October in the Iblei
After a hot and very active summer, we were pleased and impressed that Ragusa, a province whose entire number of inhabitants is about 300 000 and whose largest city Ragusa is only 68 000, still managed a busy October month - filled with all sorts of activities, which were helped by the excellent weather...
With the exception of a few days of rain with autumnal temperatures, October this year has added an extra month to the already long Sicilian summer. Temperatures went over 30 degrees Celsius and the locals were surprised as this is not really how it used to be... "a natura n'fuddiu" (nature has gone mad) was the typical comment.
However, after an initial resistance to the facts and a desire to believe the calendar which clearly said that it was officially autumn, they eventually came to terms with reality and went back to the beach for a memorable October swim! The warm and calm sea, the shining sun, nature quite confused... In fact, roasting chestnuts on the beach after a swim is by no means a usual activity for October!
Here is a small round-up of the more "common" activities for October...
Between the 6th and the 10th of October, Ibla Buskers entertained locals and tourists in the theatrical scenario of the spectacular baroque architecture of Ragusa Ibla. The event is at its 10th edition and featured artists from all over the world, mimes, acrobats, musicians and comedians.
Another event ran for its 10th edition, the 2004 Bugatti Club Italia meeting. This event involves the whole of Sicily, with Bugatti owners starting their road trip along the course of the Targa Florio, which was one of the oldest races of the world where Bugatti drivers won in 1925 and 1929, and continuing driving around other parts of Sicily. One leg of the tour was entitled Barocco Siciliano and included the tour of the Val di Noto. They reached the area on the 12th visiting the city of Noto, then going on to Modica, where lunch was hosted by Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, and also visited Ragusa Ibla and the Donnafugata Castle.
The very kind people at Bonajuto also send us the picture below, capturing the stop-over of the cars in Modica.
On the 9th and 10th of October, Frigintini hosted the 6th edition of the Sagra del Carrubo dedicated to carob trees and their produce, a distinctive feature of the Iblean landscape. During the sagra it was possible to taste and buy different products derived from the fruits of these trees, from pasta to sweets and spirits.
Also this month was a case of Noto exporting its culture to San Francisco. In early October 2-3, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco featured flower artists from the Infiorata di Noto who created beautiful murals with flower petals as they do every year on the third Sunday of May in the spectacular via Nicolaci in Noto.
Finally, Sicily was present at the Salone Internazionale del Gusto in Turin and the province of Ragusa was represented especially by the pearl of its products the Caciocavallo Ragusano cheese. The producers of Ragusano Cheese, producers of almonds of Noto and Ragusan Donkey breeders (all Slow Food Presidia in the Iblei) also took part in the first world meeting of food communities, Terra Nostra.