We are in Comiso, one of the capitals of Sicilian Baroque. Here it is the nice Natural History Museum.
Text by Giovanni Vallone
We are in Calatabiano, right on the slopes of the castle in the ancient Arab quarter.
Narrow alleys and narrow streets that cross each other, as in a labyrinth, low houses, smells that come out of all the little doors and little windows.
Miss Sara is waiting for us here.
We slip into this tunnel just like we were inside an Arab kasbah.
There she is over there!
She: Nice to meet you, I’m Sara Samperi
What a beautiful courtyard!
She: This is our pantry, we used to put wine, oil, cheese.
Sniff, sniff what smell of wine.
Her: Did you see where my father put the wine?
Mamma mia how many things in this room, there are also two Sicilian paladins and maybe even some Sicilian elf is hiding somewhere!
Hey, there is another door in this courtyard
She: It’s my laboratory but it’s messy
These paintings were made by Miss Sara
She: Here I sew, paint, knead. My father caught this one.
Let’s go inside the house
But how many objects from all sides!
Who is in this photo?
She: My dad with his grandchildren. I made these paintings too. I am self-taught .
Very talented Miss Sara !
What a nice apron, but now let me see the house!
She: Even the bedroom?
She: These are my great grandfather’s furniture, they were very important people
She: I have been teaching children for 40 years.
She: This is my dad, this is the uncle who was in Australia
How many things in here, how many rocks!
She: Yes, they are from all over the world. I have traveled a lot: Australia, North Cape, Spain, France
But look at this room: what is a museum!
She: This once was my parents bedroom, I slept in a corner there. We were all born here.
Other paintings of Miss Sara hung on the walls, dolls, statues, candles, books, and a thousand of other objects.
She: These are bells from all parts of the world
Here’s the bedroom, let’s see if there are fewer things.
I wouldn’t say so!
But how do you do when you have to clean this house Miss Sara?
She: Slowly, slowly … slowly, slowly
Miss Sara is very religious and there are saints and crucifixes almost everywhere.
Why such a lively person like you has never married?
She: I also fell in love many times but maybe of the wrong people and anyway I never got engaged but I had many suitors.
She: I made this when I was nine, all my underwear are embroidered by me.
Another collection: how many hats
She: This is my father’s
She: This is my album collection
She: This is my father, look how handsome he was
She: This is uncle Peppino, my mother’s brother
All these collections have made me hungry, let’s see what Miss Sara has prepared.
She: Here are lasagna with beans and wild fennel, a typical dish of Calatabiano.
Uhmm what goodness!
And this table is full of food
She: This is Maniace cheese; these are dried tomatoes with our olives; these are pickled zucchini; these are my olives.
And that’s enough now Miss Sara!
She: May the Lord bless you guests of my house and the food on the table.
What a beautiful picture up there.
She: The best years of my life, I was in Giarre
Miss tell the truth why did you never get married?
She: When there was someone who showed up, I always found him a flow. I would never allow myself to let a man into my father and mother’s house.
She: This is mandarin wine and there is also a mandarin inside that you have to eat
She: Each liter of wine 7 mandarin peels and are kept in the dark for twelve days. Then you get it out and remove the mandarin peels. 225 grams of sugar are added and as soon as it melts, 25 grams of alcohol are added. You put a cap and after 6 months you can drink
And then I also drink this other rosolio with medlar, very delicious in these parts.
Someone shows me a huge cassata made with Medlar, the main dish of the place and then the video of the Saint that from the castle in 6 minutes reaches the square of Calatabiano, if no one falls in the meantime.
So Miss Sara let’s take this compromising photo: a man embracing you in this museum full of love and Sicily!
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