SICILY 1981

The organization of the trip was the simplest thing, we were all immediately determined to go. Some initial perplexity of Tullio’s mother for a motorcycle trip with “bad motorcyclists” but hurried, our enthusiasm and the presence of Gloria had won her. We were two crews, Franco and Tullio with the powerful BMW R90 / 6, myself and Gloria with the less powerful but equally beautiful red BMW R65 bought in February. We left in June at a tourist season not yet started. After a stopover at Tarquinia we stopped at Cisterna to find Leonbruno we met in South Africa and passed them the first night, in the morning we went south and the second night we slept with sleeping bags in a house under construction by the parts of Maratea , in Basilicata we went to bed building bedside tables with concrete blocks. The next day we resumed the road and found almost a passage at a closed level; while we were waiting for the bar to stand, we stood next to us a gorgeous BMW R100 RS single-seater saddle with a black-skinned black suit, Missouri – USA, was Peter Spoto !!! We attacked and raised bar we went on board until lunchtime, when we stopped in a trattoria and we got to know each other better. He had left Saint Louis to look for his origins in Sicily, his grandfather had emigrated to the United States from Alessandria della Rocca, a town in the province of Agrigento. We decided to change our itinerary, he would follow us to the Aeolian Islands then we would have accompanied and helped him in his quest to Alessandria della Rocca. We crossed the Strait of Messina and arrived at Spadafora near Milazzo near a restaurant with a wooden veranda near the sea on a small beach. Sicilian spaghetti with aubergine above were the first dinner on the island. The restaurateur gave permission to sleep with sleeping bags under the verandah of the wooden building. The next day we headed for the boat dock for the islands. The Vulcano ferry ride was exciting, as are always the journeys to the islands where they have never been before, we arranged with the tents in the dark beach in the ground language between Volcano and Vulcanello, a perfect location, the night there woke up a very hot wind of wind, and it was a pity that the next day, after two warnings of the carabinieri, we had to take tents and go camping. We bathed in the mud of a natural pool and then climbed to the Vulcan, coming down inside, felt a strong smell of sulfur. After we boarded for Lipari, the largest of the Aeolians where we camped in the castle hut, high up on the sea. We visited the museum, knew new friends, and we traveled the island long and wide with the bikes bathing first in the beach of Canneto and then in the other white pumice stone beaches. It was time to leave the Aeolians and excavate in Peter’s history, resume the direct sea in Sicily, visit the magnificent Caccamo, Cefalù and its Cathedral with Twin Towers where precious paintings are preserved. After crossing vast expanse of golden wheat and pastures for the breeding of horses in the plateau of Agrigento, we arrived in Alessandria della Rocca in the late afternoon. We parked along the main street and turned to the owner of a Fruit and Vegetable Shop asking for information about where we could find Salvatore Amorelli, the person who had been referred to Peter as a contact. The kind of shop pulled down the shutter immediately and told us to wait, came back after a few minutes and pointed to us to go to the restaurant near the Sanctuary and wait, Mr. Amorelli would have reached us. As we ate there came a guy with his checkered pants and said “whoever is looking for Amorelli,” we presented Peter and explained the situation. There was nothing to do, our plan to put the curtains in the green lawn of the Sanctuary jumped, offered to host us in his little home. It was not easy because the house was at the bottom of a valley, and the road to reach it was a rough dirt road with a swing to pass, it was night and we had the bumpy roadblocks. The two floor building looked like a safe haven, on the ground floor had doors and windows of steel, on the second floor, above the door there was a hook with a winch to get the goods up. It was a strange night but it passed, Peter and we were worried that we got rid of hospitality in the morning, went together to look for documentation about Peter’s origins, uselessly, Spoto was a very common surname and Peter’s branch hardly traced so we went out into the beautiful Sicilian countryside. The way back was started and we headed to Messina to see the paintings of Caravaggio, but the museum was closed so we crossed the Strait of Messina and continued to the Ionian coast of Calabria where we slept in a house under construction, we accommodated building bedside tables with concrete blocks. The next morning we climbed north through Puglia, drank in an open-air restaurant down the street and while Tullio photographed from the table near a “not recommended” guy asked him for the photos and address, we also defiled herself from here breaking our engines. In the evening we got tired at Margherita di Savoia and slept in a camping near the sea, we started to feel the perfume of the house. On the last night of the trip we slept at Vieste and in the morning we took the fast road to return. Arriving in La Spezia we were a guest in the cellar of Tullio for a frugal meal.

 

Bikers: Franco Montinaro, Tullio Bertinelli, Peter Spoto, Gloria Bellini e Leandro Bellani.

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