Dear Paolo, try to understand.
You live the fascination of a Sicilian palace harking back into history, with baronesses, fruit orchards and Etna which overlooks all… Whereas I prisoner to the memory of the aristocratic provincialism of an immobile Sicily that changes in order not to change… I have left it voluntarily!
Sicily is a strange land, you love it profoundly, but if you are its son you detest it too, and to list reason for this would lead you to write a treatise of political sociology, so let’s forget it. Think of Pirandello, Quasimodo, Sciascia, Guttuso… how many could I still remember? How many of them celebrated Sicily with intense love? All of them. And how many lived there? All the least possible. It cannot be chance, and it is the same reason for which I have asked you to help me sell the Palace.
I felt the need to go away very young (22 years old) and for 25 years I have not returned except for necessary short family visits. Than little by little, I reapproached these roots of mine; and now, when I happen to return there, the island wraps me in a whirl of emotion. I re-descover there the abc of the human rapport that I feel flowing in my blood, and I understand that I am a stranger elsewhere, I find the warmth, the colour and the passion of that land I feel I belong to. I ask myself why I left it, or at least why I do not return to live there… than 10, 15 days pass and all comes to mind, there in front of me are the reason which urged me to leave, the difficulty of living day to day in those places, and the unbearableness towards everything that I love and that drives me away. For this reason I wanted close this old family history, but perhaps you are right. The place is enchanting, almost magical, and Settevoci can become the refuge to savour the beauty of that land and its people with its history and its present.
The future… who knows?… do you know that in the Sicilian dialect future time does not exist? And so very well, let us bet on this land of the “Gattopardo”, let us try to transform that Palace of my grand-parents with its proud and little rough appearance into an open place and ready to welcome whoever loves Sicily and wants to discover it.
A refuge for whoever wishes to shelter from storms, a laboratory for whoever has plans and is looking for a place to achieve them, who wishes to invite friends, and whoever is looking for an evocative place for his initiatives. To work in his project will be a different to think of my land and talk about it to others, with love, distantly at first, as many of its children have done; it will be my way, and perhaps one day I will succeed in living it with fewer passionate contrasts and more joy.
Then ok, let's try.