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U cabubbu: an authentic medieval glimpse

In Gratteri even the alleys can tell their stories even without a storyteller, and speak a language thousands of years old, sometimes Arabic and sometimes Norman. Try, for example, to pass by Vicolo San Giacomo: in that narrow alley, you will go down the stairs of time and you will find yourself in front of an authentic medieval view.

It is an ancient stone architecture that the oldest inhabitants of the village still call with a name of Arabic origin, “u Cabbubbu“. The ancient word would in fact be an apheretic form of the Sicilian “macabubbu” meant as ‘pit with water boiling and stirring’ in turn from the Arabic maqlub, ‘turn’ (Caracausi II, p. 895).

This structure, similar to an underpass, is in fact located under a ruined house and was actually used in the past to channel and collect rainwater that, coming down from the upper part of the village, created a whirlpool up to the river.

Starting from Corso Umberto then, try to get lost in those alleys, between those deserted houses that smell of ancient, and you will be caught in a scenario of ancient times.


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