs populate the serpentine road leading down from Ragusa Superiore (the upper city) and up and into Ragusa Ilba.

An artist and photographer’s dream city!

Which answers (partially) the why of this move. This is a happening city culturally. While our current home in Imperia, Liguria has been immensely satisfying on many levels, it just doesn’t offer the same level of artistic inspiration and cultural energy.

In our new abode, I’ll have a spacious, light-filled studio with a balcony opening up to the view featured above. And I’m itchin’ to be there, unpacked and at work on my next canvas in my water series (see my gallery website jedsmithart.com). But for now, my paints and tools are mostly all packed and ready for the movers. I’ll just have to be patient.

Sicily adventure, Ragusa, ItalyWise

OMG! The food.

It’s a good thing that Ragusa is a hill city with loads of steps and inclines that leave a person gasping for their next breath. I’m going to need this kind of daily exercise in my new Sicily adventure to keep me from turning into Jabba the Hutt because of the quality and temptation of the Sicilian food.

Probably the most dangerous of all are the cannoli. I’m not a fan of sweets but after sinking my teeth into a large pistachio cannolo, I knew I was going to be in trouble, BIG trouble. Filled with the most scrumptious of fine ricotta cheeses (only lightly sugared) and generously garnished with chunks of pistachio, this heavenly creation offers a true culinary orgasm (too racy?).

To balance the scales, there’s the fresh produce. With Sicily being so far south, the quality and quantity of delicious fresh AND local produce year-round will make you dance. We toured a market in Catania (just 1 1/2 hours away) and I couldn’t believe the variety of offerings and the dirt-cheap prices. I even found okra, and I almost never have been able to find it in Italy.

Cannoli, Sicily, Italywise
Pomegranate, Sicily, Italywise

Loads more still to come, so stay tuned!

I’m bursting to share more, but that “more” will have to wait. I’ll be lucky if I can dash off a blog post about some other aspect of Italian living in the next few weeks, but I’ll do my best!