Author(s): Caroline Seller Manzo
History | No Category
In this enchanting memoir about food, family, culture, and culture shock, an Englishwoman shares the unpredictable adventures of her Sicilian family and the renovation of their villa
At a mid-seventies Halloween party in London, Caroline Seller stumbled across a man in a lion mask. Although she spoke little Italian and he practically no English, both were undeniably smitten. After only a few more meetings, Caroline was invited to stay with Marcello's family in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, where she was introduced to the eccentric Manzo clan--including Marcello's larger-than-life mother Maria--who lived in a magnificent but crumbling villa, Santa Maria.
Soon afterward Caroline and Marcello married, set out on an expatriate life together around the world, and started their own family, but Santa Maria was never far from their thoughts. After much debate over the fate of the deteriorating villa, Marcello and his brothers united to save it. Determined in their mission--but not entirely prepared for what they were getting into --Marcello and Caroline embarked on a restoration process full of disconcerting setbacks, demoralizing mishaps, and ultimately breathtaking results.
Through amusing anecdotes, stunning photography, and inspired observations of Sicilian culture, Casa Nostra shows not only the renovation of the villa, but also the unique beauty and history of western Sicily and its people, as seen through the eyes of Caroline Seller Manzo--an outsider who is often surprised, and always delighted, by her family and adopted hometown.