My Sicily. The alchemy of a journey

A journey – head in the clouds and heart lost between the skyline and the rising sun. A journey, a rendez-vous, a place of expectations and future memories.

Travelling has a scent of magic, disclosing the world to your eyes, but not the alchemy you create with that place, the legacy you create despite time, distances and the return flight. Travelling is a continuous discovery, I think that there is a special charm when you look at things for the first time, a unique lure.

I have always been fascinated by the sight of a tourist looking at something I know very well, wondering what she could see through her novice eyes, what they would be fixed on. And this is the secret; learning to look at things (always) with fresh eyes, with curiosity, giving things the chance to astonish you, like at the first glance, remaining a tourist, searching, discovering, passionately.

And then there is my Sicily yet to discover. While flying I observe her: losing myself in daydreams, having the same feeling as when I am just discovering a new place, my waiting enriched by expectations and the awareness that a journey will always be an enrichment, a treasure.

smiling folk group

And when I look at her from high up above, I have the impression I can embrace all of her, and I perceive her warmth, her contradictions.

Seneca said that his homeland was the whole world and I think that the whole world has a lot of the concept of homeland as we conceive it, since wherever we are we will always find something smelling of our home.

We are probably born with the desire to share with other humans. We all feel a strong need to share our personal view of the world and of things. And we all feel the core desire to be part of a community, the same community, aggregation of habits and customs reinforcing our perception of “home”, colours and folklore connecting a unique world.

Recently I have had a confirmation of how all this is easily within our range, from the big events like Expo, gathering the world, to the simple manifestations like town festivals, a constant of the world.

Everyone could list examples, so can I, such as this little but convincing example: Giarre – an Italian town in the eastern part of Sicily, a junction between Etna, Taormina and a dive into the sea. In one word: Home, my home. Even a small place can enlarge its boundaries and aggregate.

They called it “The Sicilian carts  and folk day” – a cosy day, a cosy event as many others and, most importantly, a constant shared worldwide; the desire for folklore, meaning traditions, joy and colours. I have seen so many colours and smiles, those of the local and of international folk groups, dancing and singing with a contagious and cheerful joy. And then the Sicilian carts, pure tradition, with their typical decorations of Sicilian puppets and the festive sound of the accordion.
gruppo folk giarre 3
giarre piazza duomo (1)
And then, all join the parade, with dance steps and curiosity, along the very typical streets of the city centre, on lava paved roads, up to the near city of Riposto at the foot of the Ionian Sea.
After all, what’s special, what remains engraved is the cohesion, the peacefulness, the perception of going back to childhood, with the real taste of things, simplicity, the wait and the joy; the pleasure to share the same roots, homeland – and the world – for a while.
folk groups giarre 2
Travelling is leaving a small piece of your heart in each place, but to me my Sicily deserves an entire heart, a special glaze. Always.

Text and photos by Silvia la Rosa, September 2015


  1. Beautiful!


  2. Thank you so much Ishita 🙂


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