Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Acireale Lunch

After our nice Sunday night passeggiata in Acireale, we decided to go back and have a nice, relaxing pasta lunch there Wednesday.

Will all these April showers indeed
bring May flowers?

Ristorante L'Oste Scuro di Vicenzo Fazio

Paul and I discovered this nice little place back in February before Laurie and I got here.  We tried to eat dinner here last Sunday but they were closed.  They specialize in all sorts of seafood pasta.

Here you see Laurie just before her first ever plate of Spaghetti al Nero, my personal favorite that I went against for once by ordering Spaghetti alla Vongole.

Spaghetti al Nero is made from the black ink of the Cuttlefish.  The Cuttlefish is a sea creature that looks halfway between a squid and a tiny octopus.  Marinate pieces of the Cuttlefish in a little olive oil with garlic and add some white wine, then add the black ink at the end and VOILÁ you get a delicious sweet sauce.

There is one minor problem with this fabulous dish...

It is NOT a good choice on your first date!!!

You can obviously see that Laurie made a great choice by wearing a basic black outfit to lunch.

On the other hand, one should never smile for a photo while eating Spaghetti al Nero.

Fortunately our first date happened in July, 1965.  44 years of dating is a long time, so her smile here is OK for me.

Benito, is that you?

Hey look, a rare old Catholic Church!

What set this one apart is that it was the ONLY one on this block.

Acireale even has something for people who are Disneyholics

They even have a Carabinieri Office in Acireale

I love their symbol under this statue's feet.  On a Carabinieri's hat it is huge.  It looks heavy enough to be considered a weapon.

The entrance to a very interesting
private villa.

The Villa Belvedere is a public park

The Villa Belvedere offers a nice view of the Ionian Sea.

That's not a bad shot of a cute lampadina too.

Sicily, a land of myths and legends

Most people are not aware that much of Greek mythology centers around the island of Sicily which during the Golden Age of Greece was a very important Greek outpost.

Much of Homer's "Odyssey", written ca. 800 B.C., relates to life in Sicily.

At this statue and fountain in Villa Belvedere, you see the death of Acis with his love Galatea in shock and disbelief.

Now, according to Ovid's "Metamorphoses" written in ca. 1 A.D., Acis was a 16 year old mortal lad who was a shepherd that tended a flock on the side of Mt. Etna.  Acis had a torrid love affair with the older Galatea who was and probably still is a Nereid sea goddess.  This makes Galatea one of the earliest recorded "Cougars".

Unfortunately for the two of them, Polyphemus, better known in mythology as the Cyclops who ruled the Ionian Sea coast of Sicily, was passionately in love with Galatea as well.  Unforunately for the Cyclops, Galatea hated him.  With this many unfortunates in one paragraph something bad has to happen and sure enough, when Polyphemus discovers this verboten, oops München beer flashback, forbidden love between a mortal and a goddess he does the only thing a self respecting Cyclops can do and kills Acis by hitting him with a rock!

Galatea takes pity on Acis and turns him into a gushing river that runs all the way from Mt. Etna to the Ionian Sea where the two lovers will be forever reunited.

Today Sicily, though having dropped the "s" from Acis' name, still boasts of the River Aci and several towns that honor his memory like Acireale, Aci Trezza, Aci Catena, Aci San Amtonio, Aci Bonaccorsi and our very own Aci Castello where Malibu overlooks the Ionian Sea.

We had very turbulent waves here two night ago.  You don't think that Acis and Galatea were... 

My little Ray of Sunshine!

"HEY, DAMN IT!  Who just threw that rock at me!  You almost hit me!"

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