A yellow path of daisies, the Aleppo pines and prickly pears. To welcome you in the Mediterranean scrub is the Borgo Cusenza.
The heart of the Riserva dello Zingaro, we like to call it, button, although it is no longer inhabited.
A rural agglomerate clinging to the mountain, open to the sea and welcomed into a valley, the cradle of an ancient and wise people, free from the contaminations of nearby villages.
It seems that the people of Borgo Cusenza, whose original name was Bagghiu di l'Acci, for the nearby Monte Acci, it was completely self-sufficient and went to the district of Cork, about 3 km away, only for exchanges of work tools and various manpower.
Riserva dello Zingaro: how to reach Borgo Cusenza
Continue through the Zingaro, from half-way path, and deciding to continue, for other 2 km uphill, means to extend the look at this slice of peasant life of the last century, take a dip in the past of Sicily and imagine it exist.
Village favored by many visitors, many called one of the most beautiful of the Sicily, this rural settlement, has an ethereal beauty that lets itself be contemplated.
The winds shelter it and illuminate the splendor of the sea around it. Stone walls, a pergola, rosemary bushes, stone houses and tiles are embraced while remaining nearby.
Silence surrounds them, a silence respectful of the passing of time that stops there, also asking us to go slower.
We allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the magnificence of a clean and terse nature, and by an ancient history. The story of a community that embraces the rhythm of the seasons and makes its calendar.
Life in Borgo Cusenza
The houses they are well kept, some rooms can be visited. The slab floors come to light during maintenance work, are cleaned and arranged. Objects and furniture reconstruct in detail the idea of the rural everyday life of the last century, which inevitably revolved around the work of the fields. Cereals were cultivated, and until the early 900, the 14 families who lived there, even had a cellar for the production of wine.
Before sowing we thanked God with an oration, to grant the fullness of the harvest. The miracle was carried out inside the ovens, there were three, and the families alternated with bread-making.
We nourished ourselves of the dishes that the earth and the sea around, generously, offered: dried fava beans and salted sardines, tonnina, fennel and figs. These last cooked in a little water, were used to sweeten, thanks to the process of cooling and crystallization of the fruit itself. Wild cattle and from breeding. Hunted rabbits and dried pork sausage. The hen was eaten in broth and only after harvest.
The effort of hard work was crowned and the luxury of partying was celebrated, celebrating that ever-present God, with rituals felt by the whole community.
St. Joseph and the Procession of the Madonna, two, gods moments of celebration most important. Altars were improvised, fires were lit, cliffs were dressed with ivy, and there was even the band that was parading, making music with ladles beaten on the pots.
Leisure it was celebrated by fueling customs and traditions. Even on Sundays, however, it was sacred. Entirely dedicated to rest from the fields. In good weather, mulberry trees were collected, nature was explored beyond the boundary of survival, and in the evening we gathered at someone's home to share the slow and pleasant time of doing nothing.
They munched beans and roasted chickpeas and drank amber wine.
A visit to Borgo Cusenza can not miss it, if you are walking the paths of the Riserva dello Zingaro. In the season open to the public, from May to October, the caretakers welcome you telling you stories simple and humble, immortal as the Borgo Cusenza.
From the trail halfway uphill, after about 2 km or from the high path, downhill.
The village is a dive into memory, an unmissable stop that enriches your walk with details that you will remember when you leave.
The next dive you will do it going down the path, in the blue waters of the Tonnarella dell'Uzzo.