So this post is a bit outside the subject title of my blog but I have to share where Emiliano and I have just spent the last week. I am actually writing this post from the front terrace of our gorgeous apartment on the island of Lampedusa.
For those who have not heard of Lampedusa, it is the southern most island of Italy and also the most southern point of Europe – It is actually closer to Africa than Italy.
The style of houses are called Dammusi and are made from stone with a dome on the roof which helps to circulate the air as temperatures reach quite high during the Summer months. Fortunately though being an island, there is a lovely breeze and in the evenings it cools off quite a bit.
We have been here for a week and it has been so relaxing. You can choose beaches of sand or stone and it is very popular for diving and snorkeling as the variety of fish to be seen is very impressive.
Equally impressive is the water – so clear and in such vivid shades of teal and turquoise, it really fits the ideal of an island fantasy. The island is known as a nesting ground for the Caretta Caretta turtle and there are some beaches where you are not allowed to stick your umbrella in the sand for fear of upsetting the nests.
The Lampedusian language is the same as the Sicilian dialect and I have really noticed the difference when listening to the locals talk.
The food has also been very good! As one who loves her food, I have been enjoying the authentic arancini, granita and of course the fresh fish. We cooked our own scampi and prawns the other night and I also prepared a spaghetti with bianchetti which are tiny baby fish, (smaller than whitebait). I cooked the bianchetti in olive oil with parsley and cherry tomatoes. The fish have a bitter taste so are not for everyone but I balanced this flavor with lemon juice and salt. I personally really enjoyed the dish and of course had seconds! (the advantage to eating at home!)
Arriving here was also very easy. We drove to Bologna (one hour from Florence) and then flew direct from Bologna to Lampedusa which took approximately 2 hours. The landing was quite interesting as the runway is on the edge of the island so it feels and looks like you are going to land in the water until the last minute when you see land. Upon arrival we were met by Veronica from the travel agency who drove us to our apartment where our scooter for the week was also waiting. Even though it is obligatory to wear a helmet here, it was amazing how many people ride around without one. Bloody stupid I say especially after seeing how many of the people drive here and also for the lack of traffic signals.
So it is our last evening here and we are about to head our for dinner. A beautiful refreshing breeze is blowing as I write this in front of the setting sun. The bells from the sheep and goat passing as they do every evening at this hour with the local shepherd is the background music to this scene and I must admit, I am sad to be leaving so soon.