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  • Writer's pictureIgnazio Poma

Beautiful Sicily

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

Golden hour.

That’s what I like to call that magic time of day when a golden blanket of light settles over our house in western Sicily. It happens in an instant, almost as if someone flips a switch. The setting sun, as it descends over the North African desert, just to the southwest of Sicily, turns into a shimmering dark red ball in the sky. Very much resembling the blood oranges that fill the hills behind us. The sky fills with streaks of blue, orange, yellow, turquoise.

The dull yellow walls of the house look like they turn to gold. It doesn’t matter how occupied I may be with the distractions of every day life, the warm tones that descend over every inch of the landscape, make me stop and realize how lucky I am to live in this place.

Everyone talks about the Sicilian beaches, the food, the architecture, but it’s the colors, the glow of Sicily that makes it special.

This is a place where, as unique and beautiful as the cities, monuments, mountains, and the sea may be… nothing is as magical here as the lights and the colors that transform Sicily into a giant work of art. The misty orange warmth of the dawn coming over the mountains, the blue that can only be described as Mediterranean blue… because you will find it nowhere else.

The Lush carpet of green that is Sicilian Winter. The misty pink shades that envelop the salt fields in Trapani are my favorite. You can’t take a bad picture there.

You certainly don’t have to be an artist to capture the haunting beauty of this land.

Just point your camera. Especially at golden hour.

Past meets present.

That gets said often, especially in Sicily, but what does it really mean?

To me it defines today’s Sicily.

Because, you see, I love contradictions. I love when things that should not be together, come together. It’s the meeting of different worlds that has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s the emigrant in me. I did after all arrive in America on a boat. From a small Sicilian town to NYC in 7 days is enough of a culture shock to transform any 5 year old. So when in 2021 I can still see people on horseback, meandering on my Sicilian beach, taking selfies with their iPhones… it’s just another day. Past meets present here daily, constantly, in every corner. The absurd combination of medieval cities, feudal mentality, and the digital age, is as beautiful as, it is confusing.

The elderly ladies sitting on their door steps - probably originally a chunk of marble that was once part of a Roman temple - selling fresh vegetables and homemade wine in recycled plastic water bottles … all the while watching their favorite game show on the giant 60” led screen just beyond the door. It’s just magic.

But that’s just me.

Do you ever notice that some places in the world have a “color to them”?

Do you associate a geometric pattern to a country or a city?

Who doesn’t think of Egypt when they see a pyramid? Or when you think of Paris don’t you see it awash in shades of red in your mind’s eye?

Growing up spending all my summers in the little mountaintop town of Erice, I was surrounded by just this certain combination of this particular yellow with this specific shade of blue… that if I see anything close to blue and yellow together, anywhere in the world, I’d become instantly homesick. Nostalgic for my youth.

The ceramics you see displayed in front of souvenir shops all around Sicily are all unique to each region, and are all beautiful, but the ones in Trapani and Erice to me a piece of home. A piece of childhood. It’s strange to see it for sale. To think that strangers from the other side of the world are taking a piece of my home with them. I’m not sure if I love that or hate it. Maybe in some way, both. In any case, like the Tartan fabrics in Scotland, our ceramic designs and colors are a part of us. Keep that in mind when you’re in the shop about to buy a refrigerator magnet.

By the way, I'm Ignazio and I hope I've encourage you to visit my beautiful Sicily; let me know if you need help with planning your trip! I'm looking forward to meeting you here.

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