As soon as I read the words “Gelato Festival” or “Sherbeth Festival” in The Signature, I knew I would be going to Cefalù this weekend. Cefalù is a city at the base of a rocky cliff on Sicily’s northern shore. It is about 60 km east of Palermo and roughly two hours from Catania. I drove it in an hour and forty-five minutes because I started from our hotel in Motta Sant’Anastasia, which is the small town near Sigonella.
I choose to attend the festival on Sunday, knowing I may miss some of the excitement, but I would also miss most of the crowds. With heat and humidity holding steady during the peak daytime hours when I planned to go, I opted for thinner crowds. No worries, I still had sweat droplets running down the backs of my legs before the day was out.
Another benefit to a smaller crowd was a better opportunity to find parking. I was using my GPS to direct me, so I could estimate the distance I would have to walk. I passed by a spot 2.2km from the center, just a little much to demand from myself for gelato. Then there was a great spot at 1.1 km, which is completely reasonable, but I decided to cruise the scene first. I saw the pink and white banners lining the streets of the city center as I passed. I followed the road up the hill with my stomach growling, and parked in the first free spot I could find.
There were some opportunities for paid parking closer to the center, although the street spaces were few and far between and even the parking lots I saw were very full. I grew up in a small town and although I have lived in cities most of my adult life, I still have a tough time paying for parking when a short walk would save several dollars, or euro in this instance. I found my free spot and trekked down the hill to enter the “centro” (city center). Here, the festival wound its way through cobblestone streets that buzzed with energy under the “domani” demeanor of a beach town.
Entrance to the “Sherbeth Festival Due mila undici (2011)”
Festiavl Internazionale del Gelato Artigianale.
Great organization and lay-out. I loved the decor and media of this event.
I entered at B, walked up to C and around to D, then back to B before heading down to A. The majority of the tasting stands were in between B and A, so I basically got my city tour first.
The biglietto (ticket), which reads “To not want gelato from another Sherbeth (festival) would be a shame (literally a sin).” (my translation). “Una coppetta” is a cup and is larger in size than “un conetto,” which is a tiny cone with gelato spread onto it. “Tagliando” means coupon.
You may have noticed that one conetto ticket is already gone! That is because I started with this delightful treat.
Nothing better for a growling tummy.
The fast melting gelato is proof that it was still quite hot.
Along the festival route, I passed by the Piazza del Duomo, scoped out the Duomo’s exterior (look for these shots in an upcoming post), and saw a display of old-fashioned gelato makers.
Next up, ginger and cardamom, from South Africa.
After this, I toured the booths to search out my final selections. The choices were sure to be difficult to make with these offerings.
This was my second favorite gelato, the texture of the fig really came through.
Old-fashioned gelato-making apparatus display as part of the festival.