Paolo LoGrande was the first person I said Hello to and the last person I said Goodbye to in Sicily. He is the oldest brother of my friend, Elisabetta, and was nice enough to pick us up and drop us off at the airport.
He helped me frame this photo of the true Sicilian breakfast, grabbing the newspapers and making sure all the granitas were pictured. Paolo was excited to show me a true fish market, Sicilian style – and prepared me for the yelling and sights…
He is the owner of Camelot Pizzeria in Leonforte, and has been making pizza since he was 16 years old. He, and his wife, Cettina, welcomed me and my husband with open arms, allowing GreyFeathers to make pizza and bread at no cost. I had the pleasure of meeting a very sweet woman, Lumy, who follows GreyFeathers religiously (yay!!).
Paolo was kind enough to show me how to flatten and “pretend” to spin a pizza with my hands, explained how much sauce was just enough, starting from the very center working the sauce in a spiral direction towards the crust, and that 2 handfuls of cheese were the perfect amount. Over and over helping me, all the while making pizzas for the line of customers waiting outside the door.
I met a young man, about 12 years old, Angelo, who came by Camelot looking for Paolo – wearing an apron. He said he was the butcher. Ok… it’s Italy, it’s SICILY, maybe the kid was the butcher. Maybe he was reporting for work at the pizzeria. I don’t know. But what I do know is that Paolo has MANY friends of all ages that stop by the pizzeria from the time it opens until the time it closes every day… and of course they were all his “family.”
Lastly, the video you see above I took on our way back to the airport. It is Paolo being Paolo. He is loud, he is friendly, he is cool, he is genuinely proud of ‘his Sicily’ and for me, I wouldn’t want him to be any other way. Not only would he take the shirt off his back and give it to you, he would give you his right arm. He is my family now, and that’s that.