Friday, February 17, 2012

Caltobellotta: 15 Febbraio 2012

We took our first trip (this time)up the mountain of Caltobellotta today. From a chilly morning in the port to a cold day a few thousand feet higher. Into a light snow and a wholly different world.

The road up (and down) is a series of switchbacks. The bus blows its horns when approaching the sharp turns while the road continues to climb (or fall). Mountain to one side, steep cliffside to the other alternating, left and right as we traverse the switchbacks.

Up in the town we were looking down on storm clouds and were thrown into the Wednesday market of truck venders and stalls and tents. We met a very friendly shoe merchant and talked to him for a while in our limited vocabulary and warm expressions.

We walked the tiny streets and up stairs carved into stone up to a little church. It is not often you look down out under storm clouds into a valley far, far, far below as this.

We walked around the ancient Norman church at the edge of town on a flat terrace.

The remains of Castello Luna still cling to the cliffs.

We took refuge from a snow squall inside "Caffe della Pace" with cappuccini and samples of local olive oil and jellies made from Sicilian wines and fruits.

We had a great antipasto for lunch at "La Ferla" before braving the bus for the trip down the mountain and back to Sciacca.

In the summer Caltabellotta has art and music festivals but today it is only a beautiful cold and windy outpost on top of the world. But that is enough for us.

Tomorrow I need a day of rest and art though...

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