Sicily: a world between worlds

Guest blogger and classical scholar Elissa Foord shares her thoughts on the perfect trip to the isle of Sicily:

"Wave upon wave of conflict and conquest have carved out the eclectic splendour that has inspired Cassandra during her travels in Sicily. Having watched the rise and fall of so many great civilisations from their crossroads, the isle has changed hands between Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Normans before becoming a part of Italy. Between the lustre of the mosaics, domes and frescoes of its capital, Palermo, a spirit of resolved leisure prevails. Combined with its rich food, art, and opera scenes, and sunny climes, this makes it Cassandra’s favourite spot for some Sicilian escapism.

Where to stay
Penetrate the leopard’s lair at Palazzo Lampedusa. In the home of Giuseppe Tomasi Lampedusa, author of The Leopard, guests are hosted by the current Duchess of Palma, who is the wife of Lampedusa’s inspiration for Tancredi and offers cookery lessons in the local cuisine. Amidst the decadent wear of its splendour, it’s difficult not to feel in touch with the aristocrats in crisis that Lampedusa so painstakingly evokes.

Where to eat
Treat yourself to the Rizzo brothers’ sophisticated delivery of fresh and local flavours at Osteria dei Vespri. An idyllic location, in the piazza of the Cross Vespers, and a gorgeous wine list complete the evening. Keep yourself going on cannoli and coffee during the day.

When to go
The weather is most pleasant in the spring and autumn, when it’s also a little quieter. If you can take the heat, then join the Palermitanos in celebrating their patron saint, Santa Rosalia, in spectacular fashion in July.

What to see
The cathedral of Monreale. One of the most famous gems remaining of Norman architecture, the radiant golden mosaics, metalwork and woodwork inspired Cassandra’s Volo d’Angelo earrings and Conca d’Oro cuff. Don’t miss the most perfectly peaceful adjoining cloisters, which represent the four elements, and inspired a fifth in the La Quintessenza bracelet."

mon reale catherdral Monreale Cathedral
10979 Gold cuff I_680px_RGB La Quintessenza bracelet
The inspiration for La Quintessenza

Inspired? From the 6th to the 10th March 2017, join us in the showroom for our Week long Festival of Sicily with Sicilian refreshments, displays and experiences.