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Perfect Italian Weekend

A Perfect Italian Weekend - Sicily

A perfect weekend in Italy without the limitations of time, budget, or distance. Every week we ask interesting and inspirational Italians, or Italians at heart, to take us along for a perfect, local weekend. This week Eleonora Caponnetto from Nora Capò takes us along to Sicily! 

Eleonora Caponnetto

I am an Italian goldsmith, based in Copenhagen. I was born and raised in a small village near Catania, on the island of Sicily. After high school, I moved to Florence to work and study. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, specializing in Goldsmithing. In 2014 I moved to Copenhagen where I started my own jewelry company and continued to study, eventually obtaining my second degree in Jewellery, Technology & Business.

My jewelry is inspired by the shapes found in Nature, particularly the shapes of leaves, branches, and other parts of plants. Many of the jewelry I make are cast directly from a real piece of plant.


During spring and summer, granita hawkers drive around the small villages near Etna, selling their homemade granita and brioche buns for breakfast. I wake up to the sound of the local hawker in my village Valverde, blowing the whistle, grab a few coins, and get downstairs to buy the sweetest and most refreshing breakfast! I will eat it on my little balcony, with a great view over Etna.

After breakfast, it’s time to go for a swim and some sunbathing. Typically I would drive to a small coastal village called Aci Trezza. This place is special because it has a small protected marine area, composed of what we in Italian call Faraglioni (basically sea stacks or coastal rock formations). These structures are located a few meters off the coast, in front of Aci Trezza. Local fishermen will drop you off on one of the Faraglioni for a few euros and come pick you up again when you call them. They use small traditional wooden boats, which are locally built and painted with beautiful bright colors. There are even a couple of legends about how the Farglioni were formed: the main legend says that Polyphemus threw these rocks out of rage towards Odysseus, who had blinded him and fled.

It’s getting warm… too warm to stay in the sun! After a refreshing swim, it’s time for lunch. Some years ago I discovered a very hidden gem, which makes some of the best arancini I’ve ever tried. It’s a very “anonymous” coffee bar called “Caffè Principe”, like many in Italy. It’s located behind the main square of Aci Castello, a village next to Aci Trezza, with a beautiful Norman castle, built on the black volcanic rocks of the coast. Here, I would sit in the shade of the garden umbrella and enjoy the freshly fried pistachio arancino, sip a cold beer or an Aperol spritz, and watch the castle “dip” into the sea.

We all know what happens in southern Italy after lunchtime, especially during the hot months. Well… Siesta remains one of my favorite habits! It’s one of those few moments in life where inner and outer peace meet. I can go back home or lie down under a beach umbrella, it doesn’t really matter. The experience is part of the perfect weekend!

The best way to shake off the drowsiness of the siesta is with a fresh swim and homemade gelato from the hawkers!

Yes… we are always eating! And guess what? It’s now aperitivo time… I usually meet with my childhood friends for a drink and some snacks at “Go Go 43” in Aci Trezza, chatting about old times and catching up on the latest news in our lives. 

Finally, after this “exhausting” day it’s dinner time… as we are by the sea and it’s summer, what could beat a seafood dinner in one of the many restaurants of the coastal villages?! I have my favorite! It’s called “A Putìa di Colapesce


To vary a bit, my Sunday breakfast is at the local coffee bar of my village, right in the main square. The bar is called “Bar del Santuario”. Here I can sit on the bar’s veranda, enjoying my breakfast and watching the village slowly waking up on Sunday morning. Rush does not exist.

In southern Italy, Sunday rhymes with family time (and, of course, lots of food). My family owns a piece of land on the south side of Etna with a spectacular view of the top of the volcano, where we grow, among many things, olives and produce delicious olive oil. The volcanic soil, full of minerals, makes fruits and vegetables very tasty. 

This is my special place, where my passion for jewelry and plants started. My first imprint was with nature and its shapes and details. I started collecting different plant elements over time, and at the right moment, I transformed them into precious accessories. Now that I live abroad, where nature looks different, I still go back to my countryside to get inspiration from time to time.

So after breakfast, we would head to the countryside. First, we would do some field work, helping my dad out with the land and the crops. When the family starts to gather, it’s time to light up the bonfire and cook! This lunch would take the entire afternoon (including a siesta under the shade of an olive tree) and finish in the evening. I love our countryside, it brings me back to my childhood when my dad would allow my brother and me to skip school for the special occasion of olive harvest! We would get so tired by the work, but so happy and fulfilled. The ride back home was the best part, falling asleep with a smile on my face.


Online Shopping: Nora Capò | jewellery created from real plants | Instagram:  @noracapo_jewellery

Photo credits Nora Capò  jewellery: @katiad._fotografa

Ellen Grandjean