My friend Anthony Giglio, in Italy unwinding from a packed year of teaching people about wine, food, joy, living (read about him here), sent an astonishing series of texts from Sicily where he was visiting family:

Dearest Sally — we spent two days in Ortigia, the island connected to Siracusa, where I walked under this spectacular colonnade of pruned trees (above, the photo doesn’t capture it) several times a day to get to/from our hotel.

At the other end, as it veered toward the waterfront were these spectacular trees (of the Magnolia family) that were ancient and wonderful. I’ve seen them also on the island of Mozia, which we visited a few days ago. Spettacolare!!!

The beautiful little film that followed brought the wonder of those trees right into my Harlem space, or perhaps better put, transported me THERE, with the sounds of the city just waking up, the light, and finally, the sea…

What I didn’t get was that above the colonnade of those wild angular pruned trees, there’s a street above on the wall to the left and over the railing. While walking up there (parallel) you see the tops of the trees but they’re pruned to look like a hedge! It takes a deep look to realize you’re looking at trees, and another promenade below. It’s brilliant!

He sent a link to Google Earth to show the view from the top promenade, the Passeggio Aretusa, and the long “hedge” that is, in reality, the tops of trees on the promenade below, a gorgeous and inspired optical illusion. The benefits of stopping to really SEE what’s there…

A final little bonus to all that beauty is this little film of the Salumeria Anthony went to looking for torrone for his in-laws…

…8 am in Sicily… parallel universe…

Grazie Antonio!

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