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The Duke & The Duchess

The Duke & The Duchess.

It’s 2.45 am here, my body clock is all over the shop, but I feel great!     And today I introduce you to the Duke & the Duchess.IMG_5707

Yesterday was a whirl of directions, instructions, job handovers, checking out the apartments, lots & lots of those eternal stairs. And a few hours walking, walking everywhere, because for the guests I need to know where to direct them. I must admit it was mid afternoon before I started to grasp anything :)) As it turns out I need to be check in agent & tour guide, so have to get to know the hot spots ASAP.leone

And then last night at dinner, which was gorgeous leftovers with the duke & duchess, casual silver service no less (as you do :)) they announce that they go to New York for a week on Monday & I get to run the accommodation show all by myself…omg :)) talk about deep end stuff.

It’s all good though, another few days & I think I will be able to bluff my way through…then they will send me to Siracusa for a couple of days after their return.

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And more excitement! You know how I love street theatre & flash mobs…well on our way to market, we ran straight into a uni project just starting to sing about the energy of Palermo in a shopping square, we got involved in the action as you can imagine, dancing, singing, got filmed, then interviewed :)) what fun…

Ps..found the organic shop…called zero kms :))IMG_5700

Tomorrow I’m spending the day with the Duchess both on the books & out in the flash part of town, with a driver :))

Today I introduce you to the Duke & the Duchess…go here :)) http://www.butera28.it           My new home!!!IMG_5699
 A quick up date on the quince paste, so generously donated by Jim, the quince king…which we delivered from Australia knowing it was a favourite :))palazzo
He is a funny, gorgeous tall man is our Duke. 80 years young, charismatic, learned, talkative, warm & easy…he picks up the tub, sits down at the breakfast table, breaks bread, picks up a spoon & piles a generous amount on his crusty roll. He eats with relish, eyes closed…& continues to repeat with each tub half a dozen times :))
“Beautiful” is his end result, both verbally & physically, as he waves his hands around….:)) Mission complete :))IMG_5701

Oh & the Duchess is just gorgeous…I can’t believe just how warm & real they are. She, Nicoletta, is a little pocket rocket, small, vibrant & never stops. Sharp, quick, intelligent, head in many places at once.

She runs the accommodation, the cooking school, the constant trades people & palazzo staff, often has 2 phones going at once…of northern Italian descent, well cultured & daughter of a doctor. http://www.butera28.it/cooking-with-the-duchess.phpIMG_5711

He, Gioacchino, Gio we call him, is the adopted son talked about in the much known book The Leopard. It’s a great read, please get it & have a read if you have the time. He was an international musical journalist, & director of operatic ventures for 37 years in Palermo & world wide. He studies world musicality & politics…a very interesting man.

He sometimes wears his dressing gown & pj’s around for the morning, but he dresses in a suit & tie for meals, even with just me & Nicoletta.

all organic pastries

all organic pastries

They use The Leopard as one of the history books in Italian schools, (it’s also a movie with Burt Lancaster too) 

I have the hard copy at home…but Gio wrote all over the cover of a soft copy & gave it to me :)) very generous.IMG_5710
I  find it absolutely gob-smackingly amazing that I am here living with these legendary figures in this historic place….it’s real, & this little kid from the sticks in Victoria has a piece of their time!!! I am in awe & gratitude (& ease & wonder :))
Maybe I’ve even got a bit of a school girl crush on the concept of stepping into history….courtyard
I better shut up for now.  You can see I’m in a dream :))
14 Comments
  1. Wow, wow and wow again! Unbelievable, you will be telling stories about this forever more. It just all sounds glorious.

    • Omg Fran…I am so blessed to be having this experience, & I am so happy my special people can appreciate the awesomeness of it. Thank you!!! love xx

  2. Gorgeous post Roni, it sounds so amazing and you write so beautifully xxx

    • lol…oh thanks Jeanne, I feel so clumsy when I read it back, & see all the weird nuances :)) but that is how I would be sharing with you so…& they truly are scrumptious people xx

  3. Just loving this Roni. Feel as though I am experiencing every bit too. Keep posting please x

    • Oh thanks Kate …I wonder if your mum is seeing this too? I’m so delighted to be able to share with you, I want you all to come visit :)) love love xx

  4. Roni !!!!!!! You are settling in well then 🙂 🙂 Great post !!!!!!!!!!!! Yep, keen them coming !!!!!!!

    • Yes Val, I am but it is all so very different over here, I’m a bit timid on the streets on my own…thanks for noticing though :)) xx

  5. This is my favorite so far… I love this story!!!

    • Hello lovely, thankyou! & they are such an amazing couple, cannot believe their warmth & realness, it is such an absolute pleasure…:)) xx

  6. Oh Roni I’m there I love reading about your adventures !!

    • Thanks so much Cath, & I love your support :)) Have you started thinking about lengthening your stay & having a real Sicilian experience next year? Much love xxxx

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