Posted on August 16, 2014

Sicily – Heritage & Fashion

Italy/ Lifestyle/ Romantique/ Travel

Moorish head pasticeria taormina, Italy

Sicily – where to start? Our eight day romantic getaway to Taormina, was only enough to sample a fraction of this amazing Island. Sicilian culture is as unique as it is rich, due to its colourful history and passionate inhabitants. Its melting pot of different cultures can be partly attriubted to the various emperors who ruled, invaded & left their mark: Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Normans and Arabs. All of this is reflected in Sicily’s cuisine, architecture & folklore.
 
Everything is extreme in Sicily: The sea is bluer, the deserts sweeter and the pasta sauces richer than anywhere else in Italy. In good old “Eat, Pray, Love” fashion, this is not the place to come if you are dieting!  Come with an open heart (and stomach) and savour the world famous Cannoli & Cassata!

 

Traditional Sicilian marzipan fruit is made of fresh almonds.

Traditional Sicilian marzipan fruit is made of fresh almonds.


Sicily’s fashion is both opulent and rich, and is embodied by my favourite designer duo, Dolce & Gabbana. Their signature style pays homage to their homeland; elegant lace, rich brocade, delicate crochet and accessories reflecting Sicilian folklore.

Sicilian Jewllery Moorish heads

You can buy stunning, Sicilian inspired jewellery from the shop “Nico Design” in Catania, the artesian airport town that lies 45 minutes south of Taormina.

 Above: If you’ve ever been to Sicily, you will have noticed the ceramic flower pots depicting Moorish heads of women and men. The town of Caltagirone, near Taormina in Sicily is famous for its traditional tin-glazed pottery, influenced by the Arabic Moors, who ruled Sicily from 827-1110 AD.

The beautiful decorations have a gruesome history: They say that around 1100 AD, when Sicily was ruled by the Moors, a beautiful girl was living in seclusion and spent her days cultivating flowers on her balcony. One day a young Moor passing by saw her, decided he had to have her and entered the house to declare his love. The young girl, surprised by such a gesture, reciprocated him, but just when she got to know him he decided to return to his wife and children. Distraught, she waited for nightfall and as he fell asleep she cut off his head and used it as a vase for her flowers, displaying it on her balcony for everyone to see. This way his love was forever hers. Apparently, the flowers grew lush, the neighbours envious, and they built vases of their own, shaped like Moors’ heads. Or so the tale goes!!
Another typical Sicilian tradition is the ‘Opera dei Pupi’, a marionette representation of Frankish romantic poems. The puppet theatre is inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

You can purchase miniature versions of the ‘pupis’ in one of the many, gorgeous jewellery shops in Taormina.

 

Dolce and Gabbana honoured the Sicilian marionettes in their SS2013 collection.

Dolce and Gabbana honoured the Sicilian marionettes in their SS2013 collection.

Strawbag earrings sicily

I’m wearing a vichy checked dress from Gant.

If you’re standing, I suggest you grab a seat. These earrings were bought in a small jewellery shop In Catania, depicting little …. yes your eyes aren’t deceiving you……straw bags!   Awwwwww. Très Romantique!

A beautifully decorated residential home in Taormina, Sicily. The Medusa above my head represents the symbol and flag of Sicily. The ‘trinacria’  (a motif consisting of three bent human legs) is supposed to represent the three points of the island. The flag itself dates back to 1282 and is adorned with the (winged) head of Medusa and three wheat ears to symbolise the fertile land.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube DirektDolce and Gabbana Summer Ad Campaign 2013 Sicily

This beautiful video by Dolce and Gabbana epitomises Sicilian summer, tastes and traditions.

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