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Fides Ricasa’s Sicily

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Via dei Biscottari, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza In the area of the Norman palace, near the market, there are still some little medievalbotteghe(shops) below the level of the palace. Via dei Biscottari is where they used to make the pastries and cookies for the king. There is...
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Piazza Indipendenza, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Within the Palace of the Normans, there’s a chapel of the kings. “It’s sumptuous,” Fabrizia says, “all covered with mosaics. It’s like getting inside a golden box of jewelry.” Piazza del Parlamento 1 This story appeared in the...
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Piazza Verdi, 90138 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Palermo’s opera house, built in the 19th century and inspired by ancient Greek ruins in Sicily, is the largest in Italy and the third largest in Europe. You can catchRigoletto,La Traviata—I love all of Verdi and Puccini; I’m...
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Piazza Cappuccini, 1, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy
Walking through Palermo you get the feeling that much hasn't changed in the last hundred years or so. That is especially true at the Capuchin Catacombs. The catacombs contain skeletons and mumified bodies of various citizens of Palermo. The...
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Palermo, Province of Palermo, Italy
Along the harbor front is a little shop that sells the ubiquitous Palermo treat, pani ca' meusa (spleen sandwich). It's easy to lose all inhibitions when the place is packed with locals enthusiastically stuffing their faces these offal sandwiches,...
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Via generale Magliocco, 19, 90141 Palermo PA, Italy
Seeing the locals and businessmen slowly sauntering in for their espresso or lunch, you get a sense that these locals don't realise what great food they have at their fingertips. Whether you are after a coffee, sweets, something for lunch or a...
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There is a reason why the Teatro Massimo was the final scene for The Godfather III. Its architecture is epic, night and day. You can visit the Massimo for a tour or enjoy one of the amazing opera, music and ballet programs.
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Via Teatro Greco, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
The Island of Sicily has many wonders. Taormina is a popular resort town on Monte Tauro and has an old Greek Theatre that is still used for performances. The sitting has awesome views of the coast and Mount Etna. I would like to go back and actual...
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Corso Umberto, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
Taormina is an ancient town, with an at-times Bohemian reputation (the writer Harold Acton once referred to Taormina as "a polite synonym for Sodom"). The town sits atop a steep seaside promontory roughly an hour or so south of the port city of...
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Piazza Fossia, 7, 98038 Savoca ME, Italy
This little village is completely charming and worth a visit on its own, but there's also the Godfather connection. Francis Ford Coppola chose Savoca, Sicily as one of the filming locations for his first Godfather film. The bar where Michael...
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Piazza del Duomo, 90015 Cefalù PA, Italy
Legend has it that a forlorn sailor (Roger II - King of Sicily) traveling in the early 1100's in the midst of a massive Mediterranean squall made a pact with Jesus - spare his life, and he would build a Cathedral in his honor. And washed ashore,...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza

At her cooking school in Regaleali, Fabrizia Lanza (right) learns from Sister Lidia how to make zuccata, a traditional candied squash dessert.

Name:Fabrizia Lanza
Age: 49
Hometown:Palermo, Italy
Occupaton:Formerly an art historian...

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97100 Ragusa, Province of Ragusa, Italy
We drove into Ragusa - Sicily in the late afternoon, walked the cobbled streets, devoured a locally made nougat gelato and on the drive back down from the old town were met with the beautiful sight of the traditional houses lit up by their...
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90010 Ficarazzi PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza This central square is famous for carts that serve Sicilian antipasti in front of the Oratorio di San Lorenzo, which has amazing 18th-century sculptures, perhaps the most extravagant art Sicily produced at the time. Via dell’...
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Via dei Benedettini, 20, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza This 12th-century Norman church [St. John of the Hermits] has five Arab-inspired red domes. It’s a narrow little church with a garden filled with jasmine and succulents— a very peaceful place. Via dei Benedettini 3 This story...
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Viale Regina Elena, 90151 Palermo PA, Italy
Entering the bustling city of Palermo, you would never imagine that just a short local bus trip away is the beautiful Mondello Beach. Known as the spot for the 'in' crowd or potentially the 'out' crowd - if you include Burlesconi who apparently...
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90015 Cefalù, Province of Palermo, Italy
One of my favourite films has to be Cinema Paradiso and it is the beautiful town of Cefalu in which this movie was filmed. Small yet with a gorgeous stretch of beach and old homes right on the water, you can even find a small gallery and some...
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Via Vittorio Emanuele, 90040 Palermo PA, Italy
One of Italy's most architecturally diverse buildings, the Palermo Cathedral has an imposing exterior that combines Arab, Norman, Gothic, neoclassical and Baroque styles. Inside, look for the heliometer—a bronze line embedded in the floor that...
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90015 Cefalù, Province of Palermo, Italy
With the abundance of Sicilian produce (think lemons, oranges, eggplant, tomatoes from Mt Etna) - it is no wonder that the early morning markets are overwhelmed with options. Grab your bags and head out early to get the best variety --- and make...
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Piazza Marina, 90133 Palermo PA, Italy
Perhaps my favorite thing about Palermo, aside from the colors, the people, the life and the beach, is a plate full of panelle, fried chick pea fritters, for lack of a better term. In Piazza Marina, I usually head to Nni Franco U' Vastiddaru or...
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90015 Cefalù, Province of Palermo, Italy
We could hear what sounded like a procession growing faintly from afar. Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner and the girls were marching directly toward me, their intensity magnified with each step. The vibration of flutes echoed in the...