A fisherman’s boat rocks silently between the coves. The oars caress the waves as he is starting to return, the scarlet Hibiscus awakens in the still faint rays of the sun.
I see myself as a child, in the shade of the leaves in the middle of the citrus trees above, intoxicated by the scent of orange blossoms. Small steps between the clods of earth and the irrigation canals, which still smell of an ancient Sicilian garden.
It is the citrus grove behind my parents’ house, handed down by the great-grandfather who had some property shared among his brothers.
The citrus grove allowed us to pass through the garden from one house to another safely and inventing many stories among us little ones, that we were in no danger other than returning home with shoes and clothes full of mud …
Capo d’Orlando, a seaside town halfway between Messina and Palermo, near Calabria, with the Aeolian Islands in front and the Nebrodi Mountains behind.
It is one of the destinations that I still suggest to my travellers, precisely because of the multiplicity of activities and usable paths and timeless beauties.
In the distance, a rooster competes with the whistle of the train and still gives me a good morning. Unforgettable colours and sounds, the most beautiful sunsets drunk until the last sip of the Sun that hides on the horizon in the waves.
And that punctuality even now reminds me that a new day is simultaneously rising on the other side of the world.
I spent all my summers collecting the pumice stones that the sea gave to the beach at Lipari. Swimming at the “Scoglio della Formica”under the lighthouse. Waiting for dawn. Running at just 8 years the first and last Marcialonga orlandina … but how will I have done it?! ??
The surroundings is a succession of history such as the wonderful Borgo di San Gregorio, once a fishing village and today a place for summer nightlife.
But above all a source of inspiration for Gino Paoli for Sapore di Sale (Taste of Salt)!
Villa Piccolo di Calanovella, cultural heritage, nature and artistic library of the Piccolo family on the hills of Capo d’Orlando which today is a house museum. A villa where the 3 brothers lived and which often hosted Tomasi di Lampedusa who wrote many pages of the Leopard here!
Mum’s breakfast smells good and genuine, like the freshly baked oil sandwich greedy for homemade jams prepared by the skilled hands of grandmother and mother.
In August the terrace gave up many spaces to the reeds that housed the “passuluni” (dried olives), the “ficu sicchi” (dried figs), “u strattu” (the tomato extract) and above all the gluttony of local tomatoes that the terrace was being prepared to dry them for the winter.
Ancient traditions also of the nearby Aeolian Islands that saw us as guests at least once a year.
Especially in Lipari, where there were relatives and then to return with our souvenirs, which were nothing more than local products and the magnificent Malvasia wine.
The Nectar of the Gods that only when I was grown up, after being able to savour it, I hold it close every now and then: on winter evenings in front of the fireplace or in the garden on summer evenings.