Italy has a way consuming you entirely. You lose the sense of time as every day presents new adventures, fascinating conversations, gargantuan feasts and spectacular landscapes. We’ve been perpetually on the move, staying in different hotels every night, so it’s been difficult to find a moment to take stock and write it all down. Finally, today we’ve stopped for three days in Lecce, a barroque town in Salento, the southern region of Puglia; as always, there are plenty of distractions, people to meet and places to see, but I am determined to hide myself and steal just enough time to write a blog about Sicily. Since the day Samantha and I landed in Palermo, we have been treated to an extraordinary hospitality of the Sicilians for a whole month. We have been hosted by Slow Food’s regional leaders and producers in practically all parts of the island, eating the very best food and drinking copious quantities of wine. This sounds wonderful of course, but there were days when, like a pair of force-fed geese, we were gasping for air, barely able to move… I was reminded of an old French film, “Le Grande Bouffe”, in which four friends merrily gorge themselves to death. The trouble with Sicilians is that they don’t take no for an answer. We’ll always remember the generosity of Slow Food Sicily: thank you Nino, Andrea, Adriana, Giuseppe (Milazzo), Rosario, Marco, Marzia, Daniela, Carlo, Susanna, Mario, Luigi, Salvo, Giuseppe (Trapani) and Roberta! I was truly impressed by your passion for traditional food and small producers… if only Slow Food everywhere had the same drive and dedication as you do, the world would be a much better place! We knew we were going to eat and drink well, but Sicily exceeded our expectations on many other fronts, too. Three specific encounters merit a mention – they’re the subjects of the blogs to come soon.