The first dish cited in our Insight guide to Sicily is Sarde a beccafico. I didn’t pay much attention, not being overly fond of sardines.
But when I read in that same guidebook that you could stay at Via Butera 28 in Palermo, part of Palazzo Lanza Tomasi where Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa lived while writing The Leopard, one of the world’s 100 best novels, one of my favourites, I was “estatico.” Insight noted that you could also “book a cookery course” at the Palazzo. That made me pause. I’ve had little desire to take cooking classes. As a decent home cook, I don’t want to spend my vacation chopping herbs, cooking onions or making dishes I probably have a recipe for or could find online. And cooking classes are expensive. My attitude changed when I checked out the Via Butera 28 website and discovered the class was conducted by the duchess herself, Nicoletta Lanza Tomasi!