Travel /

Filicudi Part II

An interview with Sergio Casoli, owner of the restaurant and guesthouse La Pensione Sirena, situated in the ancient seaside village of Pecorini a Mare.


Sergio was kind enough to open up and share about his personal relationship with the island of Filicudi. As a real island veteran, his insights help reveal a bit more of Filicudi’s wild magic.

What initially attracted you to Filicudi and what keeps you coming back?

My encounter with Filicudi was unplanned. I wasn’t looking to revolutionize my life or anything, but after just a few hours on the island, it happened, as I was walking on the paved road, one foot aimlessly following the other, distracted by the landscape and warm climate, without even realizing it, that I decided that this was my island—even though I hadn’t even been looking for it. It was remarkable, the feeling of having found my natural habitat, something that could belong to me. Over the years that feeling was overturned: it was me that belonged to Filicudi, and not the other way around.


Can you tell me a little about your lifewhere you are from, where you live, what you do for a living, etc.?

When I arrived here on the island I was a young man with many hopes. I had an art gallery that was once the studio of Lucio Fontana and my passions and work blended seamlessly. I didn’t have a desire for a regular job, so great was the pleasure and curiosity of discovering day by day the world of art, and to discover that in this case as well, it was me that belonged to art, and not vice versa.


How would you describe the community of people that forms here over the summer months? How has it evolved over the years?

Filicudi is an ancient island that puts up with a mini invasion over the summer (August) of boats and tourists who have built their homes on the ruins of old houses. It is not set up to accommodate people for multiple months out of the year, and it quickly forgets itself of everything that happens over the holiday period and returns to being a remote island in the Mediterranean. Here the world stopped in the ‘60s. It’s like living in an Italy that has yet to grow and develop, where wealth and consumerism are still to come.


Is there a place on the island that holds a special significance for you?

There’s no one place on the island that I like more or that gives me greater sensations. It’s the very air that I breath that makes me think, that stimulates me, that causes me to realize that this clean sea is so many things and that I don’t need much else in order to live well.


Can you share a favorite meal that you prepare using available and/or local ingredients?

I planted 250 olive trees and a small orchard here in Filicudi 12 or 13 years ago and today I produce approximately (depending on the year) 300/350 kg of fantastic oil that I like to put on the island’s fish. Because the fish from Filicudi is perhaps the best of Italy.


What do you leave behind at home while in Filicudi?

When you ask me what I leave behind at home when I come to Filicudi I’d probably be able to answer better what I leave behind in Filicudi when I go away. Because this is my home, the place that best embraces me.


Any plans once summer is over?

I don’t have end of summer plans. It would be enough for me to go out to dinner with you in some distant place, in order to have a reason to think that even far away from this Filicudi, life is beautiful. But I have a feeling that might be difficult. 

Goodbye, Sergio.