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Futtitinni: Sicilia’s lighthearted and potent life advice

Moveable Feast Retreats was founded on the desire to share incredible food in exquisite places, but the deep soul of MFR is to seek out the innate wisdom in this beautiful world’s many hidden corners. We went for a wander with the help of flâner in Provence. We leaned back in our chairs after dinner and took time to digest the food, life, and our new friends with sobremesa in the Yucàtan. And then last year, we had Sicilia’s futtitinni. 

Sicily is a semi-remote island with enough history to make your head spin. If you were a family of farmers in the 8th century BCE, handing your farm down from one generation to the next, your fam would have experienced rule from the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Moors, Vikings, Normans, Spaniards, Bourbons, Italians, and oh yeah, the Mafia. Every hundred or so years, you’d have to get used to a new ruling class, new laws, new taxes, and a new way of doing things. Not to mention in that time, your beloved island’s local volcano would’ve erupted nearly 200 times. All that would make me throw up my arms and just say screw it and give up.

Luckily, Sicilians do it better than me.

They’ve developed a coping mechanism in the form of a word: futtitinni. As we continue on in this journey of life, the government will change in ways you don’t like, it’ll rain too much or too little, taxes will be raised and lowered, and dammit, chances are that the volcano is gonna erupt again, but all you have to do is focus on what’s most important: family, good friends, bomb food, and of course, wine. Don’t let the inconsequential uncontrollable parts of life get you down. Futtitinni: take it easy and focus on what’s most important. 

Having this Sicilian tone set for the retreat meant dinner conversations stopped devolving into complaining about a recent tweet or political scandal. Instead, lifelong friendships were formed over bottles of wine and hand-rolled pasta. We shared life’s most intriguing stories, made real eye-contact, and might’ve choreographed an entire dance to Katy Perry’s Firework — you know, the important stuff.

Every place we visit has a story to share and wisdom to impart. Moveable Feast isn’t about showing up to a new country, checking our phone for a recommendation of some tourist restaurant on the main drag, and on the way out thinking ‘yeah, that was nice.’ It’s about living deeply, truly shaking hands with a place, and bringing home some of the rhythms, philosophies, and beauty that country has to offer to enrich our lives for years to come.

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