Longi is a tiny mountain village perched literally on a precipice with one road in and one road out in between the two other rugged mountain towns of Galati Mamertino and Frazzano’
Every time I visit I am amazed at how Sicilian’s were able to establish a place in such an unwelcoming part of the terrain, it makes my head spin to climb up along the road to Longi.
I would have never discovered this treasure of a place if not for a dear friend and Compare of my husbands who is from this adorable little town. Sicilian’s often use the word Compare (you may recognize the term from the Godfather movies) to describe a close family friend, or someone who has baptized your child or been a best man at your wedding, they are considered great honors which make a Compare or the feminine equivalent Comare part of the immediate family.
Our Compare from Longi has known my husband since high school and my husband was his best man. It is thanks to him and his family that we often make trips up into the mountains to admire the contrasts in the landscape from the lush grazing lands in the tablelands in between the old forests from the highest town site in Sicily, Floresta down to the outskirts of Longi where everything becomes harsh and rocky.
Over the years we have discovered Longi’s version of St Leone (yes Longi has chosen the same patron as Sinagra), walked through this timeless piazza and tasted wonderful locally made products from ice cream, to porcini mushrooms, to goats cheese and attended baptisms and other religious celebrations associated with the children of our compare in the equally ancient parish church.
This spring we have even discovered the joys of a new adventure park established by the by the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit of the Longesi, together with a surprising array of bed and breakfasts and rustic Trattoria restaurants.
Even if Longi’s hold on the mountains appears precarious it is relatively close to the coast and is a mecca for those who love to pass time in the mountains trekking and escaping the chaos of the overcrowded seaside resorts.
Longi is yet another tenacious Sicilian village who is firmly gripping onto it’s place on the map of Sicily.