Saturday, June 07, 2008


James guest posts and writes for you about two of my favourite haunts tonight. Enjoy!

As with many of the best businesses in Modica, the approach to Raffaele's salon is inconspicuous but once the lift decants you into the reception area [or alternatively you can mountain climb up the tiled steps if you're quite sportif], a wonderworld awaits you.

There is the chic, the hustle and bustle, the girls who assist him and then there is:


Still some years from 'a certain age', the first thing which strikes you about the man is the warm and open smile, the second thing is his pink polo T and the third the women milling around, planting kisses upon his craggy cheek.

He greets us with enthusiasm then zips away to attend to this lady or that whilst a girl brings us an espresso each and on a plush cushioned divan, we await his attendance upon our cappelli although in my case it's more wishful thinking than any specific style.

Welshcakes is whisked away for the shampoo phase and I take my leave with beaming smiles all round.

Oh, by the way, did I mention the views across the Modican countryside from his large window wall?

The thing which strikes you about this part of Sicily straight away is the friendliness of the people. It's a word bandied about by all tourist boards but in the case of Modica, it is most assuredly so.

Take that one step further, in the form of the cafe of choice in the choice main shopping street - via Sacre Cuore - and you have the makings of a delight.

Ten years ago, L'Altro Posto [The Other Place] started up on this street and a little gem it proved to be too. In that time it has become the place to eat for the business community in this area so why should we be any different?

Quite frankly, if I haven't had my cappuccino and choc croissant by eleven from Georgio or Marcella, I start to chafe at the bit and Welshcakes is of a similar mind with her prosciutto and melon lunch which I occasionally join her for.

This could be followed by fruit, gelati, then an espresso of local origin - Caffè MOAK.

One is spoilt for choice really and all I can suggest is that if you make it down this neck of the woods, seek out L'Altro Posto and you'll be assured of the sort of welcome I too received after only a few days - a beaming:


This is cross-posted at nourishing obscurity.


Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with you - but saying that you will find the hospitality is all over the island. My husband is from Sicily and he has twin siters that live in Milan, both married with families. Very nice but me as a foreigner (a Brit) has noticed the difference. Quite hontestly I think they are marvellous people from Sicily - I do admire them, they have wonderful resilience etc. That would eventually disappear, I am sure, if they were living in the UK under the "soft hand-outs".

Leslie: said...

Great to hear from you and your point of view. Sounds as though you're thoroughly enjoying your stay in Modica. Any plans on moving there? *wink* lol

CherryPie said...

I am just wondering what that certain age is? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey James! Nice writing there! ;)

jmb said...

I think that is one of the wonderful things about Italy. How quickly you are accepted and don't even need to ask when you enter an establishment. Almost on the second and definitely by the third day at least your usual beverage is in front of you before you can open your mouth.

They are always so cheerful and friendly, despite the fact that they work such incredibly long hours six days a week, if not seven.

A lot of the idiocies of the Italian system can be forgiven because of the friendliness of the people.

Maria said...

Hi Welshcakes! WOW! He's a cutie... and the place looks like a lot of FUN! Hope all is well with you and Simi.

Ill be cathcing up soon.

All the best,

Sally said...

So glad that bell'Italia and her people have clearly wormed their way into your heart James - thank you, thank you for the cheery shot of l'Altro Posto; Raffaele we'v seen before, but the other place has been a mystery and there they were, looking just right. Tante belle cose e buona domenica a tutti

James Higham said...

Glad to oblige, ladies. It's a beautiful place here and Welshcakes the consummate hostess.

Nunyaa said...

I'm boring, onlyu have instant or cappucinno at my place... although I do love espresso and filter dripped coffee.

Chelsea + Shiloh said...

I love any post about Ive read back on all the posts and it sounds like your having a ball James...

Claire said...

Never been as far south in Italy as Sicily you are doing well at selling it. Nice to hear your point of view.

Whispering Walls said...

Is that James or Raffaele in the photo?

Dragonstar said...

Sounds like an idyllic place to spend time. Glad you're enjoying yourself James.

Ellee Seymour said...

This must all be such a huge culture shock for James after the Russian Fed.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You are certainly not boring, nunyaa! Glad you've enjoyed the Raffa posts, Abbey. Ciao, kissa. You must coome and visit! Raffa, WW. Hi, dragonstar. I'm glad he is, too. It must be indeed, Ellee.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Welsh Di. Totally agree re hospitality here. Leslie, you are a aughty woman!! Hi, cherrypie. I've been a certain age for some years now! Nice to see you, maryann. jmb - totally agree with your last sentence here. M, how lovely to see you. I will tell Simi! Ciao, Sally. We both appreciate your good wishes.


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