View Full Version : anyone from sicily or know about the horse scene there?

Mar. 31, 2013, 08:17 AM
there's a possibility dh and i will spend a few months there next winter and /or spring---YAY!!
his cousins are looking for a rental for us, i'm going to assume in messina as that's where they live.
i do know we'll have a rental car so i can get to a stable for a horse fix when i need one.
i'd love to find a place with trails--beach trails?!--where i could rent a horse occasionally. heck, if it's close enough i could maybe take lessons if it worked out.

Mar. 31, 2013, 09:40 AM
I lived there for 3 years MANY years ago. My father was the Commanding Officer of the NATO base at Sigonella, near Catania.

I don't recall anything having to do with horses there...at all. But that may have changed.

Taormina, which is between Messina and Catania on the east coast, is lovely destination town for vacationers, so if you were to find such a thing, I would think it would be in that area.

Plenty of little Sicilian donkeys though..:lol::lol:.

Mar. 31, 2013, 05:41 PM
I lived there for 3 years MANY years ago. My father was the Commanding Officer of the NATO base at Sigonella, near Catania.

VERY cool! My family is from San Michele di Ganzaria. I haven't been there yet, but will definitely make the trip at some point.

Mar. 31, 2013, 10:21 PM
While I was happy to return to the States after being forced to move there, I wound up crying when I left.

So much incredible history there. And my Dad made sure i learned about it, rest his soul.

Such a strategic location for warring countries back to the days of the Greek and Roman empires (B.C.). The Normans, then the Turks, Nazi Germany. If you like history, there is not better place to visit to get a perspective.

It still is...part of the debate on the Benghazi ordeal is why jets were not deployed from Signonella that is about 200 miles from Libya and could have been there in about 20 minutes. My Dad would be rolling over in his grave to know they were held back.

Back to the culture and joys of going to Sicilyand the history of the location and the people (which are their best asset!). Our maid, who was my 2nd mother when my parents did their diplomatic duties told me incredible stories. She was from an elite family prior to the Nazi takeover. When American soldiers parachuted into Sicily she hid one of them in her pantry when the Germans were trying to track him down. She was beaten within an inch of her life but never gave him up. Her husband was killed in the war. Luckily, she had snuck her young son back to northern Italy to her mother.

I suspect this kind of Sicilian code of "right and wrong" is what spawned the Cosanostra (aka Mafia) -- that was exposed in the Godfather movies. Fanstastic history and culture, that is like few others.

BTW, the only animals they cared about, when I was there, is those they can eat -- it was very, very poor when I lived there. Much like the "deep south" of the U.S. back in the day. Dogs and cats were abused and often eaten, by they very poor.

I learned not to hold that against them, as much as I love animals.

Incredible place. Sigonella is a huge NATO base now, but if you go,ask to meet with Commanding Officer and mention my Dad...I'm sure you'll get the red carpet. His name was Landis E. "Blood" Doner. There is a road that is named after him.

So jealous!! Enjoy!

Mar. 31, 2013, 10:34 PM
Regarless of anyone's interested in history...if you leave without eating authentic "arancini" (stuffed rice balls), you will regret it and you will have missed one of the best food pleasures in life.

Apr. 1, 2013, 07:19 AM
very cool--- we'll be sure to keep him in mind--thank you!!!
we've found a lovely villa to rent in ragusa for 1000 euros per month plus utilities. i suspect we can do better, though this landlord asked her neighbors for me about riding horses and found a place i could rent a horse so i may stay there just because she was so generous with her time. the cousins live in messina and taormina, we don't need to be right next door, a car drive away is fine. we intend to do a lot of exploring and eating while there!
i'm also looking into teaching english, in case i want to supplement our income while there.
so many wonderful options to explore!