Sundays are special in Sicily. As we have mentioned before, the day is normally spent with family, having a nice, long and often boisterous lunch full of laughter and good food. The late afternoons are usually taken up with walks by the sea, which seem to be more about meeting and greeting acquaintances and showing off the kids.
The evenings have their own tradition, which almost always includes going out for pizza. Where we live, the tradition is not only the pizza but also dancing afterwards. In a beautiful setting, close to the sea, there is a restaurant/pool/festivity hall where people from all over the region gather for an evening’s entertainment. There is an elegantly decorated room that’s the perfect place to rent for a big Sicilian wedding, and the romantic setting offers a beautiful view over the sea, from the archways covered in jasmine flowers.
However, most people spend their evenings in the other, larger room where a young man at an electronic piano and a local singer entertain the crowd the whole evening. Although some families rent some of the tables in this room for birthday, communion or baptism celebrations (yes, the Italians bring even small children along to celebrate late into the night), most are just there for the pizza and dancing. And they take the latter very seriously. For the slower numbers couples take to the floor, sometimes even women with women, and try their best to make it look like a waltz, tango or cha-cha.
For faster numbers, they all line up like in an aerobics class and everyone performs the same slow twirls and claps, like “The Macarena” gone terribly wrong. The music is a mix of Sicilian and Italian songs, with the occasional Bavarian number. On several occasions we have tried to get the DJ’s to play more modern songs but without success, since the floor empties as soon as a song written in the last five decades is played.
So in the end, we always end up joining along or making our own moves to the original versions of “Volare…ohoo” or “Tu voi fai l’americano”. Then we feel very much a part of the Italian community and their “Sunday night fever”.