Where the locals go

by Margie Miklas

Most travelers to Italy have never heard of Riposto, the small comune on the eastern coast of Sicily. Either did I until a few years ago, when my Sicilian friends insisted that we go there, explaining to me that this is where to get the best gelato in Sicily. This little Sicilian coastal town is located between Taormina and Catania, about 15 miles from both cities, and touches the Ionian Sea. 

Strawberry

Gelato in Riposto: My Sicilian friends Teresa and Angelica introduced me to Bistro del Porto, the bar/café at the marina where there were lines of people waiting to order gelato.  Teresa explained that the pistachio gelato is hand made from real pistachios that were grown in Bronte. On her recommendation, and since pistachio is one of my favorite flavors of gelato, I ordered it. Once I tasted that smooth gelato with the strong taste of pistachio I knew why she recommended it. The pistachio flavor was stronger than I have ever tasted. I knew this was authentic gelato and so worth the drive from Taormina. Most Americans never would even know about this little slice of heaven. It pays to know where the locals go especially in Sicily. 

Gelato al cioccolato and panna

Marina di Riposto: Just in front of the gelato bar is Marina di Riposto, the scenic harbor with many boat slips and a photographer’s dream. The walkway alongside the marina makes for a great place for   la passeggiata, or the evening stroll. There are 336 berths and the marina is complete with showers and toilets, 24 hour security and helpful staff who speak both Italian and English well. The boardwalk possessed an allure,  an invitation for me to slowly stroll and fully enjoy the experience. With the breeze gently blowing on a warm evening in late spring, I felt at home. Never without my camera, I took advantage of the wonderful photo opportunities that marinas always seem to provide. 

Brioche Gelato

Gelato Brioche: Another thing I learned about gelato while here in Riposto is the concept of the gelato brioche. Teresa ordered one and finally explained to me about this unusual yet popular way of eating gelato. I had seen this in Cefalù and thought someone was eating gelato in a hamburger bun since that is what it looked like to me. Actually this is a common way to eat gelato, especially in Sicily. Teresa explained that the “bun” is really a sweet roll, or brioche. Only in Italy!

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