Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sperlinga, in Sicily

September 1, 2015


Cave town in the centre of Sicily

Right in the heart of Sicily is the cave town of Sperlinga numbering some 14,000 inhabitants. High above the town, a mighty fortress is perched on a rock, which can be reached via a steep stone staircase. In an allusion to the Sicilian Vespers, when Sperlinga was the only Sicilian town which granted the French refuge, the following inscription was emblazoned on the archway of the fort: "Quod Siculis placuit sola Sperlinga negavit" ("Only Sperlinga denied what pleased the Sicilians.").
Throughout the steep stone fortress you can see caves and tunnels which served as dwellings until the 1960s. No wonder the name Sperlinga is derived from the Latin word "spelunca = cave". Even today, some of the caves are still in use as storage areas.

The small hilltop settlement began as troglodyte community contemporary with the Sicani, dating around 1,000 BC.

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This lady makes rugs in her cave home.  It takes her a day to make each one.

Modern homes are mixed in with the cave homes.

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