The Catania Fish Market

After we left the Barone di Villagrande Vineyard, we visited Catania, a large town on the Sicilian coastline. There we stopped at the Catania fish market, a sprawling collection of shops and booths selling colorful produce, fish just off the boat, pig’s feet, and just about everything you can imagine.

The market is a rambling journey that winds through some patios and narrow passageways that were filled with shoppers and—because scooters go everywhere—guys on scooters like the one shown above trying to take a shortcut through the crowds. And, because it is an actual working market, you also might encounter, as we did, an employee carrying a box of debris topped with a severed goat’s head making his way through the crowd.

The sun was bright and so were the colors of the market. I liked the whimsical nature of some of the shops, like the old-fashioned lemon stand above or the boat-shaped food stand shown below. As we strolled along, the Landscape Artist bought a kind of mixed nut brittle for our merry band to munch on.

My favorite artistic aspect of the market were the many bright umbrellas hanging overhead in parts of the marketplace. The umbrellas not only made a colorful canopy overhead, they also cast shadowed patterns on the ground. It’s the kind of little touch you might not find in America but you do find in Italy and Sicily.

Barone Di Villagrande Vineyard

Our first home base in Sicily was the Barone di Villagrande Vineyard on one of the slopes of Mt. Etna. I loved everything about it and was sorry when we moved on yesterday. We had a beautiful and spacious room with a panoramic view of the terraced vineyards, the town below, and the sea beyond, which I’ve shown in some prior posts. The food and wine pairings were terrific, the staff members were uniformly attentive, friendly, and helpful, and the grounds had the distinctive touches that make a place live on in memory—like the majestic 139-year-old cypress tree, shown above, that towered over our outdoor balcony and the bottlebrush tree with its many buzzing bees and the old well, shown below, next to the patio seating area where we enjoyed wine and conversation with the Birdwatcher and Zippy the Insegnante. And the lawn beyond was an ideal place to sweat out the toxins when the Capo dei Capi put us through our yoga paces.

The acid test for any place is whether you would recommend it to friends and hope to return some day. The Barone di Villagrande Vineyard easily passes that test.