S.I.C.I.L.I.A. : how to fall in love with 7 words

How much do you know about one of the pearls of the Mediterranean Sea? Here you are: seven letters, seven words to fall in love with it.

When it blows from Africa the sky gets yellow, a cloak of sand covers the cities and being outside feels like having a hairdryer constantly in front of your face. Forget any kind of physical effort; even eating (Italian national sport) is unbearable. Just turn on the fan and get a nap.

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Sicily is the biggest Italian island, therefore its culture and lifestyle are strictly connected to the sea. Its central location in the Mediterranean made it a target for various kingdoms since unmemorable times. Greeks, Arabs, Normans and Spanish kingdom have left their traces through marvelous monuments as well as influences in the Sicilian culture.

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As many Mediterranean coasts, Sicily offers some of the most beautiful beaches you could ever see in Europe. Rocks, sand and crystal clear water might make you forget of all the problems you’ve ever had in your life. Just one hint: if you don’t have dark skinned ancestor (but even in this case), don’t forget the sunscreen, or you will never forget the burn.

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The word means ‘he’ (Italian ‘egli’) and this is just an example of the difference between the National language and the Sicilian dialect. The use of the dialect is still widely spread in everyday life. A not-Sicilian Italian might have some serious trouble in understanding people talking with each other. Just a couple of common expressions: Talìa! (It. ‘Guarda!’, Eng. ‘Look!’); M’abbutta/Mi siddía (It. ‘Non ho voglia’, Eng. ‘I am not in the mood’); Amuní! (It. ‘Sbrigati!’, Eng. ‘C’mon!).

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This word belongs as well to the Sicilian dialect. It defines the feeling of laziness, sloth, indolence that prevents you from doing anything but sitting in the shadow and looking at the beautiful landscape around you, better if accompanied by a refreshing granita. This word really tells a lot about the general attitude of people here.

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On the 11th May 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi went ashore in the city of Marsala with his troops and started the Italian unification which formed Italy as we know it today. A milestone in the Italian history.

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This chest of saffron rice filled with a variety of delicious ingredients is just one example out of a million of the Sicilian culinary tradition. Every city, every small village has something special and unique to offer. Forget the scales while you are there. If there is a paradise on Earth, it might be here. Specially for your taste buds.

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