Montemaggiore Belsito in Italy
Montemaggiore Belsito (translation: great mountain, well situated) is our ancestral home in southern Italy.
While many relatives still remain in Sicily, Vincent's parents immigrated from Montemaggiore to Chicago in the late 1950s. Their dream was to create a better life in America so their children wouldn't have to be farmers. Four of Vincent's siblings came over on the boat from Italy, although he was born in Chicago. Ultimately, Vincent's dream of having his own vineyard proved somewhat contrary to that of his parents'!
This sleepy little town of 3,800 inhabitants lies halfway up Monte Roccellito at a 1700 foot elevation. Montemaggiore Belsito lies about 80km outside Palermo, and about 10 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. Time seems to have stood still here, as even the neighbors of Vincent's parents from over 50 years ago reside in the same homes. Similar to Sonoma County in terrain, Montemaggiore Belsito is very agricultural mainly producing grains, olives, and and wines. The primary grape is Nero d'Avola, often compared to Syrah for its elegance, ageability, and rich color.
Most tourists have no reason to visit Montemaggiore Belsito, but if you were to stop by, you could grab espresso and biscotti at the café on Millitaro, which Vincent's parents used to own. In the morning you might stroll around town soaking up the slower pace in life. A local epicurian might direct you to the Galioto Farmhouse for an unforgettable, traditional luncheon. This agrotourismo right next to the train station is run by a wonderful Italian couple with excellent cheeses, fresh produce, home baked breads and, of course their own organic olive oil. After lunch, you could just hop the train to Cefalù, to enjoy the unbelievably blue Mediterranean.