March 10, 2010
My husband, newly arrived on the scene, has clawed his way down to stone. I phone the project manager with the news.
The crew turns up the next day with hammers and chisels. Now that Kim is here, the garrulous workers completely ignore me, peppering him with questions and concerns—never mind that he doesn’t speak one iota of Italian.
Something about a manly presence in the house has lit a fire under the crew. They really get cracking. Chink chink chink. Chunks of plaster fall like overripe fruit, unveiling enormous blocks of tawny stone.
Madonna! They look pretty freakin’ old. I’m prone to wild mood swings in Sicily, and now I’m on the upswing.
“Stones from the old Norman castello!” say nosey neighbors who wander in the house through the open front door, wondering what all the racket is.
They tell me the entire neighborhood scavenged rubble from the castle that once stood on this site before it crumbled in Ragusa Ibla’s great earthquake of 1693.
Finding the ancient Norman rocks is a delicious surprise.
There are more surprises to come in the near future, though none nearly so pleasant.
Win this book!!!!!
I love this tiny up-to-date (2009) guidebook. It packs in information in the form of many top 10 lists. It includes charming out-of-the-way places—the author knows the hidden nooks and crannies of Sicily—and a few fold-out maps.
HOW? Between now and March 26, write a comment on any of my blogposts. The best comment wins. (“Best” could be funniest, most enlightening, most touching…)