The Ice Route. Snow trade in Sunny Sicily

“The Ice Route” or “La Via del Ghiaccio”. Venture off the beaten path and discover the “hidden” Sicily where few visitors ever go. A day tour to Monte Cammarata, in the most remote part of the Agrigento area, to learn about the snow industry, the history of Cammarata and San Giovanni Gemini and the people who made it. A unique journey through culture, nature and local gastronomy.

In cooperation with “La Via del Ghiaccio”- Alberto and Ester Traina

The “Stone Giants” on Monte Cammarata, the neviere (snow basins), are documented structures in Sicily from the 15th century and built for snow conservation. During the snowmaking process, the “nevaioli” (Snow-workers) sang songs that are rooted in the Arab-Persian tradition and were dedicated to pagan gods such as the Moon Goddess. The various desserts such as the white pasta ‘cu ghiazzu’, the ice cream per piece and all the eno-gastronomic products of the territory reflect a little these ancestral rites.

The same neviere have almost elliptical or crescent shape and for the nevaioli they were true places of worship. Furthermore, one of the techniques used for snow conservation can be traced back to ancient Egypt.

“La Via del Ghiaccio” Ice Route Tour

Morning: Meet at the “La Suite del Gusto” restaurant for a tasting of the typical pastry ‘cu ghiazzu’. Listening and recostruction of the Songs of the “nevaioli” ( man who work with snow) of Arab-Persian origin. Then, we go up to Mt Cammarata to visit to the most famous “Neviera” in Sicily.  Here, the guide will help you re-live the work of snowmakers and talk about the snow conservation techniques. . Drive down to Cammarata and stop at the Mother Church (end of the 1500s). Learn about The Bread of the Painter, and the Madonna of the snow.
Lunch
Return to the “Suite” for lunch based on the food eaten by the “Nevaioli” and the ancient liqueurs of the “Speziale”
Afternoon
Visit to the historical photographic exhibition of the “Gelato and Snow Industry” Museum in San Giovanni Gemini: history of the art of making ice cream, the snow trade and the characters that animated it;
Return to the “Suite del Gusto” and tasting of the “White Sorbet of La Rocca”.

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