on a hill overlooking its very own bay, Carini claims to have legendarary
origins. Maybe founded by Daedalus who called it Hyccara, in memory
of his son Icarus, it was destroyed by the Athenians in 415 BC,
then it was rebuilt by the Phoenicians and, under Romans, became
a stipendiary town of the Empire. In the Feudal age, it was assimilated
into the feudal holdings of the powerful Chiaramonte, then passing
to the Moncada, in the 15th century, and, finally, to the La Grua-Talamanca
who ruled over until nowadays.
along a road marked by broad bends, you reach a nice belvedere with
enchanting views over the coast; here begins Corso Umberto I, Carini’s
main street. Further along, a horse-shoe shaped flight of shallow
steps makes its way up past the town’s medieval water fountain,
to a 1100’s archway and beyond to the old part of the town,
threaded by narrow streets, and the castle.
– The town’s castle was the setting of a tragic episode
involving the Baronessa di Carini, killed by his father in 1563
for having a secret affair while already betrothed to another man.
Built as a fortress in the Norman epoch, it was extensively remodelled,
mainly by the La Grua-Talamanca family. On the ground floor is the
Salone delle Derrate (Victuals Hall), later converted into a library,
with two fine 1400’s stone arches supported by a solid pilaster.
On the upper floor, the Salone delle Feste has a fine 1400’s
coffered wooden ceiling with typical Catalan-Gothic decorations.
The square tower beyond is graced by a two-light window and topped
by decorated corbels.
to Corso Umberto I. In front of the fountain is the Chiesa di San
Vincenzo, with a wrought-irongrille (segregating the area reserved
for the nuns from the adjacent convent) and decorated with white
and gold neo-Classical stucco festoons, cherubs and grotesques.
Corso Umberto I opens out into Piazza del Duomo, with, on the right,
the Chiesa di S. Vito, and, left, the Chiesa Madre.
Madre – Extensively altered in the 18th century,
it preserves on its right side a loggia and a series of majolica
panels depicting The Crucifixion, the Assumption, St. Rosalie and
St. Vitus (1715). Inside, is a precios canvas depicting The Adoration
of the Magi, by Alessando Allori (1578), who was an eminent Tuscan
painter come to prominence at the Medici court; in the chapel dedicated
to the Crucifixion, sits an exquisite 1600’s wooden Crucified
Christ with a silver crown on cross of agate, set above a grandiose
altar flanked by expressive stucco statues by Procopio Serpotta.
del SS. Sacramento – Standing beside the Chiesa Madre,
it was built towards the mid-1500’s. Its interior is a profusion
of wonderful stucco decoration (18th century), by Trapani artist
Vincenzo Messina, populated by life-size allegories (Faith, Charity,
Strenght, and Penitence on the left; Hope, Justice, Divine Grace
and the Roman Catholic Church on the right) and a crowd of smaller
figures leaning on parapets below the windows, or engaged in scenes
from the Mysteries of the Eucharist. Elsewhere, surfaces are encrusted
with other Serpotta-like elements: cherubs, garlands of flowers
and fruit, heraldic coats of arms and grotesques. The ceiling is
frescoed with the Triumph of Faith.
di S. Maria degli Angeli – Behind the Chiesa Madre,
on via Curreri. Once belonging to the Capuchin Convent, it has a
single nave with fine side-chapels embellished with intricate intarsia.
It contains a wonderful wooden Crucifix by Capuchin Frà Benedetto
Valenza (1737), who also worked on the overall decor.
degli Agonizzanti – On Via Roma. Completed in 1643,
it is richly decorated with white and gilded stuccoes featuring
cherubs, eagles, garlands of flowers and fruit encircling frescoes
depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin, culminating in the
celing (Apotheosis of the Virgin). Half-way along the side-walls,
two small stucco scenes below the frescoes represent the Death of
Joseph and the Madonna.
– 15km to the west. It is a lovely seaside resort overlooking
the sea, closed-in behind by a lofty red cliff which intermittently
shelters little beaches and sweet little rocky creeks.
harbours an interesting Museum, although the display has not definitively
been arranged yet (it is expected to migrate to Palazzo D’Aumalle
on the seafront). It comprises three departments: the most important
is the natural-history section (at 8 Via Cala Rossa), including
the well-endowed Orlando collection of birds with species ranging
from crows, nocturnal birds, storks, raptors and species approaching
extinction or considered rare like the Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle
and Capercaille. The archaeological deparment (next to the Town
Hall in Piazza Falcone e Borsellino) displays marine artefacts retrieved
from wrecks found off Terrasini – mainly fragments of amphorae
from the 3rd century BC and objects from a 1st century AD Roman
ship. The ethnological section (at 42 Via Dalla Chiesa) provides
a small but excellent display of Sicilian carts among which are
some truly remarkable examples from Palermo and Trapani.
festa di li schietti – On Saturday before Easter,
all the eligible young men (so-called schietti) of the town go out
and cut a bitter-orange tree. They trim and tidy the top into a
round shape and decorate it with coloured ribbons and bells of all
shapes and sizes (ciancianeddi). The dressed result, which must
weigh at least 50k, is then carried into the town ready for Sunday
morning, when each tree is blessed in the piazza before the main
church. After the service and urged on by the local populace, each
young man bears his tree to the house of his chosen love; there
he must demonstrate his strength by balancing the tree on the palm
of his hand for as long as possible. This local festival has lost
much of its importance today, for once it constituted a veritable
test of virility; if the young man should fail to lift his heavy
offering, or indeed, should fail to hold it up long enough, the
engagement might, literally, be broken off.
Campofelice Di Fitalia
Campofelice Di Roccella
Castelnuovo Di Sicilia
Castronovo Di Sicilia
Isola Delle Femmine
Piana Degli Albanesi
San Giuseppe Iato
San Mauro Castelverde
Santa Cristina Gela
Ventimiglia Di Sicilia
Bosco Della Ficuzza
San Martino Delle Scale
Scavi Del Monte Jato
Scivoletto e Michelin Italia. Le foto sono di proprietà
dei rispettivi autori. Ogni riproduzione non autorizzata verrà
perseguita a norma di legge.
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Guide of Sicily
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