Leafing through the photographic archive of Splendid Sicily. The Splendid Sicily celebration of Sicilia nostalgia in all its form
Adele, the castle lady of Scaletta Zanclea
Text by Giovanni Vallone
We are in eastern Sicily, and it is a beautiful sunny day.
Prickly pears and sea escort us to Scaletta Zanclea.
We climb to the top of this little village.
Down there at the top you can see the tower of that castle.
Here is Adele and here are our pastries.
Here is a classic Sicilian motoape.
Adele: “He’s my husband. He’s going to the countryside to make oil.”
We’ll sneak our way through the little alleys of Scaletta superiore.
Look at those capers hanging on that stone wall.
Here we are in the little square where the main church is.
A magnificent view of the sea and in front you can see the Italian peninsula, just that part where Italy gives a kick, with its boot, to Sicily!
We go up among the small low houses and narrow alleys of this medieval village.
Silence, peace, smells and scents of Sicily that like trails of smoke come out of the windows and courtyards of this place.
We go up, we go up and finally we arrive at the wonderful castle.
It was built in 1200 and donated by the last owners, the Ruffo family, to the town of Scaletta in 1969.
Ehy: these are real cannon balls!
Here we are inside the castle.
This is a Ruffo family book .
It must have been wonderful to live inside a castle!
Now it’s sort of a museum.
There are old photos of Scaletta and the surrounding villages and various relics from the past: spears, helmets, chains, medals, books.
In this room, which was once the church, are preserved ancient coins.
There is also a beautiful mullioned window with a magnificent view of the Ionian Sea.
Darn it: I want my own castle!
Adele: “This cistern was full of water and when they sighted the enemy they emptied it in a hurry, they entered here and through an underground passage they almost reached the sea”.
And where does this staircase lead to?
Adele: “Up on the terrace”
Let’s go then.
Mamma mia what a view!
Wonderful castle of Scaletta you are beautiful!
Here we are again in the village below the castle.
Let’s see what that castle lady has to say.
“We are at peace and quiet.”
“Today at Adele’s you will surely eat well.”
Wonderful picture: fig tree, the church and Italy over there.
Many houses are uninhabited.
Would you like to move to Scaletta?
With not even 50 thousand euros you will have your house ready to live in.
Let’s sneak into this alley.
Hey but there is no one in this village?
Uhmmm this house is really full of plants.
Sorry to bother you, ma’am. Well done It’s very nice this entrance. How is it to live here?
Have you always lived here?
“Always. Did you go up to the castle?”
Of course. What are you cooking today?
“Since my husband is on a diet, I made rabbit and boiled vegetables.”
Ok, let’s continue.
A gentleman with a scooter
Listen, does this road pop up anywhere?
“Yes yes, go”
Here we are at Adele’s house
That’s Adele at a young age.
This is the bedroom.
“That’s me with my grandmother when I got married.”
Here Adele is with her husband.
What a view from this room
Let’s go down to the kitchen
Here’s what Adele has prepared: shrimp with sauce, a local specialty
Adele is known in the village because she sells homemade bread and various preserves such as olives, tomatoes, eggplant in oil.
That’s the oven where Adele makes her bread.
Just the time to rinse my hands and we eat!
Adele turns the pasta, I take a picture of the table and I sit down.
Olives and eggplant in oil.
Nassa shrimp with all the skin on.
Fried and stuffed peppers: exceptionally good!
And here is the pasta!
Where did you and your husband meet?
“He was engaged to someone else? And then I popped up.”
A little bit of Sicilian wine
And we close with the inevitable homemade limoncello.
A digestive walk towards a very particular house in Scaletta Superiore.
So many flowers
So many objects in this room
Here is Mrs. Santina Cifalà, the owner
What are these Ma’am?
So many dolls
“They come from Messina”
Let’s see this other room: the frescoed roofs.
“It was built 5-600 years ago.”
But how do you clean this house?
“Slowly, one object at a time.
Mamma mia what a job!
“Here we have the bathroom.”
There are friends and relatives of Mrs. Cifalà.
“This is the dining room.
“And this is my bedroom”
“That’s me, my husband and my son who lives in Turin.”
We go up to the terrace where there is clearly a magnificent view.
Ok let’s go, but listen ma’am you buy all these flowers every day?
“No, yesterday was my name day and they gave them to me.”
I understand. Thank you. Goodbye.
Thank you for the beautiful day Adele, castle of the village of Scaletta Superiore.
Peace and Sicily in these parts.
And a beautiful fountain from 1823.