Giovanna Micali, creator of Agalma Medusae
In her creations, the protagonist is the spirit of a Sicily—cultured and sophisticated, literary and mythological, elegant and eccentric, reaching out to the affirmation of a strong identity, but also to the encroachment in dreams and reveries, always looking for “another” world, to be found in the past or in the visionary. The love for her homeland and the deep culture of which it bears, Giovanna Micali perceives—as a child—the charm and richness of nature and decides to devote her studies in archeology and ancient art, to cultural heritage, the reconstruction historic landscape, literature, eager to be able to have the tools and the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the roots, beauty and complexity of Sicily.
1: What do you remember about growing up in Sicily?
Growing up in Sicily is a privilege. You are raised appreciating nature and its sharp colors a strong imprinting, the vice to the beauty gets inside you. I remember everything; the blue water of the Aeolian Islands and the sulfur smell of the volcano, the dried figs, when my grandparents would dispose them under the sun, fishing for squid at night, the blossom flowering and oranges of citrus garden of my grandfather, cured and vaunted as children to be proud of. And then breakfast with slices of lemon sprinkled with salt and vinegar. I guess what I remember most of all is nature.
2: Share with us a memory linked to the creation of a wedding gown/your creation.
Before devoting myself to jewelry, I also worked as a wedding planner, I was only 18 and did it very briefly. I recall having a bride whose sole desire was to wear a dress that was, as much as possible, linked to the affections of his family: We composed the dress putting together, with art, the Sicilian embroidery, the filet, point five, belonged to three generations of women of the her family. The result was exciting and unique.
3: Name 3 people or characters who have and still inspire you.
My great-aunt, Anna. Survived under the rubble at the Messina earthquake of 1908. She raised me, taught me everything I know, from true love to the art of using a fan, to the passion for jewelry that she wore every day even to stay indoors … with my great admiration. Caravaggio, for the courage and depth and Francis of Assisi for the way he lived, a fusion of love with creation.
4: To which Sicilian tradition are you still linked, which one you still follow?
There are so many! Those I love most are, for example, the preparation of seedlings of wheat and lentils, that we decorate with spring flowers and are used to adorn the altars on Good Friday, in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. Also, all the traditions related to passion and the holy week. Then, we have the feast of the dead, with the use of preparing a small snack for those who left us. The tradition says that they would come the night of November 2 to deliver presents to the children of the family. In return to thank them, we will go to visit them at the cemetery carryng those presents. This tradition inspired me and scared me at the same time but I still wait for it every year, especially for pleasure of eating the cookies “bones of the dead,” we inherited them from the Arab and they are a taste of paradise!
5: Name 3 places to visit in Sicily.
Only three?! Siracusa has the number one place in my heart. It’s worth seeing for its unique light and vigor, the close relationship with the history and with the sea. It’s a genuine fragment of ancient Greece with the added charm of Sicily. Then there’s Taormina, for its scenery and happy atmosphere. Mount Etna, to see the sea from above, surrounded by snow, in a white and lunar space.
6: Name 3 places where you can eat in Sicily.
Eating “pane e panelle” (there is no translation for it) with boiled octopus at Vucciria in Palermo; sea urchins and other seafood specialties by Filippino in Lipari; and granita with almonds and pistachio in Taormina.
7: Name 3 places where you can stay in Sicily.
The Aeolian Islands–to enjoy the views and the peace of the archipelago from the top; Agrigento in February to overlook at close range on the temples and on the almond trees in bloom; at Castel di Tusa to live in the beauty of contemporary art and discover an untouched Sicily.
8: What do you see in the future for Sicily?
Promoting knowledge and enjoyment of our important heritage of art and nature. Educating the collective consciousness.
9: Any advice for the bride/groom?
My advice to wear, even hidden, a sprig of red coral and, if possible, some orange flower in the bouquet. You will have the intense smell and, at the same time, pure and ineffable, of love.
10: Why choose Sicily as your destination wedding?
Get marry in Sicily because of the light that brings out the colors, the grandeur or the intimacy of the scenarios that seem almost like a movie set, and because it is a guarantee of passion and sensuality.
For more information about Giovanna and her craft, please contact: Info@madeinsicilyclub.com
For more information about Sicily, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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