Not all aspects of life in Sicily are easy. In the USA, a lot of people have a certain notion of being well-off. Here, a small plot of land (or 6) in the “country” carries a lot of significance. It used to be that families would work the land to sustain themselves and possibly others in the community. It would be how some made a living, and how others made a life.
Today, many of the younger people have either moved away, or changed careers paths that do not include clearing the land, collecting castagne, olives, etc.
One of the properties in the Lombardo family is called La Turetta. Tony’s Dad grew up here, had lovely stories about living here and working the land. When we visited the place in the 90s, he proudly took us on a journey back in time… you could hear the laughter of children playing after a hard day’s work. You could taste the olive oil that was lovingly drizzled on the bread and pasta during the the evening meal, and you could certainly see the pride he still had so many years later, that this was his life and he could now share it with his kids and grandchildren.
La Turetta has a small stone house and beautifully terraced land where olives, hazelnuts and figs grow in abundance… or they once did. We spent time pulling away a parasitic vine that was choking out the olives. This is not easy work!
This is in honor of Peppino Lombardo- a strong, quiet, humble man who loved his family dearly 💙 we will harvest the olives again, Pa!