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What do we know about Sicily?

Naemanson 24 Jan 02 - 08:35 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Jan 02 - 09:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Jan 02 - 12:05 AM
mack/misophist 25 Jan 02 - 12:18 AM
Haruo 25 Jan 02 - 01:33 AM
katlaughing 25 Jan 02 - 03:31 AM
Skipjack K8 25 Jan 02 - 04:42 AM
Paddy Plastique 25 Jan 02 - 11:34 AM
The Walrus at work 25 Jan 02 - 12:36 PM
SINSULL 25 Jan 02 - 01:14 PM
kendall 25 Jan 02 - 01:31 PM
Skipjack K8 25 Jan 02 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Karen 25 Jan 02 - 02:12 PM
paddymac 25 Jan 02 - 03:55 PM
katlaughing 25 Jan 02 - 04:41 PM
Naemanson 25 Jan 02 - 05:38 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 02 - 05:43 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 02 - 05:45 PM
Naemanson 25 Jan 02 - 05:56 PM
RangerSteve 25 Jan 02 - 07:06 PM
Micca 25 Jan 02 - 08:03 PM
Naemanson 25 Jan 02 - 09:22 PM
Charley Noble 26 Jan 02 - 09:43 AM
lamarca 26 Jan 02 - 03:49 PM
Naemanson 26 Jan 02 - 07:28 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM
mooman 26 Jan 02 - 08:02 PM
Naemanson 27 Jan 02 - 12:28 PM
Bill D 27 Jan 02 - 12:39 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 02 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Keith A at work 28 Jan 02 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,LynnT 28 Jan 02 - 02:14 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jan 02 - 05:22 PM
Naemanson 28 Jan 02 - 06:57 PM
Naemanson 28 Jan 02 - 07:10 PM
Bill D 28 Jan 02 - 08:03 PM
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Subject: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 08:35 PM

As I said in my wedding thread I am planning a move to Europe next winter. Today those plans moved a little closer to reality. There is a woman working (doing the same thing I do for the same organization) in Sicily who wants to move back to New England. We might be able to swap jobs! It is still tentative but I am excited.

So, gang, what can you tell me about Sicily? I expect to be living within sight of Mount Etna.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 09:45 PM

G'day Naemanson,

Probably as little as you ... but a few of our Sydney friends (some of whom probably bumped into "Chaley Noble" last month) are off there in a few weeks ... dancers, though ... not the shanty singing set!

Mulga Wire #149, February 2002, p12
"Australian Heritage Dancers off to Sicily

The Australian Heritage Dancers are rehearsing hard for their forthcoming visit to Sicily to represent Australia at an international folk festival. The "Festival of the Almond Trees in Blossom" will be held in Agrigento from 5 to 11 February, with 24 countries attending. AHD will be taking 17 dancers and 4 musicians, with Janice Potten as Director. This is the third time AHD has represented Australia overseas and members are looking forward to an exciting time."

Any feedback might be a bit late to inform your posting choice.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 12:05 AM

"Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!"

-The Princess Bride-

.-)


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 12:18 AM

It was first settled by Greeks and was known as Magna Graecia by the Romans. In those days it was the breadbasket of Italy. Subsequent changes in weather patterns have made it the poor land it is today. General Patton thought the Sicilians the dirtiest people in Europe. Except for the Mafia, it has not played a large role in history or culture. How could I forget La Scala? No doubt this will all prove vital when you move there. One thing, though; it's a bad idea to live too near Etna.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 01:33 AM

Was a time there were two of them, in a single Kingdom. Not sure what the second one was, maybe Naples?

Liland
translating Il nome della rosa into Esperanto, but otherwise
purt near ignorant of the place, couldn't tell you a Lombard from a Borgia.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 03:31 AM

Mario Puzo did a fairly good post-Godfather novel called the "Sicilian" which, while fiction, gave a good idea of the land itself and the culture, for the time period in which it was placed.

Can you ask the woman who wants to come back, why she wants to leave there, what she likes/dislikes about it? More info on the people, culture, practical things, such as the local music scene, customs, etc.?

My old Laton book has an incredible illustration of people fleeing Mt. Etna and photos of dug up artifacts. That would be fascinating to be able to explore.

Good luck!

kat


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 04:42 AM

I'd recommend reading the account of the melodeon maker, at the beginning of Accordion Crimes (Annie Proulx). It is a very dark and brooding portrait of late 19th century Sicily, and probably about as relevant as the Godfathers.

I feel a bit once-removed from Sicily, as the present Mrs S and I have just got back from Sardinia, but a quick look at the map confirms we were as far from Sicily as Rome. I won't bang on about Sardinia, other than I did pick up on the 'island' feeling, or rather the negatives of hints of interbreeding, and survival of the thickest. I grew up in an insular island community, and perhaps it is all my prejudice, but I have read of similar sentiments ('Mr Pye', Mervyn Peake, on Sark, UK Channel Islands, & 'Coasting', Jonathan Raban, on the Isle of Man). Raban described the Manx as being like crabs in a bucket, namely when one tries to climb out, the others drag him back in.

However, another glimpse at the map shows Sicily to have a critical mass that surpasses the epithet of 'island'.

Still, I'm as jealous as hell, Naemanson! Go for it.

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 11:34 AM

First ye must learn Hamish Henderson's wonderful 'Farewell to Sicily' - get a hold
of a Dick Gaughan version - a real tour de force (whatever that is in Italian)
I think there's also a wicked dialect - like most other parts of Italy - so
hold off on the Italian lessons or get them from a Sicilian. I should
hope that the national sport of kidnapping foreigners that used to take place
both there and in Sardinia has died out (I think it has)
Finally, some of Italy's greatest writers have been Sicilian. Look up Pirandello's
short stories, Verga (esp. the 'Caballero Rusticana' stories).
I realise this is like telling you to read 'Dubliners' to prepare ye for a trip there but
maybe some things haven't changed since around 1900. A more recent writer is
Elio Vittorini - if you're not too McCarthyist..

ciao

PP


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 12:36 PM

Liland,

Before the Unification of Italy there was indeed a "Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies" it coveredNaples, the island of Sicily and a chunk of the mainland, presumably this was the "second" Sicily. If I recall correctly, during the Napoleonic period, the Kingdom was given to one of Napoleon's Marshals Joachim Murat (who was, I think, also his Brother-in-Law).

Best Wishes.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 01:14 PM

Banks Of Sicily is in the Digitrad. Brett will do a fair job of it.

Damn though - the least you could have done was arrange for a single man to replace you. Lots of scuba diving, I guess????


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: kendall
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 01:31 PM

Ever since I read The Odyssey" I have wanted to see Carybdis. Not sure of the spelling, too lazy to look it up. For those who hate ancient literature, it's a whirlpool between Sicily and the mainland of Italy. Send me a postcard eh?


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 01:45 PM

Yo Kendall. Cilla ended up on the telly in the UK, and ran Turkey for a while. Sheesh, did she upset Oddyseus.

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 02:12 PM

I am 100% Sicilan, although most of my grandparents were born here. I went to Sicily in April of 2001. It was a wonderful trip! One of the places we stayed was in Taormina, a "resort town" within site of Mt. Etna. A beautiful place.

I took a brief Italian class before I went and it helped, although I did find a few that spoke English. EVERYONE we had contact with was friendly.

Food was simple but great and the wine was even better. I would go back in a heartbeat. Have fun!


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: paddymac
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 03:55 PM

Some of the finest examples of Norman castles are found in/on Sicily. I've never been there, but would jump at the chance to go. Sounds like a trip to your local library might be in order.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 04:41 PM

Thank you all for not pointing out my glaring inaccuracies! My Latin book had pictures of Mt. Vesuvius. Sorry. Also, by mention of Puzo book, I didn't mean to imply that Sicily all about the mafia, though I did find an historical website which said no discussion of Sicily was complete without considering the infuence of the Mafioso in the 20th century. No something that needs a lot of attention, though, imo.

More to the point, Brett, here are a couple of fairly lightweight, but fun websites for a quick view of historical timeline and also today's culture including recipes!:-)

Sicilian Culture Today

brief historical timeline

I think it is exciting and grand that you are able to do this, Brett, and wish you all the best in the world!

kat


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the above. This month's National Geographic has a beautiful picture of Etna erupting at night with the lights of Catania spread out below. The job is somewhere near there. I haven't been able to find it on a map and the woman I spoke to says it has a lovely small town feel so it must be very small.

We are busily researching everything we can find on the web and in the library and bookstores. I am working with a woman who just returned from working for two years in northern Italy and is desperately searching for a way to get back there.

Oh, and to keep the expectations in place, "Kat! Surely you mean..."


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 05:43 PM

Was you ever in Palermo? Bonnie laddie, hieland laddie, Suppin' wine with Roll & Go, Bonnie hieland laddie!


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 05:45 PM

Damn! Forgot the breaks:

Was you ever in Palermo?
Bonnie laddie, hieland laddie,
Suppin' wine with Roll & Go,
Bonnie hieland laddie!


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 05:56 PM

I told you Tuesday, Charlie, that song doesn't gladly accept manipulation.

How about:

As I sat in Palermo a-sipping some wine,
Awayyyyy, in Sicily,
I watched the young women they all looked so fine,
And I'm bound to sit in the sun.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 07:06 PM

Traditional Sicilian tunes played on the ocarina are proof that God exists. Try to find some folk music when you get there. And Mt. Etna is very impressive when it erupts, just don't get too close.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Micca
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 08:03 PM

Wasn't the movie "Cinema Paradiso" about a village in Sicily? If you havent seen it, do it is wonderful (without mentioning the "M****" once)..esp. the Directors cut...shows the people and place well


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 09:22 PM

I saw Cinema Paradiso years ago. I may have to see it again to get that director's cut.

There is some good information here as well as the usual fun. Please keep it coming. Can anyone find pictures of Sigonella? I can't even find it on a map. Is there a site similar to Mapblast or Yahoo Maps that includes any of Europe?


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 09:43 AM

Brett, I believe that "Sigonella" is one of those medieval plagues which infests the intestines, resulting in horrible...maybe I'll recheck my file of charts.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: lamarca
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 03:49 PM

Boungiorno, Naemason! My father's parents were Sicilian (hence the name LaMarca), but I've never been there myself. I looked up Sigonella, however, and found this lovely site courtesy of the US Navy, who evidently have a big base there: http://www.sicily.navy.mil/nassig/The site has all sorts of info for Navy personnel posted to Sicily.

Just type "Sigonella" into Google, and you wind up with all these .mil sites for both the US and European forces...


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Lamarca (I almost tried some Italian (grazzia?)), I have seen those sites. I was looking for any civilian sites that might have some more pictures. I am also waiting for more info from the woman I may trade places with.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM

(Really Rita F, spouse of Bill D....) Naemanson, you haven't said what town you would go to, or where it is in relation to Mt. Aetna.

I spent a week or so in Taormina many many years ago, (1968!) I suspect it's by far the most beautiful spot in Sicily and not quite typical and some things will have changed; but I'll tell you a bit about it anyway. You should be close enough to visit there at least and some things are typical. It's on the Mediterranean (sp.?) and of course the water is the incredible peacock blue you see there, a gorgeous atmosphere. Along the shore there are huge chunks of grey volcanic rock that you can climb, very picturesque.

You have a good view of Aetna. At night you can see the red volcanic flames. It is active, as you know. You'd probably be far enough away to get plenty of advance warning if there were a major eruption.... Any info on that?

The town itself is a photographer's dream, old tiled roofs and stone stairways, flowers everywhere, above the town there are two fine antiquities: the "Saracen castle," apparently built when Sicily was under Saracen rule (1300's?); and the Greek ampitheater, built when Sicily was under the rule of the ancient Greeks (400AD?). (Taormina was in a very desirable spot, and strategically important too....) My dates are SWAGs, ignore 'em if they're too far off.

A friend and I climbed up to them both. Don't know how things are now, but it was all native stone pathways, olive trees, the local form of prickly pear cactus, and old stone farmhouses. Donkeys, friendly waves from the people who saw us.

If you learn even a small bit of Italian you will probably be welcomed warmly. Even though Sicilian will be quite different....

Well hope this at least whets your appetite to learn more...

Rita F


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: mooman
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 08:02 PM

It is a very beautiful place.

My assistant worked for a long time in Sicily so I will ask her for some feedback on Monday and post up any information I get on pros and cons.

mooman


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Jan 02 - 12:28 PM

Thanks Rita and Mooman. I will be working in Sigonella but I cannot find it on a map. I need a better map.

Rita, do you mind if I share your post with my fiancee?


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Jan 02 - 12:39 PM

(Rita says of course you may share it)


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 02 - 09:24 PM

Taormina! Go to this website:
here
Don't miss this opportunity!


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: GUEST,Keith A at work
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:24 AM

WW2 saw some bitter fighting on Sicily. British paratroops were heavily involved.
Farewell ye banks..
Keith.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: GUEST,LynnT
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 02:14 PM

As you may know, I'm a Navy officer; I was stationed in Sigonella (which is a US airbase in Sicily) for 3 months in fall 1997, working with an air squadron doing Bosnia overflights from there.

The island is beautiful and historic, whether your preference is Roman, Norman, Templar, whatever. Budget to bring home some of the wonderful pottery; several towns there each have their own special motifs. The food was simple but good; there is a little town (named Motto? Motti? It's been a while) a stones' throw from the base that has several good restaurants, a weekly market, and good gelato & bread. Many base folks rented housing there rather than Taormina, which is altogether too close to active Etna. The drivers weren't nearly as crazy as in mainland Italy; the roads are pretty good over most of the island.
Bottom line: Sigonella is a classic small town, with all that that entails. Will you be affiliated with the US Military, and thus have comissary/exchange privileges? Life will be far more expensive and far less varied there without that.

Lynn T


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 05:22 PM

Hmmmmm! Maybe all of Roll & Go (along with a pack of Mudcatters) needs to move to this place along with Brett. Sounds fine to me. I wonder if there's a local pub where one could do some singing?


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 06:57 PM

Lynn! It's great to hear from you! I was so worried about you when the Pentagon was hit and I couldn't remember your name. Did the captain make it out OK?


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Naemanson
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:10 PM

I mean I couldn't remember your LAST name. But I'll never forget that evening in Alexandria, the music, the wine, the thirty or forty chanty singers... It was a great night.


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Subject: RE: What do we know about Sicily?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 08:03 PM

(perhaps Lynn will see this and answer herself...but she came about as close as anyone to NOT getting out...was knocked down and shaken...wow!...she's a pretty resiliant lady, but what a thing to go thru!


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