I lied. I thought that Tenuta Don Paolino was an agriturismo. With 2,000 lemon trees, owned and worked by the family, a beautifully remodeled farmhouse in the midst of it all, breakfast provided. . . Well, I thought it was a holiday farmhouse. No. . .its a bed and breakfast! After a long conversation in Italian this morning with Paolo I learned the distinction. Watch for an article I’m writing for Transitions Abroad in which I’ll lay it all out!
Anyhow,here’s la colazione, the breakfast.
Today dawned brilliant and sunny, a perfect day for exploring Vendicari Nature Preserve. We swung past the local Conad grocery store for a few bits of things for a beach picnic. . .proscuitto for $3 which at home would cost me three times as much, bread, grapes, ecc.
I must admit, I get mesmerized by the pasta aisle. There are shapes and types I’ve never heard of, seen or experienced. I love this one, cinque buchi. ..”five mouths”
Off to Vendicari, pronounced Ven DEE ka ree. It’s one the southernmost points in Sicily and is a protected area loved by migrating birds. It’s known to attract flocks of pink flamingos enroute to Africa. Glossy ibis, spoonbills, and a host of others make this their home, along with about 20,000 seasonal waders.
For us, the day was spent in the splendor of the Sicilian sun, sand, and surf. We explored the defunct tonnaro, tuna factory, and yes, Lee Shoemaker, we sought out the ranger station. Alas. . .it was closed for the season!
On our exploratory jaunt we discovered well-marked paths. Quick decision. . .let’s eat lunch, then explore.
After congratulating ourselves at the deliciousness of our picnic choices, we set out for an afternoon walk. Back past the tuna factory we walked. . .5km. in all, we guessed.
Chuckling at this sign, which is telling boats that they can’t enter there, I was reminded of 7th grade ancient history and the story of Ulysses and the Sirens. By the time a boater could read this sign, it’d be too late!
We continued on our path. . .
And were rewarded with sweet, tenacious piccolissime fiore, teensy flowers.
And fields of cacti …
But really, it was the coastline that enchanted my soul. That rocky, lava splattered, ancient lineation that’s stood as sentinel to this land.
Feeling sun-burnished and soul-satisfied, we set sail for home, knowing tomorrow brings yet another day of discovery.