Sicily, the Final Days

On Sunday the 15th (or technically, Monday the 16th) I woke to the sound of explosions. At first I thought the wind had slammed my door and I panicked that it had woken Nino and Marianna. Then I realized the sound came from the celebratory fireworks that signified the end of the three-day festival. My mother and I watched them from our balcony and are still laughing that the show didn’t even start until 2 a.m. Oh, Italy.

Here’s the house where my great-grandfather grew up, until he was 16 or so, anyway, and then ran off to America.


Manuel and Anna were the perfect guides, showing us around Tusa and nearby town Cefalu. Though he spends most of the year in Milan, Manuel is the most popular, well-liked guy in Tusa and we couldn’t walk a few feet without people stopping him to shake his hand and say hello. I hope he becomes president.


Cefalu’s main cathedral.


Here I am in the subterranean chapel of Chiesa Madre, Tusa’s main church.


This used to be a castle, but an earthquake knocked it down 400 years ago. Now there is just this wall.


Sundried tomatoes on Nino and Marianna’s roof.


Horse parade.


More animals.


My mom became quite the little helper by the end of our trip.


Dinner with the family.

A random place I walked by.


How’s this for a good sign (note the pun, ha!). After Nino and Salvatore picked us up at the airport, we made a coffee stop and I saw this Brooklyn sign in the window of the service station. As soon as I saw that sign, I knew I was home.