Piana degli Albanesi is a small town near Palermo known as the most important center of the Albanian Greek colony of Sicily. Founded in s. XV by Greek-Albanian exiles and is officially bilingual, the official records of the commune are written both in Italian and Albanian as their citizens know both languages.
As a Canarian girl, lakes always move my curiosity, so when I heard about Lago degli Albanesi it did not take even a minute to propose a trip to go and discover this “strange” phenomenon of nature. Taking advantage of my roommates also wanted to go and see it, we organized a trip to go there in the weekend.
After about 45 minutes by bus on a road full of curves, with cliffs of hundreds of meters without handrails to the edges, we finally arrive. We had arranged to meet at a cafe with two Polish girls of my Italian course, and since we were there we decided to try the famous cannoli (typical Sicilian sweet but still typical of this town), which I recommend to anyone… the best cannoli I’ve ever eaten!
We asked the waiter the best way to get to the lake, and what a surprise, we were in the wrong bus stop and now we had to walk over 4km (to spend cannoli’s kcal) … Luckily Polish girls, who had come driving, took pity on us and offered to take us with them. After 15 minutes playing tetris we got 2 Polish of 2 meters and 4 EVS volunteers in a fiat panda that looked more like a cinquecento …
At last we reached the lake. Although it was raining the previous days and the ground was a bit muddy, the day was sunny and beautiful. We took a fairly long walk along the shore enjoying a movie landscape, flowers, trees, birds, blue sky … amazing. We could not do piquenique because the ground was still pretty wet and when one of the girls stepped in mud-quicksand and disappeared on foot to the ankle we decided it was good time to return.
That gave us time to see the city a little better. Piana degli Albanesi is also known for its unique churches. Its inhabitants belong to the Greek Orthodox faith and churches were built following this style, also these churches are the rite Uniate and their patriarchate belongs to the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church. What town so small and yet so funny …
Wonderful scenery, the best cannoli in Sicily and lots and lots of laughter … can not think of better way to spend a Sunday