The Fringe Show, the alternative garden festival from London has been released worldwide, and has arrived to the Ionian sea.
My journey to the discovery of new faces, places and stories that stand for the name of Sicily in the world, can only start from this territory. Indeed, more than all the others, it represents perfectly this synthesis of excellence « Made in Sicily » in the fields of food and wine, hospitality and the beauty of the landscape. I am speaking about the Etna territory, able to gather geographically in an unique place the strength of the Vulcan with the warm colours of the Mediterranean sea.
I live in Palermo, in the opposite part of Sicily, however I am always looking for a chance to come near the Big Mountain. The last opportunity was given to me by the first Italian edition of the Chelsea festival Fringe, the alternative garden festival that from London spread worldwide, present in Australia, in Japan and this year also in Italy. Among the Italian stages there is this wonderful botanical park Radicepura, born from the Faro family’s imagination, successful businessmen with more than fifty years experience in the flower and plant business of excellence. And this is here, in the heart of this magic place, located between the Etna volcano and the Ionian Sea, in one sweet afternoon in the beginning of the summer that plenty of young metropolitans, bloggers, social network influencers, and green passionate gathered to listen to the stories of Ermanno Casasco, a globe-trotter landscaper of international renowned.
Being a food maker, I could not do otherwise than to focus my attention to the Etna wine tastings and to the culinary creations of Andrea Macca, Chef at Donna Carmela, the Faro family’s resort. The young and resourceful brothers Michele and Mario, second generation, have contributed in a concrete and significant way to Sicily growth. After the success of the Nursery, founded by the father Venerando, they decided that they would not stop there and they made the most of all the potential that this corner of Sicily could offer. And then Pietradolce and Donna Carmela were born.
The wine cellar Pietradolce is produced in 12 acres in the most prized of Etna’s wine areas. The vineyards are located within municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the northern slope of the volcano and are planted in Nerello Mascalese, the vine that gives life to the great wines of this zone. Pietradolce is created in a territory of exceptional wine and with the vocation, passion and commitment of the Faro family. Regarding Donna Carmela, this is the unique garden hotel in Sicily, a magic place, immersed in a nursery of Mediterranean plants. Very recently, 8 lodges made with 100% natural material have been built. The guests will enjoy the appealing and wonderful tropical plants surrounding this organic architecture and will live an experience of total relax and in contact with nature.
Inside the resort there is « The Cuisine of Donna Carmela », one of the best stops for lovers of good food travelling to Sicily, where Andrea Macca, talented chef of 32 years old, is able to thrill with flavors of the Sicilian tradition cleverly reinterpreted and to focus his choices on fresh products from their own garden. This year, the publication of a recipe book collecting all the big successes of the eight years of life of Donna Carmela is planned for the end of the summer. Every dish is a masterpiece of Mediterranean culinary art. The recipes of the cult dishes that won over the most severe reviews will be present: pasta alla bottarga (fish eggs), country chicken, the cassata and the cannoli (Sicilian dessert), and the sweeten pistachio and almond couscous.
Sicily needs all of this, she needs avant-garde businessmen, with the bravery to invest and to believe in the Sicily Renaissance dream, increasing the value of tourism, food and wine along with all the immense resources that a land as rich and generous as Sicily can offer. And to have success, the key to their success involved following their passion. This is not only a business deal and it could never be one. When you stop talking with persons as Venerando, Carmela, Michele and Mario you can see true passion and emotion through their eyes.