LabCasa Gialla sul Molo is located in Sampieri, a few miles from Scicli – known as the main filming location for the successful long-running TV show Inspector Montalbano, based on Andrea Camilleri’s detective novels.
Sampieri is a small seaside town seemingly stuck out of time. Tight alleys cut through small single-story homes, the sandstone reflecting the bright Sicilian sun. Behind the village, homes give way to rows of greenhouses whose “red gold” – Sicilian cherry tomatoes – support the local economy and employ many of the parents of our core group of children. The waterfont of Sampieri is adorned with palm trees, and the dunes of the adjacent beach are broken by a thick forest of mediterrenean pine trees. The beachfront forms a small bay, at the edge of which a single building dominates: a large delapidated turn-of-the-century Hoffman brick kiln with a tall stone chimney. This listed industrial archeology site is affectionally reffered to as “Ô Pisciuottu” by the locals.
Over the town of Sampieri the sky is almost always of a deep cobalt blue, which sometimes merges with the open sea, and sometimes takes on a violet, orange and red tinge. It is easy to see what inspired local Sicilian painter Pietro Guccione, who expressed the region’s colors better than anyone else.
Sampieri is only home to a few hundred people. There are no shop windows, no bank or post office, but there is a small school, whose blue windows face the sea just beyond the small pier where fishermen lay their rudimentary hulls to rest for the night. The docks are the town’s beating heart, and is often busy with the sound of children’s voices and laughter. That is where our small Yellow House is located.