What an incredible stay we had at Agriturismo Berlinger, a beautiful resort about 45 minutes from Mazara. As usual, the breakfasts and two dinners we enjoyed here featured all of the farm’s products.
Some of the group took advantage of the beautiful pool, but I wasn’t about to risk it with my cold. I was just content to wander around the property, enjoying being in the middle of a vineyard!
It didn’t take long for us to notice the beautiful ceramics scattered throughout–vases, tiles, wall plaques. Oznee, our 18 year old Tunisian guide, told us the mayor of Mazara, an artist, sponsored this ceramic extravaganza.
The kasbah is a labyrinth, intentionally designed to confuse the enemy. What looks like a straight path ends up being a dead end trap, where the invaders could be set upon by the home team.
Before our tour concluded, we met Oznee’s grandmother, who emigrated here from Tunisia with her husband and six children. Oznee’s parents divorced, leaving him with his grandmother when he was 11. Since then he has been working, recently supporting himself by giving these tours.
The town is rightfully proud of its treasure, the “Dancing Satyr,” a Greek bronze statue discovered by local fishermen in 1998. The statue is displayed in the former medival church of San Francesco, now repurposed as a museum.
After we left the museum, we were treated to several wonderful surprises.
The gentleman in the background, to the left, wearing jeans, is Antonio, who took us to the restored Garibaldi museum where he serenaded us with “Volare” and “New York, New York”. (He was magnificent!)
Finally, we met Captain Ciccio, whose fishing crew pulled up the satyr’s leg in their fishing net. They kept returning to the area in the hope that they would find the rest of him.
The captain told us that after they snagged this 6 foot statue, the crew gathered round, ridiculing the small size of his “joystick”. Suddenly the statue spoke to them, and this is what he said. “I’d like to see what YOURS would look like after being underwater for 2,000 years!”
Well, in addition to bragging rights and the satisfaction of doing something wonderful for his community, he was given sufficient money to marry off his three daughters. To him, the satyr is the son he never had!
We ended our day with a cooking class at a local restaurant. Our group divided into 4 teams, with each team contributing one dish. We had a bread ball appetizer, a wonderful baked eggplant dish, tomato pesto with home made pasta, and a delicious variation on tiramasu. It was the perfect ending for a great first day in Mazara.