Manna from Heaven
Peter Williamson, 13 March, 2015
The Azienda Agrituristica Bergi is a truly wonderful working agriturismo situated in a tranquil valley in the foothills of the Madonie Mountains in northern Sicily...
The location is idyllic, the house being surrounded by scented orange, lemon and olive groves, stands of palm trees and rows and rows of ‘prickly pear’ cacti.
When you approach, on the fourth day of your walking holiday in the Mountains of Sicily, you may very well see Pasquale Di Garbo, his wife, ‘Mamma Anna’, and their four beautiful daughters, Daniela, Laura, Floriana and Antonella, tending their vast terrain of organically grown fruit and vegetables.
It is from their estate that many of the ingredients for dinner will come, lovingly prepared into tasty dishes by Antonella. The food is all about authenticity and flavour, using traditional recipes handed down through the generations – with delicious home-made produce taking centre stage.
During your stay, you can visit the workshop where the honey (black bee, wildflower or eucalyptus) on your breakfast table is prepared, and the winery where your carafe or unlabelled bottle of local wine was produced – all made from the Bergi estate.
In fact, guests are invited on a small private tour of the farm, on which you can harvest the produce that you would like to eat for breakfast or lunch – Antonella will be only too happy to prepare and cook them for you!
The estate makes a rich and aromatic extra virgin olive oil; spicy tomato sauce; orange, mandarin and prickly pear marmalades; strawberry, blackberry and red pepper jam; mustard and hot pepper preserve; ‘Amaro Bergi’, their own bitter-herb digestif; the honey varieties mentioned above; and also “La manna dal cielo” (‘Manna from Heaven’). This remarkable natural foodstuff (a type of Frankincense) is an aromatic resin obtained from the bark of ash trees. It reputedly has great health benefits, purifying and refreshing both body and soul.
Don’t worry if it might be a while before you can get there in person. You can always visit their online deli, Le Delizie di Bergi, and make a selection from their fabulous organic produce for a taste of authentic Sicily at home.
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Mountains of Sicily
Alternatively, you can embark on a rewarding journey on foot, walking from the Madonie Mountains in the heart of the island, via the Azienda Agrituristica Bergi, to the north coast.
More about our self-guided walking holidays in Sicily >
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