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swalter518 Aug 9th, 2007 06:38 AM

Sicily Shopping List
We will be travelling to Sicily in late Oct/early Nov. I'd love to do some Christmas shopping while we're there-any suggestions. Aside from the ceramics of Caltigarone, I'm not sure what Sicily is known for...

ekscrunchy Aug 9th, 2007 06:41 AM

If you are shopping for a chef, I recommend bags of salted capers and sun-dried tomatoes, among other things.

swalter518 Aug 9th, 2007 07:00 AM

Mmm, sounds good. To be more specific, I'm shopping for both adults and young children (home cooks definately). The kids are a toddler boy and girl and a preschool girl.

dutyfree Aug 9th, 2007 08:37 AM

Puppets/marionettes for the kids;great wine especially Nero D'Avalo (red).Where are you traveling around to so we can offer some suggestions?

swalter518 Aug 9th, 2007 10:37 AM

We'll be based out of Catania, staying with relatives, but plan to visit Syracusa, Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa and Castelmola at least.

LJ Aug 9th, 2007 10:50 AM

In the Syracusa area, you will find some very interesting nut butters (almond, pistachio) and fruited honey(s).

I was very taken with some of the small and colourful handmade wooden toys for children...they look a little "touristy" at the time, but the little ones back home loved them.

Also in Noto (a MUST visit), there are some excellent small potteries that do simple glazes on clay and a more discrete and subtle use of colours than the more traditional Tuscan ceramics. The tiny "olive oil" dishes we brought home get used frequently and would make a nice gift.

swalter518 Aug 9th, 2007 11:15 AM

LJ, Thanks. Noto is on our list, I forgot. Those ceramics sound perfect --I found some in Cortona a few years back-cream and green that I just love and wished I had bought more pieces. Where did you find the wooden toys? We bought a few wooden Pinocchios on our last trip, again very touristy at the time, but the kids loved them.

jmbchgo Aug 9th, 2007 11:19 AM

We will be staying in Sant' Angelo Muxaro, a village in the Prov. of Agrigento. We'd like to plan a tour of a winery or other day trip. Any suggestions?? Thanks

swalter518 Aug 9th, 2007 12:50 PM

Anyone else?

dutyfree Aug 9th, 2007 08:42 PM

I have enjoyed several pieces of lava from Mt. Etna that I have purchased over there. I bought a set of "blackened beads",a starfish out of lava on a black cord and an interesting piece that I purchased in Ortigia (Siracusa)that the artist did a special painting with glaze on top of lava. Everytime I wear one of those pieces it always has someone asking me about them.

ggreen Aug 9th, 2007 09:15 PM

bookmarking! Thanks for asking the question, swalter! :)

caroline_edinburgh Aug 10th, 2007 03:32 AM

Not 'real' wine but I (and everyone else I know who's tried it) *love* the Sicilian almond wine. Nobody imports it to the UK - I know, as I've tried asking out local (quite famous) Italian deli if they can get it - so maybe it's not available where you live either ?

And marzipan fruits/veg.

hazel1 Aug 10th, 2007 07:59 AM

One of the food items I tasted there that I then had to buy several jars of was pesto di pistacchio - it was divine, and I an't find it easily in the U.s,

swalter518 Aug 13th, 2007 07:26 AM

Dutyfree, what a good idea. Sounds like perfect Christmas gifts for the women on my list. Did you purchase those lava pieces somewhere in particular or are they around at various places? The almond wine sounds good. I've been bugging my sis-in-law to send me some of those infamous pistachios to make my own pesto to no avail. I'm glad the premade stuff is good, I'll have to pick some of that up list is getting longer.

swalter518 Aug 13th, 2007 12:00 PM

ttt for dutyfree

specs Aug 13th, 2007 04:30 PM

Anyone with a sweet tooth? The marzipan in Sicily is exceptional. To my knowledge, it isn't something that will spoil, or get stale, before Christmas.

dutyfree Aug 13th, 2007 11:02 PM

Sorry swalter-was out of town........there were inexpensive(that definitely looked better when we got home away from the stores) pieces in Taormina and Catania. The special painted pieces I found on the island of Ortigia(Siracusa) a block from Piazza Minerva(I think-will have to ask my daughter the location) but in several jewelry stores. There were a couple stores on the main streets of Catania that I found the cute starfishes out of lava,choker beads,etc. Seriously, they are very beautiful and quite the conversation pieces as everyone cannot "place" what the blacken rock is.
If you take me along, I will be happy to show you all my favorite shopping places-cannot get my husband to go back this year as he has some back problems. I am hoping that the daughter and I can hit Sicily later this year. Have a great time!

chiarachiara Aug 14th, 2007 01:01 AM

Caroline - the almond wine is very nice! I brought a bottle home.

I also bought some wonderful confectionery in Taormina - one kind of cake was wrapped, called Pasta di Mandorla(almond paste). But also some with a wonderful orange flavour, or fig filling. Yumm. The wrapped ones stay fresh for quite a long time.

caroline_edinburgh Aug 14th, 2007 02:59 AM

Chiarachiara, the almond wine is lovely isn't it ?

I'd never thought to eat cakes on holiday until we were in Naples last year and saw some we know at home (cannoli & sfogliatelle) - and have since made a point of having a cake a day when in Naples and Ischia ! So I will remember to look out for them when we next visit Sicily too. The only one I remember having there before was the (cake-type, as opposed to ice cream) cassata as dessert in a restaurant.

swalter518 Aug 14th, 2007 03:51 AM

Thanks so much everyone-now I'm sitting here in my kitchen at 6am (don't ask--bad thunderstorm, freaked out dog)craving cake! As if I couldn't be more excited, now I'm on a quest! Thanks for all the ideas. Now if we'd only get my daughter's passport...

Dutyfree, you're welcome to come along! A personal tourguide is always welcome...but be forewarned that our daughter is only 18 mos old and always an adventure!

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