Ice cream was invented in Sicily. Probably adapted from Arabic Sharbat, the Romans used snow from Etna to extravagantly cool themselves in Summer. It was a good way to piss off the Ioneses next door. And ice cream is excellent here today.
But unfortunately, modern-day Sicilians are responsible for an unholy bastardisation. Ice cream in a bap.
They like sweet foods here, like cannoli. They like putting odd things in baps here too, like chick pea fritter (panella). But can you imagine a soft white bap mountained with ice cream, and the sight of a fat man slurping the soggy flaps of lardy bread at the end? I was so alarmed I hid behind a plant. I forgot to take a photo.
This way of eating ice cream seems to be all the rage in San Vito lo Capo, which is Sicily’s equivalent of Blackpool. One thing the town could learn from it’s English counterpart is that speedos on men are highly distasteful. But the men here, of all shapes and sizes love to gently peacock around town in nothing but a skimpy pair of swimming pants, licking the remains of an ice cream-in-a-bun. It was fearful when I got caught in a crowd of them in a café. Being crushed in the clammy throng made me feel like I had been thrust into the midst of a hectic frog-spawning session.
But these things aside, I love Sicily. It may not be as refined as northern Italy, but it is wild and rugged and real. I feel like I am driving into a western, cruising the flower-lined coastal motorway between mountains and the turquoise sea. Sergio Leone knew what he was doing when he made his spaghetti westerns. Sicily feels lawless, dramatic, and cinematic.
After 2500 miles, we have reached the furthest point in our grand tour. It feels further than that from Britain in terms of culture. Fewer constraints, less stress, more sun, more freedom. A good place for people to find their individuality. I miss quite a few things about London and Britain- family, friends, idiotic sports, complaining, fine queuing practices. But more than anything I miss a good curry.