Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chiesa di Sant'Anna

I have been looking for this church for some time.  I have seen this or similar photos a number of times, but it is always captioned: Typical Eolian Church, or some other fool thing.
It took a distant Cafarella relative asking if I knew it, to shake me out of my depression after John's passing this past May. 
I know that my great great grandfather Gaetano Cafarella and my great great grandmother Giovanna Vasquez lived in Capofaro or Capo Gramignazzi in the first half of the 19th century.  Members of our relatives, the Sangiolo family, lived high on the slopes of the mountain above the present road between Santa Marina and Malfa.  
There was a special relationship in my greater family with Saint Anne, which I did not understand till I realized that there was a Sant'Anna in Capofaro. The Church of Saint Anne was at one time known as the Church of the Vasquez'.  As you may know, my great great grandmother was a Vasquez and lived here in Capofaro
I asked everyone I could think of about this church, but could never confirm where it was, or even its existance.  So, when Tom(Gaetano) Cafarella asked me about it last week, I knew I had to knuckle down and find it.  Then the obvious person came to mind....WHY DID I NOT ASK HER FIRST?...flashed in front of my eyes!
Antoinette Merenda Carbone has been an email mate for a number of years now.  She knew me when I was starting to do research.  John and I stayed with her when I went to the Long Island branch of the State College system for the seminar on the Messina earthquake in 2008.  She has been a real help anytime I had a question.
She was not familiar with the church, so she contacted her cousin, Antonio Lo Schiavo, who finally gave us the long sought answer.  Thanks loads to both of them...a mystery has been cleared up.  I had long thought that I would include this church in the novel I have been working on for some time.  But you cannot write about what is not there.
I have a habit of meeting great people when I travel and when I do research.  When I took my sister and cousin to Salina several years ago, we met up with Antonino Sangiolo, who ferried us around to family properties, but in his haste to get back to work, we did not get down into Capofaro to see the village.  Well, next time perhaps.
Just for those who do not speak Italian, Capofaro means Lighthouse Cape.  It is located between Santa Marina Salina and Malfa on the island of Salina.  It faces roughly Northeast toward Panarea and Stromboli.  It is on the lower slopes of Monte Fosso delle Felci,(spelled Fosso, Fosse and Fossa in various publications.) and that particular spot is just about the oldest part of the island.  This particular volcano is made up of a number of cones that have merged together, and this is the base of the oldest part, though covered with layers from later eruptions.  You can see little spurs of the older cone in pictures elsewhere in the blog, sticking out high above the village of Malfa to the east.  If I remember correctly there are at least five cones that make up the present one, and it is the highest mountain in the archipelago.  The only volcanic activity that is presently obvious on Salina is in deep waters where the crater collapsed into the sea at Pollara.

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