The clear water of the Stretto from the Sicilian coast (ph. credits Corrado Salvo)
Sicily again... last summer my not anymore little niece lived the same experience that it's a sweet memory of my childhood. She drove by car, with her dad, my brother and her grandma, my mother, to the family house in Sicily. Definitely for her it was not the adventurous journey that I remember and not even a daylong drive as I always lived with my family.
My father side of the family is a mix between Romagna and Sicily, the most hot blood people among the great variety of Italians. My grandfather was born in the Northern part of Sicily, the area of Messina, the town close to the Stretto, that sea passage so full of legends: Scilla and Cariddi.
I remember when I was a child, we used to drive down from Rome taking a whole day to reach Sicily, we always took the ferry late in the night and my brother and I woke up when the car entered the boat. Everything seemed a bit mysterious and scary, I remember we were looking forward to jumping out of the car and run to the top ferry deck, breathing in the warm breeze and looking down to the black sea imagining that Scilla or Cariddi would come and grab our feet to take us down in the dark waves. Jiggling at our fears, we arrived in Messina too soon, ready to fall asleep for the last 40 km before reaching the family home. The sweet smell of jasmine that were grown on the Sicilian coast for the production of the essence, used for making perfumes, was the last memory before falling asleep again.
If I close my eyes I can still remember that smell that to me means the beauty of Sicily.
Do you have a sweet memory of your childhood that you keep always in your heart?