September 1, 2013
I was in Sortino, “Città del Miele”, prowling the streets for a jar of wild-thyme honey.
And there was Gino Cavallero, poking his head out the door. We got to chatting. Turns out he was on the crew of the Irminio Bridge near Modica, the highest bridge in Sicily. I often drive to Modica on little back roads and see his bridge. I wasn’t sure I liked it–modern things in Sicily don’t usually impress–but now I think of Gino and his sweet smile and two years of hard labor whenever I see it. For me it’s “Gino’s Bridge.”
The central pier is 144 meters, he tells me. He went up and down it in a cable car. No, he didn’t have vertigo, not like some of the other men, who were afraid to work that high up. It didn’t bother him. A metal worker, he welded stuff together, from what I could gather, and worked on the bridge for 2 years. He is very humble. “My part wasn’t important; we were a team.” But from the gleam in his eye, I know he’s also proud.
If you go to Sortino, don’t miss the cathedral!