Susafa is the fruit of the dedication of the Saeli-Rizzuto family, owners and agricultural entrepreneurs who for five generations have committed themselves to handing down a fascinating, centuries-old rural culture.
With special care, the Saeli-Rizzuto family accompanies its guests on an immersion in country life, substituting with great skill the austerity of the life of days gone by with the comfort of a charming, carefully organized resort. The big farmhouse with its impressive storerooms still represents an important testimony of agricultural construction which, due to the capacity and the excellence of the agricultural production, is a living example of an epoch that characterized the economic development of the region. …READ MORE…
Susafa holds within it the story of the events that have occurred over time in the territory of Sicily and the microcosm that developed in the environs of Susafa, made of people, places and traditions, and stands as a testimony to an ancient Sicily that is still present in everyday life.
The history of Susafa is first of all one of people, of work, of lives constantly marked by the slow order imposed by nature and the seasons, where the daily activities began at the first light of dawn and ended at sundown.
And it is precisely in this context that one must imagine those men who, once their daily toil in the fields was complete, returned to the farmhouse, originally called “Case Nuove Susafa”, where they lived with their families.
The core of the oldest buildings of the complex, which can be dated to around the second half of the eighteenth century and originally belonged to the Church, were purchased by the Saeli family following Italian unification in about 1865. The building of the houses was almost certainly completed around 1870 and the difference from the oldest nucleus is still clearly discernible.
In the time of brigands, the high walls, thick and fortified, had the function of protecting Susafa’s inhabitants from their feared incursions. At sunset the entrance gates were bolted and no one could enter or leave the complex until the following morning. During the night, guards would take up position behind the narrow embrasures of the walls to check for any suspicious movements, ready to intervene at the slightest sign of danger.
Inside the farm complex the life of a small collectivity took place with which its identity represented a true universe unto itself, whose days were accompanied by ancient sounds, long-forgotten tinklings and clankings, the steady murmur of conversations in dialect and by calls to the beasts of burden which, inside and outside the fortified courtyard, pulled the carts of the harvest destined for the large, stately storehouses which still today enchant visitors with their monumental impressiveness.
The women patiently awaited the return of their menfolk – fathers, husbands, brothers – wrapped in heavy shawls in winters white with snow or in lighter garb during the long, summer days, governed the family and carried out their important daily duties, “cosi di fimmini”.
One can still see the old ovens where the housewives baked the bread that was distributed to the men departing for the fields together with small amounts of accompanying foods that had to suffice for the entire working day.
The work of these women was extraordinary, their laboriousness gave new life to the fruits harvested in the fields by the farm’s men. For example, one must imagine them seated behind long tables while awaiting the entrance in the storehouses of the mules laden with funnel-shaped baskets full of fresh almonds, which were cracked with patience and dedication by beating them with stone implements, separating the intense green hull from the fruit, “li mennuli duri da li mennuli muddisi”.
At this point an intense, sweet perfume, almost sensual, filled the air all around and lingered on, cloaking everything and accompanying the inhabitants of Susafa in their intense days of work.