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12 September 2011


Scala dei Turchi (Stair of the Turks), a rocky cliff formed by marl, a white sedimentary rock.  The name is derived from the frequent raids of the Turks & the Barbary Coast pirates. 

Sicily through the lens of my broken camera.  My third trip to this region would be permanently dubbed with this title.   Being an impromptu trip, we had to rush everything, including my dslr camera sitting quietly in the service center.  We were able to get it at the last minute before leaving and inevitably, it failed me right in the middle of my frenzy of taking pictures of the breathtaking panorama of the Scala dei Turchi.   I....was....unconsolably....shattered.  There is no other word I can put to describe how devastating it is to have your camera break down right in the middle of shooting a fantastic sight.   I relentlessly clicked on the camera even if I was seeing nothing and the sound it was emitting was unmistakably wrong.  I just remembered someone telling me to give it up, it's broken.  Dejectedly, I put it aside and avoided looking at the other point & shoot camera peeking from my bag.  Using it doesn't give me the satisfaction but I can't continue with our vacation without documenting anything at all.  After a little bit of tinkering with the dslr, my husband found a temporary way to make it work.   To take a single picture is painstakingly long and puts my knowledge in manual photography to test - which is technically zero. 

This island has a peculiarity that adds to its attraction.  It still is able to retain a lot of its tradition and culture albeit modernity is already knocking at its front door.   The first time I went around the whole island 12 years ago, I didn't see a single McDonald's.  I was both amused and proud that a place can still withstand pressures of the age of fast food.  I learned that it opened its first franchise a few years ago in one of the busy cities.

Here are some shots that I indefatigably captured (with the help of my husband) with what's left of the dslr and the point & shoot. 

Temple of Concordia in Agrigento.  One of the eight ancient Greek temples on the hilltop of the valley of the temples.  It was erected around 430 B.C..
Prickly pears are scattered everywhere in the island.
One of the streets of the town of Noto.
The baroque San Giorgio Cathedral of the town of Modica. 
Inside the cathedral.

One of the alleys in Ragusa Ibla.
Ragusa Ibla.
Ragusa Ibla.

The town of Piazza Armerina.

Orecchio di Dionisio (Ear of Dionysius) in Siracusa.  It is an artificial limestone cave that is shaped like an ear.  Because of its shape, it has extremely good acoustics making even a small sound resonate throughout the cave.
Piazza Armerina's Villa Romana del Casale was built in the first quarter of the 4th century A.D.  It contains the richest, largest & most complex ancient Roman mosaics in the world.
The ancient Greek wall of Gela from the 4th century B.C. It's peculiarity is that the stones are made of tufa cooked under the sun. It was originally 18 km. long and more than 2 meters thick. 400 m. is still intact, 200 m. of which is perfectly preserved in its original form.

An example of a baroque balcony in the town of Noto.

Ragusa Ibla.
Ragusa Ibla.

A church door in Piazza Armerina.

Restructuring the mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale.

Church of the town of Aidone.
Piazza Armerina.
Sicilian cauliflower.

Salsiccia on terracotta slabs waiting to be grilled.
Typical way of selling fruit & vegetables in Sicily.

The coastline of Gela.
Fresh ricotta in cavagna, kept the old way.


  1. LOVEEE IT! Thank you!!!

    1. It's not much, but I hope it helps. Enjoy your trip to Sicily!

  2. Despite your camera mishap, your photos are beautiful! Sicily intrigues me so much - I hope to go one day!

    1. I am hoping that on my fourth trip there, I won't experience problems anymore in taking pictures. Sigh. I hope you can take a trip there Laura, a week at the minimum with a rental car. There are too many places to see and a whole new world of gastronomy to try. You will love it!

  3. Anonymous16 July, 2013

    How beautiful your photos are though the broken camera!! I am so wanting to go to Sicily, and your photos really inspired me. I came across your site by looking for a recipe for pistachio granita. Living in Japan, I was searching in Japanese, when I thought I can read better in English!! I want to start a cooking school for teenagers so that they keep the tradition of cooking in the house. Families are so into fast food, convinience store lunch boxes and not eating together at the same time, that the future worries me thinking about how this will affect children mentally and physically. Italian food uses so many healthy choices of vegetable combination with cheese and meat, and fish too, that I think it is such a good cuisine to include. I hope that your site will help me along the way, and I really look forward reading it.
    A German living in Japan, and cooking world recipes!

    1. It's nice to know that my photos inspire you both with travel & cooking. I am for healthy cooking too, being with two kids who need guidance in good eating. Thanks for the very nice note and good luck!

  4. Wow - unbelievably beautiful villages and scenes. Beautifully captured Rowena!


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