My name is Meryem. I am 23 years old. I was born and grew up in Istanbul/Turkey. And no...I am not coming from an Arabic country and in Turkey we do not speak the Arabic language as usually people in here tell me. :) We even use our own Latin Alphabet.
I have studied sociology at Istanbul University. I have been active in voluntary work since 2012. I have been abroad for various youth workshops and programs many times but I have never been in another country for such a long time so I was very excited to start my EVS in Palermo.
I am living with 6 different people from other countries. Since the beginning of our meeting we all liked each other so we have a lot of fun all together. And I think this makes Palermo much more precious to me.
In this blog post of mine I would like to talk about Carnivals in Sicily. As a Turkish girl, in my country and culture, there is no carnival celebrated. So when I heard Sicily has carnivals in different cities on the last week of February, I got so excited.
So we arranged a trip with friends to Sciacca to see the “Carnevale di Sciacca”. We went to Sciacca for 2 hours by bus. When we arrived we were so happy although we got off in the wrong station and had to ask for help. Luckily, when we arrived to the city center we forgot all of these troubles.
There were huge breathtaking carnival wagons with different colors, figures, design. Me and my friend Jennie were so happy to see these amazing wagons because they reminded us of our childhood dreams and nightmares at the same time.
When the carnival parade started, we were filled with joy and happiness to see this amazing event live. We learnt that every wagon actually represents a theme and each theme has different music, people with special costumes and dances.
There was only one bad part about Carnevale: The theme songs! First when you arrive to the city center, you start to hear these songs but then you realize there are only ten of them and only they are played all the time. But despite this small thing, it was so nice to see all the people from 0 till 99 years who were wearing costumes and dancing all together. I was so happy to see a real carnival and to be a part of it for the first time.
Next day when we were supposed to come back to Palermo we were still having fun while waiting for our bus. So if you ever have the chance to see this carnival in Sicily, you should definitely go at least for one day. ^_^
My name is Ode Liis, I am from Estonia and I am currently a volunteer in Palermo. I have been living in Sicily for 2 months so although sometimes I feel like I am well aware of the culture and places, then other times I find myself on a street with no idea how I got there and how to get out. I have seen Palermo and Sicily little by little by doing what I love most: eating. I am a travel foodie so before every trip I make sure I have a list of all the specialties of the region and an iron will to try them all. Same with Sicily.
A few things I had gathered on my bucket list were arancina (a deep fried rice ball with various fillings), brioche con gelato (gelato in a brioche bun) and of course, the famous cannolo siciliano. Now arancina is an interesting subject for Sicilians because some regions call it arancino instead of arancina. Everyone thinks their version of the name is correct so no conclusion has been made.
I have heard two versions of the origin of the name. First, the Palermitan version: the word arancina derives from arancia (orange) because of the similar round shape of the fruit and the Sicilian specialty. So since arancia is a feminine word, then arancina, which is also feminine, is correct.
In Catania, they use the word arancino. Now what I heard there is that one guy actually researched this topic and found out that in the history of the culinary world, arancino has been used more frequently to describe this type of food. In addition, in Italian, arancia is orange and arancio is the orange tree but in Sicilian, orange and orange tree have the same name, arancio, so the name for this Sicilian dish comes from both the fruit and the tree in Sicilian.
For me, I am not so passionate about who is right and who is wrong, what matters to me is the taste! And I can say, both the Palermitani and the Catanesi make awesome arancine/i! If you have never had this beautiful hot little ball of rice, covered in breadcrumbs and fried a beautiful golden colour (the Sicilians call this shade oro vecchio) that you can bite into and taste the flavourful filling, then you have not experienced Sicily completely. Whether you’re a vegetarian, a meat lover or even intolerant to gluten, there is an arancina for you!
Ciao!! We are Victor and Pepe, two young French and Spanish guys. We started our EVS at Palermo just a week ago. It’s been a really nice experience so far, meeting a lot of people and trying to say our first words in Italian.
We live together in an apartment which has everything that we could need. Further, we have a small terrace for breakfast and a clean robot.
We were surprised when we were walking around the city, it´s really nice to see the big historic center, full of nice buildings and pedestrian streets. The places that we like the most are Fontana della Vergogna, Quattro Canti, Teatro Massimo and Cattedrale di Palermo, we’re seeing it everyday because we are living so close to it.
Our weakness is the food, everything is “buonissimo”, we tasted some street food like panelle, made from gram flour, arancino, big rice balls filled with meat or cheese, which are coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried, also pizza, pasta and brioche con gelato, everything was really tasty!
Weather is amazing compared with where I live in France, Paris, even if it’s been raining a little since we arrived. But compare with Alicante, Spain, it is more or less the same, a lot of sun and hot temperature.
All the people we met were amazing and nice with us (despite our low level of Italian).
Come, grab a “birra é un panelle” with us if you travel to Palermo!
We are Meryem, Evelina and Marie ! We are all in Palermo for one year doing our EVS (European Voluntary Service). Organisations where we will work are different but as we live in the same flat, we share a lot of experiences together.
The first thing we learnt that Palermo is so hooot !
Sooo... We went to the beach ! Mondello beach !
Since we have been here just for two weeks, we still didn't start with our organisation so much. For now, we are trying to learn italian to communicate with local people and exploring the beautiful Palermo and all the very, very, very, very, very good food :)
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L'attività di InformaGiovani è supportata dal Comune di Palermo, che ha concesso l'utilizzo di un bene confiscato alla mafia per il progetto di sportello