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Via Parisea

It is one of the highest points to observe with a single glance the newest part of Gratteri which will appear before you, in all its charm. This is via Parisea, a new road entirely dug into the rock at the of the 20th century, that takes its name from the story by Ciccu Di Maria from Gratteri “La sciarra di mastru Gnaziu cu mastru Antuninu” based on a true story that inspired Enzo Battaglia for his novel “Parisea”, published in 2001.

The dream of a shop boy

In 1896 a shop boy, Ignazio Parisi, imagined a new ideal city to be built as a splendid terrace above the old town of Gratteri, under the fortress of San Vito. A town without any desperation, misery or problems, where to live would have been wonderful and nobody would have wanted to leave to emigrate to America. However, in this new town only the youngest and the most beautiful would have been able to live, an idea that will result in a furious fight in the workshop of the master Antonino Pagliaro.

His initial madness became a very welcomed dream that involved and unified all the countrymen who wanted to build it and name it Parisèa from the surname of the person who designed it.
Today, going down that road is a must if you want to live the emotion of imagining Ignazio Parisi’s dream too. A fascinating Sicilian landscape will open up where, in the past, the boys of the village used to communicate with their girlfriends from the highest points of that fortress, like a wireless telephone.

And maybe, if you are lucky, you can still hear the echo of Ciccio Picciotta – the town clerk of the 50s – who, standing on that hill, with a powerful scream, used to warn the whole community about sudden events or important communications such as the reopening of schools: “Dumani matina si rapunu i scuoli, maschili e femminili” (tomorrow morning schools will open, for femalse and males).

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