Gangi, Sicily – most beautiful hamlet of Italy in 2014!

My yoga teacher was guiding us….”upward facing dog”…..and shift to “downward facing dog”….up, down, up, down….and all I could think about was the feeling of up and down, down and up that I experienced in late September as I was driving with my family to Gangi, Sicily – an hour and a half south of Palermo, nominated most beautiful hamlet of Italy in 2014! 

Driving in Sicily....{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Driving in Sicily….{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

The skies were crystal clear blues……and at sunset so sensual and romantic….they left us breathless.  Incredible natural beauty all around us, we were in the heart of Sicily.   The journey is what matters, my yoga teacher reminds us, not the destination.  I’m a fond supporter of this – for we don’t always know exactly where we may end up, but we always know where we are here and now.   And that’s all you should worry about anyways:  to be your best at this very moment, not yesterday, not tomorrow. But today, yes. 

Sicilian countryside....{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Sicilian countryside….{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Along the way, we crossed picturesque villages or “paesini” where older men were sitting holding canes and wearing their coppole and light jackets in the piazza in front of small idyllic churches, time truly stopped, and if you met a few stray dogs along the way you were lucky……kitchens scented the air with local flavors, I was hungry smelling roasted meats, homemade bread from the panifici {bakeries}.  We were driving uphill and so the air was crispier and clearer. 

Sicilian villages around Gangi   {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Sicilian villages around Gangi {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

We finally reached Gangi – my sister driving, my parents in the back seat almost nauseated from all the curves we had to overcome to make it – it was an incredible sight.  We paused for a moment for we were thankful we had been able to witness this unforgettable view all together.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I don’t have to remind you….but what are you grateful for? Was this year good to you?  I’m grateful for the gift of family and friends and good health and good laughter. 

"Lapa" - "Ape" in Sicily....{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
“Lapa” – “Ape” in Sicily….{Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

Gangi was our destination, our end goal — but once we reached, we found everything closed and couldn’t even get a caffe’ , the carabiniere {local police guy} nearly pushed us out of the village because we were obstructing traffic taking photos, we didn’t even have a chance to try some of that grilled meat and local cheeses…..but we journeyed there, as a family, saw our destination together, and – to us – that’s really all that mattered.  Do I recommend you travel there in your lifetime?  If you have the opportunity and you are ready and open to the experience of driving in the heart of the Sicilian countryside and mountains…..absolutely!  By now, you know that I believe in travel as a life altering and incredibly enriching experience.  Wishing you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving/Festa del Ringraziamento in Italian though you know we don’t celebrate.  It’s one of my favorite American Holidays and ….I will celebrate with family, in cucina e a tavola, full of incredible culinary goodness, warm company, good laughter and lots of love/amore.    A presto, Francesca

Gangi, Sicily  {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Gangi, Sicily {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

 

 

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hello Francesca:  Why didn’t you tell me about this little hamlet of Gangi, Sicily?I was surprised you went to western Sicily with your family, with all the time constraints you had, less thana couple weeks to view those wonderful off-the-beaten path villages and small town of Sicily.Keep up the good writing on your personal experiences in our lovely homeland!!zio George

    to quote you:

    Wishing you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving/Festa del Ringraziamento in Italian though you know we don’t celebrate.  It’s one of my favorite American Holidays and ….I will celebrate with family, in cucina e a tavola, full of incredible culinary goodness, warm company, good laughter and lots of love/amore

    1. You know we love to travel Zio….stay tuned for more travel reflections here…..F

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