Allied Swazi soliders of the 1991st Swaziland Pioneer Company wait to board landing craft in Sicily before sailing for Anzio. The unit of recruits from Swaziland was responsible for creating smokescreens over the Allied amphibious invasion (Operation Shingle) landing areas on the Italian mainland during the Battle of Anzio of the Italian Campaign. Castellammare del Golfo, Province of Trapani, Sicily, Italy. January 1944.

#SaveScalaDeiTurchi - Legambiente reports, through a photogallery and an article penned by the President of its Sicilian division Domenico Fontana, the dramatic situation of Scala dei Turchi (Porto Empedocle, Sicily). The place is, as you can see, terribly overcrowded and disrespectful tourists have been engraving messages on the white marl and taking away whole blocks to bring back home. Legambiente calls for the intervention of local institutions, so that new regulations are implemented. The organization sent its volunteers to monitor the site last year, but to no avail.

A good role model would be Isola dei Conigli (“Rabbit Island”, Lampedusa), where biodiversity is preserved: the Caretta Caretta can grow freely and, at the same time, tourism flourished to the point that Tripadvisor awarded it with the “most beautiful beach” title in 2013.

According to RaiNews, the mayor of Realmonte has established a €500 fine for whoever damages the marl. The website also warns that, according to dermatologists, applying pulverized marl on bare skin, as if you were in a spa, is unhealthy and potentially dangerous.

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Tetradrachm of Philistis, wife of Hieron II, Syracuse, Sicily, struck c. 218/7-214 BC

The coin shows the diademed and veiled head of Philistis facing left with a star to her right. The reverse is inscribed with BAΣIΛIΣΣAΣ ΦIΛIΣTIΔOΣ (Basilissas Philistidos) and shows Nike, holding reins in both hands, driving a quadriga facing right; a star is above and a K to the right.

Philistis was a queen of ancient Syracuse, known only from her coins, which are numerous, and of fine workmanship, and from the occurrence of her name (bearing the title of queen, as it does also on her coins) in an inscription in large letters on the great theatre of Syracuse.

Hieron II was the Greek Sicilian king of Syracuse from 270 to 215 BC, and the illegitimate son of a Syracusan noble, Hierocles, who claimed descent from Gelon. He was a former general of Pyrrhus of Epirus and an important figure of the First Punic War. On the departure of Pyrrhus from Sicily (275 BC) the Syracusan army and citizens appointed him commander of the troops. He strengthened his position by marrying Philistis, the daughter of Leptines, the leading citizen.

Fertile, Italian, Mafia, Food.

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A few weeks ago I jumped on a plane and flew to Sicily for the week. 

For those of you who don’t know where this is…  you may know it as the football shaped island next to the italian boot, as the home of the infamous sicilian mafia or maybe its giant erupting volcano!!

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These three of things have a major influence on one thing… The food!!

Football = Passion

The world recognises the Italians as the most passionate foodies in the world! Every meal we had was served with a sense of achievement at each restaurant, from the kitchen to the front of house everybody was proud of their creation and wanted to celebrate it with us. We were, however, there during the World cup, so sometimes that passion would turn into aggression and I’d end up with a Cannelloni in my face as I celebrated Italy being knocked out of the competition.

Mafia = Family

Sicily is the original home of the God Father and we all know how much food played a role in the lives of the Corleone’s, as “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold”. Food is used throughout Sicily as a way to maintain family tradition with recipes being passed down through generations over hundreds of years and they still taste absolutely incredible! My favourite sicilian dish was the trusty Arancini balls, I think I had at least two a day!! I also had a vibrant green lemon studle, but to this day i don’t really know what it was… any ideas??

Volcano = Fresh

Because of Mt Etna (that was actually glowing with lava at night) everything in sicily is extra fertile… including the locals! HA! This means the food is not only fresh but it’s packed full of nutrients. I had the best olives, lemons, veg, fish, pasta, sex, wine, bread and meat I have ever had!!! Thank you Italy ;)

As holidays go, when it comes to food… Scilly is now top of the list. 

But now, I’m worried I may have peaked too early, where would you recommend I try next?!

Baz x

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