Written by: Brenda Pomponio
Undiscovered: Cultural Farm Park in Favara
If you are ever travelling through Sicily, I implore you to visit a small town about 15 minutes from Agrigento called Favara and visit The Cultural Farm. When I first discovered we were going to be spending time here, I didn’t give it much thought. It was part of our Wanderjack Itinerary as we were off to a cooking class. It just so happened that the cooking class was to be held at a Happy Kitchen within the Park itself. The term Cultural Farm didn’t really register as something to be curious about. I should have.
Why? Because you will discover a place that will make you instantly happy. A place that celebrates culture, art, food, collaboration, creativity and more.
About 10 years ago, locals, Florinda and Andrea did not want to move off the island in search of work and culture and fun, however, they did not want to stay and continue to complain about there being nothing to do or no space for young people either. IT seemed that the young people of Favara were either moving or complaining. They wanted to challenge the folk of Favara that they were the only choices.
So they set about transforming a section of a street in Favara into a cultural experience like no other. Hard work was before them as they transformed homes into exhibition spaces, renovated buildings and encouraged artists, foodies, locals and visitors to come and spend time in the Cultural Farm.
Today what you see is a bustling space that Sicilians and also tourists love to visit. Whilst we were in Sicily we spent half a day in The Cultural Farm enjoying a cooking class with Annalisa and then enjoying the exhibition on display in the main building. This building itself is incredible – because it is the first you see. As you arrive in Favara you feel it is a typical Italian village with decaying homes in muted neutral tones. What you do not expect is to turn a corner and BAM! be faced with a myriad of colour like a rainbow you can touch. There are artistic elements everywhere and yet it is restrained enough for the beauty of each element to be truely appreciated. Whilst enjoying the exhibition, we ventured to the rooftop which allows a vista across the street and to enjoy particular artwork from a higher ground.
Families come from the village to dine or have an apertivo in the afternoon, children running as they do. There are designated spaces for people to work – whether it be permanently or because they are passing through or have a project they are collaborating on. You can hire the space or just enjoy it. As our evening was unfolding we took our class of wine and enjoyed chatting amoungst friends in the garden – which was inspired by the Marrakesh courtyards. It is a tranquil oasis with greenery and a pool.
Discovering the Cultural Farm Park Favara experience was certainly a highlight for us in Italy. It is an undiscovered gem that you may not read about in a glossy guidebook, but I assure you the visitors are leaving very happy indeed.