02 April 2013

To the Sicilians: Valerio at Morgantina


When we arrived at the Morgantina site, there was this old codger directing you into the parking lot, looking a little suspicious. He came over with a stack of books and stuff. He had the “best” guide and his own hand-drawn map of the site. It was clear as he talked that he loved Morgantina and one just must have his hand-drawn guide. Christie used to work at the University of Virginia and UVa has been one of the sponsors of the excavations. Christie asked the old guy if he knew Malcolm Bell, her art history professor and erstwhile director of the digs. Well, they settled into a lot of Mack Bell stories. The old guy brought us a bottle of his home-made wine, partly made from Nero d’Avola grapes. When we got back to the parking lot, I asked him his name: Valerio. He wouldn’t give me his surname, not secretive really because he’d been in the American papers and they all knew him. Christie did find him with a “valerio morgantina” search. And, now, as I write, I’m drinking some of the Vino Rustico di Valerio (which is quite green, i.e., not aged). Christie is calling it “grape juice.” I will sleep well tonight. Wine with lunch in Caltagirone. Two Campari/sodas after we got settled in the hotel. Now, a couple glasses of Vino Rustico di Valerio.
Oh. The picture. It’s the great kiln at Morgantina. Clicking here will get you to more pictures of Morgantina in my Flickr photostream.

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