Una Storia Siciliana

Up to Catania everything had been quite simple: a plane from London to Rome and another to Sicily. But from Catania to Ragusa the only possible choice was between an exhausting journey by train on the railways of the late nineteenth century and the fastest and most comfortable bus, one of that line that from the mountain that ripples with black wrinkles the center of the island on its east coast bears a titanic name. The modern businessman does not like unnecessary rounds: time is money precious and should be controlled, bending it to our needs. So, it will be the bus.

From the windows a breathtaking landscape: nothing sweet or idyllic in this land of Gods, Nature knows no half terms. From the fiery lava of Etna to the sciara that extends up to Vizzini, interspersed with green orange groves, everything appeared stunned under a violent sun.

Now Lord Oliver remembered having once read the challenge that a writer, son of these lands had thrown at tourists who claimed to visit Sicily, in August, leaving their comfortable hotels only when, at dusk, Febo grants a little rest for the poor mortals; go out under the heat wave, challenge the suffocating heat headless, test one’s eyes against the dazzling white of the wall whitewash, breathe deeply an air full of scents that give an idea of the kind of never dull story with these islanders, That could have been called “visit” Sicily!

That’s right! Now, he remembered what the effect of those colors and perfumes had produced on another young Englishman, perhaps braver than him and certainly less “busy” many, many years ago. There, in the ancient villa in Cambridge, among the pages yellowed by time and fortunately lost among piles of rubbish, he found those pages written not to be published and to gain fame for whom had written them, but full of whispers to himself or destined as an inheritance – and what a spiritual inheritance! – precisely to him: this was what Lord Oliver had hoped for when he read them for the first time in Cambridge. Now, on that bus, he was sure of it.

Lowering those large double-glazed windows was impossible: the mistake in the choice of transport hit him. How much better would it have been on a train wandering through a labyrinth of vineyards and olive groves, opening the window and breathing deeply, into your lungs but also into your soul; warm gusts of scents that inebriate and captivate, like the generous arms of an olive-skinned girl, who carry a promise: «Whoever loves me will never die! “.

Thus to Lord Oliver D’Altrelieu now appeared, in all its fertile majesty, that south-eastern corner of the island and now he understood why the young man who concluded the story of his experience had irremediably fallen in love with this extreme strip of Sicilian land. , entrusted to that aged manuscript, fading with tears the last words with which he described the atrocious, but inevitable – family reasons, caste interests – tear from that land, or, perhaps, from the orange blossom-scented skin of a “goddess “Of those places …

By revisiting this Hyblaean territory, one has the good fortune to enjoy the particularly significant and evocative environments and landscapes and to appreciate flavors and aromas linked to products traditionally the result of peasant labor.

 “The Vision of Lord Oliver D’Altrelieu” is precisely the synthesis of an agricultural culture that expresses products of excellence and identifies the territory as a value, an enviable “testimonial” that conveys the extraordinary beauty of a territory using the products that the magnificent land iblea offers.

My bet to play and win, then, is to promote this Mediterranean pantry as an identifying presence of a taste and a tradition that is made up of the recovery of the manual skills of the past not far away, of the historical importance of native cultivars that more and more can deserve, through the appropriate interventions of a technology that respects their identity, the environment and the consumer, with cultivation or production methods, always certainly rich in typical invented elements, with the usual creative spirit of the true entrepreneur, in relation to the uncertainties, the difficulties, the daily problems of a territory, a geological condition, a climatic reality.

For my part, my role and my return to this land, it is my part, Lord Oliver D’Altrelieu, to offer concrete opportunities and commitments for this “Hyblean land” to be discovered.

… Lord Oliver D’Altrelieu, who arrived in this land more out of amused curiosity towards the places described in the passionate story of his ancestor, who for actual faith in the possibility of falling in love with the Mediterranean island, was instead subjugated by the spell of the Trinacria : therefore nothing better than being able to combine “business” with the great pleasure of living as long as possible in this enchanting land.

So Lord Oliver D’Altrelieu takes the decision to place his great experience in business, at the service of the enhancement and promotion of this corner of south-east Sicily, so that

aromas and flavors that enchant any visitor will henceforth not be the prerogative of a restricted “niche” of lucky tourists but will be reached everywhere in the world by the typical food and wine products of the place. And this was precisely the spring, the lure that prompted him to create natural solutions to promote eco-sustainable agriculture based on reducing the use of synthetic products and respecting biodiversity. Ensuring innovation will be the key to success on the markets where we operate through close contact with international researchers and participation in European research projects on the promotion of sustainable agriculture.

His strong link to the agricultural vocation prompted him to choose a natural site to develop his activities, immersed in the greenery of an organic farm in a splendid area of ​​the Mediterranean basin, characterized by an enormous agricultural and climatic biodiversity such as is Sicily, becoming from 2014 onwards a reference laboratory for the supply of solutions for organic agriculture and also instrumental in the replacement of synthetic products in conventional agriculture, Itaka Crop Solution.

All together we will share a passion for a land and its people who, now you know well, have nothing naive or laughable.