Sunday, August 16, 2009


Another Ferragosto has come and gone, and that means I have almost survived both the summer and the silly season! The summer takes some surviving because of the heat and, for women, it entails even more worrying about one's appearance than usual. As I reported on twitter earlier, the following has become my Sunday routine: shower, epilate, shower, exfoliate, apply moisturiser and then fake tan to legs. [I am pale and it's the only way!] Then wait at least an hour for it to dry and develop a bit [while I read, pluck my eyebrows, exfoliate my face and give myself a facepack]. The "Sicilian silly season" is definitely August, when many stores shut down for 2 whole weeks around Ferragosto and others do not reopen after siesta. It's a bit churlish to want to deny the Italians, who work so hard all year round, their August break, but I do find it absurd that a chemist's can close for a whole month! Even my beloved Altro Posto bar has been closed for the past two weeks but Raffaele the hairdresser is only closing for four days this year, instead of a whole week. This, I imagine, is due to increased competition from several new hairdressing salons which have sprung up in Modica this year. I can just about manage four days without a hairdo!

The Post Office, that embodiment of "abandon all hope", is again closed in the afternoons until the end of August. And, talking of that establishment, last week a post box appeared outside it. This may be normal in other parts of the world but it seems no one had suggested it as a logical place to put one in this part of Sicily!

The Edicolè bar is only closed until Monday afternoon, and they were feeling in generous mood when I popped in for an aperitivo and an ice cream on Friday: how about this for a complimentary snack?

When I bought a kilo of grapes for 80 centesimi from our local greengrocer, also on Friday, he didn't have 20 c in change to give me, so instead he plonked another kilo of grapes into the bag! OK, I know he had to get rid of them before the holiday, but I can't imagine that happening in the UK, can you? It seems that there are some advantages to the "silly season" after all!

Now, changing the subject completely, my friend M from Girl on the Run wanted to see what accessories I would buy to go with this outfit:

Well, I finally got them, in the end-of-season sales!

Meanwhile, Modica's young people have been having a busy time down on the beaches: I'm ashamed to relate that our lovely, clean beaches have been badly littered with cigarette ends and the Comune's machines don't pick them all up. Under the clever slogan, Filtriamo la spiaggia young people have been invited to clear the beaches of this mindless pollution and have been offered a free ice cream for every 50 cigarette ends they've been able to collect today. [I must say, I wouldn't like to be the person who had to count them!] A good initiative, encouraging the young to care about their environment and allowing local makers of traditional ice cream to sponsor an environmental event or the Comune evading its resposibilities and even potentially exposing the volunteers to a health risk? I've heard both arguments here and now would love to know what all of you think.


Saretta said...

Ferragosto in Molfetta means that all the country roads around town will be filled with litter, making them look like Naples at the height of the garbage's disgusting! I think the ice-cream for cigarette butts is a good idea, why not? The idea of cleaning up a public space would never even come to mind for many Italians otherwise...

Barbara said...

Hi there,
You are all dolled up to enjoy summer ;) Good for you !

Your August in Sicily sounds like August in the Parisian burbs, It's a real desert here...

Mary said...

Sorry, for a moment there I didn't realise what 'epilate' meant..ignorance can be exciting.

James Higham said...

This, I imagine, is due to increased competition from several new hairdressing salons which have sprung up in Modica this year.

Now that is very interesting indeed. All on the main street? And I missed your reply on cafes. You appear not to go to L'Altro Posto any more.

Is it because they're closed? Daily Doings 24 - I'll come back and look.

J. M. P. said...

Thanks for the information about Ferragosto, it's great to know this is such an ancient holiday (we celebrate it in Catalonia too). Now I've picked up again my old edition of Il Gattopardo. It was in August when the Salina family returned to their village in Donnafugata, wasn't it? Best wishes!

rochambeau said...

You survived Welshcakes Limoncello, with new news and a purse to prove!

Whispering Walls said...

Did you wear your silver shoes when you were wishing on a star, WL?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Saretta. How thoughtless people can be! I think it's a good initiative, too. Hi, Barbara. Thank you! I remember being surprised at how empty Paris was in August many years ago. - empty of Parisians, that is. Hi, Mary. You do make me smile! Hi, James. No, all over the place. I did reply to your bar query. Edicolè is new - well, fairly. The AP has been closed for the past 2 weeks. Hi, fullet. Nice to know you celebrate it there, too. I love "Il Gattopardo". It was the first book set in SIcily that I read. Yes, they set out in high summer. That Donnafugata is not the one near here, but near Palermo. Hi, Constance. Yes, I did! Thank you. I forgot, WW!

sjmesq said...


My name is Salvatore Mirabile.

I am an attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

I have relatives in Gibellina, Sicilia. In fact my cousin, Gaspare Mirabile, owns the "Bar Golden" there, and he makes THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, Gellato in Sicily!!!! He really does!!!!!!

Please try it if you are ever near Gibellina or ever go there.

My cousin is a great guy and TRULY MAKES THE BEST GELLATO IN SICILY...!!!!!

People come from miles around for his special 'Limone Gellato!!!

Please try it if you are ever near.

Love your site and read it every day. It reminds me so very much of my trips to Sicilia...


CIAO, Salvatore

CherryPie said...

Looking lovely as ever :-) I don't I could look that good when the temperature was so high!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Salvatore, how lovely to meet you. I'll definitely head for "Bar Golden" and your brother's gelati if I find myself in that area. Thank you for the tip and thank you for your kind words about my blog.

Very sweet of you to say so, Cherie. It's OK if you're indoors!

jmb said...

August in Sicily sounds a not so charming place what with the heat and no service for anything.

But still as beautiful as ever.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. Even today, there were shops and bars still "chiuso per ferie", including the Altro Posto, in its third week of closure! But as you say, Sicily is still beautiful.


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