Today was equally as exciting and culturally rich as yesterday! Peppe met us for coffee in Alcamo and revealed that for fun he is also an actor in a local theater company. Color me impressed! He gave me an antique Sicilian playbook to give to my mother, who has (of course) two degrees and a great love for theater.
Anyways, it is Festa della Repubblica - so patriotism all around. Of course I would be invited to celebrate it by attending an environmental rally in favor of conserving the Bois di Alcamo Madonna delle Alto for future generations! Love my life. We literally casually went to this mountain to see an ancient lookout castle at the top and then Girolamo mentions that he wants me to "dire quelques mots" or say a few words about conservation and its national significance in the USA at a patriotic rally in the middle of the forest. Okay, it went great and the people were so awesome! Sicilians are JUST LIKE NICARAGUANS. Proud, kind, loving, food-obsessed and traditionally wise.
So that was just the morning. Next came Segesta. I was almost speechless, which is saying a lot for me. It was an incredible ancient (uncompleted and abandoned) temple (which also interestingly was considered an important historical/cultural landmark by Mussolini and not destroyed) and ampitheater. Bellisimo.
Benvenutti alle ampitetro e tempio di Segesta
Beautiful Sicilian countryside!!
Vineyard with aqueduct-style bridge from Mussolini's rule in the background
When we got back to the apartment to change for dinner in Palermo with Franco (one of Girolamo's best friends, an economist and absolute sweetheart), I was greeted by my (embarrassing) television interview from the release the day before! Cute... I feel so famous though! I also got a brief spin on a real-life Vespa from the 60s, which Girolamo collects. Audrey Hepburn bucketlist item one checked off - Vespa in Italy! Plus I got a ride in a Fiat500, like one of the old ones, which Girolamo also collects. Good stuff. I got some car history and everything!
Dinner was also lovely - a legitimate margherita pizza with buffalo mozzarella (aka melt-in-your-mouth joy) as well as panelle and sufincini as appetizers! I can't keep describing the food because I'll get hungry, but lets just say that Sicily has a much better and fresher selection of non-fish foods (and fish foods) than Lampedusa.
Fiat Cinquecento and me
Palermo by night!