Discovering the famous fairies’ wood and the path of Saint James
Today for the isolane a new adventure begins, towards Capizzi, a wonderful village in the province of Messina. It is a wonderful sunny day and, as we have often found lately, immense expanses of pastures and small vineyards cheer our view for the entire trip. After about two hours by car from Catania, we arrive in Capizzi where we are warmly welcomed into their home, by Melinda and her whole family.
Curious to know how our day begins in Capizzi? With a good coffee and a rich selection of typical local sweets: ‘ncilippati, lumaricchi, uccuna and niuri … all delicious and therefore we can only taste one of each. What a welcome! This is exactly what we love about every place we have visited so far!
After a chat, just enough time to recover from the journey, we begin our trekking together with Melinda’s family, in the Tassita wood, inside the Nebrodi Park. A unique forest of its kind for its vegetation, century-old yews, maples, blackberry bushes, raspberries, wild strawberries, moss-covered rocks, and where in autumn you can find mushrooms and truffles!
But what makes this wonderful and immense patch of vegetation special are the majestic yew trees, a conifer that survived the glaciations, with its red berries, beautiful to the eye but very poisonous, a species of tree present especially in northern Europe, and therefore a real rarity for these places.
The Tassita wood is also nicely called the fairies’ wood, as it truly recalls an enchanted place, where at dusk the long branches of the trees seem to touch, the often cavernous trunks create beds where one can crouch and the small carved figures as if they were animals scattered here and there, look like images from fairy tale books!
A walk, suitable for young and old, where you can breathe pure air, listen to the sounds of the woods, and drink pure cold water that flows from small springs: to try!
We finish our trekking, which lasted a couple of hours, with a picnic on the lawn, tasting homemade typical local products: salami, cheese, jam, olives, wine, fruit. And this way of being welcomed makes us feel at home and brings us back to the ancient traditions of Sicily, a real delight !!
Once again, while having our lunch in total relaxation, we have an unexpected encounter: a group of wild pigs who, regardless of our presence, continue to eat and allow themselves to be photographed undisturbed.
In the afternoon our hosts take us around the historical center, to let us know the peculiarities of the place accompanied by Sebastiano, a young student in love with his village, who tells us the story of the churches of San Nicola patron of the town, Sant ‘Antonio and San Giacomo, protector of the town. Inside each of them, there are wonderful works and relics unique in the world! We are enchanted! Here faith is breathed in the air and the ancient traditions of the patron saint’s feast are sacred for both adults and children! Every year, in July, the feast of San Giacomo occurs, a party much awaited by the capitini: masses, even night processions, parades of the various confraternities, lights, the traditional “mastazzola“, homemade desserts with the must of wine made by the women of the country and offered to the faithful and pilgrims welcomed in their homes. All of which create a unique atmosphere! And it is also for this reason and for the long history it boasts, that Capizzi is called the Sicilian Santiago, with the journey of the pilgrims of San Giacomo.
This is just a taste of what this village rich in history, religion, nature and wonderful people is able to offer! And, once again, we are grateful for being able to discover yet another corner of paradise on our beloved land.
We are ready for a new experience … and you?