I was born in Cattolica Eraclea, I don’t even want to think how long ago. But not long because time flew in minutes. At least so it seems to me.
I don’t live far away even though I have travelled all my life. In the end a woman has to choose and I could not imagine my family far from this corner of Sicily.
Cattolica Eraclea, a somewhat strange name for a village of just over 3,000 people. A name that was a tribute to King Philip III of Spain who was called ‘the Pious’.
It was the king himself who granted permission to build a new town in 1612 in one of the most beautiful areas of Sicily.
Near Agrigento and the sea where Eraclea Minoa was built. The Greeks knew what they were doing.
We have put an open-air theatre back into operation right in front of the sea … but we have chosen to live a little more inland. The period of attacks from the sea has marked us for many centuries.
Cattolica Eraclea: two beautiful squares surrounded by Baroque palaces and a hermitage dedicated to San Calogero overlooking the village.
A hermitage that is crowded with people on the last Sunday of August when, to thank the Saint, all those who have received graces offer bread in the form of the grace requested.
It is a sight to see the display of bread shaped as arms, legs and more.
You can get a similar idea only by visiting a museum near some ancient Roman temple where ex voto with the shape of the healed body parts are found.
The town is surrounded by mountains with numerous caves where it is said that in past times the criminals hid. But each cave has its own legend.
The Platani river is of rare beauty, it is the one that reaches the sea and on whose mouth the Greek city of Eraclea Minoa was built. They weren’t naive.
Walks in nature immersed in the landscapes around the river are worth trying, enchanting places that make the soul rest.
The river has a very long path and flows into the sea in what is now a nature reserve surrounded by high mountains of white marl.
They are beautiful and worth climbing (I did). Very similar to the famous Scala dei Turchi.
You must see the museum where the remains of the ancient Eraclea are preserved that tell of the myth of Minos, from which it takes its name.
My town …. I cannot tell its story without spending hours here… the only advice is to come here and experience, enjoy its beauties.
And taste its food, but that’s another story.