Folks don’t generally come to Sicily to look at a pile of rocks… although that’s too bad, because they’re missing out on muragghi.
The land in the province of Ragusa is more rock than earth, and making a field into a piece of tillable land meant getting rid of the stones, an enormous amount of backbreaking work – without the benefit of painkillers.
Most farmers from the 16th century onwards built dry stone walls, while others created monumental constructions to house the rocks, called
muragghi. The muragghi look as though they ought to have another function – a mysterious cult meeting place perhaps – but they don’t. They were made just for housing rocks.
Beautiful in their simplicity,
muragghi grace the countryside around Ragusa and symbolize the vast amount of human labor it took to create this part of Sicily’s agricultural landscape. One of the grandest is the muragghio di San Giacomo, shaped like a huge stone wedding cake.
An expert on walking and culinary tours in many areas of Italy, with a special focus on Sicily, Anita Iaconangelo is the founder of
Italian Connection Tours and author of the blog Anita’s Italy. She is currently at work on a book entitled Savoring Sicily: A Culinary Quest.