Sortino (Sciurtinu in Sicilian) is a valuable example of Sicilian Baroque, known for the production of honey and situated in proximity of the rugged Necropolis of Pantalica and the Anapo River.
The Necropolis of Pantalica (Buntarigah = caves) is one of the best known historical testimonies of the city, composed of five thousand grotticelle that were excavated from different generations of the hominids, perhaps from the first men of Neanderthal, certainly from the first Sapiens Sapiens of the Paleolithic and Neolithic. The opera was finally completed in prehistoric times by the people of the Civilization of Pantalica that has re-used as tombs.
The events that accompanied the village of Sortino in medieval age are linked to the noble family of the Moncada and subsequently to the heirs of Modica (1477). The fief of Sortino was granted by the empress Constance at Arnaldo Conte di Modica whose successors substantially remained until 1477, the year in which it was purchased by the family Gaetani Baroni, originating in Tuscany, whose ancestor, Guidone Gaetani, had moved to Palermo in search of fame and fortune.
The Gaetani will, for more than three centuries, the protagonists of the story, not only of Sortino but of the entire province of Siracusa. Emblematic was the aid that Peter Gaetani gave to the reconstruction of the country in the hill Aita, where it still is located after the devastating earthquake of 1693 that struck the entire Costa Orientale Sicula.
Culture sortinese, is part by now many years the Opira li Pupi (in Sicilian Language), in which are narrated the heroic deeds of the paladins of France. Between the stories more represented we the Orlando furioso; other representations staged are the famous "farces", comic scene narrated mainly in Sicily. Certainly the most important "puppet masters" sortinesi remain the "Puglisi", which from multiple generations handed down to us this art.
Virgilio already spoke about 'ibleo honey'. The long tradition mielaia the gentiles sortinesi transpired in the various generations has led to the production of characteristic honeys, such as thyme, eucalyptus, zagara in addition to the ubiquitous Millefiori. Also desserts that were produced (and you produce) in the days of celebrations, are at the basis of honey as the piretti (hard biscuits of flour and honey with an almond inside), the sphinxes or sfinci (small masses of leavened dough, then fried and seasoned with raw honey) and the sanfurricchi (sweets cooked honey, worked to incorporate air cured and then cut into small pieces).
Other product whose few individuals retain the secrets is a liqueur honey called 'spiritu fascitrari king' (liqueur of mielai they) produced by the distillation of the water is derived from the dissolution of the wax (which contains many residual sugar and honey), then made fermented and distilled, it can be used also "white", but the tradition prefers it 'cunzatu' (seasoned) with honey baked at a very slow fire for several hours.
The Pizzolo (pizzòlu in Sicilian) is a typical product of Sicilian cuisine, in particular that sortinese, but it can be found in all the pizzerias in the province of Syracuse or in suitable take away scattered throughout the province and in some villages of the southeastern Sicily. Consists of a round pizza approximately 20 cm in diameter, superficially seasoned with olive oil, oregano, pepper and parmesan cheese and salt, stuffed with various ingredients, salted (in this case the filling will be based on cured meats, vegetables, cheeses, meat) or sweet (filled with cream Pistachio, chocolate cream and ricotta cheese and honey). It is, however, a typical dish of the peasant tradition of Sortino - that in his original recipe consisted of a loaf stuffed with vegetables miscellaneous - marketed only recently
Other product typically sortinese, but rarely marketed, is the loaf (or sortinese la 'nfigghiulata) stuffed with figs and nipitedda (Nepeta).
Municipality of Sortino
Province of Syracuse
Altitude centre: 438 m s.l.m.
Syracuse and the Pantalica rugged necropolis
the Municipality is part of:
Città del miele
Unesco World Heritage
Unione Valle degli Iblei
Protected Natural Areas:
Pantalica and Anapo Valley Reserve
Viale Mario Giardino - Tel. +39 0931 917000
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