Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Girls Trip to Castelmola

Castelmola is famous for Bar Turrisi, commonly known among Americans as the penis bar. Having lived in Sicily for three years I had heard about Bar Turrisi many times, but hadn't yet visited.  A few of my girlfriends and I were curious about it and took a day trip up the long, winding road a few days before Christmas.
In 1975 Peppino married his wife Rosa and together they refurbished the bar as it stands today, particularly concentrating on enhancing the interior. They recognised that their era was particularly happy and prolific. Having had three sons within five years, there was one particular symbol that could represent it all: the penis, vulgarly referred to in Sicilian as: La Minchia. The idea of the penis has definitely had a big impact on the population, especially on the priest. However, in the following years the symbol was accepted by everyone and became a important part of the bar. In fact, it is present in different shapes, lengths and materials, in wood, ceramics, terracotta, worked iron, pasta and marzipan. The Minchia sets the tempo of the bar and the moods of all those within it. The penis is not a vulgar symbol and finds his roots in Greek culture, where the god Priapous represented fertility, freedom, fortune, life and beauty. (
So, now that you know a bit of background on Bar Turrisis I will share some of the pictures I took that day. Before going into Bar Turrisi my friends and I walked around a bit and enjoyed the fantasic view of Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea

Snow Capped Mt. Etna to the right and the Ionian Sea to the left

Side windows of the Duomo

Castelmola is also famous for its amazing almond wine

My reflection in a Christmas Ornament

The Famous Bar Turrisi

Just inside the front door of Bar Turrisi

The handle on the front door of the bar

The Duomo and Mt. Etna from the roof terrace of Bar Turrisi

Me, Kristina, and Katie on the Bar Turrisi Rooftop Terrace

After lunch we had this spectacular dessert!  Chocoate gelato covered in espresso and topped with whipped cream, YUM!

Penis, Caltagirone Style

Eventually we finished our four hour lunch and left Bar Turrisi.  We walked around the town a bit more, but the sun was setting and it was almost time to head back toward home.

The facade of the Duomo

Kristina, Katie, and me

Mt. Etna Sunset

Posing, Christmas Card Style
Kristina, Me, Katie

Through the railing

My day in Castelmola was awesome.  Great friends, good food, and lots of laughter!  I will definitely visit Castelmola again.

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