This is Ciuci’s Manor

IMG_3500This is not a painting.  Just like every other visitor stepping into the second floor of this Agriturismo like no other, we thought we were staring at a painting.  Its a custom made window overlooking Ciuci Land, where once over 60 donkeys roamed free, producing milk for kids with special needs.  Only three, luckiest donkeys in the world, left in the property, but they have friends;  Ostriches, cows, rabbits, chickens, ducks, parakeet.  Ginevra’s dad promised one day, he will stop coming home with animals.  A week later.. “What is that you hiding under your arms”.  Its another duck.

As with any such trip, I choose to write first about experiences we speak most highly about.  The place that produced the most memories.  But pictures will do very little in this case, no matter how much digging I do (camera and 4 phones, 2 of which filled with only selfies).  You need to see it, listen to it, smell it, take the drive there, meet Ginevra and her mom, and maybe then you will get the idea.  The gate to Ciuci’s alone is reminiscent of a Gladiator movie set, when Maximus comes back to his family (In happier times).

“She is not real”, my oldest description of young Ginevra who manages this Agriturismo.  The only place I ordered eggs in the morning, with some guilt over the fact that our host is 8 months pregnant.  With everything so fresh tasting, and chickens a few meters away, I just coudnt resist.  And it was good.  Just like the rest of the morning lineup including rotating fresh fruit pies, and the legendary Pistachio cream.  To fully appreciate Ginevra’s pistachio cream you need to pop into any random store in Trapani and try theirs.  Feh!  Ciuci’s Manor is a pistachio paradise

And just when you think this can not possibly get any better… “We take all the guests in a 9 passenger van, and have dinner in a Palazzo we inherited in Favara.  Would you like that?” (speechless).  Just one question.  What should I wear?  My nicest shorts have three stains on them already but with proper lighting we can manage.  I live in NYC.  The closest thing to this experience is when friends invite us to a house in south Jersey where properties are a little bigger, and the Chinese food a little worse.  Dinner at Palazzo Fanara with our new friends from France was that proper magical finish, to a magical place.  Ginevra, Mama, and of course the wonderful Vagabonda – Thank you for the memories.

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