Model T Ford in Sicily

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Mark Osterman
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Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu May 23, 2019 2:45 am

Anyone know of model T owners or vintage car collections in Sicily. My wife and I are teaching a photography workshop here for the next several days but we have the weekends off to explore.


Terry_007
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Terry_007 » Thu May 23, 2019 12:55 pm

I spent two years in Sicily courtesy of the USN and had plenty of time to explore including trying to ferret out antique cars and anything related. I did stumble on a vintage motorcycle rally once but it was a group that seemed to have no knowledge of organized antique car activity there. I was based in Sigonella, near the city of Catania, quite large, and actually stumbled on an old inner city garage there that had an amazing parts hoard in a loft- brass era stuff still on the shelves! The garage owner was very secretive about it all. We were only able to get a brief look. I believe there is more organized activity and collectors in the Palmero area. I was never able to find anything other than a 30's Fiat touring car in the nearby city of Taromina. Their concept of "vintage" cars consists of mainly interest in 50s-60s cars like the Fiats, Alfa Romeo and even more modern cars like the Miata. As you would expect, there is great interest in sports cars and rallies are frequently encountered on mountain roads. I've even seen some American cars from the 50s and 60s there taking part. Of course Sicily is famous for it's Targa Florio, and the Mille Miegla. Near Palmero be sure to visit the town of Collasano and see the Targa Florio museum there. They may be able to provide leads to some other car collectors. I never saw a model T ford there though.

Even without the cars, Sicily is a beautiful place with so much to see and do. You will see Greek and Roman ruins, the most amazing scenery ever, ancient temples, exquisite artwork, fascinating market places, and will meet the warmest hearted people you could imagine.

The is so much history there, but be sure to include a visit to Taromina, in the shadows of Mt. Etna, known as the most beautiful city in Sicily, Palmero offers tours of ancient cathedrals adorned with beautiful ceramic tiles, and a weekend antique market that will blow your mind!. Don't miss the Valley of Temples in Agrigento and at Selinunte, especially in the evening when the ancient Greek temples are lit up. A favorite is the Roman villa in Enna, and the new and ancient cities at Ragussa and Modica. Buy fabulous ceramics at Caltagirone and Santo Stefano! So much history - I could attach a zillion pictures to this post, but just let your fingers do the walking on the internet and choose what you can squeeze in. There may not be much time for old cars!

Just be careful on the roads - the Sicilian style of driving is "interesting." It's basically a free-for-all. Lane markings, stop signals, speed limits, are all merely "suggestions" and you'll find people driving the wrong way or even on sidewalks in the big cities, and parking wherever they can squeeze the little cars in. Most memorable site for me was at a railroad crossing. Here we like to just line up, but in Sicily, all lanes are open both directions, and cars will squeeze in on both sides of the road, then jocky for position once the gates go up. There is no such thing as right and left lanes there! If you make eye contact with another driver, then they know you've seen them, so you have relinquished the right of way. As a result you'll see people driving without making any apparent eye contact with other vehicles or their drivers. Oh, and everyone there thinks they are Mario Andretti!

Brings back memories of a wonderful time there, with fabulous food (eat at some of the small family run establishments (Trattorias) and enjoy the wine - Corvo Roso is still one of my favorites.

Saluti -
Terry
Attachments
Taromina.jpg


Terry_007
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Terry_007 » Sat May 25, 2019 10:56 am

It would be great to have some follow-up from you about your visit to Sicily, especially if you've had any luck finding any Model Ts there.
Terry


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Mark Osterman
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat May 25, 2019 11:35 am

We are staying in a Agritourisma near the small town of Castelbuomo. This is about 1 1/2 hours from Palermo. These lodgings are in a beautiful rural area where all the meals are made only with what they grow and raise on their property including the meats, cheeses and wines.

Our workshop starts on Monday but we set up our darkroom in Castelbuomo on Thursday and did our first tests on Friday. We are teaching a rare dry collodion glass negative process from the 1850s. Later next week we’ll also teach how to make photographic paper to make proof prints from their negatives.

Today we went looking for locations for shooting next week. Yes, hairpin turns on mountain roads with incoming cars in our lane was typical. Made the mistake of going high into a mountain town where the buildings ended up no wider than 2 cm on either side of the car as we drove curves and climbed slippery cobblestones. It was terrifying. I’ll ask around for vintage cars tomorrow when my blood pressure goes down a little.


Topic author
Mark Osterman
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat May 25, 2019 3:35 pm

First test negative and print from my workshop.
Attachments
19D3D0B5-1234-4C28-94FD-AE539384BFD2.jpeg
D26EB183-090E-468E-A879-B489A2380E7C.jpeg


Wayne Sheldon
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat May 25, 2019 4:22 pm

Beautiful!
I have always wanted to see parts of the world like that. In our part of the world, we consider 200 years to be really old. There, people commonly live in homes built as much as 500 years ago, and sometimes even more. Years ago, I sometimes worked with a fellow that was born in what is now Israel. He had a standard travel poster mounted on his office wall. I often looked at it when I was there discussing the work needed. One day I asked him about it. His face lit up as he pointed to building, telling me that it was the house he was born in. He went on to tell me that his family's home was built about 800 AD, but that many other homes in the area were much older. He went on to tell me that some of his family including a sister were still living there.

We often talk about the people who's lives our model Ts have touched, and the history our cars have been a part of. Imagine the history his family's home has seen!


Terry_007
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Terry_007 » Sun May 26, 2019 11:14 am

That close to Palmero you should visit the sleepy town of Corleone, made famous by the movie "The Godfather." It really exists, and parts of the movie were filmed there. When I visited, that was a distant memory for townsfolks and the excitement of the movie had long since worn off. We were the only American tourists to visit there is years! Saw and photographed many of the scenes from the movie including the roads above town, the town center with community water well, the fruit/vegetable stand in town, etc. Don't expect to be able to buy too many souvenirs though, they don't exist. Remember stopping at a market and asking where I could buy a bottle of "Coreleone' wine, and I was told by the vendor that he made the best wine in all of Coreleone. So, we ended up eating dinner in their home and drinking their wine. It was great.

You are only a short distance from Cefalu so visit it if you have a chance. Beautiful place with lots of history.
This must be really exciting for you, and hopefully you'll come back with beautiful memories. You'll want to return to see (and photograph) more I'm sure.
Terry


Terry_007
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:18 pm
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Terry_007 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:36 am

So, tell us about your trip to Sicily. Did you encounter any Model Ts or other old cars?
Terry


Topic author
Mark Osterman
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Re: Model T Ford in Sicily

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:14 am

LOL .. well, I saw no cars made before 1960 while I was there. About thirty members of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club arrived where we were staying one weekend. They were on a tour on the amazing mountain roads in that area but they told me the guys with the older cars didn’t come due to rain in the forecast.

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