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Masseria Moscala, one of our historical Leopard collection...

THE HISTORY OF MASSERIA MOSCALA

Moscala

In 1812, when Sicily was under British Administration, Lord Bentinck instigated something of a social revolution by abolishing feudal privileges. Sicilian farm labourers were finally free to own land and work for themselves.

The consequences of this upheaval were most deeply felt after the Unification of Italy in 1860 when the large feudatory estates were broken down into smaller plots, whose newly liberated smallholding owners concentrated on the cultivation of citrus fruits and grapes and the rearing of livestock.

Masseria Moscala was one such farm and was built in the second half of the 19th Century. Its thick tufa walls were designed to keep the heat out in the summer and the warmth in during the winter. They were also intended to keep out bandits, such as the famous Salvatore Giuliano from Montelepre, who raided farms all over the area.

A mulberry tree, some palm trees and several other large trees dating back to the beginning of the 19th Century testify to man’s long agricultural presence here.

The Masseria (a Sicilian farmhouse) was originally built on two floors, the ground floor housing a large bread-making oven and food storage rooms and the upper floor providing accommodation for the farmer’s family.

Behind the main building were some stables, some outhouses for storing equipment and harvested crops and several other low buildings used as a small dairy for milking and making cheese.

Masseria Moscala, the heart and symbol of the surrounding estate, continued to function as a farm until 1950 when it was partially renovated. Its past, however, is still evident, giving those who stay here the opportunity to understand a way of life that is largely forgotten but fascinating to explore.

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