I wake up in the morning and the only sound I can hear is the waves gently lapping on the shore... It is so soothing that I take the time to fully stretch on the bed and then lie there a few minutes more. The idea of a fresh cup of coffee finally convinces me to get up. Careful not to wake up my family I go into the kitchen and make myself an espresso. Black, to enjoy its aroma and taste to the full. Walking onto the terrace, I marvel once again at the beauty of the sea spreading in front of the house with its different shades of blue, from navy to turquoise.

We are staying in Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, near the picturesque seaside resort of Sciacca. Part of its attraction is its unspoilt atmosphere:    It feels authentic as opposed to touristic. We decide to drive into town to buy some fresh fish that we will cook for dinner. We first make a stop at a tiny cafĂ©, where the nonchalant owner welcomes us with a smile.

The typical Italian pastries are fresh and delicious, and we enjoy them sitting at one of the round tables outside. This makes our breakfast more expensive than eating standing up, a tradition still alive in Italy. When we arrive at the port it is early enough to be presented with a lot of choice and we take the time to look around and admire the more shiny boats or wonder about the adventures of the slightly rusty ones. After a long discussion punctuated by large hand gestures we settle on gamberoni (large prawns) and mussels.

sciacca sicily


Most of the rest of the day is spent on the beach, except for the warmest hours. With a young child especially, lunchtime is best spent in the shade. Our wonderful beach gives us the feeling to be at the end of the world: Not a soul as far as we can see in either direction. It is the beginning of June after all, before the start of the Italian school holidays mid-June. In the summer it will of course be a different story.

By the time everybody is showered and ready for the evening we are starting to feel rather hungry. The gamberoni and mussels will have to be part of a dish that does not require too long a preparation. We decide on a fish couscous. Adding leftover carrots and fresh basil leaves is all more than enough, as the semolina cooked in water perfumed with the juices from the seafood is already fragrant enough. We light a few candles and sit down on the patio to enjoy our meal with a local wine. Apart from our chatter, the only other sound still comes from the waves.



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