Turn off the light, lit a candle, put off your shoes, and close your eyes.
There is not other way to listen to this program.
Welcome to Oranges and Candles.
We’ll bring you inside the soul of Sicily.
Welcome to Sicily
Come, come with me … I will be your Sicilian angel
Are you ready to let your imagination work?
We, me and you, are in Cava d’Aliga, a nice place along the beach in the Southern side of Sicily, in Scicli area.
Let’s imagine the white coloured stone, the limestone, that gives the landscape of Cava d’Aliga an African aspect.
Close your eyes and imagine this part of Sicily with the white coloured stone of the walls of the countryside, the prickly pears, the olive trees, the carob trees, the donkeys.
We are in the short promenade with the sea on our left and the low Sicilian houses on the right.
Did you still have your eyes closed?
Come on, walk with me along this promenade?
Can you imagine the sandy beach of Cava d’Aliga?
We are now entering a typical Bar in Sicily.
There are two men waiting for a coffee.
You know, espresso, very short.
There are a lot of ice creams.
Sicilian ice creams, what a delicious thought!
How many flavours: vaniglia, cioccolatto, fragola, fiordilatte, limone, pistacchio
Do not open your eyes, do not disturb your imagination, keep thinking to Sicily.
In the opposite side you can find typical Sicilian fast foods: here there are the Arancini, a masterpiece in Sicily, fried rice balls typically filled with ragù; here there are the pizzetta, that is a very small pizza; here it is the scaccia that in this area is very typicall and is filled in various way as: tomatoes and parsley; or potatoes and onions.
And finally, here there are the granita, maybe one of the most loved Sicilian specialties. It’s a sort of ice cream but is not an ice cream. I will have my lunch with a granita lemon with brioche.
We Sicilians often had breakfast or lunch with granita.
There are some tables outside just in front of the beach.
I will enjoy my granita there.
“Arabesque”, Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Keep your eyes still closed.
Don’t turn on the light.
If you would like lit the incense too.
I will wait 10 seconds or, if you prefer, you can pause me.
Now, let’s imagine an old Sicilian woman of the early XX century.
How do you imagine her?
How is the countenance of your grandmothers?
I believe it was very different from our Sicilian grandmother.
I will tell you how an old Sicilian woman looked like and you, with your imagination, begin to draw her face on your mind.
She is 89.
(photo by Ferdinando Milone)
She has a beautiful skin with few wrinkles.
This old Sicilian woman has white long hairs.
She is dressed in black for her husband has died or for someone of his relatives has died.
Old Sicilian women are always dressed in black!
She wear a black foulard too to cover part of his long white hairs.
She has two melancholic brown eyes and a sort of mustaches.
Yes, you have well understood, mustaches!
She is sat outside, in the balcony where a sort of plastic panel cover the balcony railing, preventing the view of the thighs to those who pass from below.
She is knitting and has a straw basket right next to her laid on the ground.
When the fruit cart will pass, she will buy some vegetables, lowering the basket and waiting for Nino, the fruit seller, fill it.
“Io che d’alti sospir”, Jacopo Peri da Euridice (1561-1633)
Keep close your eyes, you are in Sicily.
Can you feel the scent of our thyme, the scent of the hinterland?
You are in Sicily, the land where people are friendly.
People have a great humanity.
You will never be alone in Sicily.
Where you come from?
In Sicily we live our daily life in the name of hospitality, not in the name of money.
We Sicilians are different people.
We’ll welcome everybody.
“Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”, Ennio Morricone (1928)
Now we, me and you of course, are in a small Sicilian village called Palazzo Adriano.
It was the main movie-set of the film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
We are in the square where the main scenes were shooted.
There are two churches, one in front another: one is orthodox and the other is catholic.
Can you imagine this Sicilian square of this quiet and pacific village?
Come, come with me … we Sicilians are friendly and generous.
Look, down there: a bench!
There is an old man sat on it.
Benches are precious here in Sicily.
Close your eyes and come with me.
Let’s talk with this elder.
He wears the coppola.
He told us he was a sheperd.
He is very elegant with a nice leather gilet and a green tie.
His voice is warm and gentle like all the old Sicilian people.
I always feel good with them.
Yes: very good.
For, this is life: a nice talk, a peacefull moment, a Sicilian square of a small town.
We are at the end of this episode.
Keep the light off for a minute more and let’s Sicily slowly vanished from your mind before to open again your eyes.
Sicily will welcome everybody, because Sicily is the land of hospitality and humanity.