In Sicily, and I'm sure in other parts of Italy, there is an industry that provides tourists with access to working farms and vineyards. We were treated to just such a day at Casabianca which is just a short drive from Siracusa. This Manor House is one of the extra excursions that you can get from Go Ahead and is owned by a Contessa and we were welcomed like family. (click on the photos to see the full sized image)
The main building was covered in ivy and, due to the fact it was early May, surrounded by flowering bushes as well.
A real stone oven was used to make our meal. How something so simple can make food that tastes SO good amazes me.
The other building was covered in bougainvillea vines. These are very common in California but the combination of the patina'd walls and the blooming vine was breathtaking.
Because of the wall discoloration this one will look like a watercolor when enlarged for framing.
The region is very volcanic and it shows in the color of the brick, the walls and the ground.
One of the crops the Contessa grows is artichokes. Known, here in California, as one of the ugliest plants ever I was able to find a lot of beauty in them. This is my favorite of those shots.
The red poppies were everywhere in the artichoke fields. What I love about this photograph are the "thorns" that trail up each stem. They are actually very soft to touch but discourage small bugs from feasting upon the bloom.
I love the way the barred window, the discolored wall and the perfection of the bougainvillea seem to blend perfectly together in this shot.One of the other crops was semolina wheat. This short version of what we see in California was beautiful from a distance but gorgeous up close due to the muted variance in colors and textures. I can't wait to see this one enlarged.
Next we move onto Taormina, a lovely hilltop town overlooking the coastline of Sicily. Hope you can stop by to see more!