Messina, the Women of Sicilian wine alongside Cirs and in memory of Marisa Leo

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By John

Calici di vita starts again from Messina. 2024 marks a new appointment with the traveling solidarity wine lunch promoted and organized bySicily Women of Wine Associationdriven by Roberta Urso, which on Saturday 13 January at 1pm will stop in Messina at the Marina Restaurant of the Nettuno Yachting Club which overlooks the splendid scenery of the Strait of Messina. Cooking for the women of wine, there will be chef and taste ambassador Pasquale Caliri who has created a refined menu to accompany the wines selected by the island’s wine women.
Part of the proceeds from the wine lunch and the entire proceeds from the charity wine auction will go to Cirs Family House of Messina chaired by Maria Celeste Celi. Thanks to the generosity of the producers of DDV Sicilia, in fact, in every “Calici di Vita” event, immediately after lunch, magnums and special editions of wines are auctioned off, the proceeds of which are donated in full to the selected association which works in favor of women.

The wine lunch at Marina del Nettuno will be an opportunity to remember Marisa Leo, the Sicilian wine woman victim of femicide in 2023, who was one of the promoters of Calici di vita in Sicily. Her personal story had led her to actively collaborate with the members of the Sicily delegation to help other women victims of physical and psychological violence, through the initiative which offers concrete help to the associations that protect them.
“Our association – explains the delegate for Sicily Roberta Urso – begins 2024 with the first DXD stop of the year in Messina: a solidarity road show strongly supported by Marisa Leo, who was one of its promoters. Speaking of wine, our natural element, we will keep the bar even higher on the topic of gender violence, with the aim of combating it and generating greater awareness among the wine lovers who participate in the event. But January will also mark an important stage in the journey undertaken: on the 23rd in Rome the memorandum of understanding with the state police will be signed, in order to have the institutions alongside us in our daily battle”.
After the passing of Marisa Leo, the work to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women carried out by the DDV Sicilia has been constant and many results have been achieved. Among all, the birth of the Marisa Leo Onlus Association which is already a reality and will shortly begin to concretely carry out training and information initiatives. “Thanks to the contribution of the members, including private individuals, companies and associations – explains Roberta Urso – scholarships will be established to support minors in difficulty, currently guests of orphanages or family homes in Sicily. Even more united and compact, we are preparing to face a new season which will certainly be a harbinger of interesting projects and activities with a high cultural profile: the theme of the year 2024 is in fact “Women, wine and culture”.


The Women of Wine initiative will offer concrete help to the Cirs family home which is a national third sector body, which mainly deals with the protection of women in difficulty, through prevention and assistance activities in the field of psycho-social deviance and marginalization.
Present in Messina since 1957, Cirs manages a family home and a shelter with a secret address that welcomes and protects women victims of violence, pregnant women and single mothers with their children in temporary conditions of hardship. Furthermore, in a property confiscated from the mafia entrusted to Cirs, it manages a listening desk and a social desk. In the main office in via Monsignor Bruno there is also a health point for free outpatient visits. Cirs, through a staff of social workers, psychologists and educators, helps women overcome the traumas of their experience and promotes their social and work inclusion. To this end, the young people are involved in cooking workshops and catering activities, to encourage their integration and stimulate their professional growth.


Pasquale Caliri, ambassador of taste and chef of the Marina del Nettuno Yachting Club, trained at Alma, Gualtiero Marchesi’s haute cuisine institute. His is a cuisine linked to the essential, attentive to the roots, elegant and minimalist. For “DXD – Calici di vita” the chef has created a menu that combines tradition and culinary avant-garde. We start with “Scallops, red prawns, lobster and herring caviar in green stew”. As a first course the chef will propose the “Pumpkin risotto, orange mustard, chestnuts and spinach” and for the second course the “Double cooked octopus, with potato foam, rocket and chorizo”. The “Nuvola di cassata” will complete the experience at the Marina del Nettuno, in front of the magical scenery of the Strait of Messina.