Curiosita' Siciliane

Curiosities corner

It's known that the Sicilians use much the gestures for expressing. Here what Giuseppe Pitrè; wrote ".... this mute language expresses feelings, affections, wish that the strangers evade. With the gestures the Sicilian affirms, denies, commands, and obeys, he arranges and he performs, begs, grants, he calls and answers, praises and blames up to composes whole discourses".
In the volume " Book of Roggero" of the 1154, written by the Musli geographer Mohamed Ibn Tinmah, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the gastronomical delights of that epoch's Siciliy.. The author uses expressions of big emphasis, describing the "Quas'at," that is the cassata, the "Qubbayta," that is the Palermo's typical dessert composed from sesamo sow and fused sugar, the various fruit ice cream, but above all he spoke about " ...these cooked dishes with threads of pasta facts of flour mixed, celled Itryia, that is the vermicelli.
Therefore, between the described period and Marco Polo who is believed like the importer of the spaghetti from China, there is a barrier of some hundred of years.
 The scientists that study the fossils rests of the animals and of the plants, assure that in the ancient times Sicily was populated from Bears, Leos, Bucks, Hippos and enormous Elephants.
 Botanical garden of Palermo is famous in all the world for the wealth of his samples of flora belonging to all the zones of vegetation of the earth. We find, between the other one spectacular Ficus magnolioides, with enormous branches that join to the ground like columns.
To Palermo, during the jobs of restauration done in 1921 in the Palace of the Normanni, had found again in the Pisana tower the roomof the treasures, with stately times, narrow windows and big walled giare in the floor that contained an enormous quantity of coins of gold. There were also bare: locals with wonderful mosaics and ornate of stalactites; secret corridors, staircases,  booby-traps; a vast room said of the knights, with the ceiling made of carved stones.
The city of Termini Imerese, during the civic wars between Mario and Silla, that deadly Rome and Italy, was allied of Mario.Gone out victorious Silla, he sent Pompeo to punish the city harshly.Stenio, citiizen of Termini, faced Pompeo and  told him: I induced my fellow citizens to side for Mario.I alone, therefore, I am guilty. You punish me, but save up my city. Admired Pompeo, forgave Stenio and saved up the city.
The Romans knew the solar Sundial clock, called in that time as Elitropio, in 263 b.C. The Consul Valerio Messala, conquered Catania, he was fascinated from the novelty and from his utility, so he ordered to transport it to Rome.The Meridians,unknown to the Romans, already existed in Sicily from the IV Century, like the historian Greek Plutarco testifies. (Life of Dione, 29).
In the marvelous Cathedral of Monreale, there is a statue that represents the Norman's King Guglielmo II,  in the action of offer to the Lady a model of the Temple.The legend told that he built the pompous church with the money of a treasure saw in a dream sent from the same Lady.
Petralia Sottana is famous also for his cooking specialty like the magnificent mushrooms known as "basilisks", cooked with parsley and pepper; and the savories asparagi, and skim of the Madonie.
At few kilometers from Agrigento stretches the lowland known as Maccalube. It is an unprodutive plain fully grown of calcareous rubble and from clay. There is a large number of small holes, ending as cones, from which go out sand and small stones.
At Sutera, the picturesque town, overhung from the gigantic massive structure of the Mount San Paolino, there are the medieval rests of the house where Francesco Salomone lived, the hero of the Challenge of Barletta that killed the haughty Graiano of Asti militant between the French.
In the province of Catania many countries exist whose names start for Aci: Aci Trezza, Aci Castello, Aci Bonaccorsi, Aci Catena, Aci St. Filippo, Aci St. Anthony and other. They remember the legend of Aci and Galatea.
The city of Enna until 1927 was called Castro Giovanni. The ancient Henna was called from the Romans Castrum Hennae. The Arabs, then called it, Casr Janna, from where derived Castro Giovanni.
At Enna, the Castle Lombardy has prehistorical origins, it was remade like it is now from the 
Svevi and from the Aragonesi. This name derives from the fact that in his vicinity there was an inhabited district from a colony of Lombardi.
The prodigious astronomic clock of the bell tower of Messina, has a complicated mechanism, that when it is 12 o'clock it puts all the figures in mouvement that are on the side of the bell tower that faces the plaza.
Lentini, according to the legend, was born immediately after the universal downpour. It was called Camesana from Cam, Noè's son.
At Marsala, in Avenue Nazario Sauro, there is the Church of S. Giovanni, under which by staircase, the so-called Cave of the Sibilla comes down to. Here, according to the legend, lived and was buried  Libibetana, one of the famous sibille that foresaw the future. The same faculty would be touched  to whoever has drunk  the water of the small well that opens, after all to the same cave.
Selinunte, shed with his stately ruins in proximity of the sea, was so called due to the river 
Selinas, whose name derives from the Greek word Selinon, that is "wild parsley." This plant grows abundantly in all the zone and iy's often represented in ancient coins of the city.
At Mazara del Vallo, could be admired from the harbor a strange phenomenon called "marrobbio". It is a rhythmics oscillation of the waters of the sea with a gradient that sometimes overcomes the meter.
The Quartara beyond being the name of a container is also one measure for liquids. In fact a Quartara corresponds to 17 liters and 2 decilitres.
The most ancient coffee at Paris is Le Procope, founded from the Palermo's born Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli in 1686. In the past, it was the preferred place of many personality of the politics and of the culture, as Robespierre, Danton, Marat, Voltaire, Balzac and Hugo. The place still exists but has been transformed in a restaurant.
The Fair of Messina, the most ancient of Sicily, it goes to link historically to the ancient "Franca Fair of the Saint Sepulchre" founded in 1296 from Federico III of Aragona.  It arrived up to us, overcoming, between the other things the terrible earthquake of 1908 that shaved to the ground the city and the painful war parenthesis. In 1955 it was legally recognized as international Campionaria Fair.
In the beginning of the century, Palermo, was in competition with Turin, in believing the car's future. It even started to build, but the industrial initiatives were less of the Piemonte's equipments. The photo reproduces the prototype of the four cylinders A.P.I.S. (Auto Palermo Industrie Siciliane) built to Palermo.
Catania's University was found on the 10th of October 1434,it immediately earned the nickname  "Atene Sicula,"  it also had the Church recognition from the Pope Eugene the IV, with the title "Ad Instar Studii Bononiensis", it acquired privileges and worked like the University of Bologna, with the Medicine and Jurisprudence faculties. It had the title of "General Siciliae Studium" or  "Sicolorum Gymnasium." Torquato Tasso into his remaking of the "Free Jerusalem", (titled "Conquered Jerusalem"), wrote:  "Catànea,where the knowledge lives." : II song room 70.
Chico Scimone, born in 1912, his nickname was "the arrow from Sicily," in 1998, he enters the Guinness. He climbed Empire State Building, the mostost famous skyscraper of New York. Employed time: 30 minutes,  45 seconds to climb 1576 steps.
The marble statue at Saint.Rosalia on the Plaza of the Cathedral of Palermo was buildt by Mr.Ignazio
Sebastiano Gravina and Cruillas, Marquis of Francoforte, Captain of Justice of Palermo in 1733, Magistrate of Palermo in 1744.
The Giro d'Italia, was organized for the 1st time in 1909, it had an important ancestor:  the Giro di Sicilia. The first edition was run in 1907, it was organized from the magazine "Il Mezzogiorno Sportivo" of Naples, under the patronage of Vincenzo Florio, who also was the President of the Jury. 30 was the number of the runners competing, the run along 1,100 Km., separated in 8 legs, from the 2nd 'till the 13th of October 1907. Galletti was the winner and he got 1000 lire as prize!
In Five hundred in Italy pasta was considered a strangeness or a luxury.
They made exception the Sicilians called then already "mangiamaccheroni".
In the 1600's in its Neapolitan Rate, the Fasano it lists the sopranomis with which the were called the launchings people of Italy in base to their alimentary habits: "mangiarape" the lombardis; " mazzamarroni " him inhabitants of the Appennino tosco-emiliano; " mangiafoglie " the cremonesis; greasy " bread " him abruzzesi; " cacafagioli " the Florentines; " cacafoglie " or " mangiafoglie " the Neapolitans.
from:" Il Corriere della Sera " - page 32 of August 26 2000
An asteroid called Palermo.
Since today the asteroid 10.1001, uncovered in 1969 by the astrophysics Ludmilla Chernik, will take the name Palermo officially. The name has been chosen in order to remember the bicentennial of the discovery of the first asteroid, Cerere, made by the Palermo's astronomical observatory. In that case the discoverer was done by the Valtellina's Giuseppe Piazzi, who chosed Palermo as his residence and to study.

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