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Trip Overview
Part 1: Palermo
Part 2: More Palermo
Part 3: Segesta and Trapani
Part 4: The Greeks and Longi
Part 5: Gangi
Part 6: Siracusa and Modica
Part 7: Enna
Part 8: Mondello and Rome

Sicily Part 4

Greek Stuff: Selinunte (I loved it for its wild feel and location on the water's edge) and Agrigento (spectacular ruins in a touristy setting). Mountain stuff: Longi (read on)

The Greek Stuff: Selinunte | Agrigento
The not-Greek Stuff: Longi

OK, I’m going to have to visit my chiropractor immediately after we get home if I don’t stop patting myself on the back for the luck I’m having with our itinerary and places to stay. I chose Longi on instinct. I’d read about the black pigs and the artisan cheese in the Nebrodi Mountains and thought it would be interesting. When I found an Italian-only web site for a B&B, I decided why not—perche' non? But during the curvy, terrifying drive up to the mountains, I wondered what I’d gotten us into. (Some of you know the story of me dragging Jeff to the witches town). But when we entered Longi and saw the main street and the guys sitting in the afternoon sun in the piazza, I knew it was going to be OK. What I didn’t know then was that we would have the best room ever, comfy with a view of the mountains and 20 steps from the main piazza, AND the local Madonna statue was scheduled for her pre-Easter tour of the town the next day. Oh, and the food. But Chef Jeff is telling you about that.

We stayed at one of the offerings booked through this site:

In Longi, it was Italian all day, every day. No one spoke English and a few people didn’t speak standard Italian either. But that didn’t stop the very friendly bar* owner from wanting to chat. The first time we stopped in for coffee, we watched he and his wife supply the Old Men’s Club who sit in the square with coffee, coffee corretto (corretto means corrected, which means adding a dash of grappa to espresso), or just the “corretto.” By 10am these guys switch from coffee to the local wine with a spritz of what the owner described as homemade Sprite! And that was the problem—he wanted to describe everything he made, from braised fava beans snacks to special Easter biscotti. And unfortunately he only spoke a tamed down version of his dialect. We struggled for a middle ground and the chore exhausted me, but the awkwardness didn’t stop him from wanting to talk. When we’d leave after one of these conversations, Jeff would ask what the guy had said. Often I only had a partial idea.

* For those who haven’t traveled in Italy, bars are a combination of neighborhood meeting place and coffee house, a place for morning coffee, an afternoon snack, spritz at the end of the day. They are not places where people are knocking back Martinis. (There are such places in big cities.)

And on we go, down the mountains and up into others.

La domenica delle palme in Gangi.