History
Cultural traditions
History
Cultural traditions
History
Cultural traditions
Borgo del Carato
Among carrob trees and centenary olive trees
The architectural complex is called “Case Melilli” from “I miliddi” or from the name of the feud “Le mililli di sopra”, as explained in the historical notes. The actual owner has decided to call the country resort Borgo del Carato.
The village, originally a fortified farm, is mostly surrounded by big carob trees and ancient olive trees:: hence the name that revokes the history and the tradition outcome from the Arabic, Greek, Norman and Roman influences. The ‘carat’ in fact is the unit of measurement equals to 0.2 grams. The word carat comes from the Arabic ‘girat’, in Greek ‘keration’ that means carob, whose seed has been used to weigh, because of its highly uniform weight (about 1/5 of gramm).
Scientists support that the carob seed has been used as a comparative weight because it is relatively easy to verify its dimensional difference.
 
Since ancient times to the Middle Ages the carat was used for weighing very small quantities and it still remains the unit of weight of diamonds, precious stones in general and pearls. The carat was defined with rigor in 1832 in South Africa, the place of greater production and exportation of diamonds in the world. Here was established the connection with the traditional metric system (kilograms).
 
Weighing with equal arm balance more carob seeds of a South African tree and then doing the arithmetic mean of the values obtained, he derived a value of 0.2 gramsthat remains still in use. The story of Li Melilli is then essential lines to all other suffeudali (or màrcati) of Sicily which, by definition, are sections of a fief, formats for dismemberment of the feud.
The fief of Bibino Magno or Pipino was located between Palazzolo Acreide and Noto and was composed of ten fiefi of Càmoli (or Cameliio), Vallefame, Bibbia, San Lio, Melilli (or Melilli), Casale di Bibino, Comuni di San Giovanni, Comuni dei Feudi, Mandredonna e Monastero Germano.
 
The first owner we know about was Ponzio from Estensa which was succeeded by her daughter Franzina in 1379; the last owner elected was Don Vincenzo Denti and Bonanno, duke of Piraino, on 30 September 1789. After a restoration begun in 2010, Borgo del Carato today has become a comfortable luxury residence.
The original architectural complex was made of the main body which could be reached by a majestic door that led in the beam; an iron light blue door led on the main floor.
 
The beam gave access to the treasurer’s house, to the millstone with the original millstones and olive presses, to the laboratory and the warehouses for the whet, olives and all products manufactured storage and preservation.
Outside the main building, stables, warehouses and seasonal labourers’ accommodations. Today all of these spaces, synthesis of tradition and modernity, are the actual resort areas.