Trip to Italy by the Voltaggio Family - May-June, 1998

The Voltaggio family visited the country of its ancestry this summer.  The main objective was to visit the ancestral home in Calatafimi in western Sicily.  We arrived in Palermo and used Castellamare del Golfo as our base.  Here is a of us having dinner in the hotel on the night we arrived.  Laura is taking the picture.

This map should give you an orientation of where we were.  Palermo is in the upper right hand side of the map.  
Calatafimi is in the bottom left of the map with an arrow pointing to it.


The day after we arrived, we were met by my cousins and were taken to the town.  We had dinner .....
and then went to see the castle on top of the hill which dated from before the 5th century.  This was called Castle Eufemio, or Castle Euphemius, then the Arabs called it Kalat al Fimi.  Then the Italians named it  Calatafimi.
After we went to the Castel, we went down the hill where we saw a beautiful view of the town.
Then we went to the Chiesa Matrice (Mother Church) where my father's ancestors were all baptized, married and were buried for the past 400 years.  It was at this church that the priest researched his records and found all our genealogical information.  The same priest (Fra Scavurzo) met us when we visited the church and remembered corresponding with my father almost 20 years ago.
After a delightful visit to our ancestral home, we drove east to Mount Etna, which was erupting as we visited it.
At the time we visited, it was blowing off steam.  The following is a picture we took from 3000 meters (just two hundred meters below the summit.

On our way back from the summit, we found a house buried in a previous lava flow.  The kids just had to explore it.  They took some tiles out as a souvenir of the escapade.

We also went to Erice, where we spent a beautiful day in this medieval town.  We found a Via Vultaggio and here is Lisa posing under then street sign.