Was driven into Catania yesterday on two wheels headed straight for the city's largest daily market, la fiera (if you can find your way to Piazza Stesicoro you will find la fiera). We bypassed the usual mishmash of clothes, toys, things for the house, etc. and honed in on vendors selling CD's.
In a just a few minutes I had spotted what we were looking for but didn't even know existed before that moment--the complete collection of the winning songs from the Zecchino D'Oro children's music contest that has been taking place in Italy every year since 1959. I haven't had a chance to listen to all the songs yet, but these CD's should keep our son happy (probably driving the adults crazy!) on the longish drives we anticipate in our upcoming trip (more on that later). For anyone interested in a sampling, the official Zecchino D'Oro website has more information and links. I can't say I love these songs, but this is the quintessential Italian children's music and at least a few of the ones I have (involuntarily) gotten to know are catchy enough to have grown on me, too (44 gatti, for example).
With the CD purchase behind us, we made our way over to the market's lively food section. Here you can't beat the prices and freshness of the produce, and it is always exciting to be in the middle of the crowds moving from one noisy vendor to the next. We purchased our beans and cucumbers but then couldn't pass up the sott'olio stand--all things marinated, piles of glistening olives. These are among the best Sicilian olives I have ever tasted and a few varieties came home with us.
Even though la fiera could warrant several hours of wandering in search of the best bargains, our time was limited and we were soon back on the bike heading home. Driving down the long avenues I love...
From the back seat I never pay attention to where we are but choose to relax and soak in the sites and smells of the city, and sometimes even attempt to take pictures.
And when we eventually make it out of the city center, catching that first glimpse of the black rocky coast, I know we will soon be home!