Our Journey to Alia

May 2009

.....Dock at Palermo..........The Route to Alia.....

(Click for larger versions)

Betty and Ron's grandfather, Leonardo Sagona, was born in the little village of Alia in the hills west of Palermo Sicily. He left there in 1905 with his wife Rosalia and his one year old daughter Anna to go to America. Joe Sagona, Betty and Ron's father, was born in Colorado. All in all there were 7 children born to Leonardo and Rosalia Sagona. Betty & I and her brother Ron & his wife Tami took a short cruise out of Barcelona that stopped in Palermo so we could visit Alia.

We had found Marcella Amato of Real Sicily.com from a post on the Cruise Critic board and engaged her to be our guide for our visit to Alia. None of us spoke Italian much less Sicilian and we wanted Marcella to show us around and interpret for us. Marcella turned out to be an attractive, intelligent young lady with an engaging personality and a great way of dealing with people. She worked out perfectly!

The Navigator of the Seas arrived at Palermo at 9 AM on May 12, 2009 and we were off the ship and ready to go at 9:15. Betty had spotted Marcella's distintive hair style from our balcony which overlooked the dock and we recognized each other as soon as we got off the ship. We walked with her a couple of blocks to a Thrifty Car Rental Agency and rented a car for the 78 kilometer drive to Alia.

Alia is a small town of about 4,200 people. One web site we found shows only 2 lodgings there, both small B & B type places and one of them was named Case Sagona. We all got a laugh when Ron pointed out it was only awarded one star! Sagona is a popular name around there, we saw it on several businesses in town.

.....The first Sagona sign we saw......................The Sagona Deli......


........Ron & Betty by a van with the Sagona name....................Another truck with the Sagona name....


....A street in Alia.....................The four of us have a beer in Alia......


Everybody we met was very friendly. Alia is a small out of the way village and I'm sure they don't get many visitors. Wherever we went people came over to find out who we were. When Marcella told then we were Sagonas visiting from California they all wanted to show us around. One guy wanted to take us to his ranch on the outskirts of town. Another lady wanted to get a key to the church so she could show it to us. Unfortunately we only had part of one day and couldn't squeeze everything in.

.....This nice man wanted to show us his ranch............................A beer, a bottle of wine and pizza for 5 was 9.60 Euros


Our visit to Switzerland

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