Photo by Faith Willinger
Two weeks ago, Faith Willinger began documenting her Grand Tour through Sicily with a description of her time in Catania. Last week, she continued her journey in Sortino. This week, she travels to Buccheri, Noto, Frigintini, Modica, and Scicli.
My friend Caterina was excited about a mushroom market and fair in Buccheri. We met her in the main piazza, but the mushroom market--a guy with a crate of dirty mushrooms, and the fair, far smaller than the one in Palazzuolo Acreide, wasn't exactly a morning activity so we detoured to Noto. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, urban renewaled into a Baroque jewel, allowed to decay, but now, as a UNESCO World Heritage site, restored or in the process--scaffolding will probably cover something you wanted to see. We admired the city on our way to gastronomic shrine Caffé Sicilia. Maestro Corrado Assenza sat with us at a table in the back. Coffee and almond milk granita tempted but we were on our way to lunch, so we sipped flutes of Sicilian sparkling wine with savory snacks.
I've always loved Maria Fidone in Frigintini. It was once a rosticceria, serving mostly take-out to locals, with a few tables in the back and a TV in the corner, but it's evolved into a full-fledged trattoria, and Sunday lunch with multi-generational tables is the most fun. There's a set menu that always begins with pane condito, scacce (rolled, stuffed and baked flatbread) arancine, home-cured olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, with a plastic tub of just-made ricotta that's impossible to resist.