When we're not traveling across Sicily, we love to veg out with a good bottle of wine, a little antipasto action, and take in some of America's favorite pastime: television.
As most have done over the past several years, we exclusively use streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime to consume our content, so we thought we'd do a little roundup of some of our favorite Sicily-centric programming for you, all streaming and available for purchase or included with some of the subscriptions you may already have.
- Chef's Table: Volume 4 (Pastry) - Corrado Assenza, Caffè Sicilia
We love this episode because it really speaks to the generational investment we find so frequently in family-owned business all across Sicily. Plus, you get to see just how much love and care goes into each and every item Caffè Sicilia makes. (PS - we visit this fabulous pasticceria as we pass through the town of Noto during our Signature Sicily trip!)
- Ainsley Eats the Streets: Season 1 - Palermo
Sicily, and Palermo in particular, is famous for its street food culture. This episode takes you through Palermo's markets and back alleys where street food thrives.
- Our Godfather
This documentary admittedly doesn't show much of Sicily, but if you're fascinated by the mafia's history in Sicily and how it intersects with the United States, you'll love it. Note: If you're not okay with graphic, real life footage of victims of the mafia, this documentary isn't for you.
Sarah Cate enjoying her gelato from Caffè Sicilia in Noto.
- Sicily Unpacked (3 episodes)
This is a charming BBC mini docu-series that gives an across-the-island overview of food, culture, and history.
Director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) is responsible for this coming-of-age story filmed in Benny's (and Tornatore's) hometown of Bagheria (Baaria is Bagheria in dialect). Fun side note: Giuseppe Tornatore was a friend of my mother-in-law's late brother and she fondly remembers him and his video camera being present at Sunday supper.
- Detective Montalbano (included with MhZ subscription)
This miniseries is loved throughout Italy but it's practically brought several Sicilian cities and towns back to life. Benny is a super fan (I think I may have seen him wipe away a tear when we visited the fictional home of Montalbano in Punta Secca). If you love police shows and want to get a fantastic 360 degree glimpse into Sicilian culture, we're sure you'll love this.
- Borsellino, The 57-Days (included with MhZ subscription)
Mention the names Falcone and Borsellino around Sicily and you're likely to get the same reverent reaction. These real-life saints fell victim to the mafia in the early 90s as they courageously fought against it. The principal actor (Luca Zingaretti) is the same actor who plays Montalbano (see above).
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Season 1, Episode 6
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Season 2, Episode 5
The late Anthony Bourdain made two trips to Sicily in his series No Reservations and Parts Unknown. We love to watch his escapades across our favorite island, especially the now-infamous octopus fishing scene in Parts Unknown.