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Agrigento: Favara and the Kolymbethra Garden

Sicily, imagining the future!

Discover the Farm Cultural Park of Favara, an art and cultural centre in an old quarter of Favara (near Agrigento). There’s a bar, a B&B, a garden, a social kitchen, and lots of people who work and contribute to organize many activities: social lunches and dinners, talks, workshops for adults and children… To improve people’s lives, create an identity, shape the future!

Another wonderful place saved by the locals near Agrigento is the Kolymbethra Garden. 2500 years ago, this was an artificial lake: it was filled with water for the inhabitants of Akragas (around 300,000) to drink. In 778, the Abbot of Saint Non, during his Grand Tour, described this place as a corner of Paradise, the promised land, tucked away in this Garden of Eden. Abandoned for a while, it has been recently recovered and protected.

Video full text: Imagining the Future. Favara and the Kolymbethra Garden

Here we are in the typical Sicilian town square in Favara,
with the typical Norman castle,
the typical Baroque church…
and the typical uncontrolled building work of the 1960s!
But here we have someone who’s chosen to make a difference.
We decided to settle here and do something for ourselves and others, without complaining.
Above all, without thinking that other towns are more appealing, more interesting:
I believe that towns change because people bring about that change
Florinda and her husband decided to return from their life in Paris to Sicily,
to do something for their land of origin.
They founded Farm Cultural Park, an art and cultural centre in an old quarter of Favara
There’s a bar, a B&B, a garden, a social kitchen…
There are lots of people who work and contribute, there’s a community!
It’s incredible how even the combination with the destruction and the overlapping layers of the town
is able to create such a positive effect thanks to art.
This is a little citrus grove
We call it “Riad Farm”, because it reminds us a little of Morocco
This area is called “Ansemula”, it’s the social kitchen
We organise numerous activities here: social lunches and dinners, talks, workshops for adults and children…
Who did the painting?
Salvo Ligama, a very talented Sicilian artist.
What’s the purpose of art?
To improve people’s lives, create an identity, shape the future.
If its purpose is to imagine a future, what kind of future do we have in mind?
We imagine communities of people starting out from the bottom
and working towards self-determination, attempting to build a different future,
without waiting for someone from above to turn their lives around.

I’m taking my daughter Zoe to see another wonderful place saved by the locals:
a park and vegetable garden that had been abandoned!
Hello Beppe!
Hello Syusy!
This little corner of paradise is the Kolymbethra Garden, near Agrigento (the ancient Akragas)
2500 years ago, this was an artificial lake:
it was filled with water for the inhabitants of Akragas (around 300,000) to drink.
Look! These are artificial springs created 2500 years ago
…and they’re still working…
You can see for yourself!
This is our vegetable garden, where in this period we’re growing tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines.
You’ve got all the ingredients here for a caponata! (Note: caponata is a traditional Sicilian culinary speciality)
In 778, the Abbot of Saint Non, during his Grand Tour, described this place as a corner of Paradise,
the promised land, tucked away in this Garden of Eden:
a garden that was more or less abandoned between 1980 and 1990,
because the traditional farming work was no longer carried out.
Look, here we have orange, mandarin, clementine, citron, grapefruit and lemon trees…
New hands have lovingly restored the garden to its former splendour…
This is a place to enjoy!
Definitely, to savour! By the way, I just happen to have a picnic basket!
I’m so prepared I’ve even got a tablecloth!
Tuck in!
Come on, sit down!
That’s rich coming from you Zoe! You’re always late, and now you’re the first one ready?
Ready for the important things!
Come on, move it!
It’s time for lunch!

Italia Slow Tour

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