It’s not always easy to find a peaceful spot to spend the night and it is especially hard on Saturday nights and during the festive season. Given that New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday this year I’ve headed to the remote fishing village of Brucoli where I hope celebrations will be minimal.
Brucoli is a small fishing village with a one way system and an Aragonese castle at the end with incredible views across to Catania and Mount Etna. On the morning of New Year’s Eve, I set out to explore the tiny village and find it’s actually quite busy. There are not many shops: a post office, newsagents, shoe shop and intriguing second-hand bazaar selling old furniture and unwanted nick-knacks. There are also several cafes, bars and restaurants, some closed, others buzzing with activity. I smell the local bakery before I see it, shelves lined with artisanal loaves and fresh croissants dusted with icing sugar.
At the entrance to the village I stop for coffee in a café which seems to be favoured by the fishermen and older men of the village. The walls are decorated with nautical items and mirrors advertising various alcoholic drinks, though only half a dozen spirit bottles sit on the shelf behind the bar. Above the doorframe is a lovely painting of the castle and bay, an in the streets I find plenty more. They have been painted by local artist Vittorio Ribaudo and really enhance the walls of the village. There is no sign of graffiti as I suspect in this small community the culprits would be easily identified.
There are plenty of kids setting off bangers though and I expect to be up at midnight. When I do emerge from my warm duvet as the New Year begins I am met with a vista of pyrotechnic lights as Catania is lit up across the bay. Luckily Etna is not joining in the celebrations for, although it would be interesting to see hot molten lava exploding from her cone, I feel much safer without her in the dark.