Thursday, March 15, 2018

Carciofi = Artichokes

It may have choked Artie but....

Are you old enough to remember this?

from the old "Our Gang" comedies?

Zio Lorenzo used to think pretty much the same thing as peeling the leaves off these things seemed to be little more than a vehicle to put butter or mayo into your mouth!  But in Italy, things are different....and much, much better.

Above: the "before" photo

Above: the "after" photo

Carciofi or artichokes are cheap in Sicily these days. Uncle Larry bought a case of 'em the other day for the equivalent of $5. We don't even buy them in the USA as the price seems ridiculous, but we LOVE to eat 'em!

Especially when prepared like this-

These are great! Even better fried, but that's the kind of mess we try to avoid by buying our fried treats from experts who do it for a living!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Schiticchio - pizza done right


I guess one says "Skee-teek-e-oh"? But whatever you call it, the pizza is the real thing!

The tourist season here in Ortigia is just getting going and our favorite place, Tempio di Athena has yet to open. We've had a few pizze already but none as good as the ones Albertino makes at Athena. That is, until now.

This place is just across from the SCIE we pass by every day, but until last night when Heather returned from the student trip ready for something quick and simple we'd never been there. So, off we went. Above you see her in front of what was a basic Margherita - red sauce, white cheese and green basil.

Above you see what Zio Lorenzo ordered, the "Bufalina" with fresh cherry tomatoes, real buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil.

These made our top 10 best pizza list easily! Perhaps as high as number 3?

Wonderful crust, just like the best of Napoli with enough pomodorini and cheese to be tasty but not a gooey, watery mess as is often the case.

Based on the mob of people outside waiting for tables when we left, this place is no secret but we'll be back...but we'll return to Tempio Athena first.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Great story about Favaloro


Above: Our rental bike "Belloni" by Michele Favaloro

We just learned about this great blog post created after NAHBS 2018.

Click HERE to read it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This is February?

February in Sicily

Above: Uncle Larry with Ortigia in the background

This is one of those "Well, just rub it in that we're under X feet of snow!" posts, but this is what passes for winter here on the southeastern coast of Sicily.

Of course it'll be hotter than the hinges of Hades in July but we'll be up in Piedmont by then.

For now and the next few months, we're happy to be down here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Training roads of the stars

We were riding around a few weeks ago as a couple of guys in UAE team kits came down the hill. One of them looked a LOT like the guy on the white Colnago!

They were nice enough, saying CIAO as they went past. We didn't recognize them enough to know for sure if they were pros or just fan-boys (FIT fan-boys, but) but today Larry looked here

and recognized the background in this Cor Vos photo. I guess we're not the only ones who think southeastern Sicily is a great place to ride in the winter!

In truth, we've seen some other pro teams out here over the years, but this photo confirms Sicily is again becoming a choice of the pros for their winter training.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Pillbox Ride

The Pillbox Ride

When we first started cycling here years ago, Uncle Larry was struck by the number of German "pillboxes" along the roads. These date back to WWII and the German occupation of Sicily.

Back-in-day these were disguised as buildings so they were hard to see from the air, but these days the coverings are long gone, though some of the openings have been closed.

Some seem to be on private property these days and used for storing wine or oil. With the thick concrete construction the temperature inside can't change much from season to season.

You can see they've rebuilt this road and put up modern guardrails, but the pill box remains pretty much intact after 70+ years.

This ride loop passes more than pillboxes. Orange trees are full of fruit this time of year.

These red or blood oranges are tasty and juicy,

Just look at that juice!!! No artificial colors here.

And then there's a view to admire while enjoying it. It's a tough life but someone's gotta live it!

Friday, February 2, 2018


Pizza Garage?

We've passed this place a zillion times and every time Uncle Larry's said, "We have to eat there" but up until last night it never worked out.

The students played soccer last night and it was too late to come home and cook so why not finally visit this near-to-the-soccer field place?

It was pretty quiet on a Thursday night in February so we wandered in to admire the old motos Nuccio has decorated his tiny pizzeria with.

Moto Guzzi, Gilera, Benelli, etc. might not be household names in the USA but in Italy they're revered in the same way as the tiny FIAT 500 cars.

Some of the old relics look to have seen some racetrack time, most likely at the local autodromo which hosted GP auto racing back-in-the-day. Photos on the wall show the 1958 GP of Siracusa

This place is crammed full of all kinds of racing memorabilia.

Including nicely finished engines, fuel tanks, etc. Everything's Italian through and through. The pizza is OK, but nothing special here in Italy.

As some of you know, Uncle Larry has a soft spot for motorized two-wheelers, especially Italian ones. This last shot is of him during his (very) brief period as a pro Superbike racer in the early '80's.