Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I love but also dislike looking through old vacation photos. This trip to Sicily in June was one of the most fun vacations I've ever had and it's just recent enough that I still feel like I can smell the lemons and the sunscreen but just long enough ago that the happy euphoria of being in a villa on the Sicilian coast with friends and zero responsibilities is fading. This trip was incredible not only because of the gorgeous things we saw but also the feeling of total and utter relaxation and happiness. Not that I want to be a downer, but it dawned on me that moments like this are hard to come by and I can't take them for granted. I never want to forget that feeling. A week after coming back from this holiday, graduation happened and then in a flash, everyone moved away. Just like that, university life was over. 

And so begins the bittersweet task of painstakingly sorting photos and recounting the interesting bits to preserve the trip forever.

Soundtrack of the summer

Seven of us rented this villa in Santa Venerina, a tiny town on the east coast of Sicily. We were located in a spot that showed the sea on one side and the great volcano Mount Etna on the other side. The scenery was arid and dry, but incredible. We found the perfect balance of chilling out, de-stressing, and boozing in the sun, and going out to explore and adventure!

Doing what I do best - hahaha. These shorts originated as a pair of jeans that had passed their shelf life, so I cut them off and added some pretty lace; problem solved for 3 pounds! :)

We visited some beautiful local towns, like Taormina and Syracuse. Big towns were swarming with tourists though, even though it wasn't the official high season. Our village was much more low-key and authentic. People were so friendly!

10,000 of the cutest sheepies I ever did see.

Our house had a wood-burning pizza oven that we used to produce approximately thirteen pizzas, two focaccia and zero fires. We also managed to find the world's tastiest 3-euro bottle of red wine and proceeded to liquidate the supermarket of its entire stock. :)

One day we climbed Mount Etna which, as you can see from these photos, was an extremely bizarre landscape; it almost felt like the set of a space movie or something. Etna is Europe's tallest active volcano [thank you wikipedia] and is roughly 3,400 meters high. Needless to say, it gets very cold up there and the whole thing is covered in a layer of snow/ice. BUT, the really strange part is that every time it erupts [small eruptions happen as often as every couple of months], it spews a layer of volcanic ash all over the snow and turns everything black. Then, it snows over the top of that, then an eruption occurs over that, etc. etc. so you get these stripey black and white snowdrifts that just pile up higher and higher. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. Equally weird was the sensation of taking a ski-lift up a mountain wearing a coat but being able to see the sandy beach and sunbathers below. What started off as a nice hike evolved into an epic trek that saw me determinedly climbing [read: clinging on for dear life] up one side of a mountain with a huge incline [I thought it was the only way up], only to get to the top and realize that most people just take the gentle path up the other side! ooops. 

We visited Savoca, the town where the in-Sicily scenes from The Godfather were filmed. Corleone is a real town, but it became industrialized and had lost its idyllic charm by the time the movie was being filmed, so they replaced it with this quaint mountain town. This bar is the exact location where Al Pacino asks Apollonia's father for permission to date her. Sweet, right?!

We tried everything in a pistachio-version, from the famed cannoli to huge ma-hoosive pizzas, and I can say I was a true fan of each and every pistachio-covered food Sicily threw my way. 
I love you Sicily.


Jennifer said...

I love all your photos Jenny! I can't believe your 4 years at University are over. I have loved seeing your time in Edinburgh and all the other places you've visited on this blog. i wish we had gone to Sicily instead of Venice this summer but we only had so much time....your place looks so much prettier and way less congested! I'm so happy you got to do this with friends. Can't wait to see what you do next!

Kelly's Korner said...

Wow! What an amazing trip! Your pictures are beautiful and hat sounds like an awesome opportunity!

Megan said...

Just... wow. Looks incredible! And Jenny, I'm sure you will have plenty more of those moments in life. They wouldn't be worth anything if they happened every day, but you know how to enjoy yourself and I'm sure you'll do plenty of it before you're through :)

Katelyn R. said...

Jennifer! Don't insult Venice! But Jenny Sicily does look amazing! I'm so glad you had such an awesome time. I really wanted to make it there but never did... i'll just have to live through you I guess...

Corinnea said...

Gorgeous photos!
You're all grown up now!!

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