Casa Nostra: A Home in Sicily by Caroline Seller Manzo

By Caroline Seller Manzo

Englishwoman Caroline vendor met Marcello Manzo at a Halloween occasion in London within the mid-seventies. even though she spoke little Italian and he spoke virtually no English, the chemistry among them was once indisputable, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Caroline used to be invited to go to Marcello's family members in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily.
A huge, eccentric, and loving extended family residing in an impressive, crumbling villa, Santa Maria, the Manzos welcomed Caroline warmly, and shortly she and Marcello have been married. jointly they traveled the realm and began a relatives, yet via all of it, Santa Maria used to be by no means faraway from their techniques. So whilst the Manzo brothers united to save lots of the family's deteriorating property, Marcello and Caroline eagerly signed directly to the project—not totally ready for what they have been getting into!
As visible throughout the eyes of Caroline vendor Manzo—an outsider who's usually shocked and constantly extremely joyful through her Italian family members and followed hometown—Casa Nostra is the pleasing tale of a villa's tricky, wonderful rebirth and a party of the original attractiveness and historical past of western Sicily and its humans.

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Soon after it was founded, the Greeks of Selinunte took it over and made it their emporium. Lying on the boundary between the territory of Selinunte and her enemy, Segesta, the port became a bone of contention between the two cities, and in 409, the Carthaginian general Hannibal, ancestor of his more famous namesake, razed it on his way to attack Selinunte. The Arab occupation made a strong impact, imposing a layout on the heart of the city which has lasted to this day—that of a medieval kasbah, a maze of twisting narrow lanes, culs-de-sac, and tiny courtyards that Sicilians call occhi nel cielo—peepholes in the sky.

The ceremony was delayed for half an hour as we waited for Emma and her boyfriend to turn up. With the late start Marcello began to get nervous. ” Giggles from the front row. My sisters were in paroxysms at one more comic performance from the buffoon from the land of the Godfather. When it was time for Marcello to put the wedding ring on my finger, it seemed to be too small. He fumbled, made two nervous attempts, then gave up. Encouraged by the discreet sniggering coming from the Seller ranks, Marcello, once again in buffoon mode, handed the ring over to me.

With the American forces unwittingly reinstating the Mafia and the Christian Democrat government actively colluding with it, the organization mushroomed after the war with tragic consequences for Sicily. Hence, in the late forties and early fifties Goffredo and the Vaccara uncles were once more reduced to paying the pizzo— protection money—not only to traditional Mafia henchmen but also to Salvatore Giuliano, the notorious robber king of western Sicily. This man handled the regular payments that both families were obliged to make to Giuliano, but apparently he was not treating the bandit with due respect.

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