Tim TenClay lives in Sicily (Palermo) where he is a husband of one wife, father of two daughters, and pastor of three churches – two of which are bilingual and seeking to find a well-balanced integration of members from Africa, Europe, and North America.
He is ordained in the Reformed Church in America, but currently serving in the Waldensian/Methodist church of Italy. His doctorate was in Worship and Spirituality, and he’s an eager knitter, bread-baker, musician, and – when time permits – bike rider. He is committed to ecumenical and interfaith cooperation, refugee and migrant advocacy (which is his wife’s full-time work), and gender and racial equality. More than anything else, he likes trying new things, meeting new people, and imagining creative solutions to old problems.
Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in Sicily
(Note: we’re a 2-child family with two overly-demanding, full-time jobs, we don’t get to do many “nice” restaurants, so take them for what they’re worth!)
1) Rosso Pomodoro at the Palermo Forum (I know, I’m kind of embarrassed to suggest a restaurant in a mall – but their Neapolitan pizza is the best around, and their wait staff is incredible.)
2) Justeat.it Ok, it’s not really a restaurant, but I love that they deliver and have some great choices.
3) Casa Nostra, Le Maschere, Ke Palle, Antica Focacceria S. Francesco – all in Palermo. (None of them are fancy either, but they’re good food at a good price).
Top 3 favorite foods in Sicily
1) Caponata – seriously, I could bathe in this stuff.
2) Pasta di Mandorla – I don’t know if it counts as a food, but It’s definitely in my top 3!
3) Panelle – hot… straight out of the oil…. Oh my…..
Top 3 tips for new expats in Sicily
1) Give everything a try, at least once – La milza (spleen)? Try it…sloppy street market? Why not… Wear a speedo to the beach? Overcome that North American puritanism for an afternoon. You may absolutely hate it (and confidently say: never again), but it’s worth the experience.
2) Whether or not you’re Catholic, keep an eye out for local “saint” festivals – they’re always an experience.
3) Expect everyone to be late for everything.
Top 3 tips for travellers in Sicily
1) Take tissues everywhere – toilet paper is often not provided, and expect public toilets to be toilet-seat-free; make sure to look for a sign regarding what to do with said tissues (often you need to throw them away in a trash can instead of flush them).
2) Don’t drive in the cities if you don’t have to – Seriously, they’re crazy, but be aware that mass transit doesn’t function well. (Similarly, a 30-minute walk is better than a 15-minute drive and a 25-minute search for parking!)
3) In the summer wear sunblock (the sun can be brutal here) – in the winter wear layers. It doesn’t get as cold here as, for example, upstate New York, but buildings are under-heated – expect to wear a coat inside any building that isn’t a home and a sweater or sweatshirt inside most homes. Expect Italians to criticize whatever clothing choice you make.
Top 3 favorite places in Sicily
1) Cappella Palatina (Palermo)
2) Cappella delle SS Trinità (Near Zisa, Palermo) – It’s not on anyone’s tour list, but it’s simple, quiet, old, and I love the space (also, it has a great view from the tower).
3) Teatro Massimo (Palermo)
Top 3 neighborhoods in Sicily/Palermo/Catania
1) Ballerò – I absolutely love the “life” of the area (Palermo).
2) Via Maqueda (Palermo)
3) … Still figuring that out. We have a lot of exploring and learning to do!
For more tips on Italy, visit the blog : www.insidersabroad.com/italy/blogs .