Scipio the Favignana pirate

A real sea-dog memory

by Giorgio Triani

It may have happened casually, but often nothing happens by chance. I was with my daughter Giulia and I was thinking about Johnny Depp, because we had seen together, a few days before, Pirates of the Caribbean. So when I found myself in front of Scipio Silvi, with his wool cap, which had sewn on his forehead the symbol of piracy (the skull with the two crossed bones), the association was immediate. Almost automatic. The old pirates have moved to Favignana. The Tortuga has been installed at the Subbaqqueria. In fact, for more than 20 years, Scipio has taught to discover diving to generations of people living in Favignana as well as to the tourists. And before, he taught them to love the Egadi, which, perhaps, with their sea more Caribbean than in the Carribean, for its transparencies ranging from the turquoise to the emerald or in the depths that open up on expanses of white sand and posidonia. Just to reiterate that the pirates of the Caribbean would be here at home. With Scipio course to do the honors, to tell how to turn the winds on the island, which cove offers the more transparent or populated with fish sea. And of course, near which rock hiding the treasure.

With his face a little 'like that', the cigarette perpetually in the mouth, the joke ready and the look straight behind the helm of his boat.

It was obvious that we would end up there, at Subbaqqueria, and that we would meet Scipio. He seemed painted, put there just for us. Almost literary. From "Treasure Island". With his face a little 'like that, the cigarette perpetually in the mouth, the joke ready and the look straight behind the helm of his boat. To give the maritime touch to our adventure, which was and is, halfway between the English summer schools and a group of friends and professionals from Parma expedition, who fell in love with Favignana and its sea. And that under the pretext of teaching to use the web and the web & social tools, between a dip where the water is bluer and an aperitif under the sun, watching the sun sinking into the sea of Marettimo, every September return to pay a tribute pleasure to the Egadi.

Last September, however, we did not find Scipio: he was gone. End of the stories of the many seas that he had seen, navigated and in which he had immersed himself; no more invitations to be assured that "everything is under control"; show canceled because his guitar is silent forever. But the Subbaqqueria is still there. And there are almost all "captain" men and women: from Giovanna to his nephew Ivan, who is a very worthy heir to a beautiful history of sea and diving that continues. That every summer starts again, on and under the sea, so loved by Scipio, in which he wanted his ashes to be scattered.


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