I’ve gone on numerous class field trips in my life, but the one I went on through my study abroad program to Palermo, Sicily certainly takes the cake. Sicily is the most southern region of Italy, and this wasn’t hard to tell from the incredibly warm weather we experienced. While we did have a day of rain, the other two days were beautiful, making for perfect beach days.
When our Holy Cross advisor informed me and my classmates that she scheduled an 8 hour cooking class for us, I was far from excited. I didn’t want to miss prime tanning hours, and wasn’t sure what we could possibly be doing for that much time. However, my mentality immediately shifted when I found out that our lesson was going to be instructed by the Duchess of Sicily (!!) The sweet old woman taught us how to cook a delicious Pasta Norma (one of Sicily’s most famous dishes), swordfish, and a homemade gelatin dessert, which we got to enjoy over a fancy dinner in her dining room alongside the Duke of Sicily.
While it was hard to top that first day, our second day was pretty close- and still made us feel like we were royalty of some sort. We struggled to find a taxi on our way to the beach, but fortunately a man on a carriage of some sort offered to take us. The compact, windowless vehicle that barely fit 5 may not have been the safest car I’ve been in, but it was definitely the most fun.
On our last day, we indulged in more Sicilian delicacies: arancini (fried rice balls), cannolis, and gelato on brioche rolls (don’t knock it ’til you try it!)
Sicily was full of firsts for me, and I hope that’s not the last time I visit that special island.