Christmas Day! Giuseppe (Giuseppe!) came into the city and met us at our hotel. He took us out for a walk, past the Teatro Politeama, to our first stop: the Giardino Inglese (English Garden) where others like us were out for a stroll, enjoying the beautiful weather, trees and fountains.
I had the Nikon and decided to try playing around a little with some of the fountains.
From the park, Giuseppe led us to the home of the late Giovanni Falcone, prosecutor in the notorious Maxi Trial or mafia supertrials of the late 1980s. Falcone was assassinated over 15 years ago, but there was still a shrine of sorts outside his apartment building.
After our tour, we picked up the rental car and drove out to Giuseppe's parents' house a few kilometers outside of Palermo. We met his mom and dad, brother, sister-in-law, niece and baby nephew.
To no surprise at all, his family was exceptionally friendly. His mom had some more cooking to do, so we spent some time playing on the front patio with his niece.
"In Sicily, women are more dangerous than guns."
I think she and Aldus really hit it off!
He sure seemed to enjoy himself.
And then we ate! SO GOOD! I think Giuseppe's mom was embarrassed that we took this photo, but we just had to.
First there was pasta - wide noodles with a meaty tomato sauce - and seafood risotto. Even Aldus was happily eating up every little bit we would give him. He couldn't get enough! Then there was veal scaloppini and pork roast with gravy. Plus homemade bread with mushrooms, olives from Giuseppe's father's garden and homemade wine. Afterwards, espresso (cups warmed on the wood-burning stove - nice touch) and oh. my. god. the best cannoli I will probably ever have.
We sat around the table, talking for quite a while, and then took some family photos in front of the Christmas tree. In spite of Giuseppe's family's urging us to stay for more (apparently there was fish to be grilled!), we didn't want to overstay our welcome and took our leave before it got too late.
We drove back to the hotel and had drinks at the bar where we discovered that Aldus had started getting his first tooth! We hope it's an auspicious start to a lifetime of good eating.