Locanda Cuba: an inn that has always existed

Testo in italiano


by Giovanni Vallone

There are some places in Sicily that are lost in ancient times.

Catania-Palermo highway, Catenanuova exit, 35 kilometers from Catania.

Turning your eyes to the valley floor and you will see Locanda (also said Fondaco) Cuba, sitting on a wheat field, surrounded by prickly pears.

You will immediately understand what it is because it is surrounded by a glow of magic.

The magic of history and landscape, the magic of Sicily.

It is located in central Sicily in a road that connected and continues to connect, Agrigento, Palermo and Catania.

And let’s talk about Akray, Panormus and Catania: Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans all at once!

Here the travelers stopped to refresh.

They drank, sang, ate and warmed themselves.

Once there must have been forests and a river that flowed copiously.

Today it is immersed in the fields of wheat and oranges of the plain of Catania.

It is of a poaching beauty.

Here must have stopped Greek generals, Roman emperors, Byzantine priests, Arab caliphs, Norman kings and who knows how many other people of the Sicilian past!

The construction as we see it today dates back to the eighteenth century and the last great traveler who stopped here was the German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

And then, let’s get a bit of a chill by thinking about that moment.

It is the night of April 30, 1787 and the great writer writes: On the way; April 30, 1787 I am in Molimenti  a recent little village, perfectly located in the center of  a beautiful countryside, on the bank of the river San Paolo. Not far way , from  unique wheat fields. All the mountains on the left, that  enclose the stream, are limestone and sand. I could not observe its transhumance.

Goethe must have entered his splendid door with his carriage.

He got out and the coachman went to make the horses rest and eat  inside this building, still intact.

Then the German poet must have eaten something in this lower floor before climbing to the upper floor where the apartments were.

If I had been in his place I would have taken this room which has a wonderful view of Mount Etna.

Well … I don’t think I went very far with imagination.

This place is beautiful and every time we go back it releases tremendous energy.

In Sicily it takes just a bit of imagination to retrace the centuries.


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