Sicily Walking

Sicily • Walk

I went to Sicily, where I was called Kate and Andrew, the local inhabitants, who have a small travel agency in the south, and it turned out that everything is as it seemed, and it actually is.

As we wandered through the narrow streets of the Sicilian towns, all the time, it seemed that just about out of the corner will Mikey with two strong guys, who have rifles on their shoulders. It seemed that nothing had changed. Those women in black, the same huts, like swallows' nests, the same narrow paths in the mountains, the same cypresses.

The trip was very fast, one day making the rounds of a few places, but in general there should be live longer and live slowly, as the Sicilians live far from the delights of globalization, remaining in his own world, separate from the rest of the Strait of Messina. That's the most surprising of all - no difference between what you know about the place, and the fact that it is today.

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It Burj, a town on the south-east of Sicily, about 60 km. from Palermo. Three and a half thousand inhabitants. Based ... no one knows exactly when established, but at the end of the XII century the mayor Burj already was a member of the Sicilian Parliament with the king of Aragon and Navarre Pedro I. At that time Sicily was one of the most densely populated places in the world.

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In the municipality we were greeted by the mayor of Vito Ferranteli. He immediately called his employees, an office filled with smiling Sicilians, who have been loudly discussing what to show in their city a visiting photojournalist.

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There are almost no tourists, time stopped and stood still.

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The appearance of the old part of the city has not changed with the XVI-XVII centuries. That's the Burj was then. Now you can buy a house of the seventeenth century, five thousand euros.

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The mayor gave us a companion to show interesting. It turned out that in addition to churches and museums in the city runs a workshop for the production of bells. Working here with 1500 g, imagine.

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Such workshops in Italy, five in Sicily - one in Burj. At the time, Mussolini took all the bells with the Italian churches and let them, as Russia Peter I, to be melted down. The Burj make bells on the same technology as in ancient times, very similar to what is shown in the Tarkovsky film "Andrei Rublev". This is a difficult and painstaking work.

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At the plate with a pole, which is called "centering" in Russia, making the core, echoing the inner profile of the bell (it is also called a blockhead).

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Then use these here metal profiles, curves and wax make a bell of wax on top of a layer of clay, creating the shape of the future bell.

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It turns a clay bell housing, which, after drying, the wax is melted.

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Curves - is quite an amazing tool. From its shape depends on the sound of the bell. Here is a template makes the bell sounding a note of B flat. Not just a B and B flat! It is somehow difficult to fit in the head

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This is a ready-to-cast housings bells.

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The bells decorated with ornaments and drawings. Blanks for them are on the shelves in the shop.

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This is the main thing - the furnace and the pit where an earthen cover is placed. The pit dug in the XVI century. In the furnace for about five hours preparing the bronze alloy with the addition of tin. The housing is placed in a hole and covered with soil. Poured from the furnace into the metal casing.

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And here is the result - the finished bell. We, unfortunately, were in the day when no one was working, but in general the master invited to look at the workflow. "Come, will always be happy." In the year here do 50-70 bells and you can always come here to become a member of this sorcery.

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A stone's throw from the Bell workshop church of San Giuseppe, 1623

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Bouquet birthday of Don Vittorio. All the time you feel in Italian cinema.

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With 966 of 1072 Muslim state existed in Sicily. Here is its remnants in the Burj.

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There are narrow streets, there is no place for the dumpsters, even the smallest. Therefore, local hang bags of garbage on the ropes and in the morning scavengers collect them.

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On the way to Chanchanu.

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All the time see small fires - burning dry grass and bushes. They did not extinguish - no need and there is nobody.

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Well, it Chanchal. 4000 people live here. In the XIII century this place was the city of La Ferla, which completely destroyed by the earthquake. Four hundred years there was nothing, and then people came and now it is believed that Chanchal appeared in 1646 as a possession of the family of feudal lords Joppolo. Several years ago, this town is shown on British TV and here stretched foreigners began buying real estate. Such is the Sicilian phenomenon.

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Here are the same XVII century house, in the Burj, but for them came from the local building company and began to restore them for sale, since the demand appeared.

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Local builders take the wreck of the Middle Ages and make these houses here. An interesting detail - the stones of the bridge are made from the ashes of the volcano Etna.

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Here is the resident housing Chanchal end of the XVII century, after the modern repairs.

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You have not painted the walls, waiting for the owner wishes.

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In the room left a swallow's nest is not known what year of construction.

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This is the lower level with two bedrooms and a bathroom.

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This is the bathroom. On the roof of the house - a large veranda, a hundred meters. The cost of such housing - about 45,000 euros.

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These houses also repaired and sold - an Englishman and two Poles.

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On the appearance of others immediately came curious Sicilian grandmother. "Who are these people, what are they doing here?". All very friendly and good-natured.

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This is generally a very strange feeling - to come to the town, where everyone knows each other and you find yourself under scrutiny. Tourists are not here and the appearance of an unknown person is genuine interest. In cafes sit classic Italian grandparents and talk about something his. Surely politics.

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We are under the watchful eye of local tourists sat in a cafe near the clock tower. Here is a woman with a pretty sobaney came here from Dublin. He lives in Chanchane for several years.

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Grandfathers something his.

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Playing cards.

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The local population.

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We talk with Carmelo, which is engaged in the repair of old houses here. We talked about Berlusconi. "If he comes back to politics again we all vote for him because he is a strong man, a real Italian." Right Katya, Andrei distance. The guys came here to learn and fall in love with Sicily for real. Learn the language, there are very respected and loved. By the Russian general are very well consider them like the Italians.

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Here is a Chanchal top. Here is a Sicily.

Thank you Kate and Andrew for the invitation. I was totally fascinated by Sicily, which they showed me. Incidentally, I was now waiting for a friend I want to take to itself - to the house nailed kitten Marcus, found on the road, we had become close friends. He still lives Katya Andrei (where, incidentally, two dogs and three cats), I hope to pick it up yourself.