Antique cart with baskets of olives outside the Grotta Mangiapane, Custonaci, Trapani Province, Sicily
The perfect ending to a perfect morning in Castellammare del Golfo! Silvio and his pony Napoleano were in the piazza with his cart giving rides to children… And then to me. Mille grazie Silvio! It’s all about interactions with Sicilians. This is what makes a truly memorable experience!
For Sale! No kidding! This Sicilian cart somehow made its way to the United States, and now is in a gentleman’s garage in the Hudson Valley. It was reclaimed from a barn full of junk, and the current owner is seeking a buyer. It was hand-painted and crafted in Palermo. I have more photos, provided…
According to the handwritten description on the back of this photo, my uncle Stefano lost the argument, and my father Peter got to drive the cart. (Photo: Stefano Scola, Bagheria, June 1950).
“Auguri per il Matrimonio” (“Best Wishes for Marriage”), detail from my father’s toy, hand-painted Sicilian cart. Painted in Bagheria by Onofrio Ducato.
Before video games, TV, and films, Sicilians had carts and cart drivers, traveling minstrels, and vendors whose songs told the stories of the detailed scenes painted on cart panels. Examining the mesmerizing craftsmanship of each unique “carretto” could keep you busy for hours.