We took this trip over a month ago, but somehow in the rush of Christmas and the new year, I haven’t had a chance to post the photos yet! Our weekend trip to the mountains was so beautiful, though, and we had a wonderful time with my mom, who was visiting for 10 days. I literally found my new favorite place in Sicily and really hope we get a chance to go back!
The Madonie Mountains are in north-central Sicily, and they are particularly famous for the beautiful hilltop mountain towns (like the one in the first photo). I was reading The Stone Boudoir, a memoir about Sicily’s mountain towns including several in the Madonie Mountains. The hills literally were alive for me that weekend as I absorbed vistas, streets, and foods in real life and through the pages of my book.
We stayed in an agriturismo (farm stay) because we wanted to enjoy the fruits of the region. The Slow Food movement originated nearby, and our host proudly told us that all but a few of the things we ate were from “kilometer zero,” or were harvested/gathered 0 kilometers away. We loved that agriturismo, and so if you visit, be sure to check out Casale Magherita.
A little fall foliage in December!
We also visited one of the five most famous mountain towns in the region. This one was called Castelbuono and is the largest of the five. We explored the castle, wandered through the streets, and ate an amazing lunch at Ristorante Palazzaccio.
View of Castelbuono from its castle.
Lena and my mom admiring a huge presepe (Nativity scene).
I really liked all the clean laundry, I guess…
We sampled traditional Christmas sweet bread (panetonne) with a spread made from manna, the dried sap of the ash tree for which the region is also famous.
Even more wonderful (and challenging) than visiting a mountain town with two small children was an incredible and verrrrry long hike we took during our visit with an Italian outdoors group. Photos from the hike coming soon!