La Sicilianity

For a long time the popular traditions, the result of a millenary culture and the use of a common language, Sicilian, have remained alive, more in the villages than in the big cities.

These particular and sometimes picturesque traditions have been the cause for which, over the centuries, a stereotype translated into the term Sicilian has been created, meaning with it a sort of particularity and differentiation of the island’s character compared to that of the neighboring regions.

Many authors have often remarked on a common behavioral trait of Sicilians: the high sense of family and honor, respect for women and femininity, attachment to their land, the theatricality of gestures and acts and also the sense of welcome but also mistrust. All this makes some scholars consider the Sicilian people as a separate ethnic group, taking into consideration the culture and aspects of daily life so different from the rest of Italy.

It is common to have large tables for lunch or dinner, especially in summer.

The times have moved a little further than in the north, arriving to have lunch even at two in the afternoon and have dinner around nine-ten in the summer. People tend to stay a little longer at the table even after having eaten dinner.

The strong feeling of belonging to Sicily, in the countries of emigration, has produced the birth of numerous Sicilian immigrant communities and has often aroused strong racist repercussions, subject to discrimination through stereotypes also fueled by famous films and television series. Frequent is the approach to mafia crime, almost synonymous with Sicilianity, up to real racism.


The dialects



The dialects spoken in Sicily are many and full of facets in the neighborhoods of individual cities. Everyone speaks the dialect without shame as it is a language in all respects, with its own history and grammar. There are different matrices of the Sicilian dialect: Indo-European and Mediterranean (calancuni impetuous river wave); Greek with the Byzantine domination (tuppiare knocking on the door); Arab with the coming of the Saracens (poor mischinu); Franco-Norman with Ruggero I Sicily returned to being Christian (quasetti calzone); Gallic, Lombard influence (orbu blind); Iberian with the coming of the Spaniards (sgarrari mistake).


The kitchen

As you can see from the linguistic situation we are a mix of traditions and cultures but not only in this field, but also in the kitchen. Sicilian specialties that everyone likes, both young and old.

The symbol of Sicily is the cassata, a sponge cake stuffed with sugared ricotta, surrounded by royal pasta and decorated with candied fruit. Cannoli, a fried wafer filled with sweetened ricotta. An alternative to ice cream is the granita, very popular in Sicily, crushed with ice with fruit syrups. While for salty, Sicilian street food par excellence: panelle (chickpea flour fritters), crocchè (fried boiled potato croquettes), sfincione (a kind of double-layer pizza full of onion), sandwich with spleen (calf spleen and lung), and stigghiole (roasted lamb intestines).

The Sicilian carts

One of the symbols of Sicilian culture is the colorful Sicilian cart. Wooden carts carried by horses in the eighteenth century were used for agricultural purposes, which are still widespread today, they are an attraction and tourists have the opportunity to take a tour. Entirely handcrafted, the wood was meticulously carved by art masters or painted. The outer walls of the cart featured narratives of events of Charlemagne’s paladins or scenes of daily life. The interior, on the other hand, was decorated with geometric shapes of various colors with shades of red, yellow and blue. There is a museum dedicated to carts, the “Museum of the Sicilian cart” in Terrasini (PA). To keep alive the tradition of carts are the masters of art who often reveal their techniques to tourists.

La literature

Sicily is full of illustrious writers. It all begins with the Sicilian School at the court of Frederick II, where the first vernacular was developed. Among the most illustrious are: Giacomo da Lentini, inventor of the sonnet; Luigi Pirandello with his Nobel Prize for literature; Luigi Capuana and Giovanni Verga both realists; Salvatore Quasimodo, another Nobel laureate; Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, well known for his historical novel “Il Gattopardo”, and many other authors.


The puppet theater

In ancient times, the puppet theater (Sicilian puppets) was a recreation, like cinema for us today. Paladins’ shining armor enchanted young and old alike, but they still continue to do so. In the historic center of Palermo there are several theaters and a museum, in addition to these places there is the famous school of Mimmo Cuticchio, master of art. It is still possible to attend the shows dedicated to the stories of the Chanson de Roland, the liberated Jerusalem and the Orlando furioso.


Local holidays

The celebration of Catholic religious holidays is an event that cannot be missed for Sicilian citizens who are waiting anxiously. It goes without saying that each municipality has its patron saint and therefore a week of celebrations in his honor. Among the most important festivities are the “Festino di Santa Rosalia” in Palermo which with its prayers freed the city from the plague; “The Feast of Sant’Agata” in Catania, which she too, with her prayers, prevented the city from being destroyed by the eruption of Etna; “Santa Lucia” in Syracuse where she was martyred and the cuccìa is traditionally cooked (boiled wheat with chocolate or ricotta) and many other holidays … Visualizza altro

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