The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure part IV

trinacria bella how sicily was born

 

 The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure  part IV

 

 CASTELLI NISSENI – RIESI DOC – CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA DOCG – VAL DI NOTO 

 

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 sperlinga_castle by  Francesco ScaringiDriving further north-west, from Sciacca,  entering the heart of the island, take the Strada del vino dei Castelli Nisseni, the Wine Route of the Castles of Caltanissetta, where the famous Nero d’Avola grape clings to the archaeological sites of Morgantina and its famous statue of Venus. Visit also Caltanissetta with its hundreds churches the brand new Archeological Museum of Caltanissetta , completed after 50 years from the initial project!  and You will encounter  Piazza Armerina with its amazing Villa Romana del Casale or  ” Roman Villa Del Casale”and. the DOC here is the Riesi. Last but not least  Sperlinga with its magnificent Castle.

 

Scicli - testa di Turco best copy 2This castle has become famous as a result of the events linked to the Sicilian Vespers:  just in this fortress found refuge a garrison of French, together with a group of Sicilians led by Petro de Alemanno , as reported  by the historian Michele Amari, was able to resist the assaults for 13 months before finally capitulate. See also The French in Sicily 

 

Caltanisssetta Archeologic Musem 8 copy 2

 Proceeding furher south-east, as famous as the Nero Nisseno, you can delight the Cerasuolo  di Vittoria, Sicily’s only DOCG, (which consists of 30-50% Frappato and 50-70% of Nero d’Avola) signed as the Wine Route of Cerasuolo, includes  the Sicilian capitals of Baroque in Val di Noto: Noto, Modica, ( the city of chocolate), Scicli and Ragusa Iblea, a real jewel, just to name a few. Natural trails to visit in the area: Pantalica, Vendicari Natural Reservation, Capo Passero and the Island of Currents 

 

 

 

Piazza Armerina Medioeval Convent by Vanvakys

Villa del Casale by Vanvakys copy Ragusa Ibla a jewel Baroque City copy 2Noto Baroque streets by Vnvakys copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Siracusa - festa santa Lucia foto di Alaw277 copy 3Then Siracusa, the city of Saint Lucy and Archimedes of Syracuse, once capital of the Magna Greciae and the Byzantines, with its Route of the Ancient Myths. It is s really a charm, especially if you can visit the Island of Ortigia, and taste along with the  Moscato of Siracusa, enjoying  the famous pasta con le sarde“, pasta with sardines, the quintessential dish that embodies this unique land.

 

This mouthwatering dish has been attributed to the Arab general Euphemius to celebrate his Pasta con le sarde  copyarrival in Siracusa, 950 circa, together with the  Fatimid general, Jawhar as-Siquilli (“the Sicilian”), founder of the city of Cairo, Egypt. The Pasta con le sarde, strictly prepared with maccarruna”, also invented for the first time in Sicily (see also Itriya, Trabia , Palermo, the Museum of Pasta) have different variations along the island but the main component must be: pine nuts, wild fennel, resins and saffron,  and of course fresh sardines. See also 

Remember in Sicily is a seasonable dish, so the  best period  to enjoy it is between March and September!

 

Ortigia the big square copy1-SicilyWine.com present Cerasuolo di Vittoria at NYU May 5th  copy 2Pasta fish and Pistacchio small copy Siracusa Ortigia  Fonte Aretusea  copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will be  certainly important and unforgettable to visit Pachino, (the name of this little city is a term of endearment of a Roman name and stands for “Bacchino or little Bacchus” the land of good wines, home of the “Pachino cherry tomato”, the best in the world and sea food fish dishes. Marzamemi is an ancient little fishermen’s village not to be missed.  

stock-photo-copyright-symbol-as-a-wax-seal-80699464The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure

by Salvatore Cottone New York, July 2013

CottoneTranslation and editing by www.OnpointTranslation 

Continue reading READ PART V>>>  

 

To complete our tour through “Culture and Arts of Pleasure” of Sicily drive from south-east toward the “Mongibeddu “, in Sicilian, “the Beautiful Mountain”,  entering the Etna Wine Route ,which extends along the entire the foot of the the biggest active volcano of Europe. With its particular climate, and microclimates has a very fertile soil  lava for unique varieties such as Carricante, indigenous white grape , Nerello Mascalese, according to Homer  “Ulysses’s wine”, Nerello Cappuccio/Mantellato and Minnella, all grapes variety part of the Etna Rosso DOC

This year 2013  the Etna Park  has been included by UNESCO among its Patrimony : In addition to wine, and food delicatessen  the beauty of an unspoiled corner of nature really. 

Visit “Bronte” The city of pistachios” is a must: along with hundreds of dishes based on this delicious fruit, you can also visit the Norman Church, incorporated inside the Nelson’s Castle and the beautiful Simeto Valley and the  Nebrodi Park. From the sharp volcanic land with gentle slopes of the Aeolian Islands to finish the wine tour with the wine route in the province of Messina, from the city of the strait to the seven sisters of the Mediterranean. The DOC of the Faro and  Mamertino, cultivated along the hills of the “Nebrodi Mountains”, accompany offshore until the unmistakable taste of Malvasia, friendly and passionate just like Sicily.

The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure part III

 

trinacria bella how sicily was born

 

 The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure  part III

 AGRIGENTO –   – MENFI –  SAMBUCA DI SICILIA – SANTA MARGHERITA BELICE

terre_sicane

 

Saline di MarsalaFollowing the curve, that from Capo Lilibeo, leads south on the shores of the Strait of Sicily, there  is the Route of the Lands of  Sicanians or Strade del Vino Terre Sicane, (Sicanians were one of three ancient peoples of Sicily present at the time of Phoenician and Greek colonization). 

 

Agrigento Greek temples copy 2This is the area of Agrigento, where, with the City of the  Valley of the Greek Temples, together with Selinunte can be considered the one of most extended archeological area in the world: here  the wine and food culture can be seen towing the economy of the area.

Very close to, in Gela a great Siceliot-Greek poet, Archestrato of Gela (IV century BC), Calamari ripieni VRC copywrote Hedypatheia” or “Gastronomy”, the first Poem of Gourmet. As a young poet Archestratus was disciple of the most famous Epicurus, becoming an Expert in the art of pleasure. In his poem Archestratus tells of his long journeys in search of the best food and the finest wines.

 

ArchesrtatoIt also deals with the bread, fish, the production and storage of wine and food. It focuses mainly on fish, indicating the best quality, the places of origin, the most famous species and the specific fishing seasons. The first gourmet book in the world. See alsohistory and Legends of Sicily from the kitchen to the cellar”

 

 

 

Luigi_Pirandello_1932Speaking of high cultural paths, in a hill facing the “abused” Valle dei Templi,  there is “Kaos” (Chaos) the house of Luigi Pirandello, the inventor of the modern theater, awarded in 1934 Nobel Prize for literature for his “bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage“.

 

 

 

 

 

Il Gattopardo - Film 1963Here the DOC areas  are : Santa Margherita di Belice, the summer residence of Il Gattopardo, translated  “The Leopardwritten by Tomasi di Lampedusa  published in 1958,  does anybody remember the movie of Luchino Visconti with  Burt Lancaster, Alain De Lon and Claudia Cardinale?

 

 

 

Menfi lore 066 copyJust few miles from Agrigento, Sambuca di Sicilia, Menfi  (nowadays one of the most active  “Slow food” presidium)  and Contessa Entellina. Beautiful beaches in this area such as: Eraclea Minoa, with its woods by the sand,  one and the UNESCO site: the white reef of “Scala dei Turchi”.

 

 

 

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MySicily.com anchovies Sciacca by Vanvakys copyCastello Incantato copy 2ciaopics-scala dei turchi appeal2 copy 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Last but not least, close to the cost, there are Sciacca, beautiful city and one of the capitals of canned sardines.   Ribera “the city of the Oranges”,  defined by its own name, with its  lush agricultural fields.

 

stock-photo-copyright-symbol-as-a-wax-seal-80699464The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure

by Salvatore Cottone New York, July 2013

CottoneTranslation and editing by www.OnpointTranslation 

Continue reading READ PART IV>>>  

WINE FOR THE SPIRIT…OLIVE OIL FOR THE BODY: THE GREEK MYTHS

WINE FOR THE SPIRIT…OLIVE OIL FOR THE BODY: THE GREEK MYTHS

Dyonisious putto wine copy

Homer referred to Sicilian olive oil in his Odyssey, which he based largely on this island of volcanoes and vineyards. Indeed, today we believe olive oil was the sole food product exported by the Greeks, according to its availability in Solone, around the sixth century B.C. In fact, it was here that the conservation of olives in “salamoia”, or, in salt, began, and where whole and pitted olives were packed and shipped for arrival at the tables of the gourmands of the period.

 

The grain here is also of the highest quality, as the characteristics of durum wheat make it optimal both for long-term preservation, and immediate use for bread-making. It is said that the rich taste of the bread was an inspirational factor in the Romans’ decision to fight for the land that later became known as the “bread basket of Rome.”

OIl -home little

Eventually, it was Sicilian grain that was used to make the durum wheat cakes that sustained many legions of seafarers and conquerors that covered the whole of the known world…

 

Archestrato of Gela (IV century BC), wrote “Hedypatheia” or “Gastronomy” The first gourmet book in the world.

dionysius_i_of_syracuse
 As a young poet Archestratus was disciple of the most famous Epicurus, becoming an Expert in the art of pleasure. In his poem Archestratus tells of his long journeys in search of the best food and the finest wines. It also deals with the bread, fish, the production and storage of wine and food. It focuses mainly on fish, indicating the best quality, the places of origin, the most famous species and the specific fishing seasons. The first gourmet book in the world. 

Along with the grain from Sicily, the ancient Romans exported olives, fish and cheeses in terracotta vases they called vasa salsamenteria or “delicatessen vases“, made from the rich Sicilian earth. Interestingly, the salsamenteria of the time later came to be called salumeria, which is used today to mean “delicatessen”.
Unfortunately, the ancient Romans preferred the cultivation of grain to that of vines, which led to the abandonment of many vineyards and also the deforestation of large areas of land in order to make use of the wood needed for warships.

Plato (philosophical disciple of Socrates, Athens, 427-347 B.C.) write about the lifestyle and diet of the Greeks of Syracuse, which in his opinion, was overloaded with agricultural products, including cheeses, olives, onions, figs, myrtle and roasted chestnuts, often accompanied by wine. Remember Symposium means “drink together“!

Artistic ceramics of Castel Mola copy