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Scott Valentino’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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Porto Palermo, Albania
It's not every day that you stop along the road between a mountain and the sea to have a coffee and the owner sits at your table and tells you about the progress he's making re-building his property. A very sweet hardworking Albanian man whose two...
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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 Pardo, 29, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
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Make a meal of fresh sea urchin at Osteria Antica Marina among the bustle of the fishmongers in Catania. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Osteria Antica Marina
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Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
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Southern Europe
by Fabrizia Lanza People line up at seven or eight in the morning to order a big dish of soup made with tripe and intestines. You can getpanelle(pancakes made from chickpeas) hot from the vendor. They also sell the most famouspanino—spleen stuffed...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza A restaurant built within Palermo’s ancient walls, where chariots were once housed. Under these enormous vaults there is a library, a garden, and a bar—it’s a fantastic place for drinks. Foro Umberto I This story appeared in the...
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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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98055 Vulcano Porto ME, Italy
Just off the coast of Sicily you'll find the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands noted for its volcanoes and rugged beauty. The islands can be reached by hydrofoil or ferry boat from Milazzo. Lipari is the largest of the islands, but is still only...
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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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Quintana Roo 109, Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
We decided to visit the Gran Cenote outside of Tulum and were expecting to swim with turtles and fish. While there were a few pet turtles and goldfish, the only real wildlife were bats that hang up in the cave openings. The Gran Cenote is more...
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3901 Packer Lake Rd, Sierra City, CA 96125, USA

My wife, Robin, and I have been camping, fishing, and hiking in the Lakes Basin area, near Sierra City, since we met. These days, our usual home base is a tiny log cabin at the edge of Packer Lake, pictured here. From trailheads around Packer you...

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Supai, AZ 86435, USA
There’s a reason this is one of the most iconic spots along the Grand Canyon. Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and hidden deep within a 20-mile round-trip hike, Havasu Falls’ sparkling turquoise waters are a popular...
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4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
The red rocks around Sedona are a trekker's dream, and if you know where to go, you can jump in a creek as well. Just to the southwest of Sedona, check out Red Rocks State Park. Take a short hike then cool off with a swim below Cathedral Rock. (By...
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28 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
The Sketchbook Project lives within the Brooklyn Art Library, filling their entire left wall from floor to ceiling. Yes, leave it to a place as cool as Brooklyn to have an art library. Anyway, my friend and I stumbled onto this fascinating place...