Destination: Ragusa, Sicily
How to say the essentials in the local language:
Goodbye: Ciao or Ciao Ciao or Arrivederci
Please: per favore
Thank you: Grazie
Where’s the bathroom/restroom (toilet): dov'è la toilette
(Thank you to my Italian-Belgian friend, Daniela for validating my translations!)
Just saying that word is like meditation. Sicily is the perfect place to practice slow travel.
Italians across the board simply ADORE children. No matter where we are in Italy, men, women, and kids young and old approach my son with ear to ear smiles, outstretched arms and a loud, boisterous, “Bello!” - with a kiss to their joined thumb and index fingers for good measure. Sicily was no exception.
This trip to Ragusa was just good for the soul…and taste buds. It was all about great food and wine, gelato till we dropped, “treno” rides, ’strolling’ all the way to the top for spectacular views, and observing how the locals did it (and then doing its ourselves!).
Ragusa was my son’s first brush with Michelin. Yep, you heard it. My then one-year-old actually dined in a 2-starred Michelin restaurant there and savored every last drop! (The truffle ice cream was also to die for!)
Real story: It was a scorching hot, summer afternoon when we happened upon the acclaimed 2-starred Michelin restaurant, Duomo. Imagining how distasteful it would be to even attempt such an extravagance with a one-year-old in tote, we instead were enviously salivating at the roadside menu just outside of the main entrance. A server approached us to welcome us in, but we explained that we were with our little man and of course didn’t want to destroy the place and send elegant diners running out. Well he and the now growing staff members surrounding us would hear nothing of it. In fact, the chef actually came out while we were dining to meet my little man and personally gave him some souvenirs to take home. I wish I had thought to ask for a photo, but we were so into the moment at the time. Somehow, I think this one will stay with us regardless. We don’t know if it was this culinary debut or other, but my son has become quite the food connoisseur. It’s often joked he’s a chef in the making.
You just never know what slow travel will have in store for you.