My trip to Italy was a pilgrimage to the small mountaintop town of Ciminna, Sicily where my grandparents immigrated to the US from. I had no idea what to expect. The only knowledge I had was that my parents visited years ago, spent about an hour there, until my mother said, “Let’s get out of here!” Here’s what I found out:
1. Ciminna is an ancient Carthaginian and Roman town, with winding cobblestone streets just wide enough for a smart car, motorcycle, or scooter. There is no tourist trade, no hotels or B&Bs. The people (Ciminnesi) work in wood and metal crafts, agriculture, and sheep herding. There are also artists and musicians.
2. Like me, the maternal grandparents of American director, Martin Scorsese are from Ciminna. So is the family of Chicago Cubs baseball player Anthony Rizzo.
3. In 1963 film director Luchino Visconti used Ciminna for the backdrop of the movie The Leopard starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon and Terence Hill.
4. Don’t take the 15 mile dirt road into town when it’s raining.
5. They make the best pizza in the world!
Nikon D810 DSLR, Nikkor AF Zoom-NIKKOR 80-200mm f-2.8D ED, focal length: 80mm, exposure: f/11.0, 1/400 sec., ISO: 400, WB: Auto, exposure program: Aperture Priority, handheld, capture date and time: 5/03/2018, 1:41 pm, post processing: Adobe Bridge, Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop CC 2017.
Sicily to Ellis Island, NY
Ship Type: Passenger Cargo Vessel
Length: 429.8 feet
Breadth: 47 feet
Postcard from Uncle Willy in Ciminna that said, “Baci per tutti” (kisses for all).