Sampieri and the Penna Kiln

MircoMannino/ 27 Novembre, 2018/ Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, Province of Ragusa, Scicli, Scicli/ 0 comments

Sampieri promenade

Sampieri is a small seaside village located about ten kilometers from Scicli. Initially a fishing village, this village had in the last few years an increasing interest so much to be a destination for tourists from Italy and abroad.
A strong point not to be overlooked of this village is the beach, characterized by a fine and soft sand like that of the desert. The majestic dunes are the main features, from whose top you can have a magnificent view over the whole coast.

The symbol of the village is the Penna kiln, also known as “il Pisciotto”. It was built right on the edge of the coast for two main reasons:
– the ease of docking of merchant ships;
– the presence of a source of water nearby.

Brickworks factory built between 1909 and 1912, it exported most of its products in the Mediterranean, in particular in Tripoli, almost destroyed following the civil war of 1911. The working period in the kiln was from May to September, remaining closed the rest of the year. The night of January 26, in year 1924, for reasons still completely unknown, it was destroyed following an arson.
Baron Penna, owner of the kiln, after this tragedy said: “Not a penny for the Pisciotto”.
And so it was.
From that until today the kiln lies in a state of limbo between life and complete disintegration stone by stone.

The proposals to redevelop were different and fanciful, including the idea of ​​turning it into a luxury hotel, an idea without success. So, between the indecision about what to do, on the management difficulty in front of a dangerous site and constantly subject to collapses, the Penna kiln has been waiting for almost a century for its destiny.
From 1924 to today, citing critic Sgarbi, it lies like a “laic basilica by the sea”.

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