Come Enzo, I’ll wait for you!
So, my dear Rocco, you called me on a happy Sunday to invite me to a very special stay in Menfi!
I knew that in Menfi I would find so much to enjoy and taste. But I would never have imagined such hospitable and warm company!
You were already ready and were waiting for me in front of the Sun, the entrance monument symbol of the city that offers unexpected knowledge and interesting experiences!
Burgio Millusio (Borgo Ubertoso), as the Arabs who first inhabited it in the 10th century called it. Menfi was immediately characterized as the land of the sun, where light and heat give flavour to life and social ties.
And as a land of flowers.
In fact, here the Pignatelli princes founded the Land of Memphis in 1638, with a deliberate reference to the ancient Egyptian capital.
Together with Pamela, you led me to peek through the modern hanging gardens of Inikon, where the petrified spires recall the seismic shocks of 1968.
And then a return to tradition. Here the peasant devotion to San Giuseppe is found in the newsstands, in the courtyards, next to the doors.
A rarity: the dry room in the dark crypt of the Oratory of Jesus and Mary, with the frescoed warning of the “Memento mori 1806” and the deposition niches on the sides of the altar.
An experience full of silent reflections!
And walking carefree, from the many ovens we got the smells of fragrant bread and martorana (marzipan sweets), nucatuli (fig and nut cookies), fried star biscuits and cannoli (hard tubular pasta shells) filled with refined ricotta.
And then the ‘sfinci’ (fried dough) of potatoes soaked in honey and rice arancini: unforgettable delicacies!
Thus, with ease, we arrived from the lively Via della Vittoria to the serene windowsill of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele from which an endless expanse of green vineyards borders the coasts to Porto Palo.
Right where the anti-corsair watch tower (16th century) also invites children to reassuring and pleasant swimming in the placid Mediterranean blue.
In the reddish sunsets you can see the nearby city of Selinunte, the westernmost town of Sikelìa where the gods speak of myths and heroes.
And still the wild parsley (selinon) sprouts!
But you, Rocco, dragged us into the ruinous reality created by the earthquake by showing us the remains of the Mother Church (mid-1600) preserved in a modern box-like structure designed by Vittorio Gregotti, and those of the Tower commissioned by Emperor Frederick II in 1239 as a delightful solarium. .
Manfredi of Svevia (1258) stayed in this tower and after various transfers of ownership it completely passed from Giacomo I to the Miles Regius Coraldo Rodolfo Manuele (1287) Baron of Burgiomillusio.
Then from Nino Tagliavia, count of Borgetto (1399), it came to Don Diego Aragona Tagliavia Pignatelli who founded the new Menfi here in the seventeenth century by building his Elegant Palace, between whose walls “history has passed”.
And then we have your archaeological collection of the territory between the Belice-Carbo rivers with the Pleistocene fossils of Cava del Serpente and the finds from the Village of Montagnoli (751-723 BC).
On the upper floors, one finds the archaeological exhibition From the Village to the Palace and the collection of Modern Art by Rita Gallé.
Rich in variety, amazing in shapes and colours, unique in Sicily you can admire the “Collezione Malacologica” (collection of shells) that Vanna Rotolo has collected all over the world to donate to Menfi.
And before a lunch based on spaghetti with fish roe, farfalle with salmon and shrimp, swordfish and roasted white bream accompanied by the inevitable fresh Chardonnay wine, an abundant reserve of Nero d’Avola at Cantine Settesoli, precious mines of an exceptional territory!
Thanks Menfi, thanks Rocco, a stay that I will renew with friends and colleagues!