The Donkeys of Castelbuono


First of all for sunday –

To my disgrace i only remembered part way through the day when my brother rang from home. DAMN! I gave mum a pretty necklace of green jade and beads carved from Etna’s lava that i had picked up at Castelmola a few days earlier. But so i dont come across as a terrible daughter i did give mum an array of presents that i had picked up during my time in London before we left Australia so she didn’t have to carry them around Italy. I think i’ll have to give her a separate mothers day though to make sure she feels spoilt as today she spent most of the day staring endlessly at a map and figuring out how to get us from one place to another!

Mid-morning we left Patrelia Soprana and made our way north. We stopped to stretch our legs at the Teeny Tiny Town of Geraci Siculo

and then wound down through the forrests

Until finally arriving at Castelbuono, its name literally means Good Castle 🙂 It is therefor no suprise that it’s famous for the castle around which the city grew up in the 14th century.

From what i have gathered however, it is better known for it’s Donkeys! Since 2006 Castelbuono has replaced garbage trucks with donkeys and claims to be saving money as well as helping to beat global warming. Each carrying two wooden boxes, the donkeys are accompanied by garbage men who have been renamed “ecological operators.”

AND it just so happened that we were in the area to see the final part of the Donkey Festival! With farmers markets, parades through town and events like – Four years after the rediscovery, a revaluation of the donkey: balance and prospects meetings. We had arrived towards the festivals end on its last day but still got a taste for it – literally. We stumbled into a small piazza filled with people all jammed towards a little tent.

We curiously strolled over and found they were doling out some kind of food…

so we hopped straight into the line! You were first given a small block of some kind of firm cheese and then a ladle full of steamy cheese soup. Deductive reasoning would tell me it was donkey cheese….. but i’m not sure how i feel about that one…
Regardless it was quite delicious

and it was wonderful to take part in it the authentic, celebratory atmosphere with the locals

As the crowd dispersed we followed the flow into the main street and found an incredible antique shop absolutely full of little treasures

We wandered by a car rally of old vintage cars – here’s my dream car

and we found the donkeys!

It was such a beautiful little town

I also spotted many more older men standing around and enjoying the sun – i think that’ll be one of my enduring memories of Sicily

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Donkeys of Castelbuono

  1. margaretbiggs

    could you picture Jack sitting around in the sun with the old men? Loved the donkeys. Margoo xx

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