RENEWAL what’s old is what’s new BY ROBERT CALVERT
The quilted landscape of western Sicily stretched out before me—a patch of vines here, a square of silvery-green olive trees there, a rectangle of young grain in the distance. The sirocco flowed in from North Africa like the hot breath
of a distant dragon. Lemony sunlight streamed down from the pristine sky. It was almost one o’clock. In a few minutes we would be heading off to lunch. There would be wine ... Phoenician traders began settling on the western end of
Sicily as early as 1,000 B.C.; Greeks set up shop in the east in 735 B.C. They were Johnny- come-latelies. Preliminary inhab- itants—Sicanians, Sicels, Elymians—had been in resi- dence on the island since the incipient Bronze Age.
The Levantine voyagers
probably colonized western Sicily in order to harvest sea salt, produced near Trapani and Marsala even today. The Greeks were farmers who, according to Sicilian-food enthusiast Tom Musco, brought figs, pome-