Castelbuono – the town of the good castle and excellent food

Castelbuono is a small town in the mountains near Palermo. Now – full disclosure time – the only reason we went there was to go to a restaurant of which I’d read great reviews. (Yes, I am totally becoming Sicilian: it was a three hour drive there, and more than four back once we’d been diverted multiple times off the road we wanted; these are the things you do for good food.) We stayed, though, because the town itself was as delicious to the eyes as was the meal we’d just eaten to our stomachs.

tower, arabic, castelbuono, kate bailward

The unexpected things you see when you look up – like Arabic-inspired towers with shimmering blue fish-scale tiling …

moped, balcony, streetlamp, castelbuono, kate bailward… or the problems of first floor apartment living: where to keep your moped? On your balcony, of course.

latin, gate, castelbuono, kate bailward

Latin inscription over the gate to the 14th century Sicilian castle which gives the town its name. (The castle was originally called Castello del buon aere – the good air castle – owing to its breezy position at the top of a hill.)

belltower, sky, castelbuono, kate bailward

 Belltower and blue sky

roof tiles, kate bailward

 The beauty of simplicity: terracotta roof tiles held in place with rocks

roof, view, castelbuono, kate bailward

… which turn to burnished gold in the late afternoon sunlight.

roof, tower, view, castelbuono, kate bailward

The view from the castle over the town, to the hills beyond

old man, steps, kate bailward

While the rest of the town punctuated their Sunday afternoon passeggiata with cake and ice cream in the piazza, he sat on the church steps, and watched, and waited ..

manna, honey, kate bailward

Manna! It might not be the stuff from heaven, but apparently it’s good for all manner (ha!) of ailments, and is a speciality of the Castelbuono region

shopfront, castelbuono, kate bailward

Manna Conoscenti: they know a thing or two about manna, they do …

fountain, statues, castelbuono, people, kate bailward

A wellspring; a fountain; most importantly a meeting point

statues, castelbuono, kate bailward

Two and a half wise men above a grand but battered doorway


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About Kate Bailward

Kate Bailward is a cat-loving, trifle-hating, maniac driver. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
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9 Responses to Castelbuono – the town of the good castle and excellent food

  1. Loved it….you have an eye that REALLY sees!
    Patricia Rinaldi Edie´s last post ..I Am A Chef Instructor – Teaching Nik To Cook

  2. Susan Nelson says:

    Beautiful photos, you have captured a lot that others might miss. Rocks holding the roof tiles down, the old man on the stairs watching the scene before him….very cool!

  3. Pingback: Fav Reads On Italy This Week: Feb 21 - BrowsingItaly

  4. Krista says:

    I love that you drove four hours one way just for good food. :-) I would totally do that too. :-) And what a find!! Love your pics of this pretty little place. :-)

  5. Thank you so much, ladies!

  6. John P Brady says:

    Beautiful photos, Kate. I wonder what the man on the steps was thinking about! I should get off this comfy seat and go see some of these places you manage to visit.
    John P Brady´s last post ..Viagra on a Sicilian Sunday – Good Food and Drink

  7. Thanks John! If he was anything like me and the rest of the people in that piazza, he was thinking about cake. There was a pasticceria with a barcarella outside selling slices of torta colomba slathered in various types of sweet spreads. If it hadn’t been for the fact that we’d only just finished a full four-course degustazione menu I’d SO have been in there stuffing my face haha.

  8. Tom says:

    Loved the post and the photos Kate!! This is my grandmother’s home town, and after “reuniting” with my family there about 10 years ago, we spend at least a day or so with them during every trip. We’ll be there in June/July this year, and I can’t wait to try this restaurant!!! Maybe I can convince my cousins to let ME take them there (instead of the other way around!!) Ciao! Tom

  9. I highly recommend it, Tom! A lovely little place – but I’d say it’s worth booking ahead, as it was packed on the day that we went there. :)

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