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Serena – B&B La Zagara and Promoting Sustainability in Sicily

January 7, 2013

During my explorations of Sicily, I have had the pleasure of meeting people committed to innovative practices, to promoting sustainable lifestyles and one of these is Serena. I met Serena at one of the farmers’ markets I love attending, some years ago, and then had an opportunity to interact with her and build a friendship. I volunteered on the APE project Serena was carrying out in February 2012 and wrote about it in Spring 2012, the title “Classroom in Nature.” Through this project, I had the opportunity to get to know Serena, spend time with her and her family, and realize how much she has done and still does, on an ongoing basis, to promote sustainability in Sicily. Serena is also one of the founders of the Cultural Association Siqyuillah and is constantly involved in projects that see her working in networks to bring awareness on sustainable practices in Sicily. Among other projects, over the past few years, Serena has been instrumental in putting together courses in permaculture to promote its practices in Sicily.

Serena lives in Furci and runs her own B&B, La Zagara, in that town, together with her mother, Rita. Furci is a quaint little town on the Ionian Sea Coastline, north of the city of Catania; the beach stretches along one side of the town. I stayed at the B&B La Zagara while working on APE and experienced, first-hand, the warm hospitality one finds there. Rita and Serena offer authentic Sicilian hospitality, which makes one feel “at home”, and I personally enjoyed delicious culinary creations prepared with that special touch. Breakfasts include homemade jams and marmalades made from the fruits Rita and Serena grow in their organic garden. At the B&B,, guests can choose to stay in one of the rooms available or have one’s own apartment with its own kithen and bathroom facilities. I stayed in one of the apartments with the other volunteers and at night we all enjoyed cooking typical Sicilian dishes, enjoying those cooked by Rita, and sitting around the fireplace sharing stories.

b and b la zagara

The town of Furci is a quiet coast town. Each time I have visited the town I have been pleasantly surprised by its peaceful atmosphere, one in which the visitor can sense the easygoing lifestyle of the local people.

Furci coastline

Furci Coastline

b each close to furci

A short drive from Furci, up the mountains, one reaches Savoca, a town perched on the top of a mountain and famous for its catacombs and the locations where scenes from the movie “The Godfather” were shot. The town has paid tribute to Francis Ford Coppola as he chose this town as a location for his movie.


Town of Savoca Perched up on Mountain Dominating Coastline

Tribute to Francis Ford Coppola Film-making in Savoca

Artwork as Tribute to Francis Ford Coppola

Not far from Savoca one can drive up to Forza d’Agro’, with its breathtaking views of the coastline, and then there is Taormina, dominating the coastline from above, its Greek Theater and majestic views of Mt. Etna in the backdrop.

Tao Gk Thtr 2

There is obviously much beauty in Sicily, both in its natural landscapes, which unfold their many layers to the exploring visitor, as well as in its people, who are true examples of warm hospitality!


From → I Siquillyahni

  1. Ciao Sere, un abbraccio!!!


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