Scala dei Turchi, the Turkish steps shown below under full moon illumination, are a chalky rock formation near the village of Realmonte in Sicily. I took this picture as the sun set behind us and the full moon came into view.
Scala dei Turchi is also the name of a quite inexpensive bed and breakfast in Realmonte run by Angela and Simone Modica, although Angela is the driving force behind the venture. She prepares the wonderful local-foods breakfast and cleans the rooms, activities that help keep the B&B a reasonable alternative to more expensive hotels for the budget traveler, especially those with kids in tow.
Find out more or book a room: B&B Scala dei Turchi
Last night we listened to a CD Simone had given us. You see, when he gets time off from his IT job for the city of Agrigento, he’s traveled the world with his traditional Sicilian music group. Simone is not only second voice for the group, he plays chitarra, mandolino, and mandola contrabasso. Along with Nene Sciortino he arranges, directs and mixes the audio.
One day when we were in his car he leaned over to me and revealed the thing he does that he likes best. “Muratore,” he said.
Now, I have a muratore tan, or you might say, a bricklayer’s tan. You see, Simone likes best building walls of stone houses. Right now he has some property that he’s renovating into a vacation house. It used to be a place where they could feed animals away from the sun. He’s turning it into a compact little house ideal for a short getaway. You can see it to the right, under moonlight. It has a view of the sea.
And he’s doing all this construction by himself. On weekends.
It’s hard to imagine a single person having all the energy to do these things. But that’s one of the benefits of travel: meeting and being allowed to reside in the world of extraordinary people for a short while, perhaps to transform their world into your own dreams.
And the best part of being a travel writer is that extraordinary people often seek you out and offer their vast experience in the world as an open book.
For me, travel isn’t expensive. It’s a necessity. The world, to a traveler with an open mind and open heart, can be an uplifting place.
See a travel map of Sicily