Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We finally found Grammie's family home.

It is unfortunate that I went back to make an appointment with the new owners of the Cafarella/Cincotta house on Via Gelso in Malfa to visit them before we left, and they were making their own plans to leave after their holiday. I did not have my camera, so it was impossible to take a good picture of the kitchen. It seems that when the locals heard that the house had been sold, they went into the house and cleaned it out! The only reason the tiles in the kitchen were saved was that the new people had removed them to be restored and duplicated...they were my least favorite tiles anyway...dull blue and ochre yellow with bits of white(there are some pictures of similar tiles from another location somewhere, posted below)...I will try to get some pictures of the kitchen later from the owners. We left there unhappy that the house was no longer in the family, but happy that the people were so very nice and planned to restore the house to it's original condition. Signore Nardi showed me the two cisterns, one of which was bell shaped. There was a small platform around the back of the oven, under an almond tree. We were told that that was where my cousins used to sit on hot, sunny days. We tried our best to find seeds from the lemons on the ground and from the tree in the front. We drank a lot of lemonade that week. Unfortunately, every time we found a seed, which was not very often, it was immature. I do not know if this was because of the season or because the tree was old. I would not have found this house except for a fluke search for Anerio Cincotta's address that happened to be on file even after all those years. We were only convinced that it was the right house when my sister recognized the arches leading to the undercrofts on the right side of the house. This is where the looms and stores of food for trips were prepared and potential cargo were stored. The islands were exporting raisins, Malvasia and other wines, table grapes(rarely) and capers. They would also go to Lipari to pick up pumice and other products not from Salina. They would also drag the bottom on the underwater slopes of the islands for coral and take it and obsidian from Lipari to Torre Greco near Naples to be sold, made into jewelry for the family, or resale.

1. Inside the oven. note the volcanic rocks lining it(what else is there on the island?).
2. The back of the oven and the early morning sun through the almond tree.
3. The stairway up from the courtyard to the Cincotta side of the house.
4. A view of the oven.

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