Arriving in Ustica 2012

Page One

Well, we are finally approaching the Isola di Ustica, the birth place of our great, great, grandmother Maria Manfre. We arrive on a Siremar Hydrofoil, we are excited !! The whole Island knows we are coming, the opposite from 2 years ago, when Tom and I went unoticed and deserted. Cousin Pietro is waiting for us at the dock, he takes our pictures as we disembark.
After we were greeted we drove to the City Hall, for the Grand Welcome by the City Officials. After all the times of seeing this room on, it is where all political activites take place, it was surreal. All nice folks. Then onto the home of Pietro and Pina Bertucci, our hosts. Our first great meal, and just one of many, was Pasta al Forno, at the table with them is Pina's brother Daniele. Pina is the greatest cook we have known.
The first historical sight we visited was what they have titled "Faraglioni." It is the site of a Bronze-Age village, from the year 1450 B.C. It is full of the rock walls of the settlement and alot of pottery and water pots have been excavated from it. The middle picture of rocks in the sea shows where some of the Island used to be during that period. They attribute volcanic action to the change of geography.
We also walked to the top of the mountain called Falconiera. The name comes from "Hawk's Nest" and it is the site of the Hellenistic Roman settlement, 300 BC to 100 A.D. It was built there to spot enemies from the sea. The steps on the left, were carved in rock to get to the top.There was also cisterns, tombs and places where their dwellings sat, all carved in rock. Laurie is standing at the top looking over to the city.
These pictures are of Pietro and myself at the burial vaults by the Roman settlement. They carved the tombs into the rock. There were also other Neocropolis grave sites.
Also up on the Falconiera mountain are the remains of the Bourbon fortress, the cannon has 1780 inscribed on it. That is a chapel in the background and there was also remains of a jail. The first colonists, including the Manfre's, came to the island in the 1760's.

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