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Full text of "Sicily"

MEW WINTER 




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This Volume is for 
REFERENCE USE ONLY 



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THE CASA NORMANNA (SALITA S. ANTONIO), PALERMO 

From a drawing by BENTON FLETCHER 
Frontispiece 



THE NEW WINtj RESORT 

AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SICILY 

BY DOUGLAS SLADEN 



WITH 234 ILLUSTRATIONS, A MAP, AND A TABLE OF THE 

RAILWAY SYSTEM OF SICILY, SHOWING UNDER THE HEADING 

OF EACH STATION THE MONUMENTS AND SCENERY SERVED 

BY IT, EITHER DIRECTLY OR BY DILIGENCE 



NEW YORK 
E. P. BUTTON AND COMPANY 

31 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET 
1907 



DEDICATED TO 

COMMENDATORE LUIGI MAUCERI 

AN EMINENT SICILIAN ANTIQUARY, 

TO WHOSE LOVE OF HIS COUNTRY, 

KNOWLEDGE OF ITS MONUMENTS, 

AND ORGANIZING POWER 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF 

SICILY 
IS SO LARGELY DUE. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

PREFACE: WITH A KEY TO THE SICILIAN DIALECT . . xv 



PART I. INTRODUCTORY CHAPTERS 

CHAPTER 

I. SICILY AS A WINTER RESORT ITS CLIMATE WHAT 

THERE IS TO SEE WHAT THERE IS TO DO . . I 

II. TRAVEL IN SICILY . . . 13 

III. THE MAFIA AND OMERTA THE IMMUNITY OF 

FOREIGNERS FROM MOLESTATION IN SICILY . 22 

IV. VARIOUS TYPES AND COSTUMES OF VARIOUS PLACES 

PlANA DEI GRECI, AND OTHER ALBANIAN SETTLE 
MENTSTHE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE . 27 
V. THE SCENERY, THE GARDENS, AND THE WILD 

FLOWERS . . . ... 40 

VI. THE BARGAIN-HUNTER IN SICILY . 49 

VII. THE CHURCHES' A$JD THE LIFE IN THEM . . 58 

VIII. THE PALERMO MUSEUM . . . 68 

IX. MOTORING IN SICILY . . ... 85 

PART II. THINGS SICILIAN 

Gives, alphabetically arranged, in the manner of an encyclopaedia, 
paragraphs of the newest and most necessary information concerning 
the principal cities, monuments, and scenery of Sicily, together with 
brief accounts of its institutions, customs, expressions, historical 
facts, books, biographies, etc. 

THINGS SICILIAN (GENERAL) . . . . . 107 

THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI . . . 3 r 5 

., CATANIA . . 3 2 4 



viii CONTENTS 





PAGE 


THINGS OF CEFALU 


' 33 2 


GIRGENTI 


- 337 


MARSALA 


353 


MAZZARA 


357 


MESSINA 


. . 358 


MODICA . 


. 386 


MONREALE 


. 391 


MONTE S. GIULIANO 


394 


PALAZZOLO-ACREIDK 


. . 393 


PALERMO 


. 401 


RAGUSA . 


. 457 


RANDAZZO 


. 462 


SCIACCA . 


. 468 


SEGESTA 


. 472 


SELINUNTE 


479 


SOLUNTO 


. 488 


SYRACUSE 


. 490 


TAORMINA 


. 544 


,, TERMINI 


. ' . . 563 


TRAPANI 


. 568 


TYNDARIS 


571 



PART III. THE 

A TABLE OF THE SICILIAN RAILWAYS AND THE COACHES 
RUNNING IN CONNECTION WITH THEM, SHOWING WHAT 
MONUMENTS AND OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST MAY UK 
REACHED FROM EACH RAILWAY STATION, EITHER DIRECT 
OR BY THE MAIL-VETTURA , . . 579 

BAEDEKER'S MAP OF SICILY . . . at the end 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



The Casa Normanna, Palermo. Drawn by Benton Fletcher Frontispiece 

Etna . . . . . ... i 

Selinunte : Ruins of Temples G, F, and E outside the Acropolis . . 2 

The Greek Theatre at Segesta . . 3 

The Moorish Cloister of Monreale . . ... 4 

The famous gallery of Hellenistic Tombs in the Val d'Ispica . . 6 

The Tomb of the Vice-Re d'Acuna (in Catania Cathedral) . 7 

The entrance to a Sikel tomb . . . ' . . 8 

Arch in the Garden of the Casa Leva at Modica . . 9 

The Madonian Mountains . . . . 10 

The Madonian Mountains, another view . . 1 1 

Val d'Ispica : Grotta di S. Alessandro . . . 12 
The Strait of Messina : Ferryboat of the Sicilian Railways with the train 

de luxe on board . . . . 14 

Messina: the Cathedral and the Fountain of Orion . , . 15 
Taormina : the view of Etna from the Grreco-Roman Theatre . .16 

Palermo : the Garden of the Eremiti . . . . 17 

The Cloister of Monreale . ... . 18 

Syracuse: the Moat of the Castle of Euryalus . . 19 

Tyndaris : the Basilica or Palaestra . . . . . 20 

Selinunte : the moats and walls of the Acropolis . . . 21 

The Bridge of the Admiral . . . ... 26 

In the Madonian Mountains : Mufra . . . . 28 

Moclica : the Cloister of S. Maria di Gesu . . . . 29 

Modica' : Contadini-in their national dress . . . 31 

The Madonian Mountains . . . . 33 

The Parco d'Aumale . . . ... 39 

Prickly-pears, with the Strait of Messina in the background , . 40 

The Madonian Mountains : the Aspro Monte . . . 41 

An Olive Garden . , . . ... 42 

Syracuse : Papyrus on the River Anapo . . . , 44 

The Madonian Mountains : Torrente Lanzeria . . . . 46 

Syracuse : the Wall of Euryalus : the Northern Gate . . . 49 

Selinunte : Ruins of Temple G (Jupiter Olympius) . . . 54 

Girgenti : the ruins of the Temple of the Olympian Jove . 55 

Syracuse : south side of the Castle of Euryalus . . . . 56 

The Cathedral of Palermo . . . ... 59 

The Cathedral of Cefalu . .- . . . . 60 



x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

The Cathedral of Monreale : Interior . . . . . 61 

Palermo : the Martorana, Interior . . ... 62 

Messina : the left-hand door of the facade . . . . 63 

Messina : the Cathedral and Montorsoli's Fountain of Orion . . 64 

Messina : S. Maria degli Alemanni . . . . . 65 

Modica : S. Maria di Gesu . . . ... 66 

Palermo : S. Maria alia Catena . . ... 67 

View of the Val d'Ispica, with the Grotta of S, llano . . 70 
Palermo Museum : the Selimmte metope of Hercules fighting an 

Amazon . . . . 7 2 

Palermo Museum : the Bronze Ram from the Castle of Maniace at Syracuse 76 

Petralia Sottana : Vista dal Casso . . ... 88 

Petralia Sottana : Appicco Zimpetto . . . . . 88 

Randazzo : S. Maria . . . ... 90 

Messina : panorama . . . ... 92 

Tyndaris : the Church of the Madonna del Tindaro . 92 

Monreale Cathedral : west front . . . 93 

Sciacca . . . . . . 97 

General view of the coast of Montallegro . . . . 98 

Montallegro Antica . . . ... 98 

The Temple of Castor and Pollux at Girgenti . . . 99 

Ragusa Superiore from the Ponte dei Cappuccini . . . 101 

Immemorial olive trees . . . . . . 104 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PART II. 

Aci-Castello and the Rock of the Cyclops . . . 107 

Taormina : the panorama to Cape S. Alessio . . . . 1 1 1 

The River Assinaro, where Nicias and his army surrendered to the Syra- 

cusans, with the so-called Ponte della Castagna . . .116 

Baldachin inlaid with precious stones in the Cathedral at Messina . . I2O 
The valley between Castrogiovanni and Calascibetta . . .129 

Caltagirone : the Public Gardens . , , . . 1 30 

General view of the environs of Caltabelotta . . . .131 

View of the Castello Agristia above S. Carlo . . . 135 

The reconstruction of a Greek house, the Casa dei Viaggiatori, at the 

Castle of Euryalus, Syracuse . . . . 137 

Castelbuono : the Castle . . . . . . 138 

Castelbuono : the torrent . . . . . 139 

Messina Cathedral : the principal door . . . .141 

Collesano, where Comm. Luigi Mauceri found prehistoric buildings of 

the same epoch as the house at Cefalu . , . . 150 

The rocks of the Cyclops, off Aci-Castello . . . . 156 

The famous Urbino drug-jars, formerly in the hospital, now in the 

Museum of Messina . . . . . . 161 

The Harbour of Porto Empedocle . . . ..165 

Etna: the Valle del Bove . . . , . . 168 

Etna, with Catania in the foreground . . . . . 169 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xi 

PAGE 

Etna and the Monti Rossi and Nicolosi . . . 170 

Etna : at the mouth of the grand crater . . . .171 

The Faro of Messina . . . . . . 173 

Gagini : the Cappella della Pieta in Messina Cathedral, designed and 

partly carried out by Antonello Gagini . ... 182 

Salaparuta, seen from Gibellina . . ... 187 

Gibilmanna, the new summer resort for Palermo: a country road . . 187 
Gibilmanna : in the woods . . . ... 188 

The River Tellaro, the Helorus of antiquity . ... 198 

Hygeia : the holy-water stoup inscribed with the name of this goddess in 

the Cathedral of Messina . . ... 203 

General view of the Cava d'Ispica, showing the Cave of the Troglodytes 205 
The Lipari Islands : view of Panaria . . . . 212 

Madonian Mountains : the Costa del Daino . ... 215 

An Urbino Drug-jar sold by the Ospedale Civico to the Museum of Messina 220 
Messina: S. Francesco dei Mercanti "The Miracle of the Roses" . 221 
Milazzo : general view . . . ... 223 

A piece of the Coast under Montallegro . ... 225 

The Mosaic of the Madonna della Ciambretta in S. Gregorio at Messina , 228 
Mussomeli : the Castello . . . ... 230 

Nicolosi : the Monti Rossi . . . ... 233 

Messina : a Carretta drawn by oxen . . ... 240 

Messina Museum : S. Chiara (school of Antonello da Messina) . . 242 
Messina Museum : Holy Family, by an unknown artist (Flemish) . , 243 
Palagonia, panorama of . . ... 245 

The Lake of the Palici, the oldest sanctuary in Europe . . . 246 

The City of the Cave-dwellers at Pantalica . . . 248 

View of the River Anapo below Pantalica . ... 249 

The environs of Petralia Sottana in the Madonian Mountains . , 252 
The same from a different point . . . . . 253 

Piana dei Greci : Albanian costumes . . ... 255 

La Pizzuta, alleged to be the monument erected by the Syracusans to 

commemorate the capture of Nicias and his army . . . 258 

The Coast between the River Belice and Porto Palo . . . 262 

The environs of Sambuca-Zabut . . ... 275 

The coast between Selinunte and Porto Palo . ... 279 

The Valley of the Anapo between Solarino and Sortino . . . 286 
The ancient city of Sperlinga . . ... 287 

Troglodyte dwellings at Sperlinga . . ... 288 

Environs of Sperlinga . . . ... 289 

Stromboli, the volcano in the Lipari Islands . . . . 291 

Sutera : Monte S. Paolino . . . ... 293 

Swordfish-harpooning between Scylla and Charybdis, in the Strait of 

Messina . . . . ... 294 

Cathedral of Messina : the Tomb of Archbishop Bellorado, A.D. 1513 . 300 
The Tomb of Archbishop Guidotto de Tabiatis in the Cathedral of Messina, 

by Gregorio di Gregorio, A.D. 1303 . . . . 301 

Zancle, the sickle-shaped harbour of Messina . . . . 315 



xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Castrogiovanni : the Castle of Manfred . ... 320 

Castrogiovanni : the Rocca di Cerere, on which the great Temple of Ceres 

at Enna stood . . ... 323 

Catania : the Porta of S. Carcere . . . 3 2 7 

Etna from the plain of Catania (Bicocca) . . 33 r 

Cefalu : the City and the Rock . . . 333 

Cefalii, the prehistoric house on the Acropolis . ... 336 

Girgenti: the Temple of Juno (Minerva), where Gellias burned himself 343 
Girgenti : the fallen Telamon in the Temple of Jupiter Olympus . . 34$ 
Girgenti : the Temple of Concordia . . ... 349 

Girgenti : the ruins of the Temple of Hercules . ... 350 

Girgenti : the Tomb of Theron (so called) . ... 352 



MESSINA 

Messina from the Strait . . . ... 358 

Messina : the Badiazza, exterior . . ... 359 

Messina : the Badiazza, interior . . ... 360 

Messina : Detail of the Principal Gateway of the Cathedral . .361 

Messina : the Cathedral . . . ... 362 

Messina : the Pulpit of the Cathedral . . . . 363 

Messina : Gothic Door in the Church of S. Agostino . . . 364 

Messina : the interior of SS. Annunziata dei Catalani . . . 365 

Messina : Ospizio dei Trovatelli near the SS. Annunziata dei Catalani . 365 
Messina : Roman relief in S. Franceso d'Assisi, the Rape of Proserpine . 366 
Messina : Gothic Doorway of S. Franceso d'Assisi . . . 366 

Messina : the Church of S. Gregorio . . ... 367 

Messina : the Luca della Robbia in S. Maria della Scala . . . 368 

Messina : the Church of S. Maria della Scala . ... 369 

Messina: the Fountain of Neptune, by Montorsoli . . . 371 

Messina : the Madonna del Popolo in S. Agostino, by Antonello Gagini . 372 
Messina : the Fountain of Orion by Montorsoli, the most beautiful in 

Sicily . . . . ... 373 

Messina : the Madonna del Graffeo in the Chiesa della Cattolica . . 374 
Messina : the Monte di Pieta . . ... 377 

Messina : the famous Urbino Drug-jars sold by the Ospedale Civico to 

the Museum . . . . ... 378 

Messina : the Municipal Palace . . . 379 

Messina : the Portrait-Jar in the above . ... 380 

Messina : the Palazzata or Marina . . ... 380 

Messina Museum : Picture of S. Pietro Alcantara, by D. Maroli . .381 
Messina Museum : The Deposition from the Cross (Dutch School) . 383 

Messina : the Temple of Neptune at the back of SS. Annunziata dei 

Catalani . . . . . 384 

Messina : the Interior of the Cathedral, showing the columns taken from 

the Temple of Neptune at the Faro . ... 385 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xiii 

Modica : the Carmine . . . m . . "87 

Modica : S. Maria di Betlem . . ... ^88 

Modica: after the great flood of 1902 . . ... 390 

View of Monreale . . . . f ,g r 

Monreale : the Cathedral, north front . . ... 392 

Monreale Cathedral : South Tower and Cloister . ... 393 

Monte S. Giuliano : the Castello Pepoli . ... 396 

Palazzolo Acreide : "a perfect Greek Theatre, clean forgot" . . 401 

PALERMO 

The Palazzo Abatelli . . p 40^ 

The Cappella Reale (Cappella Palatina), the most beautiful ecclesiastical 

building in Europe . , . ... 409 

Arch in the Casa Normanna in the Salita S. Antonio, Palermo. From a 

drawing by Benton Fletcher . . . . . 411 

The Cathedral . . . . t . .' 412 

S. Francesco d'Assisi (S. Francesco clei Chiodari) . . .415 

S. Giovanni degli Eremiti, founded by Gregory the Great . . .417 

The Martorana and S. Cataldo . . ... 418 

La Cuba, the Arabo-Norman Palace of Palermo, which is the scene of 

one of Boccaccio's stories . . ... 423 

The Harbour and the Foro Italico . . ... 426 

Marabitli's Genius of Palermo Fountain in the Villa Giulia . , 427 

The Villa Tasca at Palermoone of the finest gardens in the world . 429 
The view of the Harbour from the Villa Belmonte and the Hotel Igiea . 431 
The Royal Palace . . . . ... 440 

The Fountain in the Piazza Pretoria . . ... 444 

The Porta Felice . . . , . .' ! 446 

The Porta Nuova . . . . ... 447 

The Teatro Massimo the largest theatre in the world . 453 

Politeama Garibaldi . . . ... 454 

The Arabo-Norman Palace of the Zisa . . ... 457 

Ragusa Supcriore : the Duomo (S. Giovanni) . ... 458 

Ragusa : a chapel in S. Maria della Scala . . . . 459 

View of Ragusa Inferiore . . . . . . 461 

Ragusa Inferiore : the Gateway of S. Giorgio . ... 462 

Randazzo : the Church of S. Maria . . ... 464 

Ranclazzo : the Volta S. Nicolo . . ... 465 

Randazzo : the Casa Finocchiaro . . ... 466 

Sciacca : the environs seen from the tableland of Tradimento . . 469 

Segesta : the Temple of Diana . . ... 476 

Selinunte : the main street of the Acropolis . ... 481 

Selinunte : the Valley of the River Madiuni . ... 484 

Selinunte : Ruins of Temple C (Hercules or Apollo) . . , 486 

Selinunte: Ruins of Temple F (Minerva) . ... 487 

Solunto : the Sicilian Pompeii : Ginnasio . ... 489 



xiv^ LlST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

SYRACUSE 

PAGE 

The Roman Amphitheatre . . . ... 496 

General view of the Valley of the Upper Anapo from Poggio Santoro . 497 

The Ara, or Altar of Hecatombs . . . . 499 

The Fountain of Arethusa . . . ... 500 

The Cathedral, built into the Temple of Minerva . . 503 
The finest coin in the world, the Arethusa tetradrachm of Syracuse, struck 

to commemorate the conquest of the Athenians in 413 B.C. . . 509 

The Temple of Diana . . , . . 511 

The Wall of Dionysuis, on the northern edge of Epipokc . , .513 

The Due Fratelli Rocks . . . . 514 

The Keep of the Castle of Euryalus . . , . 516 

View of the Hyblsean Hills from the Castle of Euryalus . . .517 

The Marina and Great Harbour of Syracuse . . . 519 

The Great Harbour . . . ... 522 

Panorama from the Latomia clei Cappuccini . . . . 524 

The Latomia del Paradiso . . . ... 525 

The Grotta dei Cordari in the Latomia del Paradiso . . . 526 

The Suburb of S. Lucia . . . ... 527 

The Museum . . . . ... 529 

The Island of Ortygia . . . . . 531 

The Palazzo Montalto Donna Rusidda's window in Mr. Sladen's novel, 

The Admiral . . . . . 533 

The Papyrus Groves of the River Anapo . . . 535 

The Street of Tombs . . . ... 540 

The Greek Theatre . . . . . 541 

The Timolonteum or Palaestra . . ... 543 

TAORMINA 

The Badia Vecchia . . . ... 547 

The Hotel S. Domenico and View of Etna . . . 555 

Isola Bella and the Capo S. Andrea . . ... 556 

Palazzo Corvaja . . . . , . 558 

The Grasco-Roman Theatre : Auditorium . ... 562 

The Grseco-Roman Theatre : view of Etna . ... 563 



Trapani : the Spedale in the Giudecca . . . . 570 

Tyndaris : the Roman Basilica or Palaestra . ... 573 

Tyndaris : the Convent of the Madonna del Tindaro . . .575 

Tyndaris : the Grseco-Roman Theatre , . 577 

Tyndaris : the ancient Greek Walls . . ... 578 



TO THE READER 
THE SCHEME OF THE BOOK 

THE pictures of the book are a feature. There are nearly two hundred 
and fifty of them reproduced, mostly from photographs taken for the 
purpose, at a great outlay borne by patriotic Sicilians. These gentle 
men were eager to have the romantic fastnesses of their country (in 
which the primitive races may well have lingered into the Middle 
Ages) known to the English and Germans, who, with the Japanese, 
are the scenery- connoisseurs of the world. About half of them 
illustrate the hitherto unexploited and un photographed interior. Most 
visitors to Sicily have not even heard of places like Piazza-Armerina, 
Petralia, Nicosia, Montallegro, Pietraperzia, Palazzolo, and the Cava 
d' Ispica. Quite a number of the pictures give vistas of mountain 
scenery, or isolated volcanic hills crowned with antique cities. 

The book consists of three parts : Part I. contains introductory 
chapters to draw the eyes of those who do not know their Sicily to 
the wealth of attractions lurking in the bosom of the ancient Roman's 
Island of the Sun, from the City of the Cave-Dwellers in the Cava 
d' Ispica and the house, which the wandering Ulysses may have 
seen with his own eyes on the hill above Cefald, to the castle of 
Dionysius at Syracuse, the temples of Girgenti and Selinunte, and the 
palaces of the Arabs at Palermo. Sicily has forty Greek temples, and 
in the Royal Chapel of its Norman kings the most beautiful church in 
Christendom. 

A novel of ancient Syracuse is the original of the story of Romeo 
and Juliet (see p. 144). Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing has 
its scene laid in Messina, when Peter of Aragon was marching to the 
help of the Sicilians after the revolution of the Sicilian Vespers. The 
garden where Beatrice met Benedick could well be the earthly 
Paradise at the Villa Rocca Guelfonia (p. 382). 

Part II., Things Sicilian, takes its name and its idea from the famous 
Things Japanese of Mr. Basil Hall Chamberlain, to which I had 



xvi PREFACE 

constantly to refer in preparing a book on Japan which I was writing 
simultaneously with this. Miss E. M. Stevens, to whose untiring 
industry in following up clues the book owes so much, suggested that 
I should take Professor Chamberlain's model. This is necessarily 
a larger and more detailed work than his, because there are so 
many more points in which Sicily comes into the ken of English 
people. 

To be brief, the portion of the book entitled 'Things Sicilian deals 
in short and simply-worded paragraphs with such subjects as the 
principal sights, whether monuments or scenery ; legends, historical 
or mythological ; biographies of celebrities ; the expressions one hears 
most ; the customs and institutions one sees ; the common objects of 
the country ; and hints to travellers for avoiding expense and annoyance. 

Under monuments may be included the remains of the prehistoric 
races of Sicily, Sicanian, Sikelian, and what not, mostly of the kind 
which always last longest tombs, but with one glorious exception at 
Cefalu. The Phoenician and the Carthaginian have left us little but 
walls and beads. They were at the bead stage of civilization ; their 
very money was borrowed in its designs. The Greek filled every 
point of vantage near the sea with his citadels and temples and theatres : 
his golden ruins are broadcast yet. The Roman was content with an 
amphitheatre for his gladiators and a gymnasium for exercise in a few 
great towns. He ruled Sicily as one who had no abiding city there, 
and hoped to be pensioned home. The luxurious Arab, whose 
Granada is the Paradise of architecture, left not a wrack behind 
except the Emirs 7 palaces and mosaiced churches, which he helped to 
build at the bidding of his Norman conqueror. The Norman, like 
the Greek in his heyday, left us an imperishable heritage of beauty in 
stone transmuted by the centuries, like the philosopher's stone, into 
gold. The Greek and the Norman were the creators of Sicily, the 
old and the medieval. After the Norman the Spaniard overwhelmed 
Sicily, like the heavy sands of the Central Asian desert. 

The scenery of Sicily is superb ; the wooded valleys of the 
Madonian Range are a terra incognita to foreigners, but Etna, the 
Fujiyama of Europe, can be seen from half Sicily, and the mingling 
of mountain and ruin and sea at Taormina and Tyndaris beggar the 
pageants of Turner. The legends, historical and mythological, of 
Sicily are like the stories in the Bible, short episodes which ail the 
world remembers, such as the Rape of Proserpine, the Sword of 
Damocles, and the Sicilian Vespers. The same element will be 
found in the biographies of her great. Empedocles died in the crater 
of Etna. We have the names, even the figures on coins, of two pious 
men of Catania who carried their aged parents from one of Etna's 



PREFACE xvii 

red-hot lava floods, Archimedes fell in the storming of Syracuse, the 
general of its defence. And Gorgias of Leontini lured Athens to her 
ruin with his silver tongue. 

Among Things Sicilian will be found the "Ate" and the " Amonine," 
the cries that echo in Sicilian streets ; tit-bits of information about the 
terrible Mafia and omerta ; courtships and the vendetta; the pro 
cessions and ceremonies of the church and the country-side ; folk 
songs and gambling ; begging and superstitions ; and the catacombs of 
mummies. The common objects of the country embrace such pictur 
esque sights as the peasants, whose national dress forms the subject of 
a chapter; street-saints and roadside shrines ; yellow carts gaily painted 
with stories from the Scriptures or the poets ; dwarf Sardinian asses ; 
mules with red trappings carrying Madonna-like women, or men in the 
hooded Sicilian cloak, or ingots of yellow sulphur ; the tombs of pre 
historic races ; and women bearing water from the fountains in Grecian 
urns on their heads. There are numerous hints for travellers on 
arrival by railway or steamer ; on the facchini, the. plunderers licensed 
as porters ; on the humours of the parcels post ; on baths and cabs 
and theatres, museums and shops ; on photographs and photographic 
materials ; on cafes and food and drink. Bargain-hunting occupies a 
chapter, but many paragraphs of Things Sicilian are devoted to the 
chief treasure-troves of the curio-collector in Sicily, old majolica and 
Greek pottery and statuettes ; the unrivalled coins of ancient Sicily ; 
the seventeenth-century enamels and filigree and plate ; the rich lace 
and embroideries ; the carved corals ; the ivory Christs on tortoise- 
shell crucifixes ; the old chased ruby and rose-diamond pendants. 

Part II., Things Sicilian, arranged alphabetically, is designed to tell 
the traveller the meaning of everything he sees. 

Part III., the Elenco, or Road-Guide, is a table of all the towns of 
Sicily to which there is any reasonable means of access by road, rail, or 
steamer, and gives lists of the monuments or natural beauties accessible 
from each. 



The interior of Sicily is to most visitors a terra incognita beyond 
what they see from the windows in the train between Palermo, Catania, 
and Girgenti. Even Castrogiovanni, the ancient Enna, is passed by, 
though full of the life of a medieval mountain town. I have tried to 
make Tyndaris and Sciacca assume their proper places beside Girgenti 
and Taormina, and to make the visitor aware that there are places like 
Nicosia, Piazza-Armerina, Petralia, and others, on which the patient 
diligences of Sicily converge from many points. Motorists are only 
just beginning to venture into Sicily, the land par excellence which calls 
b 2 



xviii PREFACE 

for their intervention, with its excellent provincial roads leading up to 
cities of ancient fame, which have been practically inaccessible so far, 
but can be reached by motors in a few hours from comfortable centres 
like Catania, such cities as Centuripe and Agira, with their multitudes 
of Roman ruins ; Nicosia, an unspoiled bit of the Middle Ages ; 
Sperlinga ; Troina ; Entella ; Noto Antica, the medieval Pompeii ; 
Palazzolo, with its Greek ruins and its marvellous tombs ; and the 
city of the prehistoric dead at Pantalica. There is a scheme sketched 
out for them in the last chapter of Part I. 

Messina has been unexploited by modern travellers, almost as 
markedly as the interior. I have therefore given a great deal of atten 
tion to it, both by going into detail in the letterpress and by including 
about fifty illustrations of that beautiful and interesting city. 

There is but one thing really wanting to the content of the Sicilian 
to-day that Victor Emmanuel III. should revive the glorious tale of 
Norman Sicily by calling himself King of Italy and Sicily. 

THE SICILIAN DIALECT 

For Sicily is not as the other principalities and duchies which have 
been welded into modern Italy. It has its dialect, almost a language, 
a sealed book to the Continental Italian, though all its words have the 
same form as the Italian, with the exception of slight differences in 
various vowels and consonants depending on the nature of the dialect 
and the phonetic necessities to which the people have to submit. The 
root of the words is therefore nearly always the same in Italian and 
Sicilian, and the phonetic development is equally identical, since all the 
words end in vowels. 

The principal differences between Italian and Sicilian forms are the 
following : 

The Sicilian dialect usually changes <? into /, as is shown by the 
following : 

latte latti lume lumi 

carne carni vivere viviri 

verdura virdura penare pinari 

pesce pisci viaggiare viaggiari 

It often substitutes u for o, as in the following instances : 
passo passu correre curriri 

viaggiatore viaggiaturi carretto carrettu 

pozzo puzzu compasso cumpassu 

freddo friddu moneta munita 

caldo caudu 



PREFACE 



It usually changes the double // into double dd^ giving to this 
consonant the sound of the last consonant in the English word 
Wedgwood. 

castello casteddu bellezza biddizza 

gallo gaddu gallina gaddina 

bello beddu cavallo cavaddu 



But many words keep the double // of the Italian, as 
Portogallo, which are pronounced villa and Portuallo. 

It often changes the syllable glio, glla y g/i 9 glie, into ggtio, 
gghi, gghie. Thus, for example : 



Villa 



giglio 
figlio 
soglio 
famiglia 
pariglia 
paglia 


gigghiu 
figghiu 
sogghiu 
famigghia 
parigghia 
pagghia 



conigli 
consiglio 
maglia 
moglie or 

mogliere 
sparpagliare 



cunigghi 
cunsigghiu 
magghia 
mogghie or 
mugghieri 
sparpagghiari 



It sometimes changes the consonant b into v 9 e.g. : 



barba 
barca 
battesimo 



varva 
varca 
vattisimu 



barbiere 

nerbo 

botte 



paan 
liari 



passeggiare 
battezzare 



It sometimes changes / into r, for example : 
balcone barcuni incolpare 

falda farda palmento 

salsa sarsa pulpito 

cavalcare cavarcari 

It sometimes omits the g and the 2, e.g. : 
pagare 
legare 
portogallo portuallo patteggiare 

In some words it changes the g into j, e.g. : 
giumenta jumenta 
giunco junco genero 

giuocare jucare 

1 n followed by d changes into double nn, e.g.: 
dimandare dimannari intendere 

vendere vinniri mondo 

rendere renniri propaganda 

sospendere suspenniri ghirlanda 

comprendere cumprenniri 



varvien 

nervu 

vutti 



incurpan 
parmentu 
purpitu 



passian 
vattiari 
pattiari 



jenniru 



mtennin 
munnu 
prupaganna 
ghirlanna 



xx PREFACE 

d is sometimes changed to t or r. 

madre matri radere rariri 

padre patri ridere ririri 

madrice matrice cadere cariri 

Thus the Madonna is called "Bedda Matri" (Bella Madre). 

In some words the syllables pia, plo^piu become chla^ chio^ ckiu, e.g. : 
piano chianti piovere chioviri 

piantare chiantari piuttosto chiuttostu 

piangere chianciri non v'e" piti non c' chiu 

An example of contraction is the word "gnuri" for "signore." 
Thus the common people, instead of saying " signer padre," " signora 
madre/' say "gnu-patri," " gnura-matri." A coachman is addressed 
as "gnuri." 

The words which depart widely from Italian roots are really few, 
and show the origins of the race and the contact which it has had at 
different periods with foreign nations. Some words preserve a Greek 
root, e.g. : 

daramlta or ceramlta^ for tiles of terracotta. 
sdntino for "undisciplined," "dangerous." 
tatiare for " guardare." 
vastasi or bastasi, for "facchino." 

Some have an Arab root, e.g. " raisi" meaning the captain of the 
galley in the Tonnare. 

Others are French, e.g. : 

muccatun for "handkerchief" (fazzoletto). 

monsu for "cook/' 

In the province of Messina, to distinguish fruit trees, they adopt 
the French form, making the noun feminine ; e.g. instead of saying 
il fico, il sorbo, il limone, lo arancio, 1'ulivo, etc., the Messinese say la 
ficara, la sorbara, la limonara, 1'aranciara, 1'olivara, etc. 

Some words come from the English, e.g. trincnre > for drinking 
heavily (in playful tones). 

Some words which are of obscure root it is possible may have a 
Sican or a Sikel origin. 

The differences between Sicilian and Italian have never before, I 
think, been explained in an English book. I owe this masterly little 
summary to Commendatore Mauceri, who has helped me at every turn 
in the compilation of this work. I have received much assistance also 
from Mr. Joshua Whitaker, who read the proofs of Part IL, and 



PREFACE xxi 

Mr. Ambroise Pare Brown, who procured me much of the information, 
and has given me all manner of assistance. 

The map given is the famous map prepared by Baedeker for his 
guide-book, and was supplied by him. 



BOOKS ON SICILY 



There are a few hundred volumes in English on the subject of 
Sicily, but most of them the traveller can read by his fireside in 
England. The books which give most direct information are Baedeker ; 
Murray; Augustus Hare's Cities of Southern Italy and Sicily ; Joanne; 
and the Italian guide-book of the Fratelli Treves, among the regular 
guide-books. To these may be added Frances Elliot's Diary of an Idle 
Woman in Sicily ; E. A. Freeman's History of Sicily from tke Earliest 
Times (4 vols., Clarendon Press) ; E. A. Freeman's Sicily in the Story 
of the Nations Series (Unwin) ; Marion Crawford's Rulers of the South 
(Macmillan) ; F. Hamilton Jackson's Sicily in Methuen's Little 
Guide Series; Norma Lorimer's By the Waters of Sicily (Hutchinson) ; 
Enrico Mauceri's Guida drcheologica ed artistic a dl Siracusa; W. A. 
Paton's "Picturesque Sicily (Harper) ; Reber's Guida di Palermo, the 
best guide, with which I am acquainted, to any city, much consulted 
by me; Douglas Sladen's In Sicily (Sands, 1901); John Addington 
Symonds's Sketches in Italy and Sicily (Tauchnitz) ; G. Rizzo's 
Guida di Taormina e Dintorni ; and the splendid Messina e ^Dintorni 
published by the municipality of that city. 

Those who wish to understand the classical antiquities of the island 
will consult continually, as I have done, Sir William Smith's 'Dictionary 
of Greek and Roman 'Biography and Mythology (Murray, 3 vols.) ; and 
Sir William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography 
(Murray, 2 vols.); G. F. Hill's Coins of Ancient Sicily (Constable, 
2U.) ; Guhl and Koner's The Life of the Greeks and Romans described 
from Antique Monuments (Chatto, Js. 6d.} ; Huish's Greek Terra- 
Cotta Statuettes (Murray, zis. net); Hutton's Greek Terracotta 
Statuettes (Seeley, js. net) ; Cicero's Verres (Bohn's translation) ; 
Diodorus Siculus (Booth's translation) ; G rote's History of Greece / 
Mitford's History of Greece (for the life of Dionysius) ; Theocritus, 
Bion, and Moschus, translated by Andrew Lang (Golden Treasury 
Series) ; Thucydides (Bohn's translation, vol. ii.) ; John Ward's 
Greek Coins and their Parent Cities (Murray) ; and Plutarch's Lives 
of Dion, Nicias, Timoleon, and Marcellus. 

Brydone's A Tour through Sicily and Malta, Letters 1775, is the 
foundation of many subsequent books on Sicily," including Dumas's 
Speronara. The French books, Ren& Bazin's En Sidle and G. 
Vuillier's finely illustrated work, are elegant rather than informing. 



xxii PREFACE 

Paul Bourget's Cosmopolis and Marion Crawford's Corkone deal with 
Sicily. The late Samuel Butler, in his The Authoress of the Odyssey 
(Longmans), attempted to prove not only that the Odyssey was written 
by a woman, but that its scenery was exclusively Sicilian, Ithaca being 
really one of the ^Egatian Islands. There is a delightful essay on 
Palermo in the late E. A. Freeman's Historical Essays, third series. 
There is a good deal about Sicily in Goethe's Travels in Italy (Bonn's 
translation) ; but he visited the island very unintelligently, as the 
reader will see from the numerous passages quoted. There is a great 
deal about Sicily in J. C. Jeaffreson's writings on Nelson. The 
health aspect is specially treated in the pamphlet published in 
the Lancet Special Commission upon Sicily as a Health Resort 
(Florence, G. Barbera, 1896). Norma Lorimer's Josiatts Wife 
(Methuen) has its scene laid at Girgenti, and her On Etna in the 
various towns and gorges round the great mountain ; and Selma 
Lagerlof's Miracles of Anti-Christ deals with Taormina. My novel, 
The Admiral, has many scenes in Palermo and Syracuse. John Henry 
Newman wrote some exquisite descriptions of Sicily, published in his 
Letters and Correspondence (Longmans). The histories of Sicily, 
except in the very early period, are all in Italian. Many other works 
may be consulted with advantage ; but Muller's History of the Dorians 
has hardly anything to say about Sicily, though the Dorian race there 
reached the zenith of its civilisation and power. 

ART 

Sicily has two great sculptors the fifteenth-century Antonello 
Gagini, a worthy rival of Verrocchio and Mino da Fiesole, and the 
seventeenth-century Giacomo di Serpotta, the most exquisite artist 
who ever worked in plaster. 

Painting was not luxuriant in Sicily, though Antonello da Messina 
introduced the art of oil-painting not only into Sicily, but into Italy. 
The greatest Sicilian painters, after Antonello, were mostly Messinese, 
though the very best of them came from Palermo and the neighbour 
hood, such as the fifteenth-century Riccardo Quartararo, Tommaso di 
Vigilia, and Lorenzo da Palermo ; the sixteenth-century Vincenzo da 
Pavia and Crescenzio ; and the seventeenth-century Piero Novelli, 
one of the finest painters of the Italian naturalistic school. The 
painters of a certain rank in Messina were ' numerous, and their 
paintings form a most interesting field of study for amateurs of the 
later period. Antonio Ricci, nicknamed Barbalunga, 1690-1749; 
Letterio Palladino, who died in 1 743 ; are among the best-known 
later painters of Messina, while Francesco Cardillo was one of the 
earliest great painters of the fifteenth century. 



PREFACE xxiii 

In the related art of mosaics Sicily stands higher than any country. 
The mosaics of Cefalu, genuine work of the Calogeri ; of Palermo 
and of Monreale, have a world-wide fame ; and many mosaics are 
gradually being uncovered at Messina. 

WHAT SICILY HAS TO OFFER THE TRAVELLER 

Sicily has the prime claim on the English traveller, that it is near 
its best when England is at its worst. When Christmas has passed, 
and our desperate days of fog and frost and wind begin to crowd upon 
"us here, there Proserpine, the Spring Goddess, bursts from the nether 
world, and all Sicily flings flowers before her feet from the shoulders of 
the mountains to the skirts of the sea. The pink plumes of the asphodel, 
the silver of cactus and olive, the golden columns of temples, and the 
vast opal of Etna stand out clear and sharp against a cloudless sky, 
while through the summer air float the tinkle of goat-bells, and the 
dance tunes blown by the goatherds on reed pipes since the days of 
Theocritus. 

In Sicily tradition points the spots where the gods of Greece 
roamed the earth, Pluto chasing Proserpine, and Ceres, with her torch 
lit at the fires of Etna, questing her lost child; the wandering 
Hercules driving the oxen of Geryon before him, and wrestling the 
giant for the hill of Venus at Eryx ; and Arethusa, a shy nymph, 
pursued by Alphseus. 

One great Cambridge scholar, in his The Authoress of the Odyssey, 
maintains that the greatest poem in the world, the epic of Ulysses, 
was written in Sicily and of Sicily. History in any case dawned 
early in the Garden of the Mediterranean, the Eden Isle where Greek, 
Roman, and Carthaginian fought their three-cornered duel for the 
lordship of the ancient world. It was nearly five centuries before 
Christ that Gelon of Syracuse marched in hot haste, with fifty 
thousand horse and foot, to relieve Theron of Acragas leaguered in 
Himera by Hamilcar, shophet of Carthage, and his three hundred 
thousand Africans. This was on the day of Salamis. Herodotus 
tells us that, and then tells us how, at the end of that awful, day, 
Hamilcar flung himself into the flames of the altar where he had called 
upon his gods. 

The great Gelon stayed the tide of slaughter for ransom, and to this 
day the coins stamped out of Carthaginian silver by his fair queen 
Damarete exist in numbers sufficient for plain persons like myself to 
own one. 

I will not tell the tale of Sicily here. Nicias and Demosthenes, 
Dionysius, Pyrrhus the Epirote, Marcellus and Scipio, Roger the 
Norman, Frederick of Hohenstauffen, Manfred and Conradin, 



xxiv PREFACE 

Charles the Fifth and Nelson, and every other worthy of Sicily have 
their mention in the pages which follow. 

But I must speak of the mission of the Dorian race worked out in 
Sicily. It is Syracuse, not Sparta or Corinth, which stands to us for 
Dorian Greece Syracuse, which beat back the Carthaginian till 
Rome could take her place Syracuse, the greatest and richest city of 
the Greek world ; and we have enough of ancient Syracuse to call up 
her wars with Athens and Carthage and Rome the temple of her 
goddess, the theatre where Pindar and ^Eschylus sang the glories of 
Hiero, and the people listened to the wisdom of the blind Timoleon. 

What manner of men, then, were the Dorian Greeks of Sicily 
against whom Athens and Carthage broke their power ? The sculp 
ture of their temples had not the grace of the metopes of the Parthenon, 
they had no Phidias, no Praxiteles, no Myron ; but Euryalus has no 
rival as a castle of the Greeks, and the great ten-drachma pieces struck 
in triumph by the Syracusans from the dies of Euasnetus and Cimon 
when the armies of Athens surrendered, are the gems of all coinage 
from that far day to this. 

The story of Syracuse is romantic above all other Greek story 
because we hear so much of their women, partners of their husbands in 
power, martyrs in their fall. 

But history is not my province here. That will be treated in my 
Cities of Sicily. Rather must I indicate briefly what Sicily has to 
tempt the intelligent sojourner her forty Greek temples ; her half- 
dozen Greek theatres ; her Greek castles ; her Roman amphitheatres 
and palaestrae; her palaces of Emirs at Palermo ; her unrivalled mosaics ; 
her churches, where Norman and Moresco meet ; her majestic scenery, 
of mountain and sea compact ; her wealth of palms and wild flowers. 

No scenery affected the Greeks so profoundly as that of Sicily. 
Theocritus was the father of the appreciation of scenery, and though 
the cool pine woods have long since withered from the hills behind 
Syracuse, the lemon groves and the olive gardens, and Etna climbing 
from blue sea to blue sky, give Syracuse one of the most charming 
scenes in the world. This is the humour of Sicilian scenery ; the sea, 
with blossom and verdure stealing down to its listless waves ; the moun 
tains, grey with cactus and golden with euphorbia and genesta ; olive 
gardens, grey on green, between. Except in spring, when the almonds 
fling a scarf of living snow round the shoulders of the hills. Nowhere 
does Spring illumine the earth with such a rainbow of wild flowers. 

DOUGLAS SLADEN 

32, ADDISON MANSIONS, 
KENSINGTON, W., 

November 2$th, 1904 



SICILY 

THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

CHAPTER I 

ITS CLIMATE WHAT THERE IS TO SEE WHAT THERE IS TO DO 

SICILY is the best winter resort in Europe ; its climate is more 
equable than the Riviera, it has no mistral, and there is more to 
interest people who go abroad to see fresh scenes, and not merely 
to reproduce English life under more genial skies. For the present, 
it cannot, of course, equal Cannes in English house-party life. It 
has not the number of villas rented, by English Society, nor has it 




the same choice of British amusements. In entertaining and enter 
tainers, it is behindhand; but there is no reason why it should remain 
so, for there are quantities of magnificent villas about Palermo which 



2 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

could be rented if there was any demand for them. Golf is to be 
started ; there is plenty of scope for yachting and motoring ; there is 
an opera, with the largest opera-house in the world ; and with proper 
introductions, strangers of position are invited freely to the balls given 
by the nobles in their superb palaces. 

Sicily makes yachtsmen and motorists feel very important, there are 
so many places which they can see more easily than other people. The 

, /- TT i . , . _ c< ... i _...,,. <nn :.,: f^r,,i,\ 




of 
ancient Gela ; Scicli, for the ruins of ancient Camarina ; Syracuse, 




SELINUNTE RUINS OF TEMPLES G, P, E : OUTSIDE THE ACROPOLIS 

Megara and Thapsos, Augusta, Catania, the Isles of the Cyclops, 
Taormina and Messina. Several of the trips he can do in a day on 
a fast steam yacht, saving most wearisome train journeys. 

With the almost solitary exception of Castrogiovanni, the ancient 
Enna, and Randazzo, the places of interest which cannot be reached by 
a yacht are motorist's places, by which I mean that what would have 
taken a longish railway journey and a patient climb with Sicilian horses, 
is a ridiculously easy day's excursion in a motor. The motorist can 
visit in a day from Palermo, the perfect Greek temple of Segesta ; the 
four-miles-round ruins of Entella ; Termini, with its ruins of ancient 
Himera ; Cefalu, with its glorious cathedral, and its house on the hill 
as old as Homer ; while, if he rests the night at the not intolerable inn 
of Castelvetrano, he can take Segesta on the way the first day, and 



WHAT THERE IS TO SEE 3 

Selinunte the second day, and sleep the second night at mysterious 
Sciacca, the third at Girgenti, with its ten Greek temples, and 
the fourth at Castrogiovanni, the Enna of Proserpine and Ceres, all 
places with hotels, if the new hotel which Cook's correspondent, 
Mr. Von Pernull, is opening in a baronial palace at the last, is ready. 
If it is, one could spend a week there well, making day motor-trips to 




THE GREEK THEATRE AT SYRACUSE, WHERE AESCHYLUS HAD SOME FIRST NIGHTS 

mysterious medieval towns like Piazza Armerina, Nicosia, Troina, and 
Sperlinga, all of them full of antique buildings and paved with history, 
and to the hardly explored old Roman towns of Agira and Centuripe. 
When he has exhausted the centre of the island, there are fresh groups 
of famous old cities to explore in the south and east. As the interior 
of Sicily is a sea of hills, a motor that takes no account of them is 
almost as good. as the wings with which Dsedalus, who might well be 
the god of motorists, flew to Sicily. The great mail-roads are good 
and kept in line condition, though the byroads are only torrents out of 
work. 

Let no reader run away with the idea that this book is only for the 
rich. As a matter of fact it hardly considers them, it tells them of 
these line fresh fields for their yachts and their motors, and the kindliest 
winter climate in Europe, and there it stops for them, unless they are 
also lovers of the picturesque, the romantic, and the curious. 

The great point, to my mind, in which Sicily excels the Riviera is, 
that it feeds the mind. Grant, which I do not believe, that the climate 
of the Riviera is equal to that of Sicily; it remains a Paris on the 



4 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Mediterranean, while Sicily is Japan on the Mediterranean, it is so much 
the antipodes of England. 

In this land of summer-in-winter the hotels, with only one or two 
exceptions, are not what Englishmen call first-class, but they are good 
enough ; and though the Sicilian has not always choice meat to cook, 
he cooks it well ; the living is endurable, and the outdoor life which 
you lead keeps you in the highest health and spirits. There are so 
many amusing things to see and do. Take your life in Palermo, for 
instance ; if you want the air and like old palm trees in a riot of half- 
tropical flowers, you can go and lose yourself in the Duke of Orleans' 
park ; if you like a garden more formal and costly, you can walk in 
Count Tasca's villa ; if solitude and romance suit your mood, you can 
take a carriage to the medieval convent of the Gesu embosomed on a 
mountain-side and approached through the cypress avenues of the 
Tombs of the Nobles. 

If you have been reading of Palermo's magnificent Emirs, you can 
go and stand by the mosaiced fountain which ripples across the marble 
floor of the vaulted court of the Zisa, or stand in the pathetically 
beautiful cloister of the Eremiti looking- at its five red mosque domes. 




THE MOORISH CLOISTER AT MONREALE 



If, as an Englishman, you are flushed with pride at the glory of those 
other Norman kings, who were the greatest of their time, when the 
Conqueror had been gathered to his fathers, you will find such mani- 



WHAT THERE IS TO SEE 5 

festations of their splendour and power as that jewel of ecclesiastical 
architecture, the Royal Chapel at Palermo, and that golden house set 
in a court of ineffable beauty, the cathedral of Monreale. 

Say that you have done all the sight-seeing which your brain can 
take in without tiring and feel "the need of the little things of life ; to 
pass the remaining hours you have only to step into the old market of 
the Piazza Nuova to see people living in the simplicity of life which 
can hardly have altered in the long procession of the nations which have 
tramped through Sicily from the age of the Greek and Phoenician to 
the yesterday of the Spaniard. The life of the people in Sicily is the 
life of primitive peoples in all ages. 

To some, the greatest relaxation is shopping. They soon find, in 
Palermo, shops where pale interesting men sell all manner of things, 
whose loveliness grows upon them, although until they set foot in 
Sicily, these were things not dreamt of in their philosophy time-worn 
-religious jewels, coins immortalising with startling distinctness the 
beauty of the women who walked in Sicily two thousand years ago, 
bronzes or terra-cottas that were placed by Greek hands in Sicily's 
million tombs. 

Sicily is the land of tombs and tombless corpses stranger still. In 
the catacombs of the Cappuccini at Palermo, you see soldiers and 
cardinals and court beauties, dried into mummies and leaning forward 
in their robes from the vaulted walls, to preach from their silent 
withered lips a startling sermon to humanity. 

These epitomes of well-hewn airy catacombs are the first example 
which come to most foreigners' eyes of the underground cities of the 
dead, that honeycomb a Sicilian town. The other catacombs of 
Palermo are closed, though they run in all directions. You go to 
Girgenti and, above all, Syracuse to see the noblest catacombs in 
Europe. 

The catacomb of St. John at Syracuse is a mile, perhaps two or 
three miles long ; no one has ventured to seek its end ; a second and 
a third catacomb, hardly entered, lie underneath it. Off its broad main 
street run smaller terraces of the dead, with here and there a Rotondo, 
like the Quattro Canti, which form the hearts of traffic in Sicilian towns. 
Sepulchres innumerable are finely carved in the walls of each passage 
and chamber in these cities of the dead. When modern eyes first saw 
them they contained here and there, raised on a rocky plinth, a royally 
carved marble sarcophagus, now the glory of some museum. The 
emblems of Christian martyrdom and immortality were then fresher on 
the rocks. 

And these are only Christian graves of the period when the Roman 
Empire was decaying to its fall. In a way, they may be the most 



6 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

interesting, but they belong to the least interesting period, except when 
you come, as you do at Palazzolo, in the bowels of the earth to long 
galleries cut with fine architectural grace into a forest of columns and 
arches. 

There are earlier tombs and later belonging to lordlier races. Of 
the Saracens, we have naught but honeycombed rocks. But it is not 
so with the Normans ; those lords of mankind went back to mother 




THE FAMOUS GALLERY OF HELLENISTIC TOMBS IN THE VAL D ISl'ICA 
(From a photo by Cavaliere Napolitano of Ragusa) 

earth leaving not a wrack behind, save when they were great enough 
for princely sepulchres. The tombs of the Norman kings are so 
downright in their costly imperishability, that you see what kind of 
men they were who made the Byzantine and the Saracen and the 
Sicilians of ancient Greek and Roman strains build their glory. Roger 
and his imperial successors He in the cathedral at Palermo in mighty 
blocks of porphyry like trunks of trees shaped into coffins, below 
canopies that are warriors 7 tents in marble. At CefalCi a Norman 
Marquis Geraci sleeps in an ancient Greek sarcophagus. 

Soon there followed the gracious tombs of the Renaissance with 



WHAT THERE IS TO SEE 7 

fair women sleeping in white marble, or knightly figures meekly kneeling 
like the Vice-re d'Acuna in the Catania Duomo. 




THE TOMB OF THE VICE-RE D ACUNA IN CATANIA CATHEDRAL 

With them came the incomparable Gagini, carving his human 
semblances like a Verrocchio and his fillets of foliage with the 
delicacy of the Fiesole Mino. Gagini's masterpiece is his tribunal 
behind the altar in S. Cita at Palermo, but his gracious Madonnas are 
scattered up and down the land a new sculptor, ranking with the 
great Florentines, to swim into the ken of the art-lover ! 

Post hoc diluvies . . . after these came the Baroque, the style of 
monsters, which before it finished had to writhe into the plaster 
nightmares of the Palagonia Villa. But amid the deluge blossomed 
Sicily's other candidate for the suffrage of sculpture-lovers, Serpotta, 
the poet in plaster of the eighteenth century. This extraordinary man 
filled the churches of Palermo with a statuary of stucco so hard and 
fine that it has lasted perfect, and executed with such a sense of beauty 
that one is forced to forgive him when, like the maker of the Tanagra 
figures in old Greece, he gives us, irrespective of his subject, the 



8 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



haughty beauties of his own day in the height of feminine fashion. 
Serpotta's work is so beautiful and spirited that you forgive him all his 
faults of taste, though you feel that it was he who founded the Campo 
Santo school of sculpture in modern Italy. 

Before the Christian tombs of the catacombs came the tombs of 
Roman, Greek, Phoenician, and the earlier races. Here and there in 
Sicily the 'Roman has left the towers of masonry in which he loved to 

lay his dead. Here and there a 
Greek necropolis, like that of an 
cient Gela, yields great finely- 
moulded sarcophagi of terra-cotta 
with the dead man's funeral 
trappings undisturbed. Here and 
there Phoenician graves have held 
terra-cotta corpse-cases indicating 
the human form with Egyptian 
severity. The prehistoric men ex 
celled them all in rock sculpture, 
with their fair round beehive 
chambers and low, square door 
ways, as finely smoothed round 
their edges as though they had 
been moulded and not hewn. 
Perhaps they lived in their tombs 
until they had occasion to use 
them. Who knows but that this 
was etiquette with Troglodytes. 
It was certainly the practice of 
the early Christians in troubled 




THE ENTRANCE TO A SIKEL TOMB 



times. 



Fresh tombs are constantly 

being found and opened in Sicily, and from them flows the undiminish- 
ing stream of genuine antiques which find their way into the market. 

From tombs the transition to churches, if not temples, is easy, and 
one may take the temples first, though there is little evidence of any 
connection between temples and cemeteries, unless it be the heroum 
the templum feriale the mortuary shrine of the Syracusans who fell 
in the most glorious battle of their history, under the rock of 
Palazzolo. 

Sicily has of one kind and another about forty Greek temples, few 
indeed like those we name Concordia "and Juno at Girgenti, Diana 
at Segesta, and the ancient and complete temple built into the cathedral 
at Syracuse, though there are many with picturesque bits like the angle 



WHAT THERE IS TO SEE ' 

of the Temples of Castor and Pollux at Girgenti. But the first view 
of ancient Girgenti or Segesta is a sight never to be forgotten. The 
stone of these shrines of the men who endowed the world with a 




ARCH IN THE GARDEN OF THE CASA LEVA AT MODICA 
(From a photo by Cav. Napolitano of RagusaJ 



The 



literature and an art of immortal beauty has ripened into gold, 
finest of the Greek ruins are temples and theatres. 

The churches as a whole are unworthy of comparison with the 
temples. The one church in Sicily whose outward form one may 
compare without shame with the cathedrals of Florence, or Siena, 
or Pisa, is the cathedral of Palermo, which, if its dome were taken 



io SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

down, might rank almost next to St. Mark's in outward form. The 
charm of Cefalu depends more on simplicity and mellowness of colour 
than on pure lines of beauty ; indeed, of gems of architecture the 
churches have little to instance beyond the interior of the Cappella 
Reale, the cloister of Monreale, the mosaics of Monreale and Cefalu, 
and certain features of the mosque-like Eremiti. 

I speak of pure gems. Sicily is a land of rough jewels. Just as 
the jewellers' windows are full of uncouth, battered, but still beautiful 
seventeenth-century pieces, so is the island full of windows, and 
porches, and loggias with Gothic graces. In the humours of baroque 
vulgarity Sicily is rich. For the earthquake of 1693 threw down 
half the buildings of the island in the foolish heyday of baroque. 
But those who delight in ingenious inlays of rich marbles will reap 
their reward. It was the fashion of the day, and all Sicily is veined 
with jasper, and porphyry, and agates. 

I must not linger too long on what man has given to Sicily, for 
Heaven has been so bountiful to her. Her mountains are full of 
springs, and, with water, anything not too tropical will grow in Sicily. 
She is wrapt in deep, clinging garments of wild flowers. Was there 
ever such a place for them in Europe ? But it is not always the richest 
vegetation which makes for most beauty in Sicily. The rolling 
champaign sprinkled with old spiralled olives, the abrupt volcanic 
mountain swathed in the dusty green of prickly-pears, are often more 




THE MADONIAN MOUNTAINS 



WHAT THERE IS TO SEE 



TI 



beautiful than a Lato- 
mia of Venus, where 
desperate roses climb 
twenty feet through tan 
gled rivals to the light. 

The mountains and 
the dells in Sicily touch 
the very heart of beauty. 
Etna is another Fuji 
yama, a beheaded pyra 
mid with shoulders 
mantled in snow. 

Monte Maggiore 
couches like a lion be 
fore the eyes of half 
the island. The peaks 
of the interior of Sicily 
are like the wave crests 
of the whirlpool at 
Niagara in their multi 
tude and their tossing. 
Look whichever way 
you will in Palermo, 
your vista is bounded 
by a mountain, a crown 
of stone like Monte 
Pellegrino, or a linger 
pointing to heaven like 
Monte Cuccio. There 
is no spot in all Sicily . 
from which you cannot 
see a mountain except 
when you step down 
into one of the little 
valleys where the old 
Greeks looked to meet 
their half- gods and 
goddesses, or a strayed 
Olympian come down 
to earth for the love of 
a mortal maid. 

In the marvellous 
Val d'Ispica, the eight- 




12 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



mile gorge which was a city of the prehistoric men, I know a little dell 
whose low cliffs hold the rock chambers in which these strange men 
lived and died. It is filled almost to the brim with trees and flowers, 
and murmurs with the voices of running waters. How easily might 
these have been taken, in an age which worshipped only with superstition, 
for the invitations of Naiads, the saints of springs ; how easily might 
the wood-spirit Dryads lurk in such tangles of greenery ; and. what place 
like this for the Oreads, the mountain's daughters, who hide in caves. 




VAL D'lSPICA : GROTTA DI S. ALESSANDRO 
From a photo by Cav, Napolitaao of Ragusa) 



CHAPTER II 

TRAVEL IN SICILY 

THE \ery first question anybody asks you about Sicily is, "How 
do you get there ? " 

There are several ways ; the three which commend themseh es 
most to those to whom expense is no object are if they do not like the 
sea at all to take the train de luxe through to Palermo ; if they do not 
like the sea much to take the train de luxe through to Naples ; and if 
they are fond of the sea to go by one of the great Australian liners to 
Naples. From Naples there are admirable boats to Palermo the 
white boats of the Florio-Rubattino (Navigazione-Generale Italiana) 
which are like little Atlantic liners, with their gorgeously decorated 
music-rooms and ocean-steamer saloons and berths. You go on board 
in time for dinner and you wake up at Palermo. By the train de luxe to 
Palermo, all the sea you get is the Channel crossing and the Strait 
of Messina, which is only a few miles broad where you cross, and 
completely landlocked. Your carriage runs on to the steamer, and you 
proceed in the same carnage to Palermo. As arrangements were 
when we were in Sicily last spring, the only time you had to leave the 
carriage was at Rome. Perhaps even that will be dispensed with. 

For more experienced travellers, or those who have to consider 
economies more closely, there are two fresh alternatives, to go by sea 
from Marseilles to Palermo by a French boat, or to go by sea from 
Genoa to any port in Sicily by an Italian boat. The latter takes time, 
because the boats put into Naples for a day and each of the Sicilian 
ports for about a day ; but this is the route which we prefer ourselves. 
We generally sail by night, and spend the. day in port. We enjoy a 
few hours ashore at old fa'miliar haunts like Pisa (from Leghorn), 
Naples, or Messina. These boats are not very luxurious, but they are 
sometimes quite large, and the food is about as good as the average 
hotel food. It is rather like yachting. 

You have less difficulty with the customs and faccHni in the train 
than any other way, and Palermo is the most civilised port to land at. 
At other ports the ship does not go alongside, and the faccttni look 

13 



TRAVEL IN SICILY 15 

like howling savages, -though they mean no harm except to your purse. 
The Florio-Rubattino Company has not yet grasped the way to 
popularise itself with strangers ; at the offices you can never get a 
direct answer about accommodation until the boat is in, and in a land 
where the boatmen and facchini are always more or less troublesome, 
it is a serious drawback when steamers do not discharge their pas 
sengers at the wharf. 

Suppose all these troubles over, and that you are safe in Sicily, the 
question arises, Where shall you go ? There are only two towns in 
Sicily where creature-comforts come first Palermo and Taormina. 
I think I am not unfair when I say that the only globe-trotters' hotels 
are the Hotel Igiea, the Hotel de France, and the Hotel des Palmes at 
Palermo ; and the Hotel Timeo and the Hotel S.Domenico at Taormina. 
Messina and Catania do not get enough visitors to give much society. 
Syracuse and Girgenti are more serious places ; people go to them 




THE CATHEDRAL AND FOUNTAIN OF ORION AT MESSINA 

not for society, but because they are well enough read to wish to 
see the glorious Greek ruins. Outside of these places the ordinary 
traveller would not understand the hotel accommodation ; it is often 
not really bad, but it is so primitive that visitors are disgusted before 
they give it. a fair trial- In mountain towns it is sometimes appalling 
o weak nerves. 



i6 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



To people who go to Sicily without any idea of what they are going 
to see, but simply because its winters are warm and other people go 
there, Palermo and Taormina are the only places. At the latter they 
get beautiful air and beautiful views ; there is hardly a lovelier place in 




* * *' "" ''* ' 1 



TAOKMINA : THE VIEW OF ETNA FROM THE GK/BCO-KOMAN T UK AT KB 

the world. They sit about in the Greek theatre, or in the garden of 
the Hotel San Domenico, as they sit out a dance in London, and visit 
all the curio-shops, with which the town abounds, to see if there is 
anything left worth buying ; they even take a walk up to the castle. 

Briefly, Taormina is an ideal loaiing place, where you meet a number 
of nice people, and there are plenty of beautiful old bits for anybody 
who really enjoys them, and you can get your kodaks developed, 
and buy refills. 

Palermo, on the other hand, is an extremely interesting place to those 
who wish to be interested, and has a good deal to offer alike to the 
idealist and the unintelligent. For the latter, the Hotel Igiea is the 
place, with its exquisite gardens of palms and brilliant parterres of 
flowers, reaching down in terraces to the sea. The views across the 
bay are superb, and there are plenty of the Riviera set to enjoy yourself 
with. There you escape the main drawback to Palermo, the difficulty 
of getting out into the country ; the chief difficulty, of course, is the 
time it takes to get into the town, and that is why other people prefer 
to go to the Hotel de France, on the Piazza Marina itself, and the 
Hotel des Palmes, which is fairly central. For Palermo is so full. 



TRAVEL IN SICILY 17 

of interesting things parts of it are quite medieval; and it is also- 
full of life the Via Macqueda is always crowded. Caflisch's cafes 
are entertaining at afternoon tea-time, and the coffee and cakes are 
excellent. There are beautiful things in the expensive curio-shops 
of the Maequeda and the Corso, and you gradually learn where 
the shops are at which you can pick up greater bargains in lace and 
old enamels and seventeenth-century jewellery. 

Even the stupidest person cannot fail to be impressed with the 
artistic glories of Palermo; the Royal Chapel is the most beautiful 
ecclesiastical building in Christendom; the cathedral looks like a 
golden bit of the Orient ; the Eremiti is like a mosque in a Persian 
garden ; the museum is a dream of beauty ; and when you have done 
these, there are rich sub-tropical gardens like the Orto Botanico, 
the Duke of Orleans' park, and ' Count Tasca's villa ; and there are 
the delightful excursions to Monreale, with its golden mosaics and its 
exquisite Saracen cloister, and to the Campo Santo of the nobles at the 




THE GARDEN OF THE EREMITI AT PALERMO 

Gesu, a tumble~down medieval church on the side of a mountain ; not 
to mention the Emirs' hall at the Zisa, which, with its fountain and its 
honeycomb roof and its hunting mosaics, looks like a bit out of the 
Arabian Nights. 

Not the least interesting thing about Palermo is its numerous 
nobility. They have noble palaces, full of accumulated treasures, 
at which, once in a way, they give a gorgeous fete. The opera- 



i8. SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

house, the largest in the world, is kept up for them, and they have 
their races, and passeggiata at sunset, and make Palermo a real capital, 
more of a capital than any city in Italy except Rome. 

Palermo I can never resist : it is so full of medieval stones and the 
footsteps of history ; but there are many places in the island which. I find 
more interesting than Taormina, and I shall now turn to those who go 
to Sicily, not so much for society, but because they are interested in 
the island's rich and varied associations. They will, of course, find 
much to interest them both in Palermo and Taormina, the two gayest 




THE CLOISTER OF MONREALE 



places in the island as far as strangers are concerned. But they will 
enjoy many other places also, such as Syracuse, which is literally 
paved with history ; and has buildings, like its Greek theatre, which 
were famous in the time of Thucydides-; and haunted spots, like the 
fountain of Arethusa, in which Cicero saw the sacred fish, whose 
descendants are still in possession. Syracuse is full of wonders, 
too, the ear in which the prisoners of Dionysius had their lightest 
whisper overheard, the sunken gardens of the Latomias, in which 
captive armies of Athenians languished, and the mile-long catacombs 
where Christians lived among their dead in the days of the Saracen 
persecution. 

Syracuse is wonderful, but not so wonderful at first glance as Girgenti, 
whose five chief temples stand in waning procession on the skyline of 



TRAVEL IN SICILY . 19 

the acropolis ; or Selinunte, the Sicilian Babylon, with its ruins so vast 
in extent and tossed in such fantastic piles that they look like the work 
of a volcano, a lava stream of precipitated columns. 




THE MOAT OF THE CASTLE OF EURYALUS, SYRACUSE 

There are good hotels at Syracuse and Girgenti, though they are not 
globe-trotters' places. But to visit Selinunte, and Segesta's perfect 
temple on 'its lonely mountain-top, the non-motorists must get up at a 
preposterous hour in the morning, or try a country inn. 

My advice is to get accustomed to country inns as soon as possible, 
because then you can visit Marsala, with its underground city and its 
great wine industry ; Eryx, with its Carthaginian walls ; Modica, with 
its wonderful peasant costumes and its eight-mile valley of the homes and 
tombs of the cave-dwellers ; Ragusa, with its famous asphalt mines ; 
Palazzolo, with its Greek theatre and its labyrinths of Hellenistic 
tombs ; the city of the dead at Pantalica ; unawakened medieval 
cities like Randazzo and Nicosia ; forgotten cities with mighty Greek 
ruins like Tyndaris, the Taormina of the north coast ; Cefalu, with its 
tall Greek house built in the days of Homer, and its mosaics of the 
Hermits of Mount Athos ; Sciacca, with its healing vapour-caves, 
used by the Ancients, which bring back health with the swiftness of a 
magician's wand ; and Castrogiovanni the Enna of Ceres. 

Motor-cars, as I show in the final chapter, will let one see almost any 
of. the cities of the interior from some centre with a passable hotel. 



20 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Paris was worth a mass to Henri Quatre, and Sicily is _so full of 
marvels of old Greek ruins and volcanic phenomena, that it is worth 
roughing it to the limit of one's endurance, 




THE BASILICA OR PALAESTRA, TYNDARIS 

But those who keep to the great towns of the coast, at all periods 01 
Sicilian history the chief places in the island, will not have to rough it 
at all, and will find that they have left the winter behind them. 

P.S. As for clothes, men will find that their flannels, if one suit 
is dark, and their dress-clothes will carry them through, with plenty of 
overcoats. On most days thick suits are oppressive, but at sunset or in 
the shade it may be quite cold, so it is wise to keep a coat in the cab. 
Cabs are so cheap in Sicily that you generally have one in tow. For 
hats you Only need a cloth cap and a Panama straw or a Monte Carlo 
felt, You never see a tall silk hat. For shirts most men wear just 
what they would wear if they were staying on the river or the moors 
in England. 

Ladies do not need large wardrobes in Sicily. A few evening dresses 
or evening blouses for table d'hote, and tailor-made skirts, which they 
can wear with or without their coats for the day-time, is all they want, 
unless they mean to go into society at Palermo, which alters the case 
altogether. Hats and parasols can be bought cheap and pretty in the 
great Sicilian towns, as they are needed. But a good supply of wraps 
is advisable. When you are going any distance in winter, you always 
take wraps in case you are kept out after sunset, or in case of a cold wind 



TRAVEL IN SICILY 21 

springing up. Furs and capes and long travelling-coats will all come 
in useful. The boots and shoes which do for the Riviera do for 
Palermo ; but in the ^country ladies will do well to come provided as 
they would for smart houses on the moors. Sicily is so rocky that 
they have to wear their shooting-boots whenever they go for a walk. 

The great thing in Sicily is not to catch cold needlessly. There is 
no malaria in winter. But a cold may change into a fever. With 
ordinary care you need never catch a cold in this delightful climate. 

I think Sicily would satisfy even the American child who asked its 
mother if heaven was as nice as people make out. " Of course," replied 
the horrified mother; "why do you ask?" "Because none of the 
places we go to in summer ever come up to the agents' advertisements." 




SELINUNTE : THE MOATS AND WALLS OF THE ACROPOLIS 



CHAPTER III 

THE MAFIA AND OMERTA THE IMMUNITY OF FOREIGNERS FROM 

MOLESTATION IN SICILY 

SINCE the introduction of motoring has opened up the interior of 
Sicily to foreign visitors, many inquiries have been made as to the 
risks run by motorists from evil-doers. The assailants principally 
dreaded are of two kinds brigands and mafia, but neither of them molest 
foreigners unless they happen to be residents and property-owners. The 
only people foreigners really run any risk from are common footpads, 
and that only in wild districts like the country behind Corleone. 
Eastern Sicily enjoys a much better reputation than western Sicily in 
this respect. Throughout the favoured provinces of Syracuse and 
Messina, and through nearly the whole province of Catania, even 
naturalists and others whose avocations take them into the loneliest and 
most remote parts are secure from molestation. Indeed, in some parts 
of the province of Syracuse, as in the Palazzolo district, evil-doers are 
expelled by the community. And with regard to the west of Sicily, 
it must be remembered that most other parts of Europe anything like 
as wild are viewed with apprehension by the lonely traveller. To show 
how safe even the tremendous fastnesses of the interior are to the 
foreigner, I have secured the following opinion upon the mafia from 
Dr. Pitr&, one of the greatest living authorities on the subject. This 
should be read carefully, as it revolutionises the impression which has 
hitherto prevailed in this country. 

"It is generally believed among foreigners that the arrogant and 
oppressive spirit referred to in omerth and mafia, which tends to elude 
the courts of justice, and to secure respect and legal profits to the benefit 
of the less scrupulous people through menace or intimidation, is an evil 
extending throughout Sicily, especially among the lower classes of its 
inhabitants. This is a mistake ; it is neither right nor correct to speak 
of Omerth Sidliana and Mafia SiclRana. These evils, to say the truth, 
are more or less prevalent in some provinces ; more or less deeply 
rooted in some cities of the same province ; but they do not, by any 
means, form the main features, nor are they characteristic of all the 



THE MAFIA AND OMERTA 23 

lower classes of the whole island. The eastern Sicilian provinces 
(Messina, Catania, and Syracuse) may justly be said free from mafia 
and omerta. And if in some of the towns of the province of Catania 
is sometimes observed a single phenomenon of omerta, this never happens 
in the other two above-mentioned provinces, viz. Messina and Syracuse. 
In the large cities, like Messina, Catania, and Syracuse themselves, the 
conditions of the public security and criminality are very satisfactory, 
and the public spirit in repressing misdoings helps the Government's 
action ; therefore, the law is never obstructed in its work of reform and 
punishment. 

u Even in those provinces where manifestations of omerta occur, it is 
noticeable that the evil finds easier ground among farmers and those 
who, by their business, are brought into daily contact or transactions 
with them ; when cases do happen among the upper classes, they are 
entirely isolated, and can be explained either by the desire to be un 
molested or by the exigencies of politics which are apt to dictate a 
man's associates and establish ties between electors and elected." 

To give a sufficiently clear idea of the mafia and omerta, so much 
spoken of ktely, I may quote what this illustrious writer, 1 the famous 
folklorist and ethnologist, says : 

" Put together and blend a little of self-possession, boldness, bravery, 
valour, prepotency, and you shall have something like mafia without, 
however, constituting it. Mafia is neither a sect nor an association. 
It has neither regulations nor statutes. A mafioso is not a thief nor 
a rascal ; and if for an outward meaning of the word the quality 
of mafioso has been applied to the thief and the rascal, it is simply 
because the greater part of the public not always highly cultivated 
has had no time to "reflect upon the value of the word, nor has it cared 
to know that in the thief's or rascal's own estimation the mafioso is 
simply a bold and valiant man one who will not tolerate any insult 
whatever, and therefore regards the being mafioso as necessary, nay, in 
dispensable. Majia is the consciousness of one's individuality, the 
exaggerated conceit in one's strength, which is regarded as the sole 
arbiter of every dispute, of every conflict of interests and opinions, 
which results in an intolerance of anyone else's superiority, or worse 
still, anybody else's power. The mafioso desires to be respected, and 
he nearly always respects others. If he has been offended, he never 
applies to justice, never submits himself to the laws ; if he did so, he 
would consider it an act of weakness and transgressing the principles 
of omerta, which reckons as schlfiusu or 'nfami (detestable or dishonoured) 
him who calls in the magistrate. He knows how to defend his rights 
himself, and when he thinks he is not capable of doing so .(nun sljida), 

1 Pitre's Usi e Costuml^ credence e pregwdi'z'i del Popolo S'ci/iano, v. 2. 



24 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

then he does it by the intervention of somebody else, whose thinking 
and feelings are like his own. If this person is unknown to him, a 
sign or a mere syllable will suffice to make himself understood and 
render himself sure to get satisfaction and have his wounded honour 
restored. Omerta does not signify * humility' as it might wrongly 
seem at first ; but the quality or peculiarity of being omit (' a man '), 
i.e. serious, steady, strong. The omerta is a special feeling which 
consists in rendering oneself independent of social laws ... in re 
solving all controversies either by force or, at least, by arbitration 
entrusted to one of the most influential representatives of the omerta in 
that neighbourhood. 

" The spirit of omerta goes so far as to have its own code of honour, 
resembling in this respect the code of honour in duels. In all other 
classes nearly every quarrel would be settled by the sword ; the 
chivalrous point of honour would never be considered otherwise 
satisfied. The point of honour in omerta takes the same view ; it 
never considers itself satisfied unless means differing from those of the 
law are used. Such means vary from the duel, quite rare with men, 
and occasioned by motives of omerta, to the murdering of the offender 
or of those who have had a hand in the offence. The omerta has its 
basis in the silence without which the omu could not be an omu or 
maintain his unquestioned superiority. Were he to be disco\ered 
by Justice's eye, he would suffer its penalties. But omerta goes 
unpunished 'and unnoticed, inasmuch as nobody would dare to 
denounce it, and if ever it were, no one would bear witness against 
it. Besides the omerta of the criminal there is the omerta of the 
honest man, who, if he happens to be wounded in a quarrel, never 
denounces his wounder, however earnestly he may be solicited to do so, 
and will rather decline any idea of vengeance than to Jack in what 
he thinks to be his unavoidable course. As a matter of omerta the 
culprit innocent of the crime ascribed to him does not utter a 
word, and if circumstances so dictate, takes silently the condemnation 
which sentences him either as the author or accomplice, and pays for 
it willingly, whilst the guilty remains free and unsuspected. 

"The same silence is sometimes kept about injuries or offences 
which the courts should be called upon to repair, and this peculiarity 
extends itself also to women, not only in anything that would call for 
the interference of the police, but of any person who is invested with 
public authority, civil or military. Should a pickpocket steal a hand 
kerchief off a by-passer, and a policeman chase him, no one, man or 
woman, who can stop the thief, will do so ; and if summoned to bear 
witness, neither one of them would acknowledge to have seen the 
rascal. The very individual who was robbed or swindled may perhaps 



IMMUNITY OF FOREIGNERS 25 

reveal the mischief he has suffered, but never divulges his suspicions as 
to the true culprit. Should an officer discover a fraud against a grocer 
and seize the goods as well as the man, the populace would think 
it to do a good deed to help the defrauder to escape. If a cabman or 
a carter happens to run over somebody, the bystanders will help 
the offender to run away, because the dead is dead, and it is the living 
ic ho must be helped. From this follows an extraordinary distrust towards 
any unknown person, and a natural reluctance to show anyone's dwelling 
to a stranger who asks for it. It is quite useless to ask a boy whether 
your friend So-and-So lives in the same building as he does, and on the 
very next floor to his ; for his mother taught him that cast nun si 'nni 
'nsignanu (abodes must not be indicated), and you might be a detective 
on his way to notify a fine, a collector for the income-tax to seize the 
furniture, a policeman to summon the party looked for to the police- 
court, etc. Is this omerta ? No. Here the omerta ends, and the 
diffidence of Cicero's genus suspiciosum begins. It is quite interesting to 
observe during cross-examinations and criminal processes what a stupid 
face the omu, who appears before the court, assumes, whether he be 
culprit or witness, and how humble and submissive he shows himself to 
the judge or any member of the court, with the view of deviating 
suspicion and having time enough to reflect upon the questions ad 
dressed to him, and not seeming the man he is suspected to be. 

"This is written to give the traveller an idea of what the words 
mafia and omerta mean in Sicily ; but it has no further interest for 
him, inasmuch as foreigners who travel through Sicily are generally 
entirely unmolested. Even in small towns, or out in the country where 
some of the country people go in for omerta, strangers have nothing to 
fear, because the mafioso, at the bottom, loves his own country and 
is hospitable. He would consider it cowardice and still worse to 
attack a foreigner. 

" In the provinces of Messina and Syracuse, where crime is at a 
minimum and probably far below that of many regions of northern 
Europe, the traveller may go about quite alone in the outskirts of 
cities and visiting monuments and archaeological sites without the least 
apprehension." 

In confirmation of the above, a question addressed to the Ora, one 
of the principal Palermo newspapers, elicited the following reply, 
though the editor was unwilling even to print the word owerta, to 
which the question alluded : 

" A Curious Ragusano. The etymology of the word, which can be 
most relied on, is the word ' omu? which in vernacular means a 
person who is conscious of his own rights, and of the respect due to 
him. And I may add that the word means that should a crime be 



26 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



committed in the sight of A, brother of the victim, he will absolutely 
ignore it before the authorities, but later on he himself, A, will shed 
the blood of the murderer in such a way that the authorities may have 
no hold upon him, and thus revenge his relative. Again, outside this, 
'one of the mafia witnessing the murder of another majioso by one who 
does not belong to the brotherhood, will never come forward as a 
witness, will never assist in bringing the criminal to judgment, but later 
on he himself will accomplish the revenge, in a sure and swift fashion, 
as a rule causing the man to disappear. The head of the Palermo 
police once remarked to me, ' Were a cross to be placed, on every 
spot where a victim lies buried in the plain of Palermo, the Conca 
d'Oro would be one vast cemetery.' " 

The decision of last July in the great mafia case, which lasted four 
years, in favour of Signor Palizzolo, who was accused of the murder 
of Signor Notobartolo, of Palermo, does not in any way impugn the 
accuracy of the above. It took place in one of the western provinces, 
that of Palermo, where the writer allows the mafia and omerth to exist, 
and no foreigner was in the least concerned. The only foreigners ever 
troubled by mafa or brigands in Sicily have been men with property in 
the island, like Mr. Rose, which introduced the question of employer 
and employed, or of submission to the levies of the mafa. 




THE BRIDGE OF THE ADMIRAL 



CHAPTER IV 

VARIOUS TYPES AND COSTUMES PIANA DEI GRECI, AND OTHER ALBANIAN 
SETTLEMENTS THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE 

ONE of the great charms of Sicily is its un-Europeanness. Europe 
has been civilised for so long that there is a sort of decimal- 
coinage likeness about its clothes, and its customs, and its 
dwelling-places ; they are not precisely the same ; a coin worth 9^., 
English, may in its different types be called a franc, or a lira, or a 
drachma, but it is essentially the same, and it is this sort of cosmo 
politan sameness which spoils most countries of Europe for the traveller. 
But in Sicily and in Spain, and in Greece and in Turkey, there is 
virgin country yet not trampled out of recognition. Of the four, the 
easiest and safest to travel in, the one where you are always sure of 
food against which your stomach will not rebel, is Sicily, which has the 
best winter climate. Its nearest rival in that respect is the Riviera, 
but the Riviera is liable to be swept by the terrible mistral, beside which 
the "Levanter" of Sicily is child's play, and it of all places has 
suffered most from the subtle feet of change. When the day is fine 
and still and bright, it is delightful to lounge about the promenades of 
Nice, among beautiful and beautifully dressed people, whose happy 
resolve it is to extract the utmost pleasure out of life ; but, take away 
the sunshine and the company, and there is mighty little to do. It is 
all lounge and promenade. How different it is in Sicily, where you 
are always on the point of exhuming buried civilisations, and are in the 
presence of a population which has hardly changed since the days of 
Dionysius. 

There is much in costume. A people that changes its costume 
changes its creeds. Dress is so much the outward and visible sign of 
opinion. Sicily is conservative in the matter of costume ; there is, of 
course, always the element of people well enough off to adopt the 
cosmopolitan standard ; it is only the poor who show their quality of 
mind by retaining the indestructible plain clothes of the country, in 
the place of being submerged in cast-off shoddy. 

In the matter of costume, there are degrees even in Sicily. In 

27 



28 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Palermo, Taormina, Catania, Messina, the cosmopolitan element is 
slowly but surely spreading. The coloured handkerchief, tied round 
the head hoodwise, and perhaps a pair of top-boots, are the only marks 
which distinguish the countryman from the town pauper ; but even 
there you find one purely national touch, one sterling artistic element, 
the cappa, or capote Sicily has not forgotten its Spanish yet the 
dark-blue hooded cloak, which every man wears in bad weather, and in 
the cold dawning hours in which the Sicilian working day begins. It 
reaches down to below the knees, and is generally of a sort of native 




IN THE MADONIAN MOUNTAINS I MUFRA 



pilot cloth, dark blue and rough surfaced, though in Modica it has a 
smooth face, and in some towns is black instead of blue. In the 
mountain towns every man wears top-boots, because every man rides to 
and from his work. The Sicilian, finding his plains ravaged by 
malaria, and lonely houses subject to the visitation of robbers, lives in 
the little cities which crown his native hills like eagles' nests. It is no 
matter if he has to ride forth at dawn, and not get back till nightfall ; 
his ass carries him there and back, shares his house, even his room, and 
receives no food but what he can pick up himself. He is a fine beast, 
and when his master is cloaked and he is fully panniered, the pair of 
them make a splendid, almost scriptural, figure in the landscape. The 



TYPES AND COSTUMES 



29 



women, on tall asses, are even better. There are tableaux vivanis of 
Murillo's holy families by the dozen on every great country road. 

The women of the people attire their heads with simple grace in 
kerchiefs dyed with the saffron crocus of the mountain-side. Their 
shawls are put on with fine instinct, and, when they are not riding 
scripturally on asses, they will be clustering in one of the two-wheeled 
yellow carts, built to fit Greek chariot-ruts and painted with legends 
out of history and Scripture. The patient ass is harnessed, it may be, 
to a cart with a dozen souls in it, but he is allowed to go at his own 
pace that never kills, and is decked with splendid scarlet trappings, 
such as a scarlet plume a yard high. 

All these are no more than you may see in the skirts of the largest 
towns, but Sicily has in her gift more precious sights than these. 

Take Modica, for instance, a great city of 60,000 inhabitants, 
seldom visited by foreigners. Beyond a little weaving for the cloth of 
the peasants 7 dresses, it is entirely given up to being the centre of an 
agricultural district. Most of the inhabitants are the cultivators of the 
land, who, except at fist as, are out all day at their work. But take a 
Sunday morning, and you will find them standing about the market- 




THE CLOISTER OF S. MARIA DI GESU AT MODICA 

(Frcm a photo by Cav. Napolitano of Ragusa) 



3 o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

place turning it into a fifteenth-century picture, with their clean-shaven, 
anmodern faces, and the traditional costumes of the countryside. 
The Modica women are very proud of their little quarter-cloaks of 
fine-faced cloth of a lovely dark blue, trimmed with three or four rows 
of black velvet down the front. Nowhere else in Sicily do I remember 
these cloaks ; indeed, there are very .few places, except at Modica and 
Randazzo, where the women wear cloaks at all. These cloaks are 
worn over their heads, held in at the throat, just like the black shawls 
worn by the women of Girgenti and Eryx. Their dresses have full 
skirts and their tight-fitting bodices lace up the front, like a pair of stays, 
over a white stomacher ; the sleeves are very full and tied in at the 
wrists. 

The men of Modica are far more picturesque than the women, 
although the cloaks of the latter are so handsome and becoming. 
They are said to have three distinct costumes the native, the Spanish, 
and the African ; they have, at any rate, two very marked costumes 
a short frock very like a very full-bottomed Norfolk jacket made of 
brown frieze, which is their ordinary everyday dress, and a sort of 
sleeveless bolero of faced black cloth, opening down the front some 
thing like the women's. This is worn over a very full, finely-ironed 
white-linen shirt, with bishops' sleeves. Their legs are quite differently 
clad from other places in Sicily, the tight breeches of the same stuff as 
their jacket, whichever it may be, coming down almost to their ankles. 
They do not wear top-boots, but a sort of rough bluchers, not unlike 
the Breton peasants', and not coming quite up to the bottom of their 
breeches. Their caps are as peculiar, the three favourite varieties being 
a sort of coif, like those worn by Popes and Doges ; a black silk 
stocking-cap, which costs about twelve francs, and is sold by weight ; 
and a black stocking-cap of cloth in which the stocking does not fall 
slack at the side like the Neapolitan fisherman's cap, but is carried with 
a sort of stiffening over the back of the head. These are really most 
remarkable, and no one but a native can put them on. The frieze of 
which their working clothes are made is well worthy of notice, they 
weave it themselves, and dye it a bright chestnut-brown. It is just 
like the rough Irish friezes used for the original ulsters, and the grease 
is left in the wool, from which it is woven for winter garments. In 
the severe winter of these mountains it is doubtless admirable, but the 
heat of it in summer must be appalling. 

The old men wear their hair very long, and look just like the men 
in Pinturicchio's pictures. 

After Modica the best towns I know for costumes are Randazzo 
and Aderno, both of them on Etna, but the best women's head-dresses 
are at Palazzolo. At Randazzo on festa days, the women wear white 



TYPES AND COSTUMES 31 

cloaks, made in the same style as the Modica cloaks, but coming down 
a few inches below their waists, of a white flannely cloth. They have 
also very distinct jewellery necklaces of large gold beads, as large as 
blackbirds' eggs ? and long dropping earrings of gold filigree work. 







MODICA CONTADINI 
(From a photo by Cav, Napolitano ot Ragusa) 

These white woollen mantelinl have hoods. In Randazzo you 
sometimes see the contadinl from Tortorici, whose, dress, with the 
swathed legs, reminds you more of the people of the Saracen villages in 
the south of Italy, very wild and poor-looking people. The men of 



32 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Randazzo are the ordinary Montesi, with top-boots and cloaks, and 
keep their heads and necks swathed in grey woollen shawls ; the moun 
tain Sicilian might suffer from chronic toothache, judging by the way 
he shawls his head up. 

The most beautiful dresses worn by any Sicilian women are those of 
Aderno, where until 1 794 the commons all wore Greek costumes and 
the nobles Spanish. On Easter Sunday when the miracle play is going 
on, you may see dozens of exquisite brocade shawls of pure lemon, 
pink, lavender, peach, and other delicate tints with full skirts to match 
of a plain silk. The skirts and the shawls, though of different materials, 
are always exactly the same colour, showing that they must have been 
dyed at the same time, and you very seldom see two alike. They are 
magnificent fabrics, as soft and rich as Liberty could produce, and of 
exquisite shades. The women also have distinctive jewellery, noticeably 
rich and elegant ; the men of Aderno wear black cloaks with silver 
buttons, and short black jackets rather in the Spanish style, trimmed 
in coster fashion with silver buttons. 

The women of Palazzolo and Canicattini have a very striking head 
dress, consisting of a flat pad as large as a Leghorn hat, with the 
shawl, which the men use for swathing their heads and necks, draped 
over it and falling down in elegant curtains like an American woman's 
mourning veil. 

At Taormina and some other places, the contadini, who have not 
sold their birthright of shawls to artists and curio-hunters, have very 
valuable shawls made with whorls rather similar to those of Cashmere 
shawls. The best of them have a white ground, and the colouring is 
sometimes very rich arid lovely, but they have mostly been replaced 
with cheap shawls stamped with patterns imitating their own. These 
shawls are not worn over the head, but with a headkerchief of similar 
material. In Eryx (Monte S. Giuliano) and Girgenti, the women 
wear valuable fine black shawls, with a very rich fringe, and these they 
put on over their heads and draw them in a little at the throat. Even 
in Palermo these black mantl are constantly worn by quite well-off 
women to church, the reason being that the lower-class Sicilian women , 
do not wear hats, and that their Church is very strict about women not 
entering a place of worship with uncovered heads. The tiniest girl 
child will spread its handkerchief over its head if it has no hat or 
shawl when it goes into church, and I have been in a mountain town 
of ten thousand inhabitants, on a Sunday morning, when all the women 
were about and not seen one in a hat. 

In some towns such as Castrogiovanni, you hardly see the women 
at all. At Taormina the men have a good national costume, and often 
wear it to get money by being photographed or painted. It consists of 



TYPES AND COSTUMES 33 

an Eton jacket and tight knee-breeches of rough pale blue cloth. The 
legs are swathed and thonged, and the feet laced into bits of hide with 
the hair still left on, shaped like walnut-shells. They wear stocking- 
caps. At Syracuse the women wear shawls and headkerchiefs of 
nc5 particular pattern, and the men beyond their cloaks show little 




THE MADONIAN MOUNTAINS 



distinctive costume. By the side door of the Villa Politi, however, 
there is an old farmer, with Spanish mutton-chop whiskers, who dresses 
in a short Spanish jacket of black cloth and a black stocking-cap like a 
Modican. I have purposely left Piana dei Greci, and its sister Albanian 
communities, to the last. Flying from Turkish oppression in the 
fifteenth century, a colony of Albanian Greeks established itself here, 
and still keeps up its national costume and customs and Greek rites ; 
though it puts on the former and goes in for the latter largely to win 
the money of strangers, who are interested in this tenacious community, 
which has kept up its national characteristics through four or five 
centuries of txile in a distant land. Your hotel-keeper arranges with 
the priest at Piana dei Greci to have a wedding for such a day, the 
wedding ceremony being the best of the customs which have survived. 
The priest demands a dowry of so many francs for the bride, and to 
earn this pound or two, two people lightly accept each other for the 
better and worse of a lifetime, and are joined together in holy matrimony. 



34 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

These people wear a dress similar to that of the Albanians at Athens 
the fustianella petticoat, the bolero, and the fine underlinen with 
bishop's sleeves. 

In dealing with types one is not on such firm ground as in dealing 
with costumes. One sees a good many people with fair or reddish 
hair and blue eyes in addition to the large section of the population who 
have what are called Sicilian eyes of a dark grey which looks blue in 
some lights and black in others. 

I asked a Sicilian prince, who is one of their best antiquaries, whether 
he attributed this to the Norman blood in bygone ages. "No," he 
said, with a cynicism well-nigh brutal, "to the Northern sailors of 
the day." Perhaps he was right, perhaps he was wrong. Those who 
specialise about such things profess to find a Moorish strain in the 
people round Palermo as they do round Modica and Marsala. The 
handsomest people are supposed to come from the province of Messina, 
especially round Taormina, and this is claimed to be an ancient Greek 
type. Crupi, the photographer, has certainly photographed some 
hauntingly lovely faces and wonderfully elegant nudes. I think the best- 
looking btfys that have come into my experience have been at Girgentf, 
where there might reasonably be both Greek t and Arabic strains. 
I am speaking for the moment of youths, the Greek ephebi of whose 
beauty we hear more than that of the Greek women. 

Coming to the question, not so much of youthful beauty as of a fine- 
looking population, the people in the mountain districts are decidedly 
superior, and this superiority is paralleled in their manners. The 
people in Palazzolo and Castrogiovanni and Modica are magnificent 
specimens of an unspoiled primitive race. They have majestic faces, 
straight muscular bodies, and delightful manners. They are good to 
strangers, very polite and smiling, willing to take any trouble. 

At Modica, if one poor person forgets himself and is too inquisitive, 
another touches him and tells him not to go so near fatforestieri. At 
Palazzolo, they say that there are no evil-doers, that public feeling will 
not allow them to remain in the district. At Castrogiovanni we 
often had a small crowd with us, but it was a crowd of sympathisers. 
The only disagreeable people in the town were the man and woman 
who kept the only hotel of these days, and they were Milanese, not 
Montesi. The Montesi consider themselves a superior race. 

As to types, I must confess that the people of Modica puzzled me 
most ; large eagle features are so common. The peasants of Modica 
do not strike one as being Greek, or Moorish, or Spanish in type, 
though they have preserved the costumes of all three. They look more 
like the mid-Italians of the fifteenth century, the people in Pinturic- 
chio's and Fiorenzo di Lorenzo's paintings. The type is medieval. 



TYPES AND COSTUMES 35 

Artists who go in for character drawing will find Modica extra 
ordinarily rich in material. 

And this brings me to the third point in this chapter, the life led by 
the people of Sicily. 

To begin at the top, there is the coterie of the wealthiest people in 
the island who mix a little with the English residents, and many of 
them speak and read English. They are accomplished cosmopolitans, 
the men dressing in London and the women in Paris. Then comes 
the mass of the Sicilian upper class, who are mostly not well off, 
though the nobles among them may have enormous palaces in Palermo 
and fine castles in the country. A few of the men are very studious, 
good scholars, scientists or antiquaries, but, with few exceptions, they 
have not got rid of the idea that it is bad form for a gentleman to 
maintain himself otherwise than by rents and the produce of his land. 
They even frown on the army and the navy. 

Women never do anything more intellectual than read foreign novels; 
that is their high-water mark. They have no topics of conversation 
but dress and domestic worries and intrigues, and dress is not a very 
inspiring subject, when you have no money to spend on it. They have 
no interest in life except novels and intrigues. Women's rights are in 
a very elementary stage, they have little more freedom than the women 
of Eastern nations. Except when they go to parties, their only dis 
sipation is the passeggiata, the sunset dawdle in the decaying family 
chariot. 

The men go to their clubs and gamble, and pay their two francs 
for the right to go and sit in richer friends' boxes at the opera- 
house, the largest in the world. The women economise sturdily in 
order to have any sort of a carriage and pair for the passeggiata. 
They would almost rather go without food than go without a 
carriage. They do go without dress to achieve it. The poor Sicilian 
aristocrat, provided that she has- a hat with a bouquet and hearse 
plumes, and a velvet jacket to fill up the little peep you get of her 
as she paces along in the passeggiata in the closed brougham, will, 
when she is in her own house, go about dressed like a boarding- 
house keeper who does her own cooking. The idea of keeping 
fresh and neat for the society of their own family never occurs to 
them. 

The -men do not wish to work and they do not wish to give up the 
carriage ergo, dress and diet are cut down to the finest point. But the 
Sicilian aristocrats who have looks and money dress exquisitely; they 
show taste when they have the means. 

That economising upper class is not very attractive to the stranger 
until it is compared with the well-off class below it, which supplies the 



36 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

pushing business man, and the more pushing loafer who stands about 
in the passeggiata all gloves, and cane, and collar, and tie. The 
" bounder " class in Sicily is appalling, and sometimes annoys foreign 
ladies. There is this excuse for them, that Sicilians do not stand upon 
introductions between the sexes, when a man wishes to propose 
marriage to a woman. Which is partly explained by the further fact 
that no man is supposed to take any notice of any woman whom he 
does not wish to make his wife, or his kept mistress. That is the 
idea in the country. In Palermo the bounder ogles any woman who 
has not a man to protect her. Nor are the women of the prosperous 
middle class always attractive, though sometimes, like the women of 
the class below them, they have wonderful looks for their breeding and 
station. 

With the exception of the great aristocrats, few of the ranks I have 
been mentioning are very interesting. It is the classes below who 
make Sicily so charming. There are three millions and more of the 
simple classes, and there is much to admire in them. They are 
patient, they are frugal, they are natural. How the young shop girl 
both in Sicily and Italy contrives to dress her beautiful hair so 
elegantly it is difficult to understand. Her clothes fit well, and are 
made of attractive materials. She is neatly shod, and when she is 
married will have a most elaborate trousseau. Yet her wages spell 
starvation by our standards. By a cruel irony in a land where hats 
are so pretty and cheap, no one of this class uses them except the 
degenerates in cities. We have nothing corresponding to them in 
England; they are the moosmes of Sicily, cheerful, pretty-looking, 
and industrious, but they are not the real people any more than those 
above them. Nobody can claim to belong to the real people in Sicily 
who does not wear rags. Rags are the hall-mark of Sicily j some 
times they are loose and fluttering in the breeze, sometimes they are 
united with a dozen incongruous patches of assorted colours. The 
professional beggar imitates this effect by sewing patches over an 
untorn garment. But beggars do not often want a make-up in Sicily. 
Except in certain places, such as Modica, anyone who works, and does 
not wear a uniform, is more or less in rags on his working days. And 
as for fadings, most Sicilian garments are a natural khaki, faded from 
preposterous colours of dyes so fast that they run out in the first week 
of the summer sun. An artist might compare the rags of the Sicilian 
to autumn leaves. 

We have a proverb that the tailor makes the man ; perhaps it is true 
of the Sicilian, who lives as the inhabitant of such rags might be 
expected to live. In town his dwelling is a cellar under somebody 
else's house, with only three walls and no window, the place of the 



LIFE OF THE PEOPLE 37 

fourth wall being taken by a door which can be shut at night. During 
the day it is always open, so that the owner may take as much of the 
street as he requires into his premises. Tenements, too, are rearing 
their ugly heads. The few poor who live in the country live in hovels, 
not half so well as the people who live in tombs. 

I have never seen a census of the number of people in Sicily who 
live in tombs, but it must be quite large, and if catacombs were not 
generally private property they would be immensely popular as residences. 
I have made the personal acquaintance of quite a number of the modern 
troglodytes who live in tombs and caverns, most respectable people. I 
expect the rents are high, for these novel dwellings can never stand in 
want of repair. Round the Villa Politi, at Syracuse, there were several 
families of tomb-dwellers. One family lived in a long cavern which 
had various tomb-chambers cut in its walls ; these were used as bed 
rooms and storerooms, and the cavern itself for shutting up the goats 
at night. 

You might have thought that if there was any animal capable of 
looking after itself at night it would be a goat, especially in a climate 
like Sicily ; but probably it is their neighbours and not the goats who 
cannot be trusted. There was another family who lived in a range of 
tombs in a low cliff half-way between the Villa Politi and the Borgo of 
S. Lucia : they were the aristocracy of tomb-dwellers. The tombs 
had once belonged to what the guides called a "nobile" family, by which 
they mean they were of sufficient dignity to have used sarcophagi. 
The Sicilians stood their sarcophagi on low platforms cut out of the 
rock, about a yard wide and a couple of yards long. Less important 
members of the family were accommodated with arcosoli, lunette- 
shaped niches with a grave in the bottom, cut like our holy- water 
niches in the rock walls of the cave. 

This particular necropolis did not have any of the still cheaper kind of 
graves, which are so many coffin-shaped holes cut in the surface of the 
rock as close as they can be packed. 

The family, simple people, quite clean in spite of their rags, had 
established themselves most comfortably in these dwellings of the 
noble dead. They used the sarcophagus platforms for bedsteads, such 
good solid rock bedsteads, and they had some sort of blankets and 
quilts, whereas they might very well only have had the skins of goats 
who had died. On the cavern wall behind these novel bedsteads hung 
cheap prints of saints, and the arcosoli came in handy as cupboards, in 
which, because they had nothing else to keep there, they kept cheeses. 
They had nothing but themselves, and their rags, and their cheeses, 
which we ate at the hotel ; and yet they were clean. It seemed as if, 
like Toddy, they could not be bothered with a whole lot of things. 



38 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Other tombs they used for making cheeses, the outward and visible sign 
of which is a huge smoke-blacked cauldron over a few sulky embers. 
But the result was good a goatVmilk cheese that looked something 
like Port du Salut. Other tombs they used for folds for their goats at 
night. These people never struck me as being very poor, though they 
dressed in rags and lived in tombs. 

The Sicilian is, above all things, a cultivator ; in mountainous places 
he builds terraces from the top to the bottom of a mountain, and 
deposits good earth in them, which he is perpetually digging and irri 
gating. Unobservant tourists call the Sicilian idle ; he is never idle, 
except when there is not enough work to go all round. Then the 
poorest stands beside the rich loafer in the most amusing part of 
the town, smoking the picked-up end of a cigarette and seeing life. 
The difference between a Sicilian working man and an English working 
man is that when want of work gives the former an enforced holiday, 
he makes a holiday of it, and enjoys it just as he would a festa. But give 
any sign that you want a job done for you by which a few coppers can 
be earned, or for the matter of that one copper, and every one of the 
unemployed will step forward. Beggars are the servants of the commti- 
nity, and there is evidently honour among beggars ; they are often 
trusted with money. You go into a Sicilian shop to buy something 
which the proprietor has run out of ; he puts his head out of the door 
and calls a beggar and sends him for it. If the beggar had sufficient 
intelligence and he happened to want a post-office order he would send 
him for it. I have seen Madame Politi hand two hundred francs 
;8 to an awful-looking tramp of a cabman, and ask him to telegraph 
it to Milan for butter. Of course everyone knows everyone in a small 
Sicilian town, and they are more or less of a happy family. 

The cabmen are a numerous and entertaining section of the commu 
nity. Their horse and cab sometimes look dear at a sovereign, and the 
driver no better than a beggar ; but these may be only indications of 
the amount of business the owner has been doing lately. " You don't 
give your horse enough to eat," said an inflated Boston lady to 
Francesco Donati. "I haven't enough for my children," was his 
reply ; " when we have plenty to eat the horse has plenty to eat ; you 
cannot expect more, signorina." 

Considering what intelligent men they are (they are often quite good 
guides, even interpreters) their fares are small and few. There is 
something illimitably dejected about a poor Sicilian cabman, with his 
mended and shikety vehicle and his bony, flea-bitten white horse, with 
three mangy pheasant's feathers nodding on its head. The horse too, 
like Homer, nods sometimes ; its pace is about four miles an hour, and 
less when going down hill, for fear of slipping, in spite of the ridiculous 



LIFE OF THE PEOPLE 



39 



brake, which works with a wheel, like the steering gear of a river 
steamer. 

That is the Sicilian cab. But the cabman has his good points, 
for unless you take him outside the gates, for which there is no regular 
tariff, and which he dislikes in spite of the increased gains, he does 
not expect more than his fare, and a very small pourboire, and you can 
leave anything in his charge, and he will always help you to make a 
bargain. 




PARCO D'AUMALE (PALAIS D'ORLEANS) 



CHAPTER V 

THE SCENERY, THE GARDENS, AND THE WILD FLOWERS 

THE scenery of Sicily has certain individual notes ; the grey-green 
of its cactus foliage, the intimate meeting of the sea and cultivated 
land, are perhaps the most marked. But it is difficult almost 
anywhere in the island to forget that you are in Sicily, even when for 
the moment you are out of sight of Etna. With an almost tideless 
sea you may have orchards running down to the water's edge, as you 
have in the Conca d'Oro. Sicily is a land of mountains ; they seem to 




PRICKLY-PEARS. STRAIT OF MESSINA IN THE BACKGROUND 

be rolling on you one over the other, like the waves of the sea ; it is 
only in three or four places that you are not hemmed in between the 
mountains and the sea. The mountains have impressed themselves 
deeply on the lives of the people. Etna is not regarded by Sicilians as 

40 



THE SCENERY 



41 



vengeful, but as the mother of fertility; the people who live on its 
seaward slopes are regarded with envy. And even the barren mountains 
of the interior, lonely peaks two and three thousand feet high, play their 
part in the national life as the homes of the workers in the fields. Each 
of them is capped with its little ancient city. A large proportion of the 
population of Sicily lives on the sites of the old Sikelian cities, in the 
old Sikelian way, riding down to its work in the morning, and back 
to the security and healthfulness of the mountain-tops in the evening. 
These Montesi are fine men, with charming manners. It is only when 




THE MADONIAN MOUNTAINS : THE ASPROMONTE 

the mountains are precipitous, like those two great crowns of stone, 
the rock of Pellegrino and the rock of Cefalti, that they are barren. 
The contadlnl terrace the cones of the interior to their very eye 
brows, and plant them with vines and almonds. Sicily in spring is a 
sheet of almond blossom. 

The great modern cities, like the great Greek cities of antiquity, 
are all seaports, though there are cities of fifty thousand inhabitants 
inland, like Modica, Ragusa, Castelvetrano, Caltagirone, Alcamo, and 
Caltanisetta, agricultural centres for the most part, and not one of them 
important in ancient times. It is strange that, in a land where the great 
cities were all on the sea, hardly any of them had good natural ports. 
Perhaps beaching did well enough for the small ships of the ancients, 



42 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

at all events the Greeks settled on the shore, and considered the citadel 
a much more important matter than the seaport. Acragas, as Girgenti 
was called in the days of its sovereign power, had a most flourishing 
trade, but it could never have had a real harbour until the Emperor 
Charles V. carried away its temples to build one. This had a great 
influence on Sicilian scenery. Beauty of site was allowed to count for 
so much. Nowhere else, except in corresponding parts of Italy, do you 
get such delightful blendings of antique city and country life and sea. 

Girgenti is a good instance. From the Hotel Belvedere, on the city 
wall, you look down on tiny hand-tilled fields, with the green feathery 
fennel, the blue acanthus-like artichoke, and the grey prickly-pear and 
olive. In summer, festooned with vines, a little further off, is the 
Norman convent of S. Nicola, amid its majestic stone-pines ; beyond 
that again, embosomed in the almond blossom, sheets of living snow, 
rise the golden temples on a minor acropolis ; and beyond that is the 
blue sea embraced in the green arms of mountains. 

The acropolis was the keynote of Greek cities. Here at Girgenti 
they had two, the lower given over to the temples of the gods, the 
last place held against the Carthaginians on that awful night of 
406 B.C., which left marks of fire not faded yet on Juno's temple 
at the highest point. This temple -crowned acropolis at Girgenti 
is after the order of the glorious acropolis of Athens, as you see 
very clearly if you drive along the lower road between the temples 
and the sea. 




AN OLIVE GARPBN 



THE WILD FLOWERS 43 

Selinunte had just such another acropolis, but there the columns 
of the mighty temples lie where they fell when the earthquake or the 
Carthaginian laid them low. Certainly the prime charm of Sicily, 
after the immortal beauty of Etna, lies in the mingling of Greek ruins 
with the beauties of nature on the southern coast. 

Syracuse had no proper acropolis, but the natural beauty of the 
country round Syracuse is very great as you drive towards Palazzolo 
over a rolling champaign, set with the silvery spiral trunks of old olive 
trees in meadows royal with flowers. 

This brings me to my second point the flowers. The wild flowers 
of Sicily are marvellous ; they flood the meadows and nod from the 
stony heights. The asphodel is their chief, from association as old as 
Homer and from the size and freedom of its growth. When the 
asphodels are in their prime, on every bank above you, you see, 
standing out against the sky, rich clusters of their swordlike leaves, 
and Prince of Wales's plumes of pink blossoms veined with brown. 
Almost as typical are the dwarf pink campions, which sheet the turf 
like daisies. You look into the young corn and you find it is as purple 
with anemones as a Kentish copse might be with bluebells ; the next 
ridge may be all scarlet and apple-green with the adonis. As you pass 
further from the city, the narcissus, growing single -headed like a 
flowering rush, or many-headed like the blossom fatal to Proserpine, 
whitens the grass beneath the olive trees. ; and further and higher still, 
where the road climbs, the mountain iris of many hues brightens the 
Sicilian moorland. Or perhaps you have turned aside to some building 
of the ancient Greeks, which has snapdragons of the tender hue of 
human flesh springing from its unmortared walls, and sages with their 
crowns of pale gold blossoms, and marigolds, glowing almost scarlet, 
on the banks ; but none of them so gold or so ruddy or so generous in 
their growth as the spurge, which springs from the lava streams of 
Etna. And the Etna forests shelter a flower undreamed of as wild 
peonies, rose, pink, and white. 

These are the flowers of the meadows mounting to the heights. 
Wend your way another day to the ruins of Selinunte, on the low 
shores of the African sea ; there, too, you will be in corn breast high, 
except when you are crossing the sandy hollow which was the haven 
of a mighty city till the wise man Empedocles drew off its waters and 
freed the city from fevers. Out of that corn spring three vast tempjes, 
the prey of the Carthaginian and the earthquake. As you tread the 
thin path through the corn, you see the flowers which have sprang up 
beneath this miniature forest the pink, scentless garlic, the pied 
convolvulus dashed with bright blue, the pimpernels of brighter and 
the borage of lighter blue as big as crown pieces these last and the 



44 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

waving crimson bells of the gladiolus standing out from the jostling 
vetches and tares. 

You step from the corn to the sands of the dead haven, and your 
guide plucks you a leaf of the lowly selinum which gave this vast 
city its name. It is the wild parsley he gives you, not the wild celery. 
Whichever it really was, and scholars wage a wordy warfare over it, 
it played a commanding part in the lives of the Greeks. With it they 
crowned the winners in the Isthmian and Nemean games, with it they 
crowned the dead. " I am ready for the selinum," said a dying hero, 
smiling. Once upon a time selinum decided a battle, perhaps not far 




PAPYRUS ON THE RIVER ANAPO AT SYRACUSE 

from here, on the banks of the southern Crimesus. Timoleon with 
eleven thousand Greeks met seven times the number of Carthaginians. 
The fight was about to begin, when three mules laden with selinum 
passed ; the soldiers remembered the words of the hero ; here was the 
selinum for laying them out. But Timoleon proved a living hero. To 
him the selinum recalled the crowning of the winners of the Isthmian 
ganies celebrated at Corinth, the mother city of them all. They took 
heart, and the God of Battles justified the omen by sending a thunder 
or hail storm, that drove into the eyes of the Carthaginians and only on 
the backs of the Greeks. 

In a minute the sand will be hidden, you will have passed out 



THE WILD FLOWERS 45 

of the bed of the haven, and be climbing a slope carpeted with the 
white, gold, and blue convolvulus, blue and red pimpernels growing 
side by side, puce-coloured crane's-bill, bright blue borage, crimson 
orpine, and the tall, silvery plumes of the vermouth, the wormwood 
that yields the wine, A little higher up you will be footing the 
Sicilian trefoil, with its musklike golden hoods ; crane's-bill and 
campion ; anemones purple and pale rose ; and marching between the 
great grey swords of the agaves, glittering with snow-white snails ; 
poppies and marigolds and Sicilian daisies. A lordly plant is the 
Sicilian daisy, with its great white or lemon-coloured blossoms, and 
its straight, feathery stems springing in thick clusters a yard high ; 
but it is the tiny vetch, the creeping tare, which show that Flora with 
her cornucopia has passed that way. They are of all colours, pink and 
white, and purple, and purple and pink, pure white, pale lemon, and rich 
velvety crimson. And the tares are white, with that dash of vivid 
blue which tells of the generous climate and generous soil the soil 
which you cannot see for this gay, close-threaded woof of flowers. It 
hardly suffers the mighty stones of the acropolis to show their heads ; 
it spreads like fire over the land. 

, You pace the broad main street between houses as of Pompeii, for 
which each scholar finds dwellers of a different race, and out of the 
great gate where the most stupendous of the ruins surround you. They 
will not keep you, for on the farther hill you see men plying their 
picks, and know that the earth, just scratched for the crops of two 
thousand years, is being made to yield up her dead, and the imperishable 
toys which were buried with their crumbling bones. A temple of Hecate 
and a long white propylaea have risen from the spade work, and every 
yard of earth yields its bronze or vase or figure of a goddess in the 
style that men used before the Carthaginian came, 400 years B.C. 

In the bottom of the valley runs a deep, muddy river, which a man 
could leap with a run. A modern Empedocles would dread that puling 
stream more than a sandy harbour filled with the dark blue waters of 
the African sea. Wherever such rivers run in Sicily fever exacts her 
summer toll. But you are there in spring when you cannot see the river, 
and only know that it is there by the winding lines of reed and tall yellow 
iris and weaving bramble. These are the flowers of the lowlands. 

In the highlands which cover all the heart of Sicily you get new 
effects. Half a mountain-side will be glowing crimson with sainfoin, or 
a meadow will be nodding with comfrey whose bells are bright and rich 
beyond belief. In that favoured land the dwarf wild stock covers whole 
banks with its puce, and the shy yellow asphodel, a noble lily, towers 
like the mullein where it has the whim. And, as you draw near the fated 
Fields of Enna, your heart will leap to see the many-headed narcissus 



46 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

there to tempt the Proserpine of to-day, as she foots it back from the 
fountain with her great Greek water-jar balanced on her graceful head. 
The transition from wild flowers to gardens is easy, for in Sicily the 
wild blossoms are not treated as fallen sisters, even in the botanical 
gardens of the capital. The gardener does not plant them it is true ; 
they would sulk if he did, but they are welcome to use every foot of 
earth in which he has no occasion to dig, and they crawl over and 
caress his choicest plants. 




THE MADONIAN MOUNTAINS i TORRENTE LANZERIA 

The botanical gardens of Palermo are a joy to Northern eyes, with 
their giant bamboos and wildernesses of old palms, and yuccas and 
euphorbias. Some of these are very rare, but the non-professional 
visitor has no burden to carry there, for he need not think of their 
rareness ; they are set out to display their beauties as parts of a forest. 
These gardens are famous amongst botanists, too, for the hand of 
science has been here a hundred years and more, and there are plants 
in the houses like the giant Bougainvilleas, which are of European 
fame. You can believe it when you see these lofty walls of crimson 
or vieux-rose blossoms, and you can buy cuttings and seeds of every 
thing, and the gardener who takes you round will earn his franc well 
by picking you any blossoms you may set your heart on. The earth 
brings forth so abundantly that her plant-children need the hand of the 
gatherer as the she-goat needs the milker. 



THE GARDENS 47 

Sicily has delightful gardens, but few of them are of the formal 
Italian type, except at the old court suburb of Bagheria, where the 
gardens are forgotten. 

The most gracious of the gardens of Palermo is the Duke of 
Orleans' Parco d'Aumale. It lies in and beyond a clifT-bound hollow 
that was part of Panormus, the all-harbour of the ancients. A quake 
of the earth, started as the Greeks believed with the sea-god's trident, 
rolled its waters back into the sea for evermore. Now it is a lemon 
grove, which reaches with its tide of dark shining leaves starred with 
golden fruit half-way to Monreale. Under the lemon trees is a rich 
sward of the musky Sicilian trefoil. But it is the farther shore of that 
lemon grove which touches the heart, when you have passed the tall 
palms and the dark evergreens, and find yourself in the long avenue of 
roses, or sitting under the naming canopy of the Judas-tree on a mossy 
marble seat with Monreale full hi view. 

The joy of this garden is its mellowness, its air of poetic decay, 
sympathising with the lot of the exiled king who is its master. I like 
it better far than the ordered splendour of Count Tasca's garden just 
above, like all these famous gardens, free to the traveller for a trifling 
fee to the gatekeeper, who keeps out beggars only. 

This garden in its way is the finest in Sicily. Its groups of palms 
and yuccas, its tangles of aloes and agaves are so magnificent : its lake, 
its island, its temple are so skilfully managed. But English taste 
inclines more to the gardens of Mr. Joseph Whitaker, at Malfitano, 
and Mr. Joshua Whitaker, at Sperlinga, where the clumps of rare 
palms spring out of broad airy lawns, and masses of colour are secured 
with frisias and ranunculi and hedge-like walls of roses. 

A charming feature in these Sicilian gardens is the dwarf hedge of 
crimson China roses, another is the ordered line of the dark laurel of 
Camoens, or the heavily blossomed laurestimis. Sicilian fountains 
are joys with their white nymphs or sea-horses, in green tangles of 
aquatic plants, papyrus, cyperus, lotus, and arum. Often, too, there 
is the play of fancy as at the Flora at Palermo, where, against the 
romantic background of the tropical lake garden in the Orto Botanico, 
you have the open-air Valhalla of immortal Sicilians grouped round 
the fountains of the Genius of Palermo and the Trinacria shield of 
Sicily Gorgias the Orator, Zeuxis the Painter, Archimedes the 
Engineer, Empedocles and their peers. 

Gardens differ in character in different localities. At Marsala, in 
another Whitaker garden, I have seen a corn crop grown in the centre 
with the happiest effect. It was edged with butcher's-broom and 
genesta, and the trees that love generous climates, bounded all with the 
old fortress walls of the Baglio. 



48 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

As different again is the Villa Rocca Guelfonia at Messina, filling 
the stronghold of the Mamer tines, which later conquerors built up 
into astounding ramparts as high as Rome's Pincian hill. There is 
room within them for the prison, and King Roger's Norman keep, 
and many a tomb, all lost in thickets of roses, and rose-geraniums and 
fieri di miele, clipped here and there for paths to wind and climb. 

But few Sicilian gardens are more lovable than Madame Politi's at 
Syracuse, the old and the new. The old the Villa Landolina is 
hardly a flower garden, though the terrace on which roses clamber over 
rosemary and ivy, and make a parapet without a parallel, as you wander 
past the graves of Protestants, denied Christian burial, is as fine a floral 
effect as heart could desire. Its graciousness lies rather in its poetical 
lemon groves, and its stately bamboos and plantains, and its air of 
almost tropical repose. 

But it yields in charm to Madame Politi's newer garden, the creation 
of her own imagination. She had wonderful material to work upon 
the great Latoinia with its white limestone precipices flooded with 
golden ivy, and caper and vermouth, and tall obelisks of rock rising 
from its bed, left, as lonely as lighthouses, by cjuarrymen, whose race 
had been forgotten before Thucydides wrote his history. The bed is 
filled with a garden where Theocritus is said to have walked and sung, 
a garden of wild growth, whose glades are filled with olive and almond 
and citrous fruit, and the scarlet pomegranate and hibiscus with violets 
clustering round their roots. 

Where these grow, seven thousand captive Athenians cursed the day 
they were born. Graves of these or others are thick in the caves 
beneath the inexorable cliffs which shut them in, and there are wells 
that speak of ancient human habitation. 

This great waterless lake Madame Politi surrounded with a low 
parapet on the edge of the precipice, built of the same loose stones, 
smoothed with stucco, that formed the palaces of Achradina and 
Epipolae which have returned to their elements this many a century. 
These hanging gardens are filled with palm and lentisk edged with 
vermouth and Jove's-beard and Indian fig and golden ivy, and flooded 
with fragrant stocks and China roses. When winter reigns elsewhere, 
the old stone wall of the monastery garden is lined with thickets of 
lavender and rosemary, the glittering white foundation of the tiny 
temple and the Greek house spring from tangles of vermouth and 
snapdragon and Sicily's errantry of vetches and tares. The rocks, 
whose niches were once filled with the marble memorials of Roman 
nobles, are almost veiled in the wealth of almond and lemon blossom, 
and down below, in the pris6n of the Athenians, the garden of 
Theocritus, hoary olives raise their heads to the brow of the latomia. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE BARGAIN-HUNTER IN SICILY 

ONE of the great charms of Sicily is that it is a collectors' country 
where the bargain-hunter can still come across a real treasure- 
trove. Even the wealthy can buy things reasonably, because at 
present the supply is far in excess of the demand. If you fly high and 
are on the look out for services of antique plate, or noble pieces of 
antique jewellery, you are under a certain disadvantage. The people, 
in whose hands very valuable pieces lie, are expert dealers who know 
their value and mean to make a large profit. About such buyers or 









:.-V-i|pr;.;;. ' , J :"%^ a 









SYRACUSE : THE WALL OF EURYALUS, THE NORTHERN GATE 

sellers I am not greatly concerned. Mr. Von Pernull, Cook's corre 
spondent, is an expert in old gold and silver, and will gladly advise 
visitors on the subject. 

But Sicily is full of things to tempt the real bargain-hunter, the man 
who can put out a few pounds for a great prize, but much prefers to put 
out a few francs, or even sous. 

E 49 



So SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Sicily's specialities for the curio-hunter are fine plate, fine jewellery and 
enamels a century or two old, old lace, old ivories, old embroideries, 
old majolica, old pearl and tortoise-shell work, silk pictures, old wood- 
carving and hammered iron, and ancient Greek articles, such as coins, 
jewellery, ornaments, bronzes, vases, and terra-cotta statuettes. 

It is not part of my purpose in this book to advertise particular 
shops, it is sufficient to indicate the towns or districts which deal most 
in any special line. Take lace! there are shops sufficiently humble 
where you can buy bargains in Jace in Palermo, Taormina, and 
Girgenti ; and Sicilian lace is, for its price, charming. Besides lace, 
you should be on the look out for the delicate old drawn-linen work, 
and embroideries, taken chiefly from ecclesiastical vestments. Even in 
baroque times, the church embroideries of Sicily have amounted almost 
to a separate art. If you have a long purse you can also buy tapestries 
of unchallengeable pedigree, going back, at any rate, as far as the 
sixteenth century. Many Sicilian nobles are now impoverished and 
have wonderful art treasures accumulated in their palaces. But do not 
be persuaded that you can buy the old Saracenic silk work ; there is 
hardly a scrap of it even in the museum at Palermo. 

There is a law now against the exportation of old masters ; there 
must be a great many of them in Sicily, and their value is not at all 
perfectly known : the art dealer has not yet scoured Sicily. There are, 
for instance, a good number of Vandyck's religious pieces. 

One of the most fascinating things to collect is the old Sicilian 
jewellery. This, except where the pieces are important enough to 
attract the big dealers, is moderate in price, and it is an easy thing 
to take out of the country. Your boxes are not searched, and in any 
case you can get a museum permit for any article not coveted for 
the museum. The old jewellery of Sicily is now famous, and of 
certain kinds there is a plentiful supply. Take for example the pendants 
and earrings which are large enough to make into pendants of gold 
and silvery tracery, set with rose diamonds, ruby shavings, garnets ; and 
the numerous articles into which old turquoises and pearls enter. In 
various parts of Sicily and Italy you come across delightful pearl 
ornaments, in which the pearls instead of being set are pierced and 
sewn with gold wire. At Taormina especially, you see many of 
these offered for sale at prices which delight pearl lovers. It is 
astonishing how effective tassels of pearl are. Taormina, too, is a good 
place for what one may call coral cameos, heads or groups cut in coral 
of good colour a couple of centuries ago. The head of Christ 
crowned with thorns is a favourite subject. These old corals are 
beautiful and effective pieces in this age of rough gems of fine colour. 
Among the most fascinating things to buy are little old enamels, chiefly 



THE BARGAIN-HUNTER IN SICILY 51 

religious in subject, splendid bits of colour, set in little openwork frames 
of silver gilt garnished with pearls and garnets and turquoises, a century 
or two old, or more often in the old Sicilian Renaissance filigree work 
of silver and silver gilt. The seventeenth-century work of this kind is 
quaint and almost noble, and it is not very expensive. Silver gilt is 
quite a feature of Sicily. It is much more usual than gold in old pieces, 
and there is a good deal of beautiful and delicate jewellery which is only 
gilt brass, or, as they call it, bronze. It makes little difference in price 
whether it is silver gilt or bronze gilt, the beauty of the object is what 
counts, but you can buy fine gold jewellery in this same tracery work set 
with more precious stones. At the same time such pieces are not 
particularly characteristic of the country. A great charm in the 
jewellery-buying lies in the quantity of genuine old pieces, especially 
in the matter of reliquaries and settings for little enamels of the saints. 
All these are delightful. 

With them I should mention crucifixes ; fine old ivory Christs can 
be bought for a matter of francs if you look about. They are some 
times exquisitely carved, and mounted as a rule on crosses veneered 
with tortoise-shell. 

Tortoise-shell veneering is a Sicilian speciality, you can buy many 
articles in it, but the most usual are crucifixes, picture-frames, and little 
chests or cabinets. The Sicilians are also fond of veneering with 
mother-of-pearl, and the chased crucifixes set on little Calvarys in this 
work are very quaint and light up a room. In the Arabo-Norman 
times ivory veneering was much used, and once in a way a box of that 
period comes into the market, but so seldom that almost any piece must 
be regarded with suspicion. 

Splendid early Renaissance hammered ironwork is still fairly plentiful, 
from its difficulty of transport and want of adaptability inside a house. 
Wood-carving may be had at moderate prices for similar reasons. 
There is a great deal of Empire furniture in Sicily, and probably 
a certain amount of Chippendale and Sheraton, introduced during 
the English Protectorate. In out-of-the-way churches, in the sacristy 
lumber-rooms, you see many a neglected sixteenth-century chair of 
noble pattern, and occasionally some stamped Spanish leather. They 
are often for sale, but there is practically no stained glass in Sicily. 
One of the least costly things to buy in- Sicily is Renaissance ornament, 
you see delightful pieces that could be worked up into every species of 
frame or canopy, going almost a-begging. 

The Sicilian majolica is well worthy of attention, but it is not 
all made in Sicily ; the city of Messina, for instance, prides itself on the 
possession of a set of seventy gloriously decorated drug-jars, made at 
Urbino, to the order of its Civic Hospital in the sixteenth century. 



52 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

The capital of Sicilian majolica is Caltagirone, and one of its great 
specialities was the making of table salt-cellars, which only held a pinch 
of salt. These seventeenth-century Caltagirone salt-cellars, with their 
rich blues and oranges, supported by lions and other monsters, are 
charming ; they are like miniature fountains standing several inches 
high. Sicily is full of majolica drug-jars and wine-jugs of admirable blues 
and pleasing shapes, two centuries and more old. Another majolica, 
much collected, is the mattone stagnate, or tile, bearing the armorial 
bearings or religious device of its owner, which formerly ornamented 
the right top corner of the gateway of every house belonging to a 
noble or a religious body. At the museum in Palermo and in some 
private palaces, like Mr. Joshua Whitaker's, there are magnificent 
collections of these door-tiles, hardly any of which remain In situ. 

Sicily abounds in fine rock-crystal and Venetian glass chandeliers, 
a useful thing to know during the present craze. 

Few objects of the Saracen era ever come into the market except 
water-jars covered with Arabic emblems or inscriptions. 

So much for modern and medieval curios. But even their plentiful- 
ness is less remarkable than that of ancient Greek articles, all of which, 
except important Greek objects like statues or monumental pieces of 
jewellery, can be exported if the permission of the director of a museum 
is obtained. 

In coins, in terra-cotta figures, and in vases, Sicily has an immense 
choice to offer the collector of antiquities. Coins above all ! The 
silver coins of Greek Sicily have never been equalled. The great 
decadrachms, struck by Syracuse to commemorate her conquest of the 
Athenians, from the dies of Euaenetus and Cimon, are, with their bold 
high relief and majestic beauty, the glory of Doric art, the Dorian 
rivals of the sculpture of Phidias and Praxiteles. There are no such 
Apollos, no such beautiful female heads in the whole range of art, as 
are to be found on various coins of Greek Sicily, especially Syracuse. 
A good specimen of one of the grand decadrachms mentioned above 
fetches about ^50 to ^60. There are, of course, imitations of them 
about, executed in silver by a very clever coin-maker of Catania ; but 
it is almost impossible for an imitation to equal the majestic beauty of 
the original. In the reign of Agathocles also there were some very 
fine and beautiful coins struck, and some of these were imitated by the 
Carthaginians, who had a habit of taking their coins, even to the letter 
ing, from the Greek. The tetradrachms, bearing the head of Hiero II. 
and his wife Philistis, are very handsome and striking, but less refined 
pieces. The well-known pegasi coins with the head of Minerva on 
one side and a flying horse on the other which were introduced into 
Sicily from Corinth by Timoleon, and many elegant little drachmas and 



THE BARGAIN-HUNTER IN SICILY 53 

obols are not expensive and are very decorative, even if not collected 
for a coin collection. Greek and Roman copper coins can often be 
bought for the merest trifle, the peasants find them in such quantities 
when they are digging. There are some beautiful little gold coins 
also. But it is better to buy gold imitations of these, because they are 
so very difficult to tell from the originals. 

Next we may take the terra-cotta figures. Here I may own at 
once that for decorativeness the Sicilian figures are not to be compared 
to those of Tanagra or Myrina. They belong to an earlier period, 
the fifth or sixth century B.C., and nearly always represent goddesses 
instead of giving us portraits and sketches of the smart women of the 
period. 

I think this is to be regretted, beautiful as the heads of these 
Sicilian figures are, recalling the smiling loveliness of the statues of the 
same period, discovered in the excavations of the Parthenon and the 
Erectheum in 1887, beautiful every one of them. They have not 
the immortal youth and Praxitelean grace of those figures which, in 
their hundreds at the Louvre, set the lovely coquettish women of 
ancient Greece before us hats, parasols, and all. As human documents, 
the little clay people of Tanagra are worth all the marbles in the 
Vatican. 

What an irony it is that the Greeks of Athens, who set their com 
plexion on the great events of their time by their command of human 
sympathies in their writing, should have had their verdict on the lovely 
women who shared their lives reversed by circumstantial evidence. 
They thought nothing of their women ; they were like the Japanese, 
who think that women should leave all accomplishments to geishas. 
They believed their women not worth the chronicling, but we know 
better. We see that their personality was so penetrating that they 
have survived by sculpture. The Athenians did so little for their 
wives in their lives that when they died they felt it incumbent 
on them to call in cunning portrayers of the human form (always a 
leading industry in marble-carving, vase-making Athens). To honour 
their memory, the little asdiculae, the chapel-shaped tablets with sunken 
panels, were carved with photographic fidelity to represent a beautiful 
young Hegeso delighting in her toilet, or a meek wife entertaining 
at the supper-table the husband who spent his entire life at the Greek 
equivalent of clubs. The vase-makers of the Ceramicus painted on 
the white clay vessels which have been the marvel of every succeeding 
age the graceful Hetaira dancing or breathing soft music in the 
banquet-room. The dress and the furniture are there as plainly as in a 
printed illustration of to-day. On one vase the very music which she 
was playing has been interpreted. 



54 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Sicily has taken her full part in supplementing these friezes and 
paintings. Four hundred and nine years before Christ, Hannibal, the 
son of Gisco, landed in Sicily to avenge the defeat and death of his 
grandfather at Himera on the day of Salamis. Never was invasion so 




SELINUNTE : RUINS OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER OLYMPIUS (TEMPLE G) 

triumphant. He died before his work was done, but when it was 
done, every Greek city in Sicily^except Syracuse lay in ashes, and two 
of the greatest Selinunte and Girgenti never lifted their heads 
again in sovereign state. Four hundred and nine years before Christ 
Selinunte bowed its head to fate, and three years later the Girgenti 
of Gellias, who could entertain five hundred guests upon a winter 
night and give them each a cloak when they left, was in the dust. 
From that century to the last the work of the scornful Carthaginian 
lay undisturbed. A new Selinunte, a new Girgenti arose, shrunken 
from their former greatness. But it is their deserted ruins buried deep 
beneath the dust of ages which yield us so much of the life which the 
Greeks lived in Athens* century of glory. Dorian were the women 
of these two slain cities, but we may take it that the ornaments and 
utensils of a woman's life were the same in this island Greece as they 
were in the little Greece which was the mother of all Greeks. When 
a new necropolis comes to light in Girgenti, and the lastra are taken 
off which hid the inmates from the sky, the happy finder picks out 
toilet-boxes and unguent-jars of earthenware exquisitely light, such as 
you see in Hegeso's chamber on the tomb. For filling her little chased 
clay lamp there is an oil-jug the ancestor of our cream-jug or a 



THE BARGAIN-HUNTER IN SICILY 55 

spouted vase identical in shape with many a Japanese teapot. There 
may be other and larger jugs painted with scenes from the stories 
of the gods, or vases and bowls with wonderful curves and a black 
glaze like polished ebony. Once in a way there may be the pre 
sentment in clay of the woman's face, or little clay images of the 
gods in whom she put her trust for the long journey, mostly of Proser 
pine the Saviour. 

I do not think that the connection between Ceres and Proserpine, 
and the Madonna and Christ had ever been emphasised in English till 
I drew attention to it in my In Sicily after visiting Castrogiovanni. 
There I saw the statue of Ceres holding the infant Proserpine, dating 
from ancient Roman times, which had for centuries done duty in the 
cathedral as Mary holding the infant Christ in spite of the fact that the 
child was obviously a girl. It had only recently been removed from 
the cathedral, and I was informed that there were others in the town 
which were used in the same way. The Ceres held her child in the 
way that half the Italian Madonnas in existence hold theirs the in 
vention of Praxiteles himself. Here, as I pointed out, was plainly the 
original of the type. The Ceres was to all intents andfpurposes the 




GIRGENTI : RUINS OF THE TEMPLE OF THE OLYMPIAN JOVE 

ordinary Madonna, only the child was a little girl. A recent study 
of Pausanias has developed the situation extraordinarily, for there 
I find that the Arcadians, who made a special cult of "the great 
goddesses," habitually spoke of Ceres as the Mistress (Madonna), and 



56 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

of Proserpine as the Saviour.* There is even the further circumstance 
of the resurrection of Proserpine. 

But to get back to Greek graves, there is at Syracuse a pathetic 
coffin of a Greek girl, who was buried with her jewellery and 
her playthings and an exquisite little terra-cotta image of her god 
dess. From such a grave we get all manner of glimpses of Greek 
life, and bronze mirrors like the Japanese mirror of to-day, bronze 
needles like our packing-needle, little bronze bells, bronze weights, 
bronze platters, bronze fibula brooches, bronze bracelets like the 
bangles of to-day, bronze rings like our wedding-rings, bronze spoons. 




SYRACUSE : SOUTH SIDE OP THE CASTLE OF EURYALUS 

Mingled with the bronzes at times are vessels that in their day were 
ordinary glass, but have been tempered, with the slow magic of the 
earth that lapped them, into something which has caught the iris-of the 
rainbow. This glass, which has suffered an earth change into some 
thing rare and strange, is exquisite beyond words. 

Sometimes, but less often, the woman's ornaments, which were 
buried with her, will be of gold which neither moth nor rust can 
corrupt. They come out of two thousand years of burial shining 
like pale fire finger-ring and earring and bracelet and breast orna 
ments. 

In contrast to which, two graves at Girgenti have yielded with 
their bones pairs of iron fetters with the ankle-cuffs so small that they 
would only have gone round a woman's slender legs, so that these two 
* The masculine form "soter," not the feminine "soteira," was used. 



THE BARGAIN-HUNTER IN SICILY 57 

persons, whose feet were chained together when they died and were 
thrust into their graves, must have been women slaves already, or 
captive ladies of Girgenti, who succumbed as they were being driven 
in fetters to the sea to be shipped to the slave-markets of Carthage. 

It is not everyone who cares to transport larger pieces even where 
the museum will pass them. But once I was offered a fine bronze 
tripod, and large vases may always be bought at a fair price, not only 
Greek, but Sikel and Sicanian. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE CHURCHES AND THE LIFE IN THEM 

THE chief charm in the Sicilian churches is their lovableness ; 
there is hardly a splendid church in the island, if one excepts 
the cathedrals and the royal chapel of the Norman kings. But 
there are many, in one or the other way, endued with the soul of 
beauty, and in Sicily they are built into the life of the people still. The 
scarcity of really splendid churches is the more surprising, in view of 
the fact that there are some few which stand in the forefront of 
Christian architecture. 

First comes the Royal Chapel of Palermo with the most beautiful 
interior of any church in Christendom. It is only about a hundred 
feet long and not fifty feet high, but there is no work of the same 
size, even in S. Mark's, Venice, that will stand comparison. For 
Roger, the greatest monarch of his day, embellished it with spoils of 
the East marbles not to be matched in Rome itself, most cunningly 
disposed in columns for pulpit and altar, in panels for screens, and 
panels along the walls, under the golden mosaics glowing with the 
Old and New Testament, known as King Roger's Bible. From this 
revetement of marble, glittering with bands of Cosmato, he carried a 
surcoat of golden mosaic gemmed with the figures of saints over arch 
and wall to the roof in the ancient Arabic style. The chapel rises 
eastward from the incomparable Easter candlestick and pulpit, and the 
marble -outworked choir to the three apses glowing with the most 
transcendent marbles of all, the white-flowered crimson porphyry and 
the pavonazzetto, of which only two examples exist outside of these 
walls. The mosaics remain almost in their pristine mellowness, change 
has dealt lightly with them. Mellowness is the keynote of King Roger's 
Chapel, the service is as mellow as its music, and roof and arch have 
lost every straight hard line. In the vestry are priceless caskets made 
by Arab hands in Norman times, and charters in Greek and Latin. 
The crypt where S. Peter sheltered himself contains in the same 
cavern the cross used as an excuse for the iniquities of the Inquisition, 
happily abolished in Sicily one hundred and twenty years ago. The 

58 



THE CHURCHES AND THE LIFE IN THEM 59 

pavement in the inlay of Alexandria has been worn by the feet of 
eight hundred years. 

Across the square from the royallest of chapels is the cathedral of 
Walter of the Mill, gutted inside by the Neapolitan Fuga's Campo- 
Santo restorations, and with its wonderful skyline vulgarised by a thin 
dome the cathedral which, but for this, would have had hardly a 
superior among medieval churches. 

It is majestical in its conception with its flat roof in unbroken length, 
made light with the elegance of Saracenic detail, and set off at the 
corners east and west with beautiful little campanili, almost as gracious 
as Giotto's Tower, the western linked by flying arches of rainbow 




THE CATHEDRAL OF PALERMO 



curves to the glorious tower of the archbishop's palace. The fabric of 
the cathedral is as golden as the temples of Girgenti, its porch has a 
mosque-like beauty of form and is wrought of stones whose inscriptions 
and ornaments show that once they stood in a mosque. The eastern 
exterior has the delightful sunk arcades the Sicilian Normans loved, 
and the tawny west front is adorned with inscriptions to the cathedral's 
worthies, on white marble tablets set in the golden stone. Within, 
few pause to look at S. Rosalia's silver shrine, or the benitiers of Gagini ; 
their footsteps are drawn to the significant porphyry sarcophagi of 
Roger and his daughter Constance, and her husband, the Emperor 
Henry VL, and her son, the greater Emperor Frederick II., under 
marble canopies of primeval majesty. These were spared when the stucco 
stream of Fuga rolled over the cathedral, like the liquid lava of Etna. 



6o 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



Down to the crypt below the stream did not pass. The vulgar 
who restore churches out of recognition go on the principle of the 
woman with the expensive dress and the poor underlines They do 
not spend money on what cannot be seen, so crypts escape their embel 
lishments. Down here we still have the stately English-Norman of 




THE CATHEDRAL OF CEFALU 



Archbishop Walter, who came to Palermo with William the Good's 
English wife ; fighting Odo of Bayeux ; and the Doria archbishop, who 
hit upon the happy idea of exploiting Santa Rosalia ; and others of the 
olden time. 

One other English-Norman church shames with its bold round 
arches, the narrow stilted arch apertures of the Arabo-Norman. It is 
the Church of the Vespers, rising out of its dark cypresses by the spot 
where Mastrangelo (well called the master angel) raised the signal 
for the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers on the brow above the rushing 
Oreto. 

The arabesque beauty of the cathedral at Palermo is known only 
to those who have set eyes on it, but what student is there who has 
not heard of the mosaics of Monreale and CefaKl? They have 
wonderful sites these two great churches one on a citadel rock 
overhanging the flood of fertility known as the Conca d'Oro, and the 
other under the crown of rock which bears the Saracen's Castle and 
the Pelasgic House, at CefaliX Outside, they are sufficiently alike 



THE CHURCHES AND THE LIFE IN THEM 61 

with their west porches, flanked by primitive towers, and their apses 
laced with exquisite arcading. Inside, Monreale with its eighty 
thousand square feet of mosaics, and its airy dimensions recalling Santa 
Sophia, and its tremendous columns with their richly arabesqued 
capitals, stands far ahead of Cefalu, except to those more-seeing people 
who love to come, upon old far-off forgotten things. 

The mosaics of the Royal Chapel and Monreale and Cefald are all 
of the twelfth century ; but the last, at any rate, are claimed as genuine 
handiwork of the Calogeri, the hermits from the monasteries of Mount 
Athos. Be that as it may, the best gifts that the mosaics of the world, 
pictures immortalised in glass, have for us are the portraits of Christ 
in these three churches, precious alike for their majesty, and as publishing 
to later generations the tradition preserved by the mosaicists of Mount 




MONREALE CATHEDRAL (INTERIOR) 

Athos, who had this tradition down from men who hacj seen Christ in 
the flesh. Behind Monreale, too, is the antique cloister unequalled for 
grace through the length and breadth of Italy, and i^ith a different 
story deftly carved by Norman hands on each of its \j;wo hundred 
capitals, eclipsed all of them by that Moorish fountain. ^ 



62 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



Palermo has other Norman churches, such as S. Cataldo and the 
Eremiti. It is hard to believe that they were not born mosques. But 
the records are clear as to S. Cataldo, although tradition allows Saracen 
worship to have taken place in the e'xisting fabric of S. Giovanni 
degli Eremiti, one of the monasteries founded by Pope Gregory 
the Great, out of the estates of his Sicilian mother. Those five red 




PALERMO : THE MARTORANA 



Saracen domes, that rich half-tropical garden, that exquisite ruined 
cloister, who could forget them ? 

The Martorana, another Norman church, shares with the Royal 
Palace and its chapel ; the Monreale and Cefald and Messina Cathedrals ; 
the Saracen Hall of the Zisa ; and a church and a convent at Messina, 
the glory of having mosaics of the Norman princes. From them, 
quite low down, we learn what Roger the King was like, and the 
Admiral George himself who built the famous bridge and had the 



THE CHURCHES AND THE LIFE IN THEM 63 

word admiral invented for him. The church itself was dedicated to 
. S. Mary of the Admiral. 

The cathedral of Messina must be mentioned in this context, because 
the whole east end of it is discovered to have mosaics covered with 
later work which can be removed. But little of it belongs to the 
period. It was burned at the burial of an emperor, and in its place 







LEFT-HAND DOOR OF THE CATHEDRAL AT MESSINA 

rose one of the few great Gothic churches in Sicily, with its noble and 
richly sculptured west front. The interior has many precious monu 
ments the stately columns of Neptune's temple ; the mosaics ; the 
curious old coloured roof; the marvellously rich high altar ; the splendid 
sculptures by Gagini. But taken as a whole it is not impressive 
it is a collection of items. Between its period and that of the early 
Norman Palermo churches come a most interesting group, mostly 
ruinous and mostly about Palermo, churches like the Magione of 
the Teutonic Knights. ; the S. Antonio of the Chiaramonte palace ; the 



6 4 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



Maddalena in the Carabinieri barracks ; the Incoronata behind the 
cathedral, where Roger assumed his crown ; with the church of 
the Alemanni, and the Badiazza at Messina; and the marvellous 
minster of Fmme d'Agro near Taormina. This period corresponded 




CATHEDRAL AND MONTQRSOUS FOUNTAIN "OF ORION AT MESSINA 

in a way to our Early English, when arches grew acute and simplicity 
severe. The architecture of these churches is very elegant and noble, 
but it has none of the gentle charm of the tall Saracenic arches of the 
Royal Chapel, which look as if they had grown downward like 
stalactites. In one place and another, I suppose, there are a good 
many churches of these two periods scattered throughout the length 
and breadth of Sicily, but they are not over-numerous, for the hand 
of the earthquake has been heavy. Nor are there a conspicuous number 
of the churches of the next period, when magnificent nobles like the 
Chiaramonti were bidding for the crown of Sicily. That was the 
fourteenth century, the age of portals. In Sicily, portal means more 
than a front gate ; it has its true technical significance of an entrance 
or gateway of a monumental character ; specifically an entrance which 
is emphasised by a stately architectural treatment, such as may make it 
the principal motif in an entire fa$ade. 

The typical fourteenth-century church in Sicily has for its west 
front a gable of the Pisan type, relieved only by a beautiful doorway, 
with slender, clustered columns and retreating arches, under a chaste 
rose window. These churches as a rule are hemmed in, and show 



THE CHURCHES AND THE LIFE IN THEM 65 

only their simple and majestic facades, because they were monastery 
churches. The effect is good; S. Francesco and S. Agostino at 
Palermo, and S. Giovanni, near the Greek theatre at Syracuse, are 
types. They may be regarded as the beginning of the Sicilian-Gothic 
if we are going to limit the name to the period following on the 
Norman. 

They are succeeded by the commonest type of Sicilian-Gothic, 
a pointed doorway, with a hood moulding of the same shape, or a 
square label above it, and rather indefinite Gothic windows. The 
early fifteenth-century Gothic of Sicily is pleasing from its unassuming- 
ness, but it is not great, and the surviving churches built in this period 




S. MARIA DEGLI ALEMANNI AT MESSINA 



are not usually of great magnitude. As it grows less pure, it grows 
more interesting. The very late Gothic, passing into early Renaissance, 
has been treated with much felicity by local architects who did not 
feel themselves bound by traditions. The gateway of S. Giorgio 



66 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



at Low Ragusa, the portal of S. Maria di Gesii at Modica, the 
chapel in S. Maria della Scala at High Ragusa, are like some 
of our late Perpendicular work in England, they are so rich and 
spirited; and at Palermo two churches, S. Maria alia Catena and S. 




S. MARIA DI GESU 



Maria Nuova, constitute almost a school of architecture to themselves, 
their porches are such a wonderfully happy combination of the Gothic 
and the Classic. They have an elegant freedom all their own. 

After this came the deluge. Between 1550 and 1850 Sicily was 
burdened with increasingly bombastic ecclesiastical edifices, with domes 



THE CHURCHES AND THE LIFE IN THEM 67 

and colonnades and other massive defects. Some of them are less dis 
tressing than others; there is a type that has no balloon, but two 
western towers, with little domed roofs, which has a certain solid 
majesty. Stone was cheap, and masons were good. But as a rule the 
churches went from bad to worse, until about half a century ago. They 
were especially bad in the eighteenth century. The great earthquake 
of 1693 had shaken down half the churches in Sicily, and the baroque 
style was in. full blast : architects were inflated. However, there was 
a great revival of good taste in the last century, when another earth 
quake was vouchsafed to shake down some of these monstrosities. 
Modica has three admirable nineteenth-century churches, each of 
them fit tp be a cathedral. The flights of steps that lead up to 
the churches at Modica are astonishingly fine. S. Giorgio at 
Modica rivals the famous Spanish Steps at Rome. 

But, after all, though the Royal Chapel at Palermo is the most flaw 
less gem of ecclesiastical architecture, the charm of a Sicilian church 
seldom lies in its tout ensemble. It has this or the other feature which 
quite captivates you, and the rest of it may be cheap. Sicily is a 
country of choice bits. Take as an example the cathedral of Syra 
cuse, which has a whole Greek temple of the best period embedded 
in it, or the cathedral at Taormina, which is made quite charming 
inside by the ruined red marble seats of the Corporation, rising in a 
ridiculous pyramid under a groggy eagle in the nave. They have sunk 
and decayed to just the proper pitch, and you forgive the whole build 
ing for them. A worthless Neapolitan architect made the interior of 
the Palermo Cathedral like a railway station, but he spared one spot 
the chapel, which contains the masterful tombs of the Norman kings. 




CHAPTER VIII 

THE PALERMO MUSEUM 

THIS, the most beautiful of all museums, has notable collections of 
(i) Sicilian-Greek terra-cottas ; (2) Sicilian-Greek statuary, par 
ticularly the famous metopes of Selinunte, and (3) Sicilian-Greek 
antiquities generally, such as fragments of temples, sarcophagi, vases, 
lamps, bronzes, jewellery, coins, etc. ; (4) Etruscan sarcophagi, 
cinerary urns, and pottery; (5) Sikelian and Sicanian pottery; (6) 
Sicilian-Arabic and Sicilian-Norman antiquities ; (7) Sicilian-Gothic 
doors, windows, tombs, statues, etc. ; (8) Sicilian needlework and 
embroideries ; (9) Sicilian majolica and other pottery of the last few 
centuries ; (10) a picture gallery, including the chamber of Novelli, the 
famous Jan Mabuse, etc.; (n) the Stucchi of Serpotta ; (12) Gari 
baldi relics. 

The moment you are inside the museum you are struck by its 
beauty. It is situated in the Convent of the Oratory of the Filippini, 
which has two cloisters by Marvuglia in the style of the Renaissance, 
unequalled by anything of their late period. These the fine taste of 
the Director of the Museum, Professor Antonino Salinas, has trans 
formed into garden courts, which are simply ideal. Their centres are 
filled with palms, plantains, papyrus, bamboos, and other sub-tropical 
foliage ; while the colonnades are filled with the architectural gems of 
the collection. The following objects should be noted ; 

GROUND FLOOR 

FIRST COURT 

(Medieval and modern sculpture and epigraphs.) Notice in the 
centre the * Triton, a statue of the sixteenth century, from the Royal 
palace, decorating a fountain. 

* Column erected In 1737 in the Piazza Croce del ^espri on the place 
where, according to the antique tradition, the French massacred in the 
Sicilian Vespers were buried. 

No. 1,038. A lovely fifteenth-century medallion of the Madonna and 
Child. 



PALERMO MUSEUM 69 

No. 1,172. A gate of dark marble from the Monastery of S.M. del 
Bosco. 

The last r a sepolcrale of Antonio Gurrcri, date 1521. 

No. 1,190. The lastra sepolcrale of 7incenzo Gagini, the son of 
Antonello. 

No. 1,019. The *Edicola degll ^malone^ 1528, attributed to the 
celebrated Sicilian sculptor, Antonelio Gagini. A beautiful statue of 
the Madonna in an equally beautiful niche. 

Nos. 1,214 and 1,215. A Madonna in marble, with an aedicula cut 
in tufo from the Monastero delle Repentite. Above is a window of 
the fourteenth century taken from the demolished church of S. Gia- 
como la Marina in tufo and lava. 

In two little rooms at the end of the court are two ancient state 
chariots of the Senate of Palermo painted by Giuseppe Velasquez 
(1750-1825). 

SALA DEL S. GIORGIO 

A few steps down from the first court. (Sculptures and plaster 
work of the Renaissance.) Notice : 

Little sleeping amorlno on the balustrade. 

In front a large *"* ' tedicula in marble with an altar attributed to 
Antonello Gagini. Erected at the expense of the Genoese in Palermo 
in i 526. In the centre it represents St. George on horseback, and on 
the sides are beautiful medallions with the busts of saints. The bottom, 
in high relief, still preserves the ancient painting. The coloured bas- 
reliefs behind are lovely, and the Madonna overhead is charming. 
St. George is one of the best figures of the fifteenth century. 

On the right the *edlcola di S. Lulgi. The architectural part (six 
teenth century) was once the cornice of the Spasimo of Raphael. 

No. 1,134. *$* Michael, attributed to Antonello Gagini. 

No. 1,003. * Sarcophagus of Cecilia, 1495. A sleeping figure almost 
as beautiful as the famous sleeping figure in Lucca Cathedral. 

No. 1,002. * 'Madonna with Child. 

No. 998. * 'Bust of a young man, fifteenth century. 

SECOND COURT 

(Epigraphs, sculptures, and architectural bits.) 

Under the portico to the left are a Phoenician inscription from 
Lilybseum ; some sculptures and inscriptions of the Roman period 
from Tyndaris ; some inscriptions and figures from Solunto, and a very 
interesting exhibit of a *f re- Hellenic tomb cut in tufo with two little 
chambers at the side of the entrance wall. This should be compared 
with the Sikel tombs which have recently been laid bare in the Forum 



at Rome near the temple of Antoninus and Faustina. The glass at 
the side shows how the bones and vases were found in a similar but 
much larger tomb. 

* On the wall above are some frescoes, very like those of Pompeii, 
from a house at Solunto, They are festoons and scenic masks on a 
ground of vermilion which has turned black. 




VIEW OF THE VAL D ISPICA, WITH THE GROTTO OF S. ILAKIO 
(From a photo by the Cavaliere Napolitano of Ragusa) 

At the bottom of the court a colossal statue of Jove, sitting, found 
at Solunto in 1825. The two little columns at the side sculptured 
with figures formed part of the throne of the deity. 

Jt standing statue of Jove, much restored, from Tyndaris. 

*A very small fragment of the frieze of the Parthenon given by an 
Englishman. 

THE VESTIBULE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE COURT 
Plaster copy of the fallen *tclamon of the Temple of Jove at Girgenti, 

2 5 feet long. 

Plaster copy of a * capital from the Temple of Apollo at Selinunte, 

a dozen feet across. 



PALERMO MUSEUM 71 

PASSAGE LEADING TO THE SALA DI PANORMO 

Two Phoenician sarcophagi looking like mummy-cases, found in vaults 
at Cannita, near Palermo, in 1695 and 1725. These are the only 
two undoubted Phoenician remains found near Palermo, though it was 
their chief city in the island. Both bear on their lids figures of 
women. 

SALA DI PANORMO 

Contains on its floor a very large and fine ** 'mosaic floor about 35 feet 
long and 25 feet wide, divided in 33 principal compartments. 

On the wall facing you is a ** mosaic pavement representing Orpheus, 
who plays the lyre in the midst of many animals, nearly 20 feet 
high and over 1 6 feet wide. These two grand mosaics, together with 
many other fragments of simple and symmetrical design, form the 
pavement of a large Roman house discovered in 1869 in the Piazza 
Vittoria. The larger of the two mosaics belongs to the first century 
A.D. The Orpheus is rather later. These two mosaics form together 
one of the most remarkable examples in existence of mosaic paving. 

SALA DEL FAUNO 

In the centre the *Faun of Torre del Greco^ given by Ferdinand II. 
No. 1,028. The black stone with hieroglyphic inscriptions, called 
by Egyptologists " The Pietra di Palermo''' * 

The * cornice of a 'temple at ancient Himera (Bonfornello). 

A * sarcophagus cut out of a piece of tufo, found at Girgenti, 1830. 

SALA DI SELINUNTE 

(Contains the architecture and sculpture from Selinunte.) 

Its principal feature consists of the world-famous metopes brought 
from Selinunte.** 

The height of the plinth on which the metopes are mounted 
represents that of the original architrave. 

On the wall, on the left as you go in, are the more ancient 
metopes from the so-called Temple of Hercules* (Temple C*). They 
comprise : 

(1) A four-horse chariot. 

(2) Perseus killing Medusa, from whose blood issues the horse 
Pegasus. 

(3) Hercules carrying the Cercopes. 

(4) Two lower halves of metopes. 



72 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

On the wall facing you the metopes of the fine period** Temple E, 
attributed to Hera (Giunone). They comprise : 

(1) Hercules lighting with an Amazon. 

(2) Jupiter surprised with the beauty of Juno when she had 
, borrowed Venus's girdle. 

(3) Diana having Actason, whose transformation is indicated by a 
stag-skin, torn to pieces by her hounds. 

(4.) Pallas combating with a giant. 

(5) A badly preserved metope of uncertain subject. 




THE SEL1NUNTE METOPE OF HEKCULES FIGHTING AN AMAZON 

In the centre of the room, on isolated bases, small archaic metopes*** 

1 I ) Europa and the Bull, with traces of colour. 

(2) The Sphinx. 

(3) Hercules taming a Bull. 

These were rescued by Prof. Salinas from the fortifications impro 
vised by Hermocrites to the north of the Necropolis of Selinunte. 

(4) Another metope of exquisite and ancient workmanship repre 
senting Juno and Mercury. 



PALERMO MUSEUM 73 

An important inscription* on a pilaster of tufo found at the large 
Temple G or Apollo at Selinunte in 1871. 

Various architectural pieces* from Selinunte with the colouring 
unusually well preserved. 

At the bottom of the Sala Selinunte is the 

ETRUSCAN MUSEUM 

(Etruscan antiquities found at Chiusi, formerly included in the 
Museo Casuccini.) Notice some fine bas-reliefs. Some stairs lead 
down from this chamber to the vaults, in which are stored thousands 
of terra-cotta figures and other objects found in the tombs at Selinunte. 
These are waiting to be transferred above, when room is found for 
them, and are very interesting. Any proper person can usually obtain 
leave from the Director to visit them with an officer of the Museum for 
purposes of study. 

SECOND AND THIRD ETRUSCAN ROOMS 

Contain some splendid sarcophagi, one noble example having a 
painted inscription and 'the other large one a spirited relief of the 
Battle between the Greeks and the Amazons. On the right there is a 
rather indelicate sarcophagus-lid of a man caressing his wife, as power 
fully realistic as a Japanese wood-carving of the best period. 



FIRST FLOOR 

(On this floor are bronzes, terra-cottas, coins, jewels, embroideries, 
lace, majolica, stucco reliefs, the Sala Araba, and the Serradifalco 
Collection. The staircase is in the first court on the left as you enter. 
In a room to the right as you enter on the first landing, provisionally 
closed, are the Giardini inscriptions from the Proprieta Moschella, 
which are supposed to be forgeries.) 

NORTH CORRIDOR (CORRIDOJO DI TRAMONTANA) 

Contains 

Some models of Serpotta and Marabitti. 

Manuscripts in Latin and a charter in Greek. . 

yd and \th cases. Greek terra-cottas arranged by their towns. Only 
a few complete figures from Girgenti all archaic forms. 

yh case, ditto. Some fine heads from Naxos. Splendid Naxos head, 
given by Prof. Salinas, equally notable for its antiquity and the fineness 
of its execution. 



74 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

tyh case. A large case of bronze figures and bone stili and needles. 
Small glass objects. *Caduceus 9 gift of Prof. Salinas. There is an in 
scription on it, mentioning the Sicilian city of Imacara. ** Marsala 
inscription, of two clasped hands, with an inscription in bad Greek, 
recording that Himilcon Hannibal Clorus, son of Himilcon, makes 
hospitality with Liso, son of Diognetes, and his descendants. 

loth case. Bone and Stone Age things and little bronzes. 

Notice also the carbonised cereals, fruits, and pieces of bread from 
Pompeii. 

Off this leads the 

SALA ARABA 

Instituted for Arabic and Sicilian medieval monuments. This room 
has been used for the magnificent collection of terra-cottas found in the 
new temple at Selinunte, but they were only placed there temporarily. 

Round the cornice is a copy of the inscription in Arabic carved 
round the top of the Cuba (A.D. 1 180), of which a translation is given 
in Italian in Prof. Salinas's guide to the Museum. 

This should be studied, also the coloured facsimile of a portion of 
the roof of the Cappella Reale and a cast of the Arab honeycombing 
at the Cuba. 

** Carved Arabic door of the twelfth century from the house of 
GofFredo di Martorano. It is about 15 feet high, covered with 
arabesques and has iron bosses like the Cappella Reale. 

The gem of this room is the glorious ** Mazzara JSase, one of the 
finest pieces of pottery in the world, of Hispano-Arabic manufacture, 
about 4 feet high, of white covered with greenish gold arabesques. 
The lustre of this famous piece is extraordinary. The only blemish 
in it is a hole made in it when it was used as a water-cistern at 
Mazzara. 

The student of Sicilian-Arabic remains will find also a good deal of 
ordinary Sicilian-Arab pottery and some fine pieces of lustre. There 
is a large collection of pottery from the Martorana, with Arabic 
characters, very like the Palermo peasant's pottery of to-day. 

Notice coins and pieces of ironwork in cases by the window. 

Brass vessels and astronomical instruments, including an astrolabe, 
signed Hamid-ibn-AH (954-5). 

Copies of Arabic inscriptions from the Eremiti at Termini. 

Fifteenth-century painted boards, mostly quaint animals from St. 
Agostino at Trapani. 

A splendid Saracenic chest of dark wood mosaiced with ivory (by 
the door). 



PALERMO MUSEUM 75 

THE SALA SERRADIFALCO 

Given by Giulia, Duchess of Serradifalco, mostly collected by the 
Cav. Corrado Ventimiglia. 

*Five beautiful Urbino plates. 

Majolica tile signed Francesco Mazarixa, I 544.. 

Greek vases, one with the same subject as the Selinuntine metope of 
Hercules. 

Some good little Greek terra-cotta statuettes of the Tanagra period. 

A splendid painted and inlaid cabinet of the seventeenth century. 

Gobelin tapestry of Rebecca's reception by Abraham. 

Two charming pictures, a " Ghirlandajo " (No. 1,218) and the 
*" Venus and Love," attributed to Novelli. 

Prof. Salinas stars the Vincenzo da Pavia (No. 1,031). 

SALA DI SERPOTTA 

Giacomo Serpotta, 1656-1732, was a Palermitan sculptor, never 
beaten anywhere in the beauty of his stucco-work. He heads a chapter 
in the history of Italian statuary. This room contains some fine ex 
amples of his work taken from the demolished Chiesa delle Stimmate. 
Some of the faces are exquisitely beautiful. 

In this room is a collection of old weapons, and a watch several 
inches across. 

CORRIDOJO DI MEZZOGIORNO 

(Majolicas.) 

The cases in the centre contain some noble Faenza vases and lovely 
Palermo majolica vases. 

The * 'eighteenth-century Palermo jars are from the factory of Baron 
Malvica. The drug-jars are not Caltagirone, but Collesano, Burgio, 
Sciacca, etc., presented by Comm. Luigi Manceri, the well-known 
antiquary. 

On the walls hang a number of the " mattoni stagnati," the tiles 
painted with inscriptions and coats-of-arms, or figures of saints, placed 
above the entrance door of a house to the right to show the proprietor 
ship. There are some small ones of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, 
but they are mostly seventeenth and eighteenth. These are much 
collected now. 

Beautiful **Madonna by Luc a della Robbia. 

Bronze Greek armour in the end case. 

PASSAGE TO THE SALA DEI BRONZI 
Contains some Etruscan bronzes from the Casuccini Collection. 



76 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

SALA DEI BRONZI 

(Notice the highly appropriate Pompeian decorations and furniture 
of this room introduced by Prof. Salinas.) 

Colossal ** bronze ram, one of the most famous of Greek bronzes, 
given by Victor Emmanuel II. There were two of them preserved in 
the palace at Palermo up to 184.8, when the revolutionists destroyed 
one of them. They formerly stood on the ledges above the great gate 
of the Castle of Maniace at Syracuse, from which they were taken in 
1448 by the Marquis of Geraci, who took them as a reward for putting 
down the revolt at Syracuse in that year. When his nephew and heir's 




THE BRONZE RAM FROM THE CASTLE OF MANIACE AT SYRACUSE 

goods were confiscated, they were brought to Palermo and used to 
decorate the seat of government, which was first in the Chiaramonte 
palace, then at the Castellamare, and then at the present royal palace. 
Even Goethe admired this ram and its then unbroken fellow : " My 
attention was chiefly occupied with two rams, in bronze, which, not 
withstanding the unfavourable circumstances, highly delighted our 
artistic taste. They are represented in a recumbent positura, with one 
foot stretched out before themj with the heads (in order to form a pair) 
turned on different sides. Powerful forms, belonging to the mythological 
family, and well worthy to carry Phrixus and Helle. The wool, not 
short and crisp, but long and flowing, with a slight wave, and shape 
most true to nature, and extremely elegant they evidently belonged 
to the best period of Grecian art. They are said to have stood 
originally in the harbour of Syracuse," 



PALERMO MUSEUM 77 

Famous bronze ** group of Hercules and the Ceryneian stag, which 
formed part of a fountain of Pompeii presented with its basin of white 
marble by King Francis I. The water came from the mouth. 

The room also contains some charming Greek bronzes and bowls and 
jugs, like our milk-jugs, a Roman mosaic pavement, and some little 
Pompeian frescoes. 

Notice in the case outside the Sala dei Bronzi a lovely Japanese- 
shaped looking-glass, engraved with Greek vase designs. 

SALA BELLA CERAMICA GRECA 

(Most important and beautifully arranged.) 

Notice fine collection of Greek vases in the anteroom. 

Just inside (No. 17) is the famous * Greek saucer with a coral plant 
growing upon it, fished up in the Bay of Palermo. 

In the centre (No. 1,285) * lovely marble antique table from Pompeii. 
On it stands ** the celebrated Gela Vase, the finest ever found in Sicily, 
decorated with the Battle of the Greeks and the Amazons, who are 
beautiful and full of movement. On the neck is Hercules between 
the Centaurs and the Battle of the Greeks with the Centaurs. The 
vase is notable alike for its size, its decoration, and its glaze. It is the 
largest found in Sicily. 

No. 1,628. On an isolated stand is a * Bacchus and Ariadne with 
numerous attendants. 

No. 656. Also on an isolated stand, * Triptohmus in the act of de 
parting in his winged car, surrounded by figures of gods and men. 

No. 1,506. *A vase with a beautiful representation of the judgment 
of Paris. 

In the end case are Etruscan imitations of Greek vases. 



SECOND SALA DELLA CERAMICA GRECA 

No. 578. A young man assisting a warrior to arm himself, of very 
elegant design. 

This room contains many vases from Magna Grascia (South Italy). 

CORRIDOJO DI ORIENTE 

Etruscan pottery from the Museo CasuccinL Many examples 
of the Black Etruscan pottery called " bucchero." 
, No. 1, 608. Isolated on a pedestal **the Death of Medusa* vase 
with singular figures of an Oriental character. 



78 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

GABINETTO DI NUMISMATICA E OREFICERIA 

(Cabinet of coins, jewellery, enamels, and embroidery.) 

Note. There are many things in this room kept shut up ; for 
example, only a small collection of coins and medals is visible. 
Students can see the rest by application to the Director. 

Notice in this department in isolated cases Trapani work of coral 
and gilt bronze, seventeenth century. 

An * enamelled triptych imitating Byzantine work of the doors of 
S. Paolo at Rome. 

* Puces of the Ostensorio from the Olivella Church, seventeenth- 
century Sicilian goldsmith's work. 

Antique jewellery of gold, etc. 

** Antique enamel from Syracuse which belonged to the Emperor 
Constans II., who was killed at Syracuse. It represents Christ 
crowning an emperor and empress, etc. (No. 152). 

Sicilian coins arranged by cities or by races. 

* Tsits a unique drachma with the type of Himera and a Phoenician 
legend, given by Prof. Salinas. 

A set of the coins struck in Sicily from Byzantine times to 1836, 
among which may be noticed * 'Justinian II. with the mark of the 
Syracuse mint, a * gold coin of Charles of Anjou, a * gold Pierreale 
of 'Peter I. and Constance, the * coin of the mintage 0/1836, never issued 
because the Neapolitans objected to the inscription "Ferdinandus, D.G., 
Siciliarum Rex," the baronial issues of the Chiaramonti, Polizzi, etc. 

*The engraved gems given by the Duchess of Salinas. 

* Three necklaces- of Byzantine gold found at Campobello di Mazzara. 
A collection of the seals in clay found at Selinunte, with imprints 

of engraved stones. In Sicily, as we know from Cicero, it is customary 
to seal letters with clay instead of wax. 

Medals of illustrious Sicilians. 

German and Venetian glass. 

Rings, ancient and modern. 

Measures, weights, and scales. 

Ivory and wax. The ** Last Judgment carved with singular skill 
and patience in one piece of ivory, given by Dr. F. Gaudiano. 

No. 257. * Fifteenth-century bas-relief of the Madonna between two 
angels. 

No. 253. * Top of a fourteenth-century pastoral staff* 

No. 242. Nude figure of Bacchus. 

A very large ivory crucifix on an amethyst and gilt-bronze cross. 

The coin case contains two beautiful examples of the great Syracusan 
decadrachms (fifth century B.C.), the finest coins in the world. 



PALERMO MUSEUM 79 

SALA NUMISMATICA (Second Room) 

(Fabrics, embroideries, lace.) 

In the centre, the ** horse-trappings of the Viceroy, Marquis di Villena, 
given by Victor Emmanuel II. in 1876. This has wonderful enamels 
and embroideries, and is of sixteenth-century Spanish work, but in 
many parts shows an Oriental character. It is historical, for it was 
pawned to the Municipal Bank when, in 1609, Villena needed a large 
sum of money to ransom his son from the Turks. There are 1 2,000 
scudi still owing on it. In 1 8 5 8 the Museum was ordered to send it 
to the Museum in the Capo di Monte Palace at Naples, but it was 
restored to Palermo through Minghetti. 

*Very beautiful vestments given by the Pope Sixtus IV. to the 
Convent of St. Francesco. 

The other gems of this room are the wonderful embroideries executed 
by Fra Giacinto Donate, a Dominican of Ascoli, in 1674 ; almost 
unexcelled in church embroideries. 

CoRRIDOJO DI PoNENTE 

Prehistoric vases from Naro, Vicari, S. Ninfa, and Sutera. 

* Female figurines in terra-cot ta resembling those of Tanagra, most 
elegant in form, with the original colour still left and traces of gilding. 
Near this are shown the articles found at Carini in the tomb exhibited 
under glass in the cortile of the Museum below. 

Here are provisionally kept the beautiful old forged Sicilian iron 
work, flowers, etc., some of which show signs of polychrome painting. 

Four necklaces of Phoenician beads from Girgenti (Nos. 3,444, 
3,247, 3,217, etc.). 

Off this gallery is 

THE CHAPEL 

It is lined with intarsia and mirrors, and contains **the famous 
bust of Eleanor a Aragona by Francesco Laurana (fifteenth century), a 
work of singular nobility and exquisite workmanship. 

Beside it is a plaster copy of the famous Laurana bust at the 
Louvre. 

In the centre is a rich silver table from the Monastero del Salvatore. 

On the far wall is an old Flemish triptych, carved and painted, 
reminding one of the pulpit in Nieuport, near Ostend. 

CORRIDOJO DI TRAMONTANA 
A collection of keys and some Egyptian things. 



8o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

SECOND FLOOR 

(Pictures, prints, etc.) 

CORRIDOJO DI TRAMONTANA 

(Byzantine school.) 

Near the door of the staircase which leads to the Memorie Storiche 
are some interesting Sicilian pictures of the twelfth century in Byzan 
tine style. 

No. 401. A St. John with wings, painted by Pietro Lombardo, 
has quite as much expression as a Cimabue. 

.No. 664 (fourth century A.D.). Christ riding into Jerusalem on a 
side-saddle. 

Nos. 691, 690, 680 are twelfth-century Madonnas in the style of 
Cimabue. 

CORRIDOJO DI MEZZOGIORNO 

(Sicilian School, fifteenth and sixteenth century.) 

*No. 554. By Tommaso di Vigilta. All the works by Tommaso 
di Vigilia here are as charming as the work of Lo Spagna. 

*No. 814. Riccardo Quartararo. Madonna with angels, and S. 
Rosalia. 

SALA DEL ROMANO 

In this room (No. 161)** there is a Quartararo with distinct charm. 
He is a sort of Sicilian Gozzoli with a curious pre-Raphaelite charm. 
This picture is of. great value because the signature, " Riccardo Quar 
tararo, 1494," has been found on it, establishing the authenticity of 
many pictures. 

Vincenzo da Pavia would be a very fine artist if he .was not so 
stagey. His colouring was delightful, and he made people look like 
human beings in the sixteenth century. He was formerly called 
Vincenzo II Romano, hence the name of the room. He is now 
known as Vincenzo da Pavia. His real name was Ainemolo. (See 
General Index.) 

No. 102. Vincenzo's large "Deposition from the Cross " is double- 
starred in the Museum Catalogue. 

Nos. 291, 364, 169, 101, 1,027, 97, 50, 51, 47 are starred in this 
room, the last three being by Antonello da Messina, q.v., the head of 
the Sicilian school of painting, who introduced oil-painting into Italy 
from Flanders. 

GABINETTO MALVAGNA 

This contains the gem of the collection, and is called after the donor, 
the Prince of Malvagna. The gem is the little ** Flemish triptych, 
formerly attributed to Van Eyck, then thought to be by Jan Mabuse, 



PALERMO MUSEUM 81 

and now pronounced to be by an unknown master of the sixteenth 
century. In any case, it is one of the most beautiful pictures in the 
world. It represents the Madonna and Child in the midst of various 
angels under a tribune of Gothic architecture, exquisitely carved. On 
one side is S. Catherine, on the other S. Dorothea. On the outside 
of the doors are Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In a glass 
case is preserved the stamped leather cover, in which this triptych was 
kept closed for centuries, a circumstance to which is due its admirable 
state of preservation. 

No. 48. In the same room are a *Holbeln. 

No. 5. A * Head of Christ by Correggio. 

No. 406. * Attributed to Raphael, a Judith in the act of Killing 
Holofernes. 

No. 35. *The Family of Rubens, by Vandyck. 

No. 230. *Paul Potter, a Field with a Herdsman and a Cow. 

SALA DI NOVELLI 

Pietro Novelli, born at Monreale the 2nd March, 1603, has been 
called by his admirers the Raphael of Sicily, a name which does not 
much accord with his style of painting, for he drew too much from 
nature, sometimes from low subjects. He is justly esteemed for his 
fidelity, and robustness, and vivacity of colouring, which shows the 
influence then prevalent in Sicily of the Spanish and Flemish schools. 
His masterpiece was the Paradise, a great fresco, now destroyed, in the 
cortile of the Palazzo Sclafani, of which an idea is given by numbers 
49 and 30 at the bottom of this room. Nos. 56 and 57 are actual 
portions of it. It was destroyed for some structural alteration. 

No. 194, "**an Angel Transporting a Soul, is double-starred in the 
Museum Catalogue, as is No. 196, **two half-figures of saints. 

Nos. 112, 1,028, 450, no, 114, and 24 are starred. 

Pietro Novelli painted delightful cherubs in the Sir Joshua Reynolds 
style, and some of his angels and Magdalens are charming in colour 
and voluptuously beautiful. Some find Romney's work like his. To 
me he seems a sort of Sicilian Guercino. 

SALA DEGLI INTAGLI IN LEGNO 
In the Quadreria Gallo. There is a Rubens here and a Velasquez. 

CORRIDOJO DI TRAMONTANA 

Off this is the Sala di Scuoli Diversi, which contains a 
* 'Velasquez of Philip IV. of Spain and paintings by * Alb am, Canaletto, 
* Andrea del Sarto, *Luca Giordano; *Vanni 'Pisano, a pupil of Giotto. 



82 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

CORRIDOJO DI TRAMONTANA 

In the Corridojo itself. 

No. 121. *S. Martire by Vandyck. 

In the little Rooms I. and II., at the angle ot the Corridojo di 
Tramontana and the Corridojo di Ponente, are : 

Fifteenth-century frescoes from the Chiesa di Risalaimi, near 
Marineo, which belonged to the Teutonic Knights. 

Room III. Frescoes of Pietro Novelli. 

Room V. Engravings after Sicilian artists. 

Room VI. Water-colours and drawings by Sicilian artists. 

Room VII. The original pen designs for the Loggie at the Vatican, 
given by Sig. F. Gaudiano. 

Room VIII. A selection of engravings. 

Room IX. Reproduction of the mosaics at Monreale in chromo 
lithograph. 

Rooms X. to XV. Pictures of Sicilian artists from the seventeenth 
century to our own day. 

(At the bottom of the Corridojo of Tramontana on the left is a 
staircase which conducts to the third floor.) 

THIRD FLOOR (Top). 

(Historical and ethnographical mementoes. In the First Room are 
pictures representing the Palermitan Revolution of 1860, a portrait 
of Garibaldi painted in 1860, etc.) 

In the Second Room are memorials of 1860, including some wooden 
cannon used by the conspirators, and the banner of Francesco Riso, 
unfolded in Palermo in 1860. 

Third Room. Memorials of the beginning of the nineteenth-century. 
Drawings and prints. Two pictures of tunny-fishing at Solanto in the 
presence of the Sovereign; hideous portraits of - F erdinand, Maria 
Caroline, and Lady Hamilton. A picture of Admiral Gravina, who 
was mortally wounded in the Battle of Trafalgar where he commanded 
the Spanish Fleet. In a glass case are portraits of Cagliostro and his 
wife, and some of the wonderful Sicilian eighteenth-century pictures 
made of applique stuffs and fine silk sewing. Nos. 154, 155, 162, 
etc., represent the family of the Prince of Belmonte. 

Fourth Room. Drawings of S. Rosalia's car in procession, 183, 
184, etc. These are very interesting. 

Fifth Room contains a number of valuable pictures representing old 
Palermo. 

Sixth Room. Plans of Palermo, ancient and modern. 



PALERMO MUSEUM 83 

In the CORRIDOJO DI TRAMONTANA there are a number of relics. 

Seventh Room. Contains a collection of the various kinds of modern 
Sicilian peasant's pottery, arranged according to their places of produc 
tion. 

Eighth Room. Sicilian costumes, especially those of the Albanian 
colony at Piana dei Greci ; also ancient measures. 

Ninth and Tenth Rooms. Contain relics of the Revolution of 
1848. 

Eleventh Room is a bedroom in the eighteenth-century Sicilian 
style. Notice the seventeenth-century ironwork on the bed, the old 
oak chests and the iron camp basin stand, a picture painted on grooved 
glass, which is entirely different according to the three points of view 
from which you look at it (a " perspective "). The room also con 
tains a rope-bottle and spindle, three Tuscan lamps, some old chairs, a 
charming wax Madonna with a stabbed heart, a crucifix, reliquary, 
and holy-water stoup. 

End Room. Contains specimens of Sicilian drawn linen-work and 
cross-stitch on linen. 

The picturesque lemon garden, with magnificent stone-pines in the 
centre, seen from the windows, belongs to the Monteleone Palace. 

N.B. This guide to the Palermo Museum is abridged by special permission 
from the admirable Guida to the Museum written by its Director, the great 
Antonino Salinas. 



CHAPTER IX 

MOTORING IN SICILY 

SICILY presents a most interesting field to motorists. It is prac 
tically a term incognita to them. Though Mr. and Mrs. C. N. 
Williamson, in that delightful book, The Lightning Conductor, 
opened up all sorts of alluring prospects, they had not brought about 
any influx of motors when we were there last spring. 

Sicily has the crowning charm to a motorist that he can go where 
other people cannot. The interior of the island is full of superb 
mountain scenery and little mountain cities which are nearly all of 
them on the site of antique cities as old as history, and not a few of 
them retain their ruins. But these mountains and cities of the interior 
have never been properly explored, because of the difficulty of getting 
to them. 

It has been an axiom in Sicily that no place which is not within an 
easy carriage drive can be visited if you wish to return the same day. 
The traffic on the railways is not sufficient to allow of them running 
trains at times that suit tourists, or it would be done ; the managing 
director of the railways is one of the most distinguished antiquaries 
in the island, and a patriotic Sicilian intensely interested in the matter 
of attracting forestieri to the sights of Sicily. The difficulty is that the 
trains are made so slow by having to stop at all the stations that they 
are obliged to start very early in order to arrive at their destination on the 
same day, and they arrive equally late at the terminus. But the ordinary 
tourist does not care to start before breakfast or to get back after 
dinner, so there is a dead-lock as regards railways. A greater difficulty 
still lies in the fact that Sicilian horses are very slow, and the distances 
to the cities in the interior, not served by railways, become severe to 
those who have to rely upon horses, which in hilly country only go about 
four miles an hour. You cannot, therefore, see one of these mountain 
cities in a, day's excursion, while in most of them the hotel accommo 
dation is primitive, though the Sicilians understand how to cook any 
food that can be procured. The motor gets over all these difficulties ; 
if you take your lunch with you, it is perfectly easy to see Centuripe 



MOTORING IN SICILY 8=; 

j 

and Agira, in a day's excursion to each, from Catania. Hardly any 
tourists visit these cities, and yet they are intensely interesting ; they are 
most boldly and picturesquely built on mountain-tops ; they have more 
Roman remains than any town in the island except Catania, or Taor- 
mina, or Tyndaris. Agira has rather unique medieval buildings too, 
and is full of historical interest, for it had a Sikel king who was 
Dionysius the Great's most powerful ally in his Carthaginian wars. 
Nor did Agira stop at history, for it shows the place where the oxen 
of Geryon left their hoof-prints while Hercules was driving them off, 
and the cell which was the last earthly habitation of Saint Philip the 
Apostle. 

Paterno, the city of Hybla, the Sikel Venus, and Aderno, the city 
of the Sikel fire-god Hadranus, whose temple was guarded by the thou 
sand dogs of preternatural fierceness and sagacity, can be reached by 
the Etna railway, and Motta S. Anastasia, with its medieval castle, 
on the prismatic cliff, where Bernard Cabrera was imprisoned four 
hundred years ago for his attempts upon the Sicilian Crown, has a 
station on the line to Palermo, but all these places can be much 
more pleasantly visited in a motor-car, which allows you to begin at 
your own time and take your own time. Taormina itself is only 
about fifty km. roughly speaking, thirty miles from Catania j 
Aci-Castello and Acireale are only a few miles from it ; and the lake 
and ruins of Leontini, and the wonderful volcanic lake of the Palici, 
the most ancient sanctuary of Europe, can be done in a fifty-mile trip, 
out and home. The great object for motorists in Sicily to give them 
their full advantage over ordinary mortals is to hit upon centres like 
Catania, with a number of good excursions that can be done in the 
day, and a comfortable hotel to stay at. Another such place is Syra 
cuse, where the motor will be found very useful in covering the fairly 
considerable distances between the groups of ruins as well as in manag 
ing the excursions so difficult for horses. In a motor you could be at 
the castle of Euryalus in half an hour, though it makes quite a long 
morning or afternoon with horses. For excursions it is badly needed. 
Say you want to go to Pantalica. To have anything like a reasonable 
time there you must take the train at five in the morning and get back at 
nine at night, and put up with whatever kind of carriage you can get at 
Lentini a mere village, or else you must take the long carriage drive 
uphill to Sortino, another mere village, and sleep the night there ; while 
with a motor you can go there and back in the day easily from Syra 
cuse. If you drive in a carriage, you must make at least two excur 
sions of Thapsos with its prehistoric tombs and the ruins of Megara 
Hyblasa, and Melilli, the honey town with the mysterious fortress 
above it that is said to be another Euryalus. 



86 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Palazzolo Acreide has the merest apology for an hotel, but if you 
drive there, as it is twenty-seven miles uphill, you have no choice 
but to pass a night there. Old travellers like ourselves, of course, 
make a point of passing a night in any interesting town where the 
accommodation is no worse than it is at Palazzolo, because it is in the 
morning and the evening that you see the life of a Sicilian town ; but 
a fastidious woman would be frightened out of her wits by the sight of 
the bedrooms at Palazzolo, though at the Italia they are free of 
vermin. 

In a motor-car, however, I can imagine nothing more absolutely 
delightful than a day's excursion from Syracuse to Palazzolo, going 
by the Canicattini road and returning by the Floridia road. 

Appended is a table to show the motorist how to visit all the most 
interesting places in Sicily by road without covering the same ground 
twice. 

There are three possible points for starting a motor-car trip round 
Sicily Palermo, Catania, and Messina. Trapani, a very rich and 
progressive town for its size, might possibly be added to these ; but it 
is in an out-of-the-way corner, so it need not be considered. And of 
these, Palermo is much the best, because it has the best supplies and 
is the best place for getting information and introductions. 

On arriving at Palermo, motorists should place themselves in com 
munication with Mr. Hans von Pernull in the Corso, near the Piazza 
Marina, who has lately become Cook's correspondent for Sicily. 
Mr. Von Pernull will give them every species of information, and he 
will make their arrangements in advance for them, such as engaging 
accommodation at hotels (payable in some instances with his coupons), 
or having supplies to meet them at fixed points. He is himself a 
motorist, so understands the requirements. Mr. Von Pernull will 
likewise introduce motorists of position to the Bene Economico, an 
association formed in Palermo with the object of helping travellers and 
developing and improving Sicily, of which the Conte di Mazzarino is 
president, and Mr. Joshua Whitaker, head of the great Anglo-Sicilian 
firm of Ingham, Whitaker, and Co., of Palermo and Marsala, is 
vice-president. 

Palermo is the best town in Sicily for a long stay, and is the starting- 
point of a network of great roads running right across the island. The 
most charming hotel is the Villa Igiea, situated about a mile outside the 
town on the seashore, with lovely terraced subtropical gardens and 
exquisite views of the bay, the most beautiful in Europe. The favourite 
hotel in Palermo itself was for many years the Hotel des Palmes, but 
the most central and best appointed now is the Hotel de France. 
Palermo has the largest opera-house in the world, and an opera season 



MOTORING IN SICILY 87 

in the spring. There is a great deal of good lawn-tennis at Mr. 
Whitaker's and Signor Florio's, and golf is to be inaugurated. 
Palermo is a good place to buy old lace, seventeenth-century silver 
plate and jewellery, Sicilian-Greek coins and terra-cottas, and old 
embroideries. Expensive pieces should be shown at the Museum before 
the purchase is concluded, to know if a permit will be granted for their 
exportation the Director would denounce a forgery or an outrageous 
price. The principal sights of Palermo are the cathedral, the Royal 
Palace which contains the Cappella Reale,the most beautiful ecclesiastical 
building in Europe, the other Norman churches with their golden 
mosaics, dozens more of fine and interesting churches, the Arabic 
palaces, like the Zisa, the tropical gardens, and the beautiful and 
wonderful Museum ; while within short drives are Monreale, with 
eighty thousand square feet of Norman mosaics, and the loveliest 
cloister in Europe ; the church of the Sicilian Vespers ; the medieval 
convent of the Gesu ; the cemetery of the nobles ; and the other 
medieval convent at Baida. While in the outer zone are Bagheria, 
the old court suburb, ten miles ; Solunto, the Sicilian Pompeii, ten 
miles ; Piana dei Greci, whose inhabitants wear modern Greek dress 
and speak Greek, about double the distance ; Cefalu, another Norman 
cathedral with golden mosaics, forty miles, passing on the way Termini, 
the ancient Himera, with many Greek and Roman remains. There is 
much to detain the motorist in Palermo. But the sights he can see in 
and from the city are accessible by carriage and rail. When he gets 
into the interior he will have the satisfaction of seeing what nobody 
else can see without an interminable drive behind miserable horses and 
staying in a poor hotel. 

From Palermo naturally started the great coach-roads through the 
island, and these are still the easiest way of approaching the cities of 
the interior, except the very few which happen to lie near the railway 
lines between Palermo and Catania and Girgenti. 

The following may be taken as an itinerary : 

FIRST DAY. Start from the hotel at Termini, where there is good 
accommodation, and make a long day's journey through Polizzi-La- 
Generosa to Petralia Sottana and Petralia Soprana, famous scenery and 
interesting towns, and pass Gangi, with its fine feudal castle, ^ and 
Sperlinga to Nicosia, which is always allowed to be the most medieval 
town in Sicily. Sperlinga, which can be visited in a day- excursion, has 
an early Norman castle, and has played a leading part in history, for it 
may have been the Herbita, which was the capital of King Archonides, 
the ally of Athens, and it covered itself with undying glory by shelter 
ing the French in the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers. Its people still 



88 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



speak bastard French, and its castle records this in the proud motto, 
" Quod Siculis placuit sola Sperlinga negavit." Some people^ put 
Herbita at Nicosia itself. There is, at any rate, no more medieval 




VISTA DAL CASSO, PETRALIA SOTTANA 



town than this city of King Roger's Lombards, which still preserves 
its Lombard speech and architecture. It has the remains of a Norman 
castle and cathedral and many old churches, one of which has the 
superb Cono of Gagini, a sculpture thirty-six feet high adorned with 
sixty figures. 




AJ'PJCCQ ZIMPETTO, PETRALIA SOTTANA 



MOTORING IN SICILY 89 

SECOND DAY. (To be spent at Nicosia.) 

THIRD DAY. One can go to Randazzo, visiting Troina by the 
way ; but it is better to give the third day to an excursion to Troina, 
and leave Randazzo for another route. Troina is the highest city in 
Sicily, 3,650 feet, and fills one of the most romantic pages in its 
history, for it was here that Roger the Great Count and his girl wife 
Eremberga were besieged for four months in the citadel by the revolted 
Saracens of the town, and had but one cloak between them for the 
fierce mountain winter ; and when the valiant Roger had won back 
the town, he left his countess to guard it while he went to Calabria, and 
the old chronicler loves to dwell on the beautiful girl making the rounds 
of the ramparts every night. She held the city safe, and when Roger 
became lord of Sicily he built the church of the Assunta on the site 
of that citadel. Troina is the Sikelian Imacara, the Trajanopolis of 
the Romans, often mentioned by Cicero ; the remains of the ancient 
Pantheon may still be seen. Between Nicosia and Troina is Cerami, 
where Roger won his most brilliant victory over the Saracens, defeating, 
in the words of Gibbon, " fifty thousand horse and foot, with one 
hundred and thirty-six Christian soldiers, without reckoning St. George, 
who fought on horseback in the foremost ranks." 

FOURTH DAY. From Nicosia there is a much-used coach-road to 
Leonforte, the most important centre in Sicily for diligence routes to the 
cities of the interior. It is better to stay at the neighbouring city of 
Castrogiovanni, where Cook's agent, Mr. Von Pernull, is opening a 
luxurious hotel. 

FIFTH DAY. Spend at Castrogiovanni, the ancient Enna, famous 
for its temples of Ceres and Proserpine and the rape of Proserpine by 
Pluto. 

SIXTH DAY. From Castrogiovanni one can make an excursion on 
the sixth day to Pietraperzia, with its lordly castle, and the great inland 
town of Caltanisetta, with a population proverbial for its brutality, but 
with many antique and medieval remains. 

SEVENTH DAY. From Castrogiovanni there is more than one road 
to Catania. One of the best to take is that via Caltagirone, where the 
night can be spent, in order to take 

EIGHTH DAY the road to the coast past the Lake of Palici, which 
is the oldest sanctuary in Europe, and the malarious lake of Lentim, to 
the ruins of the famous ancient Greek city of Leontini, from which 
there is a direct road up to Catania. Caltagirone is the pleasantest 
inland city in Sicily. Why foreigners do not go there is a mystery : 
it has so many cfeims 5 it stands two thousand feet above the sea, and 



9 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



has a fine old castle with other ruins, medieval and classical ; its 
potteries are known to connoisseurs all over the world. One of the 
greatest pottery artists living, Signor Bartelli, resides there. It was at 
one of its monasteries that Cagliostro, the arch-impostor, learnt his 
smattering of science. Across the hills, mere child's play for a motor, 
is Piazza Armerina, the virtual centre of Sicily, for on it all the great 
coach-roads converge, from Palermo, Catania, Syracuse, and Caltagirone, 
for example. No foreigners go there, although it would well repay 
them, for it is considered the acme of fertile mountain scenery, and the 
town contains many medieval buildings. It is one of the colonies 
settled by Greeks or Albanians when they were driven into exile by 
the persecutions of the Turks in the fifteenth century. And close by is 
Aidone, a Lombard colony which has retained its very dialect from 
Norman times. Some say that Aidone was the Sikel city of Herbita, 
and some that it was Trinacia itself, while Piazza Armerina in the 
midst of its well-watered woods was perhaps the original Gela. 

NINTH DAY. Spend the ninth day in seeing the museum, the 
Roman baths, the buried Greek theatre, and other sights of Catania, 




RANDAZZQ, S. MARIA 



TENTH DAY. From Catania (tenth day) one can motor through 
Paterno and Aderno with their ancient and medieval remains round 
the back of Etna to Randazzo. The vegetation at first is wonderfully 
rich, and the views of Etna are superb. The road crosses live great 
lava streams. 



MOTORING IN SICILY 91 

ELEVENTH DAY. Spend the eleventh day at Randazzo, the highest 
city on Etna, surrounded by walls and full of medieval palaces and 
churches, and in running over to Malvagna to see the ancient Byzantine 
chapel. Food and wine must be taken with you, but the Albergo 
dTtalia is otherwise very tolerable. They can cook when they have 
anything to cook. The landlord is the contractor for the ascent of 
Etna from this point. He supplies guides and mules, which make the 
ascent in five and a half hours. Two or three days may be added to 
the stay at Randazzo for the ascent of Etna, if the season of the year 
is suitable. 

TWELFTH DAY. From Randazzo a delightful day-excursion (twelfth 
day) can be made to the ancient convent of Maniace, with its Norman 
church, now the seat of Lord Bridport and the capital of the Duchy 
of Bronte. The scenery on the drive is very beautiful, and Etna from 
Randazzo looks like Fujiyama. 

THIRTEENTH DAY. From Randazzo you can go in a day (thirteenth 
day) to Taormina, passing Castiglione, which takes its name from a 
glorious medieval castle on the brow of a precipice, and just before you 
get to Giardini, the fine prehistoric walls of Naxos, the earliest Greek 
settlement in Sicily. I need not describe Taormina, the most popular 
place in Sicily with the English famous for its Graeco-Roman theatre, 
its exquisite Moresco palaces of S. Stefano and the Badia, and its in 
comparable view of Etna. But the traveller often forgets that it has 
many Roman remains if he takes the trouble to hunt them out. The 
S. Domenico Hotel here is one of the most popular in Sicily, though 
it has never displaced the Timeo. 

Spend the FOURTEENTH and FIFTEENTH DAYS at Taormina. 

SIXTEENTH DAY. On the sixteenth day, motoring from Taormina 
to Messina, you pass at Fiume d'Agro a superb Norman abbey, which 
may be compared with Monreale and Cefalti, and there are a curious 
little Gothic hill-top city at Savoca just beyond it, the Castle at Sca- 
letta, and the vast and famous monastery of S. Placido, all of them 
a little off the road and all of them interesting. 

SEVENTEENTH DAY. Spend the seventeenth day at Messina, which 
has two large hotels ; and though foreigners generally pass it by, has 
many charming features, such as the splendid cathedral which is proving 
to be full of mosaics, the beautiful fountain of Orion, several ancient 
churches, the medieval street of the monasteries, and the rich tropical 
garden of the Villa Rocca Guelfonia on the site of the Mamertine 
citadel. 

One can make a day-trip out to the Faro, the famous lighthouse 



92 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

point, so as to see the exquisite views of the Strait of Messina and 
the swordftsh-harpooning, or one can take it on the way to Milazzo 




MESSINA ." PANORAMA 



EIGHTEENTH DAY where one spends the night in order to visit 
the next day 

NINETEENTH DAY the splendid ruins of Tyndaris, a Greek theatre, 
Greek towers, walls, and tombs, a Roman gymnasium, and the 
picturesque church of the Madonna del Tindaro on the most magnifi 
cent mountain site in all Sicily. From Milazzo also you could visit 




THE CHURCH OF THE MADONNA ..DEL TINDARO 



MOTORING IN SICILY 



93 



the Lipari Islands by steamer ; and on the motor trip from Milazzo to 
Palermo 

TWENTIETH DAY you pass the magnificent forest and mountain 
scenery of the Madonian Mountains. 

TWENTY-FIRST DAY. Starting out from Palermo along the Mon- 
reale road (twenty-first day) you put up at the old-world city of 
Alcamo, on the way to which you pass Monreale and the famous 




MONREALE CATHEDRAL, WEST FRONT 



monastery of S. Martino, one of the largest in Sicily, now secularised. 
Of Alcamo I cannot speak from personal experience. It is a town of 
fifty thousand inhabitants, unjustly neglected by foreigners, for it is full 
of fine old churches with works by Gagini, Serpotta and Novell!, and 
a feudal castle of the fourteenth century. It is an Oriental-looking 
town with Arabo-Norman remains. The great old road from Alcamo 
to Palermo lies inland, but there is a coast-road too, much longer, 
which takes you past Carini, the Hyccara of the ancients, the Sikel 
town which was Nicias's one conquest in Sicily, of which the chief prize 
was the beautiful courtesan Lais, who became the mistress of his rival 
Alcibiades at least, that is the legend in Sicily. But it is simpler 
to leave Carini, with its beautiful castle of the Chiaramonti and 
the prehistoric tombs of its Sikel lords, to a day excursion from 
Palermo. 



94 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

TWENTY-SECOND DAY. From Alcamo you motor past the Alcamo- 
Calatafimi station through superb scenery to Calatafimi, the town near 
Segesta, where artists stay when they are painting the temple. At 
Calatafimi Garibaldi won his first battle. Segesta's glorious temple 
of Diana on a mountain-top and its splendid Greek theatre command 
ing a view of the sister city of Eryx make it a wonder in the wilderness. 
It has many other ruins, though travellers never have time to look at 
them. From Segesta, if it is good enough, take the road across the 
mountains to Eryx and Trapani, so as to bring into your mind the 
closeness of the connection between Eryx and Segesta, which were 
inhabited by a different nation (the Elymians) from the rest of Sicily. 
The Elymians, who claimed to be Trojans, allied easily with the 
Carthaginians, and may have owed their survival to that ; but when 
they were brought in contact with the conquering Roman, with 
Oriental cunning, they traded on the fable of their Trojan origin the 
weak point in Roman vanity. 

Leave Eryx till the following day, and go on to Trapani. Trapani is 
now the fourth city in Sicily a great town of sixty thousand inhabitants, 
with a beautiful sickle-shaped harbour like Messina's at the opposite 
corner. The name Trapani is a corruption of the old Greek word for 
a sickle, the ancient name for the city, Drepanum, a Greek name, 
though it never was a Greek town. Its harbour, where the boat-races 
were held in the ^Eneid, is now full of northern steamers, though its 
features are unaltered. It is bordered by the avenues of the Marina. 
The city has some old churches and palaces worth seeing, notably the 
pilgrimage church at the foot of Eryx, near the spot where the funeral 
games of Anchises were celebrated. 

But few people linger over Trapani ; if they stay there a day it is 
to make the excursion up Mount Eryx, one of the most interesting 
and beautiful spots in Sicily. 

Eryx, which has been called Monte S. Giuliano since St. Julian 
and his hounds took part in a battle against the Saracens a thousand 
years ago, is one of the most ancient towns in Sicily. It was one of 
the two great strongholds where the dwindling nation of the Elymians 
maintained themselves long after the rest of their empire had been 
forgotten, Segesta, just in sight on the mountains of the horizon, being 
the other. 

You sleep at Trapani, and on the 

TWENTY-THIRD DAY, after a hasty glance at its sights (unless you 
are wise enough to allow yourself an extra day here), you go up 
Mount Eryx. I suppose Eryx can be ascended in a motor, though 
I never tried it, because it can be reached by carriage. It would 



MOTORING IN SICILY 95 

be an interesting place to try. When you get to the top you 
have Carthaginian walls, a Saracenic-Gothic cathedral, the ruins of 
the great temple of Venus one of the most famous in the ancient 
world, and the ruined castle which was built out of them, not to 
mention Count Pepoli's castle in the ancient Greek style ; and you 
have a view of surpassing majesty from Segesta in the mountains and 
the fortresses of Carthage on the plain to the jEgatian Islands out at 
sea, and even Africa beyond. 

When you get down from Mount Eryx you go on to Marsala, the 
ancient Lilybasum. The road was very bad when I saw it last, but it 
may have improved. Between Trapani and Marsala the sea is full of 
islands, among them the ^Egatian Islands, famous for the great sea- 
fight which was the turning-point in the hundred years 7 struggle 
between Rome and Carthage, and twice famous, if the ingenious 
Samuel Butler is to be followed in his contention that the Odyssey 
was written at Trapani about these islands, and that by a woman. t 
Looking back you get a splendid view of Mount Eryx, and as you fly 
along, the saltworks on your right look like the white tents of an army 
guarding oyster-beds. With their windmills and lagoons they are like 
a bit of Holland. You sleep and spend the 

TWENTY-FOURTH DAY at Marsala, where Garibaldi began his 
liberation of Italy in its present harbour ; in its shoaled-up ancient 
harbour the Carthaginian fought his sea-fights with the Greek and the 
Roman. Across its waters lies the island of S. Pantaleo, the Motya, 
which was the first settlement of Punic men on Sicilian soil, whose 
storming by Dionysius inspired the finest passage in Diodorus. The 
great gate of the city is still above the soil, its causeway to the main 
land lies so little below the sea that the carts of the countrymen use it 
to this day. It belongs to an Englishman, Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker, of 
the family who own the great Ingham wine industry at Marsala ; and 
it will be excavated when the authorities give the necessary guarantees 
against the confiscation which is the law for treasure-trove by foreigners. 
Mr. Whitaker has a small museum already at Marsala, which should 
be visited at the same time as you ask permission to go over the famous 
wine establishment one of the most perfect in the world. Marsala is 
not as rich as some towns are in medieval remains, but it has tremendous 
bastions, and its underground city and its curious little medieval 
palazzetti or fortified houses of the lesser nobles are not exactly to be 
matched elsewhere. A little away from the city are remains of high 
interest for the antiquary, the remains of the great walls of ancient 
Lilybseum, the virgin fortress which defied the Romans for ten long 
years ; and the sacred spring of Lilyba in the crypt of S. Giovanni 



96 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Boeo, which is doubtless the "pond called Lilybaeum," which 
Diodorus says gave its name to the town. Cape Boeo, which gave 
the church its name, is one of the three capes which gave Sicily the 
ancient name of Trinacria, the three-cape island. Not far from here 
is Birgi, the best Phoenician necropolis in Sicily for the discovery of 
antiquities, 

TWENTY-FIFTH DAY. From Marsala, starting early (twenty-fifth 
day), you go to the ancient Norman city of Mazzara, which still has its 
walls, thirty feet high, and the ruins of the castle of Roger the Great 
Count, who made it his first capital. It was the emporium at the 
mouth of the river which was the first Greek town to fall in that 
memorable invasion of the Carthaginians beginning in 409 B.C., in 
which every Greek city in Sicily fell except Syracuse, and it was at 
Mazzara that the Saracens began the conquest of Sicily in 827 A.D. 
It has its old churches, and its famous sculptures include Gagini's 
great "Transfiguration," and here and there in its convents may be 
found specimens of Arabo-Siculan lustre ware from the same potteries 
as the glorious Mazzara Vase in the museum at Palermo. 

From thence you go on to the ancient Greek ruins of Selinunte, the 
Sicilian Babylon, the most astonishing mass of ruins in the island. 
Excavation is generally going on here, and enormous quantities of 
terra-cotta figures and lamps have been found here. The scenery is 
very beautiful, and the wild flowers are richer here than anywhere else. 
At Selinunte there is no town, only a house belonging to the Palermo 
Museum, and a little fishing station. But there are quantities of ruins 
of the finest sort to captivate the visitor and hold his attention for more 
days than one. There are the ruins of eight temples, two of them so 
perfect as they lie on the ground that they could be re-erected to rival 
the most famous temples of the Grecian world. One of them, not 
many years recovered from the earth, possesses the unique feature for 
Sicily of a propylaea. Three of them bore sculptured metopes, trans 
ferred to the Museum of Palermo. Much of the mighty citadel 
remains, with Greek and Byzantine towns within it. Nowhere does 
one get in Europe Greek streets so perfect, and outside its noble gate 
way are the fortifications thrown up by the great Hermocrates when 
in his exile from Syracuse he sought to raise Selinunte from its ashes 
to an autonomous state. Selinunte stands right down by the sea in a 
theatre of mountains, and its wild flowers are richer than any in Sicily. 
At Kusa, in the Campobello di Mazzara, which you pass on the way, 
are the quarries from which the temples at Selinunte were built. 
Some of the columns of the prostrate though unfinished temple of 
Jupiter Olympius are still at the quarry edge. You leave the ruins in 



MOTORING IN SICILY 97 

time to go on to Sciacca for the night. There is a fair hotel there, 
much used by Sicilian visitors in the bathing season, for its sulphur 
springs are considered the most virtuous in the kingdom of Italy. 

TWENTY-SIXTH AND TWENTY-SEVENTH DAYS. It is worth staying a 
day or two (twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh days) at Sciacca, a town 
which few foreigners ever see. At Sciacca itself the ruins of the Castles of 
the Di Luna and Perollo clans, the Montagus and Capulets of Sicily, who 
made the Casi di Sciacca one of the world's romances, frown on that 




quaint city between the mountains and the African sea. The vapour 
springs of Sciacca are so miraculous in their virtue that they may well 
have given rise to the legend of the Fountains of Eternal Youth. 
The baths in the caverns of Monte S. Calogero are as curious as they 
are antique, and the district between this and Selinunte is full of secrets 
for the antiquarian. Since crowds of invalids go to Sciacca as they 
went in ancient days to the Baths of Selinus, there is a hotel, and the 
possessors of a motor may well stay there f a second day to pay another 
visit to Selinunte. There are also, round Monte S. Calogero, remains 
of the baths of the Greeks and Romans who used the Sciacca waters 
as much as modern Sicilians do. The vapour baths in the mountain 
have an instantaneous effect on some patients. The ancients called 
Sciacca the Baths of Selinus. 



9 8 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY. From Sciacca the coast-road takes you in 
the day (twenty-eighth day) to Girgenti, past some very interesting old 
towns like Montallegro, the Sicilian Les Baux, and Siculiana, the 




GENERAL VIEW OF THE COAST OF MONTALLEGRO 

Camicus where Cocalus, the Sican king, entertained Daedalus, and his 
daughters murdered Minos, King of Crete, who was* pursuing Daedalus. 
Girgenti has two almost perfect Greek temples, and .the remains of 




MONTALLEGRO ANTIGA 



MOTORING IN SICILY 



99 



eight others. The Hotel des Temples there is reckoned one of the 
best in Sicily, and the town has some beautiful medieval buildings. It 
is the best place to buy genuine Greek antiquities, which are dug up 
here in great quantities. Spend the 

TWENTY-NINTH and THIRTIETH DAYS at Girgenti ; and on the 

THIRTY-FIRST DAY take a very long day's journey through Licata, 
the ancient Phintia ; Terranova, the ancient Gela ; Chiaramonte, which 




" ONE OF GIRGENTl's GREEK TEMPLES (CASTOR AND POLLUX) 

has a splendid medieval castle of the family ; and Ragusa, to Modica. 
The rich necropolis at Cape Soprano, near Terranova, has yielded 
the finest ancient Greek sarcophagi made of terra-cotta with lofty 
steep-pitched lids like Gothic church roofs. The temple ruins and 
other footprints of ancient Gela lie in the town of Terranova, and the 
road beyond takes you across to the Campi Geloi of Virgil, where the 
eagle mistook jEschylus's head for a rock to crack tortoises on, with 
a fatal result,, as he was a nonagenarian at the time. This is one of 
the four plains of Sicily, which for the rest is like a piece of coral with 
mountains for spikes. 



ioo SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Do not stay at Ragusa, but motor on into Modica before night falls 
the descents are tremendous, the angles acute, and there are no 
lights until you enter the town, where the poor flickers are hardly light 
enough to keep you from falling into the river which runs up the middle 
of the street under many little bridges and piazze which will not let 
floods or smells escape. It was the piazza-tunnels which caused the 
awful flood of 1902, when the river rose to the lofty first-floor 
windows of the houses, and flowed over the pulpit of St. Mary of 
Bethlehem. The tunnels were soon choked with rubbish, and the 
waters had no outlet. Modica, the fifth city in Sicily, and till lately 
the fourth, is wildly picturesque. It spreads over three heights and the 
broken valley into which one of the heights bearing the feudal castle of 
the great old counts is driven like a wedge. No one could describe 
Modica ; you have a general impression of a Venetian canal with an 
Amalfi climbing from its banks up each of the heights. There are 
arches and stairways at all sorts of mad angles, some masonry, some 
rock, and out of this struggling mass of stonework leap into the air the 
three great churches, each a cathedral in dignity. 

If the rooms of the Stella d'ltalia are dingy wildernesses, they are 
free from vermin, and though you have to walk through the kitchen 
to the dining-room, the dinner is as good as any in Sicily. The cook 
is really admirable, and you can, if you choose, watch him prepare the 
dinner in the great old vaulted kitchen, which acts also as bar and 
club-room and the proprietor's office. Be sure to stay a Sunday and 
see the magnificent contadini in their festa dresses Sicilian, Spanish, 
and Moresco. 

THIRTY-SECOND DAY. It is best to pass Ragusa and go back to it 
from Modica (thirty-second day), because the view as you approach 
it from that side is the finest view of a city conceivable. It bursts on 
you quite suddenly. One minute you see the hillside you have been 
creeping round for miles, and the next High Ragusa and Low Ragusa 
are standing on guard in front of you, twin cities set on a rock which 
climbs a hill like the ridge of a fireman's helmet. Between the two a 
gorge runs, like a moat, spanned by an antique bridge. The dark rock 
has all its lofty sides honeycombed with prehistoric tombs. The hill 
sides are flooded with almond blossoms in the spring ; the valley is filled 
with orange groves. But it is not the snow of the almond blossom, 
or the prehistoric rocks, or the green-and-gold sea of orange trees 
which enchain the eye it is those two grey cities bristling like sea- 
urchins against the sky, looking like the background of an Albrecht 
Diirer or a Mantegna, and almost crushed by the majesty of the great 
church of St. George, the patron of both Ragusa and Modica. You 



MOTORING IN SICILY 



101 



forget the castle on the skyline, though you have before you the 
citadel of the Herman Hybla, which the great Athenian host essayed 
in vain to take, perhaps the temenos of Hybla herself. Almost as 
imposing as you drive down between the cities is the Donnafugata 
Palace on your right, towering up like the Palace of the Popes at 
Avignon. 

It takes little time to see the old St. George no more than a rich 
fifteenth-century gateway in a pigsty ; and the new St. George, one 
of the stateliest monuments of purely modern architecture. Then you 
can send your motor round by the tremendous viaducts while you 




RAGUSA SUPERIORE FROM THE PONTE DEI CAPPUCCINI 

climb the Scala the street which has no parallel in Europe. It is a 
winding stair from Low Ragusa to the top of High Ragusa. The 
stair-sidewalk for foot passengers hanging over a road for beasts, the 
houses with their fine angles and gables and arches and balconies and 
panels, are as picturesque as any of their day ; and under the best 
t of them is the quaint relief of Joseph driving the ass into Egypt. 
The art photographer and the architectural painter could desire no more 
effective subject. Those quaint, old-world steps wind up from this to 
S. Maria della Scala, the half-way church with an open-air pulpit for 
haranguing the tide of humanity ebbing and flowing between the two 
cities. This church has the richest of the rich late Gothic architec 
tural ornaments, which are the feature of Modica and the Ragusas. 
Chapel after chapel in a style not to be found outside of the ancient 
contado of Modica salutes the curious, who find, too, more early 



102 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Renaissance terra-cotta reliefs of the holy story. Above that there 
is only a city of noble post-earthquake public buildings, culminating in 
the soaring church of S. Giovanni, a cathedral in all but name. For 
Ragusa is very rich. It is the rival of Marsala in its great English 
companies, such as the Val di Travers, 1 which have long been extract 
ing from the hills round Ragusa the precious pletra pece, the asphalt 
stone with which London and Paris and New York are paved. 

THIRTY-THIRD DAY. At Modica itself (thirty-third day) you see 
a large city built on the sides of three precipices and in the ravine 
between them, a kind of Amalfi ; specially interesting for the traces 
of the disastrous flood of 1902. The position of its castle is extra 
ordinarily fine, and the stairways leading up to its three enormous 
churches are unique. 

THIRTY-FOURTH DAY. From Modica (thirty-fourth day) you go to 
the Cava d'Ispica, and spend the best part of the day in exploring the 
valley, which is full of the tombs, the houses, and the fortresses of the 
cave-dwellers, and has two caverns frescoed and used as chapels by 

1 The eAsphalt Industry of Sicily. The Val de Travers Company, which is 
one of the oldest established asphalt firms in the world, and which is well known 
in London for its marble-like compressed asphalt roads, has only recently absorbed 
the business and mines of the long-established " Compagnie Generale des Asphalts 
de France, Ltd." The mining property of Ragusa is of great value and importance. 
Mr: Ambroise Pare Brown, who took a leading part in conjunction with the 
Messrs. Whitaker in the formation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals, which has done such admirable work in Palermo, and of the Humane 
Society for the ingathering of waifs and strays into a recently erected home, is the 
agent-general and manager for the kingdom of Italy of the Val de Travers 
Company. 

Asphalt is a bituminous limestone, in which carbonate of lime and pure mineral 
bitumen are by natural agency compressed. It is found in the Ragusa mines in 
seams from four to twelve feet thick, between layers of hard limestone varying 
from three to eight feet, and is extracted by means of blasting. Shark's teeth and 
other fossils are frequently found in good condition embedded in the rock. 

From 800 to 1,000 miners are employed, and from 400 to 600 carters, who 
transport the rock to Mazzarelli (an open roadstead) or to the station, from whence 
it is conveyed by train to Syracuse. 

From Mazzarelli and Syracuse it is shipped to all parts of the world, and is em 
ployed in making roads, pavements, promenades, and roofing. For this purpose the 
stone is ground and melted in boilers, mixed with sand and gravel, and spread 
evenly with heavy rollers. When cool, the mixture becomes very durable and im 
permeable. Asphalt mastic, bearing the trade-mark " Seyssel," is extensively 
employed in various ways for keeping out the damp. 

Those interested in asphalt may read L'Asphalte : son engine, sa preparation, ses 
applications, by Leon Malo, published by Baudry et Cie., 15, Rue des Saints-Peres, 
Paris. Also Twenty Tears' Practical Experience of Natural Asphalt and Mineral 
Bitumen, by W. H. Delano, published by Spon, 125, Strand, London, and Spon and 
Chamberlain, 12, Cortlandt Street, New York. 



MOTORING IN SICILY 103 

Byzantine Christians during the Saracen persecutions, besides a fine 
gallery of third-century Hellenistic tombs like those at Palazzolo. 
There are enchanting little gullies running off the main gorge, where 
finely hewn prehistoric tombs are almost hidden in the rich verdure 
induced by constant springs. It is here that you find the scenery of 
Theocritus to-day, not round Syracuse, where the Romans imprisoned 
every spring in an .aqueduct. One can never be certain here that the 
nymphs and the fauns have been extirpated ; they are as easy to believe 
in as ghosts. To walk up the valley of Ispica at one's leisure, is one 
of the pleasantest things in Sicily ; and the contadini round here are 
a noble race, though they may not go so far as the men of Palazzolo, 
who force^bad characters to leave the district. Leave the valley, which 
is six or eight miles long, in time to motor to Noto and sleep there. 

THIRTY-FIFTH DAY. In the morning motor up to Noto Antica, 
the medieval Pompeii." Neetum was one of the chief towns of the 
island. It was a Roman colony and had coins, and the earthquake 
which shook down the city till no man could live in it, spared a gate 
which had survived since the times of the Romans. This was in 1 693, 
and the terror-stricken inhabitants moved to a safer site below, leaving 
Noto Antica to the elements. 

I have only visited Noto for the day, but it is a fine clean town built 
in the noble style which has appertained in South Sicily since the great 
earthquake of 1693. There is nothing to see in the town except the 
general effect of a city of fine yellow stone, which is all public buildings. 
Doubtless there is a good enough inn there, for it is a town popular with 
the country nobles. 

Then motor past the river Falconara (Asinarus), the battlefield 
where Nicias and one Athenian army surrendered to the Syracusans, 
and the river Cassibile (Cacyparis), where Demosthenes and the other 
Athenian army surrendered, to Palazzolo, the Acrean Rock, where in 
a three days' battle the Athenians were prevented from escaping into 
the interior. Sleep at Palazzolo (Albergo d'ltalia), but be careful to 
take your own food and wine with you. 

THIRTY-SIXTH DAY. Spend the thirty-sixth day at Palazzolo, the 
ancient Acras, one of the most interesting Greek cities in Sicily. The 
battle of the Acraean Rock took place near the wonderful images 
called Santoni cut out of the rock. Close by is a large Greek necro 
polis, and above that the Pineta, a cliff with the tombs and houses of 
the cave-dwellers. Palazzolo has also a heroum, a beautiful little 
Greek theatre, and an odeum, and the most wonderful tombs in Sicily j 
Greek tombs of the third century after Christ, running far into the rock 
in chambers divided with a forest of columns and arches. 



104 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

THIRTY-SEVENTH DAY. From Palazzolo (thirty-seventh day) motor 
first to the mysterious ruins of temples and baths and tombs at Giarra- 
tana (Ceretanum), which no foreigner ever sees ; and then through the 
most beautiful champaign in Sicily, past immemorial olive trees, down 
to Syracuse. 




IMMEMORIAL OLIVE TREES 



Spend the THIRTY-EIGHTH, THIRTY-NINTH, FORTIETH, and FORTY- 
FIRST DAYS at Syracuse. You cannot see this glorious city in less. 
The Castle of Euryalus, the Greek theatre, the amphitheatre, the 
various necropoles, the Palaestra, the Latomias, the Street of the Dead, 
the excursion to the Anapo, the excursion to Plemmyrium, the Scala 
Greca, the Fountain of Arethusa, the enormous catacombs, the perfect 
Greek temple of Minerva now embodied in the cathedral, the Temple 
of Diana, the Castle of Maniace, and the medieval palaces, will take 
all of this four days, hardly allowing any time to enjoy the beautiful 
subtropical garden of the Hotel Villa Politi. You had better spend 
a week, and take a run on your motor-car to see the wonderful city of 
the dead at Pantalica. 

Those who wish to understand the catastrophes of the Athenian 
campaign in Sicily, can do it best in a motor-car by starting from 
Syracuse. The first part of the journey from Syracuse to Canicattini 
lies through the most beautiful olive gardens in Sicily, with noble old 
trees ; the gorge of the Spampinato, down which the historic Anapo 



MOTORING IN SICILY 105 

runs, and which has been supposed to have sealed the fate of the 
Athenians, is on your right ; and soon after you have passed Canicattini, 
with its picturesque contadini watering their mules and asses at its 
copious fountains, you debouch on to the rich tableland which gives 
Palazzolo its wealth. On its rocky terraces the Athenians pitched 
their last camp. As you stand among its orchids and irises, looking 
at the great hill of Palazzolo rising like a Doge's cap from the twin 
ravines which are the only pass over the Hyblaean Hills into the 
interior where the wild Sikels lived, you recognise the forlornness of 
the hope of the Athenians. It is difficult to conceive a more perfect 
natural fortress than this well-located hill before the days of artillery. 

Follow the footsteps of the Athenians on the line of their last 
retreat down to Noto, after they had fought the three days' battle in 
the Contrada dei Santicelli. You will soon strike the Helorus road 
which they must have followed, crossing, at Cassibile Station, the 
Cacyparis, where Demosthenes was overwhelmed, and going a little 
below the modern Noto to the river Asinarus, where Nicias sur 
rendered. Neither of them seem very formidable obstacles in the 
day of strong armour and feeble missiles ; but the Syracusans threw 
up works, and the Athenians were worn out with forced marching 
and want of food. It is only a matter of minutes in a motor to get 
from here to La Pizzuta, though you must walk the last part. This 
great thirty-foot-high column of stone, reared in classical times on a 
green hill towering over the sea, is a fine sight standing by its dark 
carob trees, whether or no we may believe it to be the trophy set up by 
the Syracusan for his final victories over the Athenian. There are 
other antique buildings, not far off, on the banks of the Helorus itself, 
which are also claimed to be the trophies. 

An extra couple of days may be well spent at Catania, to take day- 
trips to the splendid Roman cities of Agira and Centuripe. Allowing 
a fortnight for Palermo, this will bring your "trip up to a couple of 
months the right time for Sicily. 



PART I 
THINGS SICILIAN 



Abisama. Arab name of Buscemi (q.v.). 

Achseus. A Greek slave who commanded the army of Eunus (q.v.) in the 
First Slave War. 

Achradina. One of the five quarters of ancient Syracuse (q.v.). 

Aci-Castello. A town on the coast, N. of Catania ; with fine medieval castle 
held by Roger di Loria against Frederick II., 1297- Opposite the Rocks of 
the Cyclops. See Cyclops. 




ACI-CASTELLO 

Acireale. Near Aci-Castello ; a large town almost rebuilt since earthquake 
of i6<n has a bath-house with warm mineral springs ; remains of ancient 
Roman bath; cathedral; Ch. of S. Sebastiano with very ornate front; Ch. 
del Suffracio, all of them with frescoes by Vasta. 

Mail coaches to Ad-Catena, I hour; Aci-S. Antonio, ij hours; Viagrande, 
2% hours ; Trecastagni, 2 hours 40 minutes. 

107 



io8 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Acithius. The ancient name of Birgi (q.v, ). 

Acrae. The oldest Greek inland town in Sicily, founded by Syracuse 
6643.0. Now Palazzolo Acreide (q.v. ). 

Acragas. The Greek name of Girgenti (q.v.). 

Acropolis. The Greek for a citadel. 

Admiral, the. Origin of the title according to Freeman from the success 
of Roger's Admiral, George of Antioch, whom he appointed Emir of his fleet. 
George was so triumphant that Emir gradually changed into Admiral 
became the title of sea-commanders. 

" Admiral, The." A novel by Mr. Sladen, with Nelson as the hero and 
the scenes principally laid at Palermo and Syracuse. 

Abside (Apse). The rounded east-end characteristic of medieval Sicilian 
churches. 

Acanthus. A weed with a magnificent purple flower, very like the Crown 
artichoke. Its leaves are said to have suggested the capitals of the Corinthian 
columns. Very plentiful in ruins and other stony places. 

Acquaiuolo. A water-seller, called by foreigners the Acqua-man. A 
common sight in hot weather. In Palermo they have beautiful little brass- 
mounted tables and huge water-jars of ancient Greek shape. The tables are 
about 2 feet long by 18 inches wide and high. At Syracuse the water is 
carried in lean five-gallon casks on a long low carro drawn by a little Sar-, 
dinian donkey. At Girgenti the water-jars are slung in panniers on a large 
donkey. 

Acestes. A hero invented by Virgil to give the name to Egesta 
(Segesta) (q.v.). 

Acquacorsari. A stat. on the Corleone railway ; has a medieval tower to 
guard against corsairs. Near Palermo. 

Acquaviva-Platani, A stat. bet. Roccapalumba and Girgenti. 

Acquidotti. Sicily has many ancient aqueducts, but few carried on arches. 
(See Syracuse^ Termini, and Girgenti, which has superb Greek aqueducts.) 

Aderno. A large town on the Circum-^tnean railway. The ancient 
Hadranum. A Sikel town named after Hadranus, their god of fire. Re- 
founded by Dionysius. Celebrated for its Temple of Hadranus guarded by the 
thousand dogs. Roger I. founded its mighty castle (some Norman remains). 
Convent of S. Lucia, now a magnificent Renaissance building with the 
columns of the temple in its courtyard. Till 1794 the people dressed in the 
Greek manner, and the nobles in the Spanish. The rich brocade shawls 
of delicate light colours worn by the women of Adern6 at festivals form the 
most beautiful national dress in Sicily. Distinctive jewellery also. On 
Easter Sunday there is a miracle play performed in front of the castle. See 
also fragment of the wall of ancient Hadranum, remains of the temple in 
a garden south of the castle, a few churches with Gothic features, and the 
famous antique bridge in the neighbourhood. No accommodation ; people 
have a bad name. Best visited from Randazzo. 

Adonis, the Scarlet. This brilliant little flower, common in Sicily, is 
said to have sprung from the blood of Adonis when he was killed by the boar. 

Adonis, Gardens of. See under Gardens of Gethsemane, p. 1 86. 

Adranum (Hacjlranum). See Adern6. '* During these actions Dionysius, 
in Sicily, builds a town at the foot of ^Etna, and from a certain famous 
temple calls it Adranum " (Diodorus Siculus). 



THINGS SICILIAN 



109 



Adytum (Adito). Greek Aduton, a place not to be entered. A term 
applied to cave-sanctuaries. See Syracuse. 

^Egatian Islands (Isole Egadi). Where C. Lucatius Catulus defeated 
Hamilcar, the Carthaginian, in the battle which ended the first Punic War 
241 B.C. They lie off Trapani. Levanzo, Marittimo and Favignana are the 
principal. Signor Florio has a castle here and the best tunny fisheries in 
Italy. Noted for their quail-shooting, being on the great migration route. 
The birds invariably pass over Levanzo going north, and Favignana going 
south. Steamer from Trapani. 

JEgussi (Greek Aigousa). One of the ^Egatian Islands ; the nearest to the 
ancient Lilybseum. 

^jSineid" in Sicily. Virgil's third jfiLneid in lines 554 to the end gives an 
itinerary of the Sicilian coast from Messina to Syracuse, Syracuse to Selinunte, 
Selinunte to Trapani. Almost the whole of the fifth &neid, which is devoted 
to the funeral games of Anchises, relates to Trapani, Mount Eryx, and the 
neighbourhood. 

^Eschylus in Sicily. ^Eschylus came to Syracuse 468 B.C. at the invita 
tion of Hiero I. in disgust at being defeated by Sophocles, a younger man, in 
a tragic contest at Athens. He wrote his Women of Etna before this, in 471, 
at the request of Hiero, who had built the town of ^Etna. He died near Gela 
B..c. 456. An eagle mistook his bald head for a stone, and dropped the 
tortoise it was trying to smash on it, the oracle having declared that he was 
to die by a stroke from heaven. Sir W. Smith points out that he was also 
reputed to have visited Sicily in 499 and 488 B.C. He was so much in Sicily 
that Athenseus, the critic, mentions that his plays contained Sicilian words 
and expressions not intelligible to the Athenians. 

/Esculapius (Esculapio). The god of medicine. A very popular god 
in Sicily on account of the malaria. He was the son of Apollo and Coronis. 
One of the patron gods of ancient Messina. See Syracuse Museum and 
Messina. 

uEtna, Mt. See Etna. 

^tna. A city founded by Hiero I. at Catania, where he had expelled the 
original inhabitants. His colonists were afterwards driven out, and retired to 
Inessa, on the back of the mountain, and changed its name to u^Etna. The 
exact site is not known probably between Paterno and Centuripe. 

African Sea. Washes the south coast of Sicily. 

S. Agata. Patron saint of Catania, where she was martyred. Her festa, 
one of the best in Italy, is on February 5th and preceding days. See Catania. 

S. Agata-di-Militello. A stat. between Palermo and Messina. Unim 
portant except as a railway centre. In the neighbourhood is the Rosmarino 
River, with splendid wild oleanders and ruins of a Roman bridge. 

Agathocles. King of Syracuse (q.v.). 

Agathyraum. See Capo d' Orlando. 

Agave, or American aloe. Called the Century plant, from the idea that 
it did not bloom till it was a hundred years old, and then died. Jn Sicily it 
takes a very few years. The blossoms are sometimes twenty feet high or more. 
A feature all over Sicily. There is an indigenous variety at Cefalu (q.v.). 

Agira (S. Filippo d'Agiro). Derives its modern name from St. Philip 
the Apostle, who was buried there. He is its patron saint. Festa, May 1st. 
Nine miles from stat., on Palermo - Catania line.- An extremely ancient 
town connected with the legend and worship of Hercules. Also interesting 



no SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

as a Sikel town, whose tyrant, Agyris, comes into history as an ally of 
Dionysius. A later tyrant, Apolloniades, was expelled by Timoleon, when 
Agyrium received Syracusan citizenship, B.C. 339. Diodorus Siculus (q.v.) 
was born here, B.C. 50. 

See castle, magnificent view ; churches of S. Maria, S. Salvatore, and 
Realbatia. The last contains the cell and tomb of St. Philip. S. Maria is 
an early church with massive columns and pointed arches. S. Salvatore has 
round-headed arches and a good campanile (Murray). There are remains of 
a Greek fortress. When Hercules was driving away the oxen of Geryon 
they left their hoof-prints here, and Hercules won the land on which the 
town is built in a wrestling match with the giant Eryx. Under the Romans 
it was a town of importance and splendour. Coach from Catena- Nuova 
Stat. to Agira (6 hours). 

Agora. Greek for a market-place. The term used in Sicily in place of 
the Roman forum. 

Agrigentum. The Roman name for Girgenti (q.v.). 

Agyris. A Sikel tyrant of the above. The most powerful king in Sicily 
in the time of Dionysius I., with whom he allied against the Carthaginians. 
Famous for his wealth. 

Agyrium. The ancient name for Agira (q.v.). 

Aidone. Perhaps the ancient Herbita. A city on the mountain above 
Piazza Armerina. Peopled by the Lombard soldiers of King Roger, said to 
preserve the Lombard dialect to this day. Perhaps the ancient Trinacia 
(Freeman, q.v.). 

The ruins are four kil. away, and called by the natives Sella d' Orlando. 

Ainemolo, Vincenzo. See p. 112. 

Albanese. Cav. Carlo, secretary of the Bene Economico (q.v.), and head 
of one of the principal insurance companies in Palermo. Takes a leading 
part in all movements for the improvement of Palermo and the comfort of 
foreigners. 

Albanians and modern Greeks in Sicily. The most famous Albanian 
settlement in Sicily is Piana dei Greci (q.v.). Settled by Albanians flying 
from Turkish oppression in 1488. There are other Albanian and Greek 
settlements which keep up their religion and distinct nationality, and to some 
extent their costumes, at Palazzo - Adriano, Piazza -Armerina, Biancavilla, 
S.-Michele-di-Ganzaria, Mezzoiuso, Contessa-Entellina, Messina, and Palermo. 

Alcamo. Named after Al-Kamuk (q.v.). A very large and important 
town on the Palermo-Trapani line. Four miles from the stat, where nobody 
lives on account of the malariousness. It is an Oriental-looking town with 
a number of Arabo-Norman remains, and is most unjustifiably overlooked by 
foreigners. The original town was situated on Monte Bonifato. 

The traveller should visit the Chiesa Maggiore (frescoes, fifteenth-century 
tower). 

(2) Small church of S. Nicolo di Bari, fifteenth century. 

(3) Ch. of S. Maria del Soccorso, fifteenth century. 

(4) Ch. of S. Chiara (stucco reliefs by Serpotta). 

(5) Ch. of Badia-Nuova (stucco reliefs by Serpotta). 

(6) Ch. of S. Tommaso Apostolo, fourteenth century. 

(7) Ch. of the Carmine, fourteenth century. 

(8) Ch. of S. Oliva ; works by Gagini and Pietro Novelli. 

(9) Medieval castle, fourteenth century. 

(10) A sulphur saline spring, temp. 74 centigrade. 



THINGS SICILIAN in 

Alcamo, Vincenzo (Ciullo) d'. The Sicilian poet, temp. Emperor 
Frederick II., one of the first song-writers in Sicilian, lived here. 

Alcantara. A river between Taormina and Calatabiano, on which Naxos, 
the first Greek city in Sicily, was founded, close to the sea. It is an Arabic 
name meaning '* the bridge," and there are said to be remains of a Saracenic 
bridge higher up. The Alcantara which has an order of knighthood is in 
Spain. 

Alcibiades. An Athenian appointed with Nicias and Demosthenes to the 
command of the expedition against Syracuse. He was so daring and able 
that, had he accompanied the expedition. Syracuse would have fallen. His 
position in the state was so great that Nicias could not have overridden his 
protests, as he did those of Demosthenes and Lamachus. But the "little 
Athenians," hating the grand seigneur, and hating the prestige of their 
country, trumped up a charge against him of outraging the Hermse. He had 
to retire, and Athens was conquered in Sicily, and eventually captured herself 
a spectacle for all the ages. 

Aldingh, Henry. Established in 1473 the first printing press in Sicily. 

Alcmena, The. Painted by Zeuxis for the Temple of Hercules at Girgenti ; 
the most celebrated picture of antiquity. 

Alesi, Guiseppe d'. Revolutionary, assassinated in 1647. 

Alexander VI., Pope. Abbot of Maniace (q.v.). See under Borgia, 
Rodrigo. 

S. Alessio, Cape. Stat. Messina-Taormina line. Has an enormous 
castle on a perpendicular rock, but the existing buildings are late and not 
interesting. 




PANORAMA TO CAPE S. ALESSIO 



AIL A stat. between Taorrnina and Messina. Said to owe its name to 
being a colony from Elis. Has sulphur baths, whose merits are widely 
known. Valuable mines of lapis-laziili, etc. 

Alicata. The Saracenic name of Licata (q.v.). 



ii2 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Alimena. Founded by Philip IV. in 1628. Near the ruins of a very 
ancient city. Famous for its mountain of rock-salt. 4^ hours by mail- 
vettura from Petralia-Sottana (q.v.). 

Ainemolo, Vincenzo. Better known as Vincenzo da Pavia or Vincenzo il 
Romano. A sixteenth-century Palermo painter who, according to Baedeker, 
died after 1557. There is a room devoted to him in the Palermo Museum. 
He would be a very fine artist if he were not so stagey. He made people 
look like human beings. Pictures also at the Gancia and S. Domenico at 
Palermo. 

Al-Kamuk. The Arab name of Alcamo (q.v.). Called after an Emir who 
led a numerous army into Sicily A. D. 828. 

Almond. Almonds are one of the principal exports of Sicily. At Gir- 
genti, at Castrogiovanni, and at most cities between Girgenti and Roccapa- 
lumba the almond orchards in blossom rival the cherry groves of Japan. At 
Girgenti the golden temples, rising against the wall of almond blossom in 
spring, offer one of the finest colour effects in the world. Round Canicattl is 
perhaps the best place to see it. 

Aloes. The real aloe looks like a tangle of green starfish with tall spikes 
of red and yellow bloss'om. The name is often applied to the American aloe 
or agave, which is much more plentiful. 

Alphaeus. The river which runs into the fountain of Arethusa at Syra 
cuse (q.v.). 

It is well known that the Alphseus is distinguished from all other rivers by 
the following natural peculiarity : it often vanishes underground and reappears 
again. . . . Even the Adriatic could not stop its onward course ; it flows 
through that wide and stormy sea, and in the isle of Ortygia, off Syracuse, it 
shows that it is the true Alphseus, and blends its water with Arethusa. 
(Pausanias viii. (liv.) 2 and 3.) 

Altavilla. Stat. near Palermo on Messina line. Has a church built in 
1077 by Robert Guiscard and a famous tunny fishery. (S. Michele.) 

Amari, Emerico. One of the leaders of the Revolution of 1848. A street 
in Palermo is called after him. 

Amari, Michele. The famous historian whose work upon the Sicilian 
Vespers is a classic, and who coined the phrase that Roger the king was 
"a baptised Sultan." Borfi at Palermo July 7th, 1806. Died in 1889. Son 
of the above. Author also of Storia dei Mussulmani di Sicilia, Biblioteca 
Arabo-sicula, Le Epigrafi Arabiche di Sicilia. 

Americans in Sicily, Americans have taken the greatest interest in Sicily. 
The Hamburg-Amerik and other steamship lines send their largest steamers 
on yachting cruises which comprise Sicily, every year. 

Ameselum. A Sikel town the modern Regalbuto. 

Amestratus. Perhaps the same as Mytistratus the modern Mistretta (q.v.). 

The name Amistratus only exists on certain late coins and in a passage of 
Cicero's Verres. 

Amonine. Let us go together, i.e. '* Come on, gee-up !" The expression 
the Sicilian uses to his horse. 

Amphitheatres. A Roman institution for gladiatorial combats, etc. As 
Sicily has few purely Roman remains the Romans never did anything but 
own it and rule it amphitheatres are rare in Sicily. The only good one is 
at Syracuse, though there are considerable remains at Catania and traces at 
Girgenti and Castrogiovanni. 



THINGS SICILIAN 113 

Amphora. Not found in Sicily unless introduced from Italy. 

wht^ et rf i Sicili f s are great on amulets - Besides those common Q ^y- 

where m Italy you buy strange little bunches of iron charms, a key, a phallus, 
Ae tinvt'1 T 1 ^ ^ 6 finger outstretched > etc. Much more charming are 
It th^r y i L e ^ r ? Cl > etS u' ade in the seventeent ^ century, which often bear 
at their back the seal of a high ecclesiastic guaranteeing their authenticity. 

Anapo. See Syracuse. A river famous for its papyrus. 

Andromachus. Tyrant of Taormina (q.v.). 

Fi^JJS 0011 ^ Sid i y ? ful1 f anemones > b th the common rose-coloured 
English variety and a large purple variety like our garden anemone. When 
you see sheets of purple under the olive trees or in the cornfields, reminding 
anemones blu ^lls in an English copse, it will be due to these 

Angell. An English architect who, in 1823, in company with Mr. Harris, 
discovered the glorious metopes at Selinunte, now in the Palermo Museum 
(q.v.) The finest in all Dorian Greece. 

S. Angelo di Brolo. Reached by mail-vettura, starting at 9 a.m. and 
7 p.m. ; distance, 11 kil. ; fare, 80 cent, from Piraino Stat. Palermo-Messina 
line : gets Us name from the Castle of Brolo (q.v.). 

Antirrhinum, or Snapdragon. Called in Sicily Bocca di leone. Grows' 
splendidly wild m the ruins. Generally of a delicate flesh colour. Another 
foSidl nUm> bnlliant oran S e and lemon-coloured toad-flax, is also common 



Antichita. One of the greatest pleasures of travelling in Sicily is the 
chance of buying genuine antiques at a trifling price. They are found in vast 
quantities, especially round Girgenti, Selinunte, and other cities destroyed by 
the Carthaginians in the fifth century B.C. 

f Antis, in. An architectural expression, which implies a porch terminating 
m columns a feature of most Sicilian temples. 

Aphrodite, the, of the Greeks, like the Ashtaroth of the Phoenicians and 
the Venus of the Romans, was under all three races one of the most 
popular deities of Sicily. Her chief shrine was at Eryx, of which a few 
traces remain. A temple of Venus Erycina existed at Rome. Erycina 
Ridens is a proverb. The temple at Eryx was one of the chief temples of 
the ancient world. Even Verres spared it. See Venus and S. Venere, 

Apollo Archagetas. The first deity worshipped by the Greeks in Sicily. 
At his temple at Kaxos, the earliest Greek settlement, it was the custom for 
all Sicilian Greeks to sacrifice before crossing the sea to visit the mother city 
of their town. The original site is not accurately known, but the church of 
b. Pancrazio of Taormina embodies the cella of his transferred temple, when 
the Naxians migrated to Tauromenium. 

Apollo Belvedere. It is claimed without sufficient evidence that the 
famous Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican once occupied the base in the 
Nymphseum at Syracuse (q.v.). 

Apollonia. The modern Pollina, or perhaps S. Fratello. Originally a 
Sikel town. Six kil. from Pollina stat, on the Messina-Palermo line. 

Aqueducts. See Acquidotti. 

Arabo-Norman Architecture. See under Norman. 

Arabs, the. The Arabs came to Sicily in 827 A.D. on the invitation of 
Euphemius of Syracuse, who invoked their aid against his enemies. They 
landed at Mazzara. The last Sicilian city, Rometta, was not takea till 965. 



ii4 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

The Normans captured Messina in 1060 from them, and Palermo in 1071, 
and by 1090 had taken the whole island. There are very few buildings left 
built for Arabs, but there are a great many built for the Normans by Saracen 
workmen with exquisite taste and skill. The Arabo-Norman period of Sicily 
under Roger and his descendants was even more brilliant than the best Greek 
period under the hegemony of Syracuse. These princes were the most power 
ful monarchs of their time, and had the most splendid courts. Under them 
Palermo was the largest city in the world, and the centre of culture. El 
Edrisi, of Palermo, the Arab who made the silver map, was the most famous 
of medieval geographers. The Cappella Reale at Palermo, built by Roger's 
Saracen workmen, is the gem of church architecture. The Norman room in 
the palace at Palermo, the court of the fountain of the Zisa, and a few other 
buildings attest the grace of the surroundings of these princes in a rude period. 
Sicilian geography is full of Arabic names, as the language is of their words 
and the type is of their characteristics. 

Arag-on. After the expulsion of the French at the Sicilian Vespers, Peter 
of Aragon, who had married Constance, daughter of King Manfred, became 
King of Sicily, which continued in his family until Aragon was united with 
Castile and became Spain. Dante sympathised with the Aragonese in the 
war which followed the Sicilian Vespers. (Cf. Purgatorio, vii. 112-120, 
iii. 112-117.) 

Aragona. A small town in S. Sicily, one stat. from Girgenti. Founded 
in 1605 by Baldassare Naselli, and named from his mother Beatrice Aragona. 
Noted for the enormous palace of its princes and for the Macalubi, or mud 
volcanoes, which are situated about an hour's drive from it, and the Majaruca 
Spring famous for healing cutaneous diseases. 

Aragona-Caldare railway stat. two miles from the above. 

Arbutus. Tree, grows splendidly in Sicilian gardens. 

Archimedean Wells. Archimedes is said to have invented the primitive 
method still used for raising the water to fill the garden cisterns in S. Italy 
and Sicily. 

Archimedes. The celebrated engineer and mathematician. Born at 
Syracuse about 287 B.C. Killed in the sack of the city by the Romans 
212 B.C. The marvellous engines with which he beat off the Romans for two 
years are described in Plutarch's Life of Marcellus. Several of his works 
survive. He built a ship which, from its description, seems to have been as 
large as an ocean liner. Cicero discovered his tomb in 75 B.C. See Syracuse, 
Tomb of Archimedes. 

Architecture. See under Cyclopean, Pelasgic, Sikel, Greek, Doric, Roman, 
Byzantine (Moorish), Saracenic, Norman, Gothic (Sicilian-Gothic), Renais- 
sance, Baroque, Modern. 

Architrave. In classical architecture is the lowest part of an entablature, 
which signifies the horizontal mass laid across the tops of the columns. Over 
the architrave is the frieze, and over the frieze is the cornice, the three con 
stituting the entablature. It is of course derived from trabea, the Latin for 
a beam (Sturgis). 

Archonides I. A Sikel king with his capital at Herbita (q.v.), the modern 
Sperlinga (?). He was an ally of Ducetius and a zealous supporter of the 
Athenians. He died during the Athenian War, and the Sikels after his death 
took the other side in considerable numbers. See under Calacte. 

Archonides II. King of Herbita, founder of Halgesa (q.v. ). 



THINGS SICILIAN TIS 

c, - T * e * talian ^ercenary of Dionysius I, whose strata- 

llTl fJV storming of Motya, the principal Carthaginian stronghold of 
Thuc y yd?des descn P tlon of which in Adonis is iqual to anything in 

Arcosolio. An arched recess with a tomb under it in a cave sepulchre 
There are quantities at Girgenti and Syracuse. 

^doiii. Lombard captain of the Greek general Maniaces in the invasion 
of Sicily. _ He refused to give up a beautiful horse he had won in single 
combat with a Saracen. Maniaces took the horse and scourged Ardoin 
through the camp This led to the desertion of Ardoin and the Normans, 
and m the end to the establishment of the Norman power in South Italy. 

Arethusa The Fountain of Arethusa, one of the most celebrated in the 
ancient world 3 still exists at Syracuse (q.v.). 

Aristaeus. The god of flocks, bees, vines, olives, etc. Through the oil 
derived from the last he became regarded as the special patron of nymnasia 
and sports It. was an outrage to Aristaeus in the Palestra at Syracuse, 
which was the last straw in bringing about the prosecution of Verres. 

Aristippus of Cyrene. Founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy. 
He passed part of his life at the court of Dionysius I., having been born in 
421 B.C. Inere are many anecdotes of him in Diogenes Laertius. 

Aristomache. Wife of Dionysius I. See Syracuse. 

Armorial Tiles (mattoni stagnati}. In Sicily, as at Siena, etc., in Italy it 
was the custom for noble and religious houses to affix an armorial tile (motions] 
by the right-hand top corner of the front entrance. These were largely made at 
Caltagirone, and they are much sought for by the collector. Some of them are 
elaborate majolica pictures, like an Urbino plate. The best collections are in 
the Palermo Museum (Corridojo di Mezzogiorno) and Mr. Joshua Whitaker's 
palace at Palermo. 

Artemis. The Greek deity identified with Diana (q.v.). 

Artichokes. Sicily is par excellence the land of the Crown artichoke. It 
has an indigenous, rather oval variety, which is a feature in the landscape, 
with its bluish-green foliage. Cooked artichokes are sold in the streets in 
Palermo for a halfpenny each. The Italian name is carciofo, derived like 
artichoke from the Arabic alharchaf. 

Ashtaroth. A Phoenician deity identified with Venus. 
_ Asinello. A donkey. Besides the common donkey, there are two varieties 
in Sicily the large Pantelleria ass and the small Sardinian ass, which is no 
bigger than a large dog, much used by the small pedlars, especially for selling 
coal in Palermo. 

Asparagus. There are three kinds eaten in Sicily the ordinary garden 
asparagus ; the same growing wild, which is meagre and rather bitter, the 
so-called asparago selvaggio; and sparagi di trow, which is not an asparagus at 
all, but butcher's broom, a plant which bears sticks looking like the real 
asparagus, with a bitter-sweet taste. In Sicily this plant is used for hedges. 
It may sometimes be seen in the market at Bath and Bristol. 

Asphalt mines. See under Ragusa and Pietra Pece. Such asphalt is the 
chief element in the asphalt paving of London, Paris, New York, etc. 

Asphodel. Sicilians call this also Bastone-di-S. -Giuseppe. A glorious wild 
flower, one of the features of the Sicilian landscape, with its plumes of pink, 
brown-pencilled flowers, spreading ofat like Prince of Waks's feathers a yard 



n6 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

high on every brae. It belongs to the order of Liliace. There are at least 
three varieties in Sicily, the larger pink-blossomed asphodel, which has leaves 
like an iris, and is by far the commonest ; the smaller pink-blossomed asphodel, 
which has a leaf like our common rush, of -which baskets are made (Juncus 
conglomertus], and the yellow asphodel known in English gardens as the King's 
Spear. 

Assaro. A. mountain town in the centre of Sicily which Verves tried to 
plunder in vain : the ancient Assarus, three hours from the Assaro- Valguar-nera 
Slat., Palermo- Catania line. 




RIVER ASSINARO, WHERE NICIAS AND HIS ARMY SURRENDERED, WITH THE 
SO-CALLED PONTE DELLA CASTAGNA 



Assinarus, or Assinaro. The modern Falconara, a river running near Noto, 
where Nicias, the Athenian general, was routed and captured with a thousand 
of his army, 413 B.C. 

Associazione Siciliana pel Bene Economico. Founded in Palermo, 
July, 1895, for the encouragement of foreign travel in Sicily, the comfort of 
foreigners, etc. See under B&ne Economico. 

Ate, "You there," is the usual expressidn of a Sicilian driver to anyone 
who is in his way. 

Athenagoras. The leader of the party in the Syracusan assembly opposed 
to Hermocrates. He poohpoohed the idea of making any preparations 
when the Athenian invasion was threatening. See Athenians and Syracuse. 
Chariton, of Aphrodisias, the author of the Greek novel, The Loves of 
Choreas and Callirrhoe^ claims to have%een his secretary. See Chterects. 



THINGS SICILIAN ny 

Athenians in Sicily, the. The first connection of the Athenians with 
Sicily was an alliance with the Elymian town of Segesta in 454 B.C. But the 
cause which underlay their interference in the island was the fact that the 
lonians in Sicily, the Chalcidian colonies of Leontini, Naxos, Catane, and 
Camarina, had a hard struggle for existence against the overwhelming supe 
riority of the Dorians, and looked to Athens as the chief Ionian city. The 
alliance between Athens, Leontini, and Rhegium across the Strait was made 
in 433. But Athens never did anything in Sicily on a large scale till after the 
second treaty with Segesta in 415. In the same year they sent, commanded 
by Nicias, Alcibiades, and Lamachus, a fleet of 136 triremes, 5,100 heavy- 
armed troops, and 1,300 light-armed. If Alcibiades (q.v.) had not been 
recalled, they would have captured Syracuse, which was not ready. His 
recall left Nicias paramount, and the war dragged. The Athenians tried to 
blockade Syracuse by building a wall across the isthmus, from the shore below 
the Catane gate (see Syracuse, Catania Gate) on the open sea to the shore 
below the Portella del Fusco (q.v. under Syracuse] on the Great Harbour side. 
Nicias spoiled even this by his dilatoriness, and after Lamachus was killed in 
the moment of victory, things went so badly for Athens that a fresh expedition 
had to be sent under Demosthenes and Eurymedon, help having in the interval 
been sent to Syracuse from the Peloponnese, with an experienced Spartan 
commander, Gylippus, who divined how to stop the blockading with a cross- 
wall Demosthenes saw that this wall and its forts must be captured, or the 
attempt to take Syracuse given up. The attack failed, but Nicias refused to 
leave until the fevers of the shores of the Great Harbour, which raised so 
many sieges of Syracuse, and the large reinforcements received by the Syra 
cusans, daunted him. Even then, just as they were about to sail, there was an 
eclipse, and he interpreted this into a sign that he must wait for the next moon. 
That sealed the fate of the Athenians. The Syracusans blockaded the mouth 
of the harbour, and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Athenians' fleet when 
they attempted to break through. The Athenians then abandoned their ships, 
and, believing the false report spread by the Syracusans that the direct road 
to Catane along the shore was blocked, marched up the gorge of the Anapo, 
called^the Spampinato, to the Acrsean cliff (Palazzolo), which commands the 
pass, into the interior. Driven back from this by the slingers on its precipitous 
sides, they took the Helorus road ; but Nicias, avoiding skirmishes,, marched 
so much faster than Demosthenes, that the latter, being some miles behind, was 
taken in detail and overwhelmed in crossing the Cacyparis (Cassibile), near 
Cassibile Stat. 3 Syracuse-Noto line. Demosthenes tried to kill himself, but was 
captured with all the 6,000 left of his army. 

The Syracusans sent word of the disaster to Nicias and called on him to 
surrender likewise, but he pressed on to the fords of the river Assinaro (now 
the Falconara), which passes Noto. There his men were so thirsty that they 
broke into utter disorder when they came to the river, and were slaughtered 
like sheep. To stay the slaughter, Nicias offered to surrender to Gylippus 
without conditions for himself. About a thousand of his men surrendered 
with him. But a far greater number surrendered to private captors, knowing 
this to be a preferable fate. The public captives were marched back to 
Syracuse and flung into the Latomia dei Cappuccini, where they were kept 
exposed to the elements and starved on half slaves 3 rations for seventy days. 
They, too, became slaves, with the exception of Nicias and Demosthenes, 
who, in spite of the efforts of Gylippus and Hemocrates to save them, were 
put to death, it is said, with tortures. There were 40,000 Athenians when 
the march began. Of these, 7,000 surrendered to Gylippus and a multitude 



n8 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

were slain ; for the Syracusans never came to close quarters unless they had 
the foe absolutely at their mercy. They had no mind to lose a single man 
when their enemies had been delivered into their hand. The number of 
private captives is not known, but probably a good few escaped into the 
interior, aided by the Sikels, who looked upon Syracuse as their natural 
enemy. The Athenian cavalry cut their way through to Catane (Catania), 
after which their commander, Callistratus, the son of Empedos, in the finest 
spirit of antique heroism, rode back to Syracuse, and dashing among the 
plunderers in the Athenian camp, slew five men with his own hand before he 
was cut down. 

So ended the great Athenian invasion of Sicily. Not only had the 
Athenians been deprived of the dashing generalship of Alcibiades (q.v.), but 
they had driven him into the arms of their enemies. Knowing that he would 
be killed if he stayed in Athens, he joined the enemy and gave them the 
advice which led to his city's downfall. 

Atlantes, or Telamons. The male equivalent of Caryatides used in support 
ing the architraves of temples. Cf. Girg&nti, Temple of Giove Olimpico. 

Augusta. A city with a magnificent harbour on the Syracuse-Catania line. 
Supposed to have been founded by Augustus on the site of the ancient 
Xiphonia. At any rate, refounded by the Emperor Frederick II. , who, in 1242, 
deported the rebellious inhabitants of Centuripe hither. In 1360 it was 
destroyed by the Syracusans and Catanians, In 1676, when Sicily was 
trying to revolt from Spain, the French admiral, Duquesne, defeated De 
Ruyter here. In 1693 the town was destroyed by the earthquake. The 
harbour contains twelve square miles of fine anchorage. At Molinello, 
3kils. from the stat, are some prehistoric tombs and Christian catacombs. 

Augustus (then called Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus) landed at Tauro- 
menium (Taormina) B.C. 36 in his successful campaign against Sextus Pompeius, 
which was decided at the Battle of Mylse (Milazzo). He sent Roman colonies 
to Syracuse, etc., B.C. 21. 

Avola. A city near Syracuse, on the Syracuse-Licata line, destroyed in 
1693 by the great earthquake, and rebuilt near its old site. 

B 

Babies' walking-frames. In Sicily babies are taught to walk by wicker 
frames like stiff crinolines fitting closely under the arms. They are so wide 
that the baby cannot get within two feet of anything or upset itself. When 
not in these frames the babies are so closely swaddled that they can be left on 
a window-ledge without being able to roll themselves off. They look like 
Red Indian papooses. Both must be good for children, because Sicilians 
have lovely straight limbs and figures. 

Bacchus. Identified with the Greek Dionysus, the god of wine. The 
only temple left in Sicily is at Syracuse (q.v,). 

Badia (Abbadia ; Badiazza at Messina ; Batia at Agira, etc. ) signifies a 
nun's convent. Our word abbey. 

Bagheria. The old court suburb of Palermo. About ten miles out on the 
Messina road. Villas of the Bourbon court, especially the villa Valguarnera, 
with splendid gardens and a Calvary and view of the Lipari Islands ; Palagonia, 
with grotesque monsters described by Goethe; Trabia, with a waxwork 
Certosa ; Cutb, and Cattolica. Fine private gardens, arabesque pavilions, 
etc. , all semi-abandoned. Railway stat. convenient, carriage road dusty. 



THINGS SICILIAN 119 

Baglio. Low Latin, ballium ; English, Bailey ; a walled enclosure. The 
name applied to the great wine establishments, such as the Baglio Ingham at 
Marsala (q.v.). 

Baglio Palmenti. Treading vats used in the vintage. 

Bagni Canicattini. See Canicattini. 

Balconies. Magnificent kneeling-balconies (Spanish balconies) made of 
hammered iron bulging out like gourds to take the knees of the faithful when 
a religious procession is passing by are found all over Sicily; best at Syracuse. 
The bulging part is decorated with superb roses and sunflowers in high relief, 
and there are sometimes resetted frames for awnings, and spikes rising from 
the rail to carry the pots of scarlet carnations. See Garofano. 

Baldachin. The canopy over the high altar of a church, as in St. Peter's 
at Rome. Not very usual in Sicilian cathedrals and churches, though there is 
a magnificent specimen most richly inlaid with precious stones at Messina. 

Balestrate. A town on the Palermo-Trapani line, where much of the 
grape crop for the Marsala wine is grown. 

Balsamo Giuseppe, son of poor parents. Goethe, in his Sicilian Diary, 
identifies him with the famous impostor, Count Cagliostro (q.v. ). 

Bamboos. Even tropical varieties grow freely in Sicily. They are much 
used for garden sticks, goatherds, pipes, etc. They grow gloriously in the 
Botanical Gardens at Palermo and Villa Landolina at Syracuse. 

Bananas. Common in Sicilian gardens, and often fruit well. 

Banks. The only towns in Sicily where English banks have correspondents 
are Palermo, Messina, and Catania. At Taormina there is a money-changer 
who will change most things at an exorbitant commission. The hotels will 
often change cheques. Strangers usually send their cheques to their bank in 
Palermo. Sicilian arrangements for registered money work pretty well. 
See Palermo, Messina, Catania. 

Barba di Giove. The local name for Mesembryanthemum cquilatorah, 
the Australian plant,' called by colonists pig's-face, a name originally applied 
to its fruit by the natives, who eat it. The Italian name, Jupiter's-beard, 
arises from the golden colour of its fleshy trailers in the autumn. Jupiter had a 
golden beard. It has become a common wild flower in Sicily, especially on 
railway embankments. 

Barcas (bardie). The boats of Sicily are exceedingly picturesque, and are 
generally painted with brilliant stripes. Each district has its stereotyped variety. 
They all commonly have eyes on their bows like Chinese junks. At Syracuse 
the barcas have beaks quite possibly a survival of the bronze beaks put on their 
triremes by Gylippus for the sea-fights against the Athenians 413 B.C. and 
tall bow-posts covered with a mop of tow. These are to show the safe height 
for your head when passing under the bridges of the moats between the two 
harbours. At Catania they are elegant, but the most picturesque are at 
Trapani, where they are shaped more like a lifeboat and elaborately decorated. 
They are fitted with a jib and a sort of spritted mainsail. The barcaittoli are 
often splendidly muscular and handsome, invariably exorbitant if you do not 
make a bargain, but very cheap to those in the know, except in taking 
passengers on and off steamers, for which there is a tariff not favourable 
to travellers. The oar is like the Japanese yulo. For short distances they 
often scull over the stern They row forwards with a gondolier stroke, except 
for heavy work, for which they use our style. 



120 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Barbary Corsairs. Until recently Sicily was scourged with these. Cor 
sairs' towers are common along the coast. At Motya I was pointed out 
an old person whose parent had been carried off. They have disappeared 
since Lord Exmouth's bombardment of Algiers in 1816. 




M>b BALDACHIN, INLAID WITH PRECIOUS STONES, IN THE CATHEDRAL AT MESSINA 

3b'cv 

Barbers' saloons are the poor people's clubs. They shave well, but it 
is a long job, and they have no fixed charge. 

^ Barcellona. Pozzo di Gotto, a flourishing manufacturing town on the 
river Longano between Messina and Milazzo, Train and steam -tram from 
Messina. Hiero II. defeated the Mamertines here B.C. 269. 



THINGS SICILIAN 121 

Bargaining. In all but the largest shops bargaining is necessary. Curio - 
dealers especially ask two or three times what they expect. Even the barber 
bargains. It is safest to bargain everywhere. In any kind of order at a hotel, 
a shop, with a carriage, even with the barber it is necessary to fix the price 
beforehand. If you don't like bargaining, make a definite offer and stick to 
it. I often fix the price in Sicily. If you are buying many things, fix a 
price to yourself which you mean to pay for each, add them all together, and 
offer the lump sum. The Sicilian does not like refusing a large sum, and is 
sure to attach no value to some of the things you have chosen. 

Baroque is a style of architecture (from the Portuguese barroco, a rough 
pearl) which followed the Renaissance in Italy ; in vogue from the sixteenth 
century. Generally applied contemptuously on account of the bad taste of the 
period, but, like Wren's architecture in England, very good for the introduc 
tion of fine chambers. In other respects seldom attractive. At its worst 
its plaster angels and sausage work of rich-coloured marbles are appalling. 
Most Jesuit churches were built in the baroque period ; and Sicily abounds 
with baroque buildings, as half the island had its buildings shaken down in 
the great earthquake of 1693, when baroque was exuberant as a cauliflower. 
One of the best baroque palaces is Prince Gangi's in Palermo. At Messina 
(S. Gregorio, etc.) some genius in baroque is shown. 

Barrafranca. Has the remains of the famous Torre di Convicino, a feudal 
fortress. Mail-vettura from Caltanisetta, 4^ hours. Unimportant. 

Basket-stoves. In Palermo men go about with a basket-stove, the top 
part of which contains a pan of hot batter. In this they cook the offal of the 
land and sea, such as fowls' insides, molluscs, etc. the delicacies of the poor. 

Basket-laundries. In Palermo women go about with baskets, in which 
they do your washing while you wait. 

Bassi. In Sicily the poor live in the ground floors of the better-off, even the 
palaces of princes. These are called bassi or catodj* They have no windows, 
only coach-house doors, which are kept open all day. In time these often get 
altered into hovels with doors and windows. Even in Palermo most shops 
are evolutions of bassi. 

Batteur. See Marsala. A sort of blending churn for cognacs. 

Baths. It was the custom of the Greeks to have thermse near their principal 
cities in Sicily. The springs they used near Himera (Termini), Selinunte 
(Sciacca), etc., are still used. 

Batting a ball through a ring. A favourite Sicilian game. 

Baucina. A stat. on the Palermo-Corleone line. The town, five miles off, 
gives his title to a prince, one of the principal seigneurs of Sicily. 

Bazin Ren&. The author of the well-known En Sidle. 

Beans, Broad. One of the staples of life in Sicily. The well-off eat them 
raw when they are young. The poor grind them into flour for bread, etc. 
Sicily has beanfields like our cornfields. 

Beauty. In Sicily the survival of antique types is very marked. Beauty 
is commoner among the young men than the women. In the province of 
Messina especially you constantly meet boys as beautiful as Greek statues. 
Also at Girgenti, Palazzolo, etc. At Modica you get a superb aquiline type 
of men, but not beautiful youths. 

Bedrooms. Always plain in Sicily, and sometimes rather appalling in 
their bareness and gloominess, which are precautions against the fiery summer. 
In cool weather, at all events, insects are not very bad. Patti is the only 
place where we were eaten alive. 



122 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



Beggars are bad in Sicily, as a rule, though the chief towns are 
beginning to face the question. Everywhere there are privileged beggars who 
sit at church doors, etc. Begging is the Sicilian form of poorhouses. The 
natives are very charitable to them. Sometimes they look like lepers. Their 
raggedness is a revelation. See S. Giuseppe. 

Belisarms. The general of Justinian, the Eadem emperor. He conquered 
Sicily from the Ostro-Goths. His name is Sclavonic, and means the White Star. 

Bella Cortina. Three miles from Patern6. Has remains of ancient baths. 

Bella Sombra. The Spanish name used by Sicilians for the Japanese kiri, 
a tree much used for avenues. 

Bellini, Vincenzo. Operatic composer, born at Catania, November 3rd, 
1802. He wrote La Sonnambula before he was thirty, Norma in the follow 
ing year, I Puritani two years later, and died before he was thirty-three. 
See Catania, Bellini. 

Bell-ringing. At Palermo in Lent they ring the bells by striking them 
with a hammer, a custom as historical as our curfew. After the Sicilian 
Vespers the French had all the bell-ropes cut to prevent them being used for 
calling the people to arms. The patriots climbed the towers and rang them 
with hammers. Ordinary bell-ringing is forbidden in Lent. 

Belpasso. A stat. on the Circum-^Etnean line, of recent construction, 
near the remains of the ancient Malpasso, destroyed by lava in 1669. 

Belvedere. A popular institution with Sicilians, who like tq have a loggia 
on their house-top or at some point in their grounds, commanding a lovely view. 

Bene Economico Asspciazione Siciliana pel. A society founded in 
1893 at Palermo for the improvement and good management of Sicily in 
every way, especially with regard to the convenience of travellers and the 
preservation of the national monuments. Its offices are located in the palace 
of its president, the Conte di Mazzarino, one of the most eminent noblemen 
in Sicily, who devotes much time and trouble to its work. Its vice-president 
is Mr. Joshua Whitaker, head of the famous Palermo and Marsala wine firm 
of Ingham, Whitaker and Co. Its secretary is the Cav. Carlo Albanese, 
head of one of the principal insurance companies, and among its committee 
are Signor Florio, chief owner of the Florio Rubattino (Navigazione Generale 
Italiana Steamship Line), the Prince of Scalea, the Prince of Patern6 } the 
Prince of S. Elia, Conte Ferdinando Monroy, and Commendatore Luigi 
Mauceri, the well-known antiquary, who is the head of the Sicilian railways. 
A stronger committee could not be desired, having as it has the sympathy and 
support of the Mayor of Palermo, who has made Palermo known as tfre 
best-managed city in Italy. 

As examples of the good work which they are doing may be quoted the 
planting of ^trees along the great provincial roads, a necessity of health in the 
sunbaked Sicilian summer ; the movement to rescue William the Good's 
Saracenic Palace of La Cuba at Palermo (immortalised by Boccaccio) from 
being any longer an artillery barrack ; the establishment of a summer station 
in the middle of the exquisite woods round the great monastery of Gibilmanna, 
on ^ the mountain above Cefalu ; the improvement of steamer and railroad 
facilities for foreign visitors ; the abolition of beggars ; and the introduction of 
golf and other sports, for which visitors desire facilities. The heads of the 
society, moreover, are much, though not officially -, interested in the successful 
movement for abolishing cruelty to animals in Palermo. Those who wish to 
know more of the society's workings should apply to Joshua Whitaker, Esq., 
Via Cavour, Palermo. 



THINGS SICILIAN 123 

Bentinck, Lord William, administered Sicily during the English occupa 
tion, and drew up the famous Sicilian constitution of which Blaquiere, vol. ii. , 
pp. 401-2, gives a digest. 

ist. The supreme authority of making laws and imposing taxes is vested 
alone in the nation. 

2nd. The executive power is in the king. 

3rd. Judicial authority is in the magistrates, subject to the approval of 
parliament. 

4th. The king's person is sacred. 

5th. The ministers are responsible to parliament. 

6th. The two chambers to consist of lords and commons, and the clergy to 
have seats in the former. 

7th. The barons to have only one vote each. 

8th. The right of assembling parliament is in the king, and necessary every 
year. 

9th. The nation is sole proprietor of the state. 

loth. No Sicilian can be judged or condemned, except by laws to be 
recognised by parliament. 

nth. The feudal law is abolished, as well as the right of investiture 
(monopoly). 

1 2th. The privileges of the barons over their vassals are also abolished. 

1 3th. Every proposition relative to taxation must originate in the lower 
chamber, and be approved by the upper. 

1 4th. A modification of the British constitution to be recommended this 
session. 

The constitution lasted from 1812 to 1815, when Ferdinand I. was restored 
as constitutional king of the Two Sicilies. From 1806 to 1815, while Sicily 
was a separate kingdom under British protection, Lord William was 
practically dictator. For his palace, see Palermo. 

Beribaida. An ancient Saracen castle near Campobello di Mazzara. 

Bersag-lieri. The quick-marching Italian infantry, who wear beaver hats 
with masses of cocks' feathers. 

Biancavilla. One of the Albanian settlements, who keep up the Greek 
language, religion, and costumes. Founded in 1480 by a colony of refugees 
from Epirus fleeing from Turkish oppression. 

Biasi, G. E. di. A well-known historian, author of the Storia Cronokgica 
dei Vice-re^ etc. , di Sicilia and the Storia del regno di Sicilia daW epoca oscura 
efcrvolosa sino al /77-j*. 

Biblioteca. A public library. (Libreria means a bookshop ) Each great 
city has one, generally in a secularised convent. 

Biblioteca Lucchesiana. The public library of Girgenti, founded in the 
eighteenth century by Bishop Lucchesi. Now belongs to the city. 

Bicarus. An ancient city, now Vicari. 

Bicocca. The stat. next to Catania. Junction for Palermo, Syracuse, 
Girgenti, etc. Situated on the plain of Catania. 

Bidis. An ancient city, now Vizzini ; five kil. from the station on the 
Catania-Caltagirone line. See VizzinL 

Bigini. 

Bion. A bucolic poet, Born at Smyrna, settled in Sicily. See Lang's 
translation of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus (Golden Treasury series). 
Flourished about 280. Moschus was his pupil. 



124 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Birgi. The ancient Acithius. Here Frederick II. of Sicily defeated the 
.brench^and took Philip of Anjou prisoner, December 1st, 1299. The best 
Phoenician necropolis in the island is now being excavated here, a short 
distance from Marsala, on the shore facing Motya. 

Bisacquino. _Four and a half hours by mail-vettura from Corleone. The 
Saracen Busekuin. Agate and jasper found here. 

Bivona. Forty kil from Corleone (mail-vettura) ; the ancient Hipponia, 
founded ^ by Gelo, tyrant of Syracuse, as a trophy of his victory over the 
Carthaginians at Himera ; nicknamed Bisbona because it gives two crops of 
everything in a year ; has a bituminous spring used for cutaneous diseases ; 
agates, jasper, etc. , found in neighbourhood ; town church of fourteenth-century ; 
medieval castle. _ The arch at Bivona is one of the favourite photographs of 
bicily. Bivona is 9 hours by mail-vettura from Lercara ; ii from Girgenti. 

Boats and Boatmen. See Barca. 

Boeo, Cape. The old Cape of Lilybseum, one of the three capes which gave 
Sicily its ancient name of Trinacria. 

Bolognetta. Stat. Palermo-Corleone line ; mail-vettura to Marinea. 

Bone-caverns. Important discoveries of prehistoric bones have been made 
at the Grotta dei Giganti at. Palermo, Carini, and elsewhere. 

Bookstalls. Only at the railway stats, of the largest towns and outside a 
few churches in the Via Macqueda at Palermo. These latter are second-hand, 
like a few bookshops in the Via Macqueda and Corso. 

Books on Sicily. See Bibliography in Preface. 

Borage. The wild borage is very common and very fine. Its brilliant 
blue blossoms are bigger than half-crowns. 

Borch, Count de, author of Letlres sur la Sidle et sur file de Malthe, 
adapted from Brydone's Tour through Sicily and Malta (see Brydone) It 
was published in Turin in 1782. 

Borgia. Rodrigo Borgia, the infamous Pope Alexander VI., whose real 
name was Lancol, was at one time Abbot of Maniace (q.v.). 

Borgetto, or Menfi, near the ruins of the ancient Inicus ; on the river 
Hypsas, which flows into the sea at Girgenti ; 4 hours from Castelvetrano 
I3t hours from Corleone, 2| hours from Sciacca (by mail-vettura). There is 
another Borgetto near Monreale. 

Borgo Annunziata. A suburb of Trapani (q.v.) with a famous pilgrimage 
church founded 1332. fe 

Boscodi Caronia. The largest forest in Sicily ; on the mountains above 
Uaronia btat. (Palermo-Messina line). Bosco is the Sicilian for forest. 

Bottaci. The Sicilian for puncheons of 615 litres. 

Botti Grandi. Butts of 1 10 gallons. Botti usuali are pipes of 93 gallons. 
Mezze botti are hogsheads of 46 or 47 gallons. 

Bougainvillea. A tropical plant of the genus Nyctaginacese. A gorgeous 
plant with clusters of rosy or purplish leaves the same colour as its flowers. 
Much used as a creeper in Sicily, where it grows to a great height and 
blossoms freely in the open air. In the botanical gardens at Palermo are 
some of the finest bougainvilleas in existence. 

Boys. Boys are a feature of Sicily. There are always dozens round a 
stranger sometimes to beg, sometimes to plague, as at CefaKi, generally 
because they regard strangers as a free theatrical performance. They are 
always delighted to answer questions or act as guides. Poor boys will show 
you the way to any place that is near for a halfpenny. Well-off boys are fond 



THINGS SICILIAN 125 

of acting as guides too, but will never take the smallest reward not even 
chocolates, except a visiting-card, which they appreciate greatly. Boys 
having been taught in the schools can always speak Italian as well as Sicilian 
and sometimes a little English. I often use them as interpreters. 

Brambles. The common bramble grows well in "Sicily. 
_ Brasswork. The old brass of Sicily is a lovely colour, and needs very 
little cleaning. Nowadays it is replaced by copper. It is not at all easy to 
buy the old brass trays, which are as beautiful as silver. The easiest way to 
pick up nice brass is to buy the various pieces from the water-sellers, the 
cookshops, the barbers, etc. But they often refuse to sell. 

Bread. In Sicily and Italy bread is the staff of life to a degree undreamt 
of in England. The poor people practically live on bread when they can get 
it, though they often have to put up with maize or beans. It is sold in sticks 
the shape of Jupiter's thunderbolt. Bread riots have been so frequent that at 
Catania the bakeries are municipalised so that bread can be sold cheaper than 
elsewhere. Foreigners are never molested in these riots. 

Breakfasts. The Sicilians take only a small cup of coffee instead of our 
breakfast. In hotels where foreigners go, except the most expensive, they get 
tea or coffee, bread and butter, and frequently honey, included on pension 
terms. Eggs, etc. , are charged extra. Their real breakfast, the cotaziom 
served 11.30-12.30, is what English call lunch. 

Bricinnia. Remains of fortress near Lentini (q.v.). 

Brigands (Briganti). It is proverbial in Sicily that brigands never touch 
foreigners unless they happen also to own property in Sicily. There are 
two main factors in brigand outrages, the capture of a person whose wealth is 
well known for ransom ; and revenge against the person who has asserted his 
authority. The latter outrages can perhaps be attributed really to the Mafia. 
It is a question which Sicilians prefer undiscussed, and foreigners have nothing 
to fear from it. 

Broccoli is a great feature in Palermo. The broccoli carts with red, 
purple, white, and green broccoli of enormous size arranged in patterns, are 
a feature in the streets. Broccoli forms the basis of the wonderful patterns in 
which Palermo greengrocers' shops are arranged, as bright as a Kidderminster 
carpet. They are more picturesque even than those of Venice, and the cries 
of the broccoli sellers are among the most ordinary and musical sounds in 
Palermo. It might be called jodelling. 

Brolo-Ficarra Stat, on the Palermo-Messina line, has an ancient castle 
overhanging the sea, dating from the earliest times and restored by the 
Lancia family, relatives of the Emperor Frederick II. 

Bronte. The Duchy of Bronte, bestowed on Nelson in 1799 by Ferdinand I. 
and IV., descended differently from the earldom. -By Sicilian law the 
daughter of Nelson's brother, the first earl, took precedence of the male heirs 
of Nelson's eldest sister, to whom the English entail went She married the 
ancestor of the present owner of the estate, The family reside, not at BTonte, 
but at Maniace, on the other end of the estate, which is high up on Etna, and 
includes a vast orange forest. Bronte is a town of about 20,000 inhabitants, 
who are considered the most villainous people in Sicily, The town only dates 
from the Emperor Charles V., up to whose time they had been scattered in 
villages. In the neighbourhood of Bronte are the great lava streams of 1603, 
1610, 1727, 1763, 1787, 1843. This is the best place to see them, and the 
railway passes through them. Bronte is a stat. on the Circum-^tnean Hne. 
Mail-vetture to Cesaro (3f hours), Troina (7 hours). 



126 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Brown, Ambroise Pare, agent-general in Sicily for the Val de Travers 
Asphalt Company, which has large mines at Ragusa, takes a leading part in 
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, so successful at Palermo. 
Brydone, P., F.R.S. (also written Braydon), author of A Tour through 
Sicily and Malta in a Series of Letters to William Beckford, Esq., of Somerby 
in Suffolk, from P. Brydone, P.R.S., written 150 years ago, and the basis of 
the Count de Borch's Letters sur la Sidle et sur Pile de Malt he (1782), and of 
Dumas's The Speronara. 

Buccheri. Remains of an ancient castle and rocks interesting to the 
geologist near Monte Lauro. In mail-vettura ten hours from Syracuse. 

Burgio. On the road from S. Carlo to Sciaccajhas in its Franciscan 
church a S. Vito by Antonio Gagini, according to Baedeker. 

Buscemi. The Saracen Abisama, with remains of an ancient city called 
Casale, 8 hours in mail-vettura from Syracuse ; one hour from Palazzolo on 
the opposite hill. 

Bullock-waggons and ploughs. Primitive waggons drawn by "oxen 
with rolling gait " are common round Taormina, Selinunte, Palazzolo, etc. 
Their wains are of the old Roman pattern. The wooden Virgilian plough 
drawn by oxen is in pretty general use in Sicily, which is too stony for 
ordinary ploughs. A good place to see them is round the Fountain of Cyane. 

Buon'amano, or Mancia. The pourboire ; literally, goodwill offering. 
Twenty-five centimes (z\d. ) is the ordinary tip, rising to a franc, where it is 
the reward of considerable time and trouble. Give a franc to a cabman whom 
you have been employing the whole afternoon. 

Buonfornello. The stat. next to Termini on the Palermo- Messina line. It 
has ruins of a Greek temple of ancient Himera. 

Burial Guilds. In Sicily most people belong to a Confraternita for getting 
buried impressively. All the members turn out for a fellow-member's funeral 
in hooded dresses which cover everything but the boots, the eyes, and the 
mouth. In Sicily they are generally pure white, but in Naples sky-blue and 
scarlet and purple enter into their costumes. They often have burial-grounds 
of their own in the Campo Santo ; for example the Confraternitk di S. Orsola, 
del Rosario, in the Cemetery of the Vespers of Palermo, These Confra 
ternita have likewise chapels of their own ; some of the best Serpottas are 
in these chapels. The attendance of the Confraternita, in its picturesque 
medieval dress, makes a Sicilian funeral very impressive. 

Busekuin (" many waters"). The Saracenic name of Bisacquino (q.v.). 

Butcher's-broom. A plant, which grows wild in England, much used for 
hedges in Sicily, because it bears an edible shoot resembling asparagus. 
Sicilians call it spartigi di trono. 

Butera. A stat. on Modica-Licata line. Tho Prince of Butera (and 
Trabia) is the chief seigneur of the island. In 853 it was besieged by the 
Saracens, who held it till 1089, The principality dates from 1563. 

Butler, Samuel. A scholar as sardonic as the author of Hudibras, who 
spent much time in Sicily, and wrote a learned and plausible book, entitled 
The Authoress of the Odyssey, to prove that it was written "in Sicily" by^a 
woman (published by Longmans). In studying Trapani, Eryx, and Cefalu, 
his book is very suggestive. 

Butter. All good hotels in Sicily have their butter sent from Milan (q.v.). 
(Good) butter is made in Palermo but nowhere else in Sicily. 



THINGS SICILIAN 127 

Byzantine churches and frescoes. The only pure Byzantine church 
above ground in Sicily is at Malvagna, a short drive from Randazzo. But 
there are a certain number of Byzantine frescoes in subterranean chambers 
used by the Christians in Saracenic times, notably in S. Marziano at Syracuse, 
S. Giovanni near Cape Boeo, at Marsala, in S. Filippo delle Colonne at 
Modica, and two subterranean chambers at the entrance of the Val d'Ispica, 
one of which was uninjured until the flood of 1902. There are probably 
others. 

Byzantine houses, necropolis, and tombs. There are a good many 
Byzantine tombs about Sicily, called in a loose way Lower Empire. In 
Selinunte (q.v.) in the acropolis there is a Byzantine necropolis. The houses 
on the main street in the citadel of Selinunte (a sort of poor Pompeii) are said 
to be Byzantine and not Greek. Byzantine coins are found. 



Cabrera, Bernardo. A Spanish noble, who in the fifteenth century kept 
Sicily in a ferment by his pretensions to the crown. See Motta S. Anastasio. 

Cabs are very cheap by the course, which means any distance inside the 
city walls, and generally any number of persons who can squeeze in- The 
usual price is fifty centimes, sometimes less. By the hour, the fare is generally 
about I '50 fr. , but the cabman will accept less. From expensive hotels they 
expect more than their tariff. The charge to the station is always more than 
any other corsa, but most hotels have their own buses. The Sicilian cabs are 
very slow and generally very ramshackly. Cruelty to horses is less common 
now, thanks to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, backed 
up by the Municipality of Palermo. 

Cabmen as guides. The cabmen are often good fellows. An intelligent 
one makes the best guide, because he knows that you will go on taking him 
while he has your money's worth to show you. 

Cactiatori means shooters. La Caccia, shooting, is a great institution in 
Sicily, where everyone possesses firearms, except the beggars. Except in the 
places where shooting is forbidden, they have exterminated nearly every living 
thing at most seasons of the year ; but Sicily is peculiarly favoured for sports 
men, owing to the fact of its lying on the favourite migration routes of birds. 
At certain times of the year quail may almost be knocked over with sticks. 
The griffon-vulture is fairly plentiful on Monte Pellegrino for those who want 
to shoot a good big bird. There are wolves in the Madonian Mountains, 
and porcupines a yard long in the wild country behind Ragusa, and hares are 
as plentiful at Girgenti as they were in ancient times, in spite of the number 
of miners in the neighbourhood. 

Caccamo. The Cucumum of the ancients. The Karches of the Saracens, 
said to have been founded by the Carthaginians in 400 B. c. It suffered much 
in the wars between the Angevins and the Aragonese, but repulsed in 1302 
Robert of Anjou (King Robert of Sicily). Jasper, agate, valuable marbles 
and Durazzo porphyry and rock-crystal are found here, 10 kils. from the 
Sciarra Stat. on the Catania-Palermo line, It has a castle with ^beautiful 
Norman windows and good churches. It is a favourite excursion from 
Termini. From the cave at Caccamo Prof. Ciofalo derived the prehistoric 
articles he presented to the Palermo Museum. 

Cacirus. The ancient name of Cassaro (q.v.). 



128 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Cactus. Sicily is the land of the cactus, though the cacti are not in 
digenous. The prickly-pear (q.v.), in particular, is a feature in every country 
view with 'its greyish-green foliage. Aloes do very well, but are only in 
gardens, though the agave or American aloe is used for hedges. 

Cacyparis (the Cassibile). A river in the south running past the Cassibile 
Stat. on the Syracuse-Licata line. Demosthenes surrendered here. See 
Athenians in Sicily. 

Cafes. In Sicily anyone can start a cafe who has a table and a few chairs. 
The street is his without paying any rent for it. In Palermo there are now 
cafes like you get in Rome, mostly kept by Caflisch in the Via Macqueda, 
where it is quite amusing to take coffee at afternoon teatime. There is a 
good one at Girgenti. Ices are a great feature in Sicily in the summer. 

Cagliostro. Goethe, in his Sicilian Diary, gives the proofs that this arch- 
impostor was in reality Giuseppe Balsamo, of Palermo. He was brought up 
in the apothecaries' department of a monastery at Caltagirone. He died, 
at 52, in the fortress of S. Leo. The Inquisition of Rome had condemned 
him to death for being a Freemason, but sentence was commuted to imprison 
ment for life. 

Cakes, Sicilian. The typical Sicilian cake, sent to Rome and elsewhere, 
is the Cassata layered with curds (ricotta) and enclosed in pistacckio-marzipan, 
and decorated on the top with sugar-icing and candied fruits. 

Calacte, or Cale Acte. Near Caronia, on the Palermo-Messina line, is 
known to have been a Sikel town. It was founded by Ducetius, B.C. 450, 
during the power of his Sikel league. See Freeman, vol. ii., p. 378. 

Calamajo. See Cuttlefish. 

Calatabiano. A stat. on the Messina-Catania line, close to Taormina. 
Has a medieval castle on an extraordinary steeple-shaped rock. 

Calatafimi. Celebrated as the scene of Garibaldi's first victory in Sicily, 
May 1 5th, i860. Is the Calatafio of the Saracens, and the Longaricus of the 
ancients. It has the remains of a castle and a few picturesque old convents, 
and an inn where people stay when they wish to do Segesta (2j miles distant) 
at their leisure. According to Baedeker, Samuel Butler (1835-1902), the 
author of rewhon t did much of his work at Calatafimi, where a street and 
a hotel have been named after him. Calatafimi is 5^ miles from the 
Calatafimi Stat. "Calatafimi, where we slept, I dare not mention facts" 
(Cardinal Newman). 

Calatafimi, Battle of. See above. 

Calascibetta. A little medieval town on the hill opposite Castrogiovanni. 
The residence of the Aragonese kings. Peter II. died there in 1342. 

Calogeri. Greek for hermits. S. Calogero simply records the presence of 
a hermit. The Calogeri or monks of Mount Athos came from the East and 
introduced into Sicily and Italy their splendid mosaics, a pagan art which 
they harmonised with liturgical needs, It is considered that the Byzantine 
art, which culminated in Cimabue and Giotto, was derived from their 
mosaics. The mosaics at Cefalit are believed to have been the wdrk of 
actual calogeri from Mount Athos. This is extremely interesting because the 
Christ at Cefalu represented their tradition, unbroken from the earliest times, 
and the Christs at Monreale and in the Cappella Reale at Palermo follow 
exactly the same tradition, quite unlike the ordinary tradition. See Christ. 



THINGS SICILIAN 129 

S. Calogero. There are several S. Calogeros in Sicily and Lipari, the 
two most important being the Monte S. Calogero above Sciacca and the 
Monte S. ^Calogero _ above Termini. Both these places were called Thermse 
by the ancients. It is not quite certain at which of them Agathocies was born. 
S. Calogero (see above) became the patron saint of hot medicinal springs. You 
can look for such baths with certainty where you find his name. On the 
Monte S.^ Calogero, near Sciacca, there is an extraordinary cave with vapour 
baths which have an instantaneous effect on the patient, unknown elsewhere. 
The ancient ^name of this Monte S. Calogero was Cromium. (See Sciacca.) 
The Termini Monte S. Calogero, just over 4,000 feet high, commands a 
splendid view. 




THE VALLEY BETWEEN CASTROGIOVANNI AND CALASCIBETTA 

Caltabelotta, Four and a half hours by mail-vettura from Sciacca. A 
name of Saracen origin. Near the ruins of the ancient Triocala, famous for 
its siege in the Slave War of 102 B.C. Its name signifies *' Place of Oaks," 
Between the old and the new cities is a great cave with a church dedicated 
to S. Pellegrino, and 5 kil. from it is the church of S. Giorgio, founded by 
Roger I. as a thankoffering for his victory over the Saracens. 

Caltagirone. The terminus of a railway line from Catania, with mail- 
vetture to Mirabella Imbaccare, 3 hours; S. Michele, i| hours; Gigliotto, 
2 hours ; Piazza-Armerina, 5| hours. See the 

(1) Castle, Old. 

(2) Cathedral with Renaissance sculptures and treasury. 

(3) Church of S. Maria de Gesii, Gagini's (?) Madonna della Catena. 

(4) The most important potteries in Sicily. 

Caltagirone is famous for its superb majolica ware, started here on account 
of the great deposits of argillaceous clay. The armorial tiles in the Palermo 
Museum were made here, as are the beautiful figures representing the old 
Sicilian types, old specimens of which, when perfect, are valuable. An enor- 



130 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

mous quantity of pottery is made here, The Saracens defeated the Greeks 
here in 831 , and held the town until 1060. There are remains of an aqueduct, 
an ancient subterranean road cut in the rock, mosaics, etc. The town is 
2,000 feet above the sea and said to be the most civilised inland town in 
Sicily. Beautifully clean and quite worth going to. It is the nearest point to 
Piazza Armerina, one of the Albanian settlements. An interesting place in 
rich mountain scenery. Cagliostro (q.v.) was brought up here. 
Caltagirone pottery. See above. 




THE PUBLIC GARDENS, CALTAGIRONE 

Caltanisetta. The least civilised of the great inland towns. Its popula 
tion is proverbial for its brutality. Stat. on the Catania-Girgenti line. Mail- 
vettura to Xiboli, i-hour ; Capodarso, 2% hours ; Piazza-Armerina, 8 hours ; 
Pietra Perzia, 3 hours; Bivio - Marcato - Bianco ; Barrafranca, 4^ hours- 
Mazzarino, 6| hours ; Butera, 10 hours ; Terranova, 13 hours. ' 

See 

1 I ) Remains of a castle of Pietra Rossa. 

(2) Cathedral frescoes. 

(3) Ch. of S. Maria ^degli Angeli, fourteenth-century portal. 

(4) Badia of S. Spirito, Norman epoch, in the district. 

(5) Remains of an ancient city on Mount Gibel-gahib, with Siculan tombs 
and Greco-Roman necropolis. 

(6) Pietraperzia, 30 kil. from Caltanisetta (q.v.). 



THINGS SICILIAN 131 

The ancient Nissa, which gave the town its Saracenic name of Kalat-Nissa, 
was near. It was taken in 1106 by Roger I., who gave it to his son Giordano. 
From him, who had no heirs, it passed from his daughter Matilda, mother of 
Adelasia, wife of Rinaldo d' Aquila, who died and was buried at Caltanisetta. 
It is a great sulphur centre. Near the city, at a spot called Terrapilata, there 
is a volcano with exhalations of hydrogen gas, a sort of Macalubi. Near here 
is found the scarlet Anemone fulgens^ the Solomon's Lily of Palestine. 




GENERAL VIEW OF THE ENVIRONS OF CALTABELOTTA 

Caltavuturo. The Saracenic Kalat-butur. Five and a quarter hours by 
mail-vettura from- Cerda on the Catania- Palermo line. Remains of a fortress 
and antique habitations on the highest point. Famous for its green and yellow 
jaspers. 

Camastra. Three and three-quarters hours by mail-vettura from Canicattl 
(Girgenti-Licata line). Also called Ramulia, Unimportant. 

Camarina. An ancient city of Sicily. Its extensive ruins are 8 miles from 
Vittoria on the Syracuse-Licata line. Nearer to the seaport of Scoglitti. 
An outpost of Syracuse. Founded 599 B.C. It was destroyed by the Syra- 
cusans B.C. 552 for aiming at independence, but rebuilt by Hippocrates, 
495 B.C. Desolated by Gelon, taking its inhabitants to Syracuse, 485. 
Founded a third time by the people of Gela, B.C. 461. Immortalised by 
Pindar. Made an alliance with Athens, B.C. 427. During the war between 
Syracuse and Athens it remained neutral. After the destruction of Gela in 
405 the Camarinians deserted their city. It then became Carthaginian, but 
was resettled by Timoleon and became powerful. It suffered severely in the 
wars of Agathocles, and was sacked by the Mamertines. In the first Punic 
War it joined the Romans ; and here, B.C. 255, almost the entire Roman 
fleet was destroyed in a hurricane. The coins of Camarina are numerous. 



132 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

The most interesting are the didrachms with horned head of the river-god 
Hipparis on one side and a galloping four-horse chariot on the other, and that 
of the nymph Camarina seated on a swan, while the wind inflates her veil, 
and the fish leap round. Some of these didrachms are signed by Eucenetus, 
others by Exacestidas. 

Under the Romans it was insignificant. Even in Strabo's time there were 
only ruins. 

Camicus. A city of Sicily, built by Daedalus, the flying man, for Cocalus, 
a Sican king. The celebrated Minos, King of Crete, who had pursued 
Daedalus to Sicily, was treacherously put to death here by the daughters of 
Cocalus. Sophocles wrote a tragedy on the Camicii. There is a hill called 
Camicus near Girgenti. But Freeman believes that Caltabelotta was this 
great Sican stronghold. Giannotta identifies it either with Cammarata or 
Siculiana. Pausanias calls Cocalus King of Inycus. See Dadalus. 

Cammarata. See Camicus, above. The name is of Saracenic origin. It 
has an unused sulphur spring, and round Monte Rosso agate, jasper, etc. 
It has a stat. on the Girgenti-Palermo line, with mail-vetture to Camma 
rata itself, i hours; S. -Giovanni-Gemini, 2 hours. 

Campion. In many parts of Sicily, as round Syracuse, a dwarf pink 
campion makes the grass a sheet of pink. It is the size of our daisy. 

Campieri. Country guards. Used by landowners to protect them from 
robbers. The term is also applied to the cantonieri in charge of the great 
provincial roads. 

Campobello di Licata. On the line between Licata and Girgenti. The 
town is i-hour from the Campobello- Ravenusa Stat. 

Campobello di Mazzara. A stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. A rich but 
malarious district. The ancient Saracen castle of Beribaida is here. Eight 
kil. from Kusa (the Selinuntine quarries, q.v.). 

Campofelice. A stat. on the Palermo-Messina line. With a mail-vettura 
to Collesano (q.v.), 2\ hours ; Isnello, 4^ hours. 

Campo Santo. A cemetery. Sicilian cemeteries are as ambitious as those 
of the great Italian cities. Their special feature is the mortuary chapel, 
Gothic or classical in style, with an open vault below for the family tombs. 
The bodies are sometimes kept on view in the chapels in glass coffins. Two 
thousand pounds has been paid for a chapel. They are lofty, and at Messina, 
Palazzolo, Modica, etc., give the effect of a walled medieval city. Another 
feature is the tailoring in stone in the Genoese style. Billycock hats, scarf- 
pins, buttonholes, etc., show the characteristics of the wearer. It makes the 
humbler parts of the cemeteries a lumber-room of exploded fashions. Yet 
more appalling are the enlarged photographs sunk in panels in the head 
stones. But there are reliefs in the shape of avenues of solemn cypresses, 
and a forest fire of wild flowers which sweeps over everything left alone for 
a year. 

Candied fruit. Sicily has a delicious kind of candied fruit. Best at 
Guli's, Corso, Palermo. 

Candytuft One of the many flowers called by Sicilians Fiord di miele. 
Its white clover-shaped blossoms are very fine at Taormina. 

Canicatti. On the line from Licata and Catania to Girgenti. Mail-vettura 
to Delia, ij hours; Sommatino, 3 hours; Trabia, 4 hours; Riesi, 6 hours; 
Serra Alongi, 2 hours 20 minutes ; Camastra, 3! hours ; ^Palma Montechiaro, 
5J hours; Tenaro, 2j hours. Twelve kil. from Naro (q.v.). Important as 
a railway junction. 



THINGS SICILIAN 133 

Canicattini or Bagni-Canicattini. A town between Syracuse and Palaz- 
zolo, close to the Spampmato, the gorge of the Anapo, along which the 
Athenians made their first attempt to escape. The road between Canicattini 
and Syracuse runs through the most beautiful olive gardens in the island, full 
of narcissus and purple anemones in spring, Mail-vettura from Syracuse, 
4! hours. 

Canterbury Bells. A stunted variety is a common wild flower in Sicily. 

Capaci. Stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line, next to Carini ; founded 
sixteenth century. Has a baronial palace, marble quarries, enormous fossil 
bones. Produces good manna. 

Cap Corvo, Battle of. Victory of Ottavio d'Aragona, Palermitan admiral, 
over the Turks in 1613. 

Capello dl Venere. Maidenhair-fern, which grows everywhere in Sicily, 
even in the streets of Palermo on the water-towers. 

Caper-plant. Common in Sicily. Very fine in the Latomias of Syracuse. 
Handsome white and purple flowers (Capparis spinosa). Also chiefly culti 
vated in Sicily. 

Capitals. The top part of a column. In Sicily nearly always Doric, con 
sisting of an echinus or plain cushion of stone supporting an abacus or slab. 
There are a few Ionic capitals, as in church of S. Giovanni at Syracuse. Their 
characteristic is a scroll-like spiral, often compared to a ram's horn. The 
Corinthian capital, though Syracuse was a colony of Corinth, is very rare 
except in later buildings. Its characteristics are rich foliations taken from an 
acanthus leaf. Of far greater importance are the capitals of the Norman 
period, which are often extremely richly carved. "Monreale has two hundred 
columns in its cloister, with a separate legend carved on the capital of each. 
The deep cushion-shaped Byzantine- Saracenic capitals adopted by the Norman 
kings for their glorious churches gave great opportunity for carving. The 
early Renaissance architects of Sicily had a fancy for double arches, the shafts 
of the upper rising from inverted capitals. 

Capo d' Orlando. Stat. on Palermo-Messina line. The ancient Sikel town 
of Agathyrnum was on Capo d'Orlando. 

Capuana, Luigi. A well-known critic, poet, and dramatist ; editor of 
La Cenerentola. Born at Mineo, 2yth May, 1839 ; author of Garibaldi, 
Vanitas vanUatum^ 11 Teatro Italiano Cotemporaneo, Profili di donne, Parali- 
pomeni al Lucifero di Mario Raphardi, Giacinta, Storia Fosca, Homo, Cera 
unavolta^ II Regno dellefate^ Spiritismo^ Parodie, Ribrezzo^ II Piccolo Archivio^ 
Studi sulla letter atur a contemporanea, Per VArte^ Semiritusi, Fumando^ Le 
Paesane, Fanciulli Allegri, II Drago. 
| Capote (Spanish). * Cappotto (Sicilian). A cloak. 

1 Cappa (Italian). A cloak. All terms used in Sicily for the hooded dark 
blue cloaks (q.v.), which are such a feature. 

Cappella Ardente. The laying out of a coffin surrounded by tall burning 
tapers. Sometimes in a chapel, as the name betokens, more often in front of 
the altar. 

Cappella Reale. See Palermo. The most beautiful ecclesiastical building 
in Europe. 

Cappuccini Monasteries. Were extremely popular in Sicily, on account 
of their mummies. The best collection of Cappuccini mummies in the world 
is at Palermo (q.v.). It is of great extent, with hundreds of well-preserved 
mummies in its well-lighted, well-aired vaults. The idea in these Cappuccini 



I 3 4 SICILY THfi NEW WINTER RESORT 

burial-places was to inter the properly mummified corpse for a time in sacred 
earth brought from Palestine, to ensure salvation. It was then taken out to 
make room for others, and arranged in the fantastic fashion familiar to those 
who have seen the Barberini Chapel at Rome or the far finer Cappuccini 
vaults at Palermo. There are many Cappuccini monks in Sicily still, with 
rough, brown, hooded gowns, rope girdles, and sandals occasionally replaced 
by old tennis-shoes. Capuchins are a branch of the Franciscan order. 

Carabinieri. The chief of the three kinds of police in Italy, the other two 
being the Guardia di Questura and the Polizia. The carabinien are the finest 
men in the kingdom, chosen for their strength and activity and courage, the 
type of the Romans who conquered the world, as may be seen by comparing their 
strong chins and set faces with those of the friezes in the Lateran. They go 
about in pairs dressed something like the French gendarmes with long blue 
cloaks and cocked hats, to which red and blue plumes are added on Sundays, 
when the carabiniere puts on his gala silver-laced, silver-epauletted, swallow- 
tailed coat. In towns they are armed with swords and revolvers, m the 
country with repeating rifles and sword-bayonets as well as revolvers. 
Some of them are mounted. They always go about in pairs. All the real 
work falls to them. It is they who patrol lonely districts, hunt brigands, and 
arrest criminals. The Cantoniere or municipal guard performs the peaceful 
avocations of a policeman, such as directing carriage traffic and answering 
questions. The Polizia, who are, I think, confined to continental Italy, take 
notes and make reports. The carabinieri are very good to foreigners. 

Caratone. The English Caratoon. A monster cask, anything above the 
size of a puncheon. The Baglio Ingham at Marsala has them as large as 
small rooms. 

Carcinus. Father of Agathocles (q.v.). 

Carini. A stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. It has a beautiful fifteenth - 
and sixteenth-century castle the Castello della Grua built by the Chiara- 
monti, and medieval gates and walls. Carini was a_ Sicanian town, the 
ancient Hyccara, where Lai's was born, the courtesan painted by Apelles, one 
of the most beautiful women of her time. She was captured at the sack 
of Hyccara by Nicias, 415 B.C. (according to Gianotta), his solitary achieve 
ment in Sicily. Carini was again sacked by the Saracens under Ibrahim 
in 900 A.D. Paolo Gambino, the poet, was born here. Not to be confused 
with Acqua-Carini, a little watering-place popular with Palermitans, near it. 

(1) Castello della Grua, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Built by the 

Chiaramonti. Medieval gates and walls. 

(2) Christian catacombs near the village of Graziavecchia. 

(3) Antique tombs at Piano della Foresta. 

Carlentini. By mail-vettura from Lentini stat., Catania - Syracuse line, 
3^ hours. Built by the Viceroy Giovanni Vega, 1551, because the malaria was 
so bad at Lentini. Named in honour of Charles V. There are the remains 
of an ancient fortress on the hills above Lentini. 

Carlino. A Neapolitan coin used in Bourbon times. 

Carlo Quinto. The Emperor of Germany ruled Sicily, as heir of Ferdinand 
the Catholic, from 1516 to 1554. He took great interest in Sicily, which he 
visited, but unfortunately his activity chiefly took the shape of building moles 
and fortresses out of the priceless monuments of antiquity. At Syracuse he 
pulled down the amphitheatre to build the fortress which has lately been 
removed for an avenue of tenement houses, jerry-built. At Girgenti he used 



THINGS SICILIAN I3S 

the Temple of Jupiter for building the mole of Porto Empedocle. He is the 
Thomas Cromwell of Sicily. Almost any act of vandalism upon the 
monuments may be traced to Charles V. 
S. Carlo is the present terminus of the Corleone line. 




VIEW OF THE CASTELLO AGRISTIA ABOVE S. CARLO 

Carob, or Caruba (Ceratonia siliqud}. One of the most beautiful of trees. 
Its glorious dark foliage makes an almost perfect hive in shape, and in spring 
its pretty round leaves are pink and brown when they come out. It has a 
double value. Its beans, the locust-beans of commerce, said to have been the 
locusts that John the Baptist ate though, since Kimberley was saved from 
starvation by a flight of locusts in the South African War, that roundabout 
explanation seems no longer necessary are a most valuable fodder, and in 
time of drought the stock thrive on its leaves. The south of Sicily from 
Cassibile to Modica is thickly planted with carobs. There is a noble carob 
growing out of the ruins of the Olympeium at Girgenti. 



136 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Carretto. The 'two-wheeled cart of Sicily, which fits exactly into the ancient 
chariot-ruts. Though only about five feet by four, I have seen one with 
thirteen people in it, and another with a hundred chairs piled on it drawn by 
one donkey. For the elaborated ironwork and painting on these carts, see 
Palermo, Carts, the name by which foreigners know them. 

Carro is generally a mere trolley on truck- wheels a couple of yards long, half 
a yard wide, half a yard high, also drawn by one ass. Used for heavy weights. 

Carthaginians. The Carthaginians, who for 250 years contested the 
possession of Sicily, founded hardly any towns except Drepanum and Lily- 
boeum, the modern Trapani and Marsala. The Motya near Marsala (S. Pan- 
taleo), Panormus (Palermo), Solous (Solunto), and Modica, the Motya near 
Pachynum of Pausanias, were founded by the Phoenicians ; and other cities, 
like Eryx, by the earlier races. At one period they were masters of every 
Greek town in the island except Syracuse. Like the Romans, they left cities 
long subject to them, like Acragas (Girgenti), Greek in all but government. 
The principal dates in the Carthaginian contest for Sicily were : 480 B.C., the 
day of Himera, the armies of Syracuse and Acragas under Gelo annihilated 
the gigantic host of Hamilcar, the father of Gisco ; 409 B.C., Hannibal, the 
son of Gisco, revenged his grandfather by the destruction of Selinus and 
Himera; in 406 B.C., the expedition was begun in which were destroyed 
Acragas and all the Greek cities in the island except Syracuse, where the 
Carthaginian army was destroyed by fever and compelled to make terms ; 
397 B.C., Dionysius captured Motya, the Carthaginian headquarters, by 
storm ; 339 B.C., Timoleon routed their army at the Crimesus ; 310-307 B.C., 
Agathocles besieged Carthage; 264-241, the first Punic War; 247-244 B.C., 
Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal, held Ercta, the town on Monte Pelle- 
grino, against the Romans in Panormus; 241 B.C., the Romans destroyed 
their fleet in the yEgatian Islands, which finished the war. They had no real 
power in Sicily after this. Beyond coins copied from the Greek and curious 
vitreous beads, a few architectural remains at Motya, Marsala, Eryx, Palermo 
(Via Candelai), and Solunto (gold jewellery) and the necropolis at Birgi, 
there are hardly any Phoenician or Carthaginian remains in Sicily, though rich 
results may be expected from the ruins of Motya, on the island of S. Pantaleo, 
which belongs to Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker, who will excavate when the 
Government secure him in possession of the objects discovered and from 
interference with the work. 

Casa dei Viaggiatori. A house built in the ancient Greek style. See 
Syracuse. 

Casks. For the various kinds of casks in use in Sicilian wine-trade see 
Marsala and Car at one, Bottaci, Botti grandi Botti usuali, mezzi botti, 
quartoroK, off am, trentini. The trentino, containing 5! gallons, is the funny 
lean cask which one sees used by water-carriers slung on mules and bringing 
in the farmer's new wine to the bagli at Marsala. It is so called because 
it holds thirty qiiarlucci. There are also ventini and quarantini, but not 
so much used. The trentino is the cask of the country. 

Casina, or Villino. The Sicilian term corresponding to our word villa, 
meaning a suburban house. In Sicily villa means a garden, which often has 
no house. 

Casmenae. A Sikel town, colonised by Syracuse in 644 ; now Spacca- 
forno. Giannotta thinks it was near Comiso. Rosolini and S. Croce also 
claim to be the site. They all of them have ruins which would do for Cas- 
menze. When the Gamori were expelled from Syracuse in 486 they took refuge 
here, but they were restored by Gelo a year later. 



THINGS SICILIAN 137 

Casr Janni. The Saracen name for Castrogiovanni (q.v.). 

Casr. An Arabic corruption of Castrum, meaning a castle. The Royal 
Palace of Palermo was called the Casr in Arabic times, and the Corso 
of Palermo ^was therefore formerly known as the Cassaro, as the main street 
of Marsala is to this day. It enters into many Saracenic-Sicilian names. 

Cassibile. A stat. on the Syracuse-Licata line. The river Cassibile is the 
Cacyparis of the ancients, on whose banks Demosthenes and 6,000 
Athenians surrendered. There is also a medieval castle here, and on Monte 
Cassibile a fine prehistoric necropolis. 




THE RECONSTRUCTION OF A GREEK HOUSE THE CASA DEI VIAGGIATORI 
AT THE CASTLE OF EURYALUS, SYRACUSE 



Castellaccio is the name of the castle of Monreale which crowns the hill 
above the cathedral. 

Castellaccio, Monte. See Cerda. Famous for its "Pelasgic" necropolis, 
with a megalithic wall on the north-east. 

Castellammare del Golfo. The ancient port of Segesta, and still the 
nearest point for visiting Segesta, though the Alcamo-Calatafimi Stat. is more 
convenient. The direct line from Palermo to Trapani will proceed from here. 
The baths of Segesta are passed on the road j they are valuable for skin 
diseases. There is a Saracenic castle here and a fortress on a rock washed by 
the sea, which contains a vast baronial palace. 

Castellammare. See Palermo. The harbour-fortress dismantled by the 
Garibaldians. 



138 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Castelbuono. Founded by a count of Geraci in 1269, but there has been 
a prince of that name since 1095. Here, since 1454, is preserved the head of its 
patron, S. Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary. Two and a half hours from 
its stat. near Cefalu on the Palermo-Messina line. Has interesting remains 
of an antique feudal castle. In the mountains above is the ancient monastery 
of S. Maria del Parto, where the body of S. William is preserved. Mail- 
vetture from the stat. to Geraci-Siculo, y| hours; Bivio-Geraci, 8 hours; 
Gangi, 9i hours ; Petralia-Soprana, 9j hours ; Petralia-Sottana, I o hours. 




CASTELBUONO I THE CASTLE 



Casteltermini. A great sulphur centre. Niccolo Cacciatore, the astrono 
mer, was born here. One and a half hours by mail-vettura from Acquaviva- 
Platani Stat. 

Castelvetrano. One of the chief towns of Sicily. A stat. on Palermo- 
Trapani line. The place from which Selinunte is visited. Formerly called 
Castello Entellino. Probably gets its name from * ' a post of veterans " from 
the Roman city, whose remains still exist in the neighbourhood. It has a 
hotel, the Bixio, called after the famous Garibaldian. Possible for foreigners, 
who can procure coupons for hotel expenses from Mr. H. von Pernull, Corso, 
Palermo, Cook's correspondent in Sicily. It is a rich city, 50,000 inhabitants, 
the centre of a most fertile district. The traveller should visit 

(1) The Selinuntine aqueduct at Bigini. 

(2) The picturesque convents. 

(3) The churches of S. Domenico, with stucco reliefs of Antonino Ferraro. 

S. Giovanni Battista, containing a Gagini. 
Chiesa Maggiore, sixteenth century. 

(4) The ancient Gothic palace. 

(5) The Selinuntine Museum. 

(6) The remarkable new theatre, in the antique style. 

There is a splendid medieval castle in the neighbourhood. Selinunte is 
reached by carriage (6 miles). See Selimmte. 



THINGS SICILIAN 139 

Castiglione. A stat. on the Circum-^Etnean railway. This ancient city 
on the slopes of Etna presents one of the finest views in Europe. There are 
two medieval castles on the edges of precipices. As fine a coup &&il as 
Durham. 

Castor and Pollux (Castore e Polluce). Very popular gods in Sicily, 
where they were doubtless introduced by the exiled Messenians from the 
Peloponnesus under their Greek names, for they called the city founded to 
receive them, after Tyndarus, the father of Castor and Pollux and Helen of 
Troy, though their mother, Leda, is also said to have borne them to Zeus. 

Castor-oil plant. Grows finely in Sicilian gardens. It has run wild near 
Syracuse. 

CastrogiovannL See below, page 3 1 5. 




CAST'ELBUONO *. THE TORRENT 



Castronuovo. Stat. on Girgenti-Roccapalumba line. The town, 5 kils. 
from the stat., has many ruins of castles and other edifices. It was rebuilt 
on two high rocks by Roger. There are remains of very ancient habit 
ations round it, including a "Pelasgian" wall. A fine yellow marble is 
found here. The city stands on Monte Cassaro. Here, August igth, 1302, 
was made the treaty between the Aragonese and Angevins, which ended the 
war of the Sicilian Vespers. 

Castroreale-Novara-Furnari. A stat. of the Messina- Paler mo line. 
Mail-vettura to Furnari (town), 40 minutes ; S. Biagio, 3^ hours ; Bascio, 
5| hours ; Montalbano-Elicona, 7 hours ; Mazzara-Sant-Andrea, I hour ; 
Novara-di-Sicilia, 3^ hours. The town of Castroreale is connected by a fine 
road, ii kils. long, with the sea at Barcellona. Very interesting to the 
geologist, from the shells, madrepores, and fish petrified in its rocks. It 
stands in the Neptunian Hills. Its origin is essentially medieval, its walls 
and castle having been built by Frederick II. of Aragon, who gave it its 
charter in 1324. It stands on the territory of the ancient Criziaa or Cristina, 



140 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

and was capital of a very extensive district which includes places so far 
distant as Taormina, Savoca, Francavilla, and Barcellona. In the church of 
S. Marina is an ancient triptych of the Magi ; in SS. Annunziata is a Virgin 
sitting, by Gagini. 

Castroreale- Bagni, or Termini Castroreale. Has a bathing establish 
ment with hot sulphur springs, over 32 centig., in repute since ancient times. 
There is also an iron spring in favour with the ansemic, bottled as Acqua 
di Castroreale. 

Castrum-Johannis. See Castrogiovanni. 

Casuarina, or she-oak. An Australian tree with weeping foliage, grown 
in the Sicilian public gardens. 

Catacombs. Sicily abounds in catacombs. Those of S. Giovanni, etc., 
at Syracuse (q.v. ) are among the best in the world, superior to any at Rome 
in all points except that they have fewer emblems, frescoes, and inscriptions. 
They are of immense extent in a straight line, and have other streets 
branching off them. In places there is a second and a third street of tombs 
underneath them. There are other extensive catacombs at Syracuse. At 
Marsala there is an underground city of great size, but partly constructed for 
habitation as well as for burial purposes, because the city was peculiarly open 
to descents of the Saracens. At Syracuse also people used to live in the 
catacombs. At Girgenti there is a catacomb extending from the city to the 
temples, but this may have been a military work. At Palermo there are 
many catacombs, but nearly all closed by the authorities, except that contain 
ing the Cappuccini mummies outside the city. See Syracuse, S. Giovanni, 
and under various cities. See also the famous galleries of tombs at Palazzolo 
and in the Val d'Ispica. 

Catafalque. (Ital. catafaho, a scaffold). A temporary canopy placed 
over the coffin of a distinguished person, and over the sepolcri or Gardens of 
Gethsemane which they prepare in Sicilian churches on Holy Thursday. 

S. Cataldo. Stat. S. Caterina Xirbi-Girgenti line. The town 3 kil. from 
the stat. Founded 1600. 

Catania. See below, page 325. 

Catania, Plain of. Largest plain in the island. Very rich but very 
malarious. Hardly a house on it. The labourers live in the hill-cities above 
it, and ride to and from their work on mules. 

Caterer-cooks. Well-off people in Sicily often make a contract with 
their cook. One form of the contract is to pay him so much per head per 
course. It is so hard to keep a check on one's servants and stores. 

Catenanuova-Centuripe. Stat. on Catania- Paler mo line. Catenanuova 
is a village founded in 1650 by the family of the present prince. Mail-vettura 
to Centuripe, 3 hours 20 minutes ; Regalbuto, 3 hours ; Agira, 3 hours ; 
Nissoria, 4j hours ; Leonforte, 5J hours. See Centuripe. 

S. Caterina-Xirbi. Important railway junction between Palermo, 
Catania, and Girgenti. Mail-coach to S. Caterina-Villarmosa, 2 hours, 
which gives it its name. 

Cathedrals. Sicily has always been extremely well-off for cardinals, 
archbishops, and bishops, and has a few notable cathedrals, such as those of 
Palermo and Monreale, only a few miles apart, Cefalu, Messina, and Syra 
cuse, all of them containing noble antiquities. Catania is less interesting. 
There are also cathedrals at Girgenti, Mazzara, etc., and the Royal Chapel at 
Palermo, which is more beautiful than any of them. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



141 

See Palermo 



Cattolica, Prince, one of the most important Sicilian nobles, 
and Bagheria. 

Cattolica- Eraclea. Nine and a half hours by coach from Girgenti (five 
miles from the ruins of Eraclea-Minoa and the Sicilian city of Mecara, q.v.). 
Built in 1642 by Prince Cattolica. 




PRINCIPAL DOOR OF THE CATHEDRAL AT MESSINA 

Catulus, C. Lucatius. The Roman Consul who ended the first Punic 
War by routing the Carthaginian fleet at the Battle of the ./Egatian Islands, 
B.C. 241. 

Cava cTIspica. See under Ispica, the most famous valley of troglodyte 
dwellings and tombs in Sicily. It stretches most of the way from Modica to 
Spaccaforno. 

Cavallari, Professor. An eminent Italian antiquary who discovered the 
temple with the propylaea at Selinunte and restored the temple of Castor and , 
Pollux at Girgenti. 



i 4 2 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Cavea. The auditorium of a Roman theatre. 

Caverns. Sicily is a mass of caverns. It is nearly all rocky and nearly all 
hollow underground. It is consequently full of cave-sepulchres, catacombs, 
and subterranean chambers. 

Cave-dwellers. The poor often live in the tombs and other caves, especi 
ally at Syracuse (q.v.). 

Cefala-Diana. Stat. on the Corleone railway with Arab baths. Named 
from Niccolo Diana, who bought it in 1620. 

Cefalu. The ancient Cephalcedium. A city on the north coast, 40 miles 
from Palermo. Its cathedral and mosaics are among the most famous in 
Sicily, and its prehistoric house is unequalled. See page 332. 

Cefalu. Sicilian form of Italian Cefalo, a kind of fish mullet or gurnet. 

Celandine. The lesser celandine, the first conspicuous flower of the Eng 
lish spring, is common in Sicily, where its shield-shaped leaves are very con 
fusing when you are hunting for wild cyclamens. They so often grow 
together. 

Cell, Professor, director of the Museum at Girgenti, well known as an 
antiquary in Sicily. 

Cella. The central or walled-in part of an antique temple. Called by the 
Greeks Naos. The church of S. Pancrazio of Taormina, and church of S. 
Biagio at Girgenti were each the cella of an ancient temple. See Syracuse, 
cathedral. Girgenti, Temple of Concordia. 

Centigrade. To turn Cent, to Fahr. double the Cent, number ; subtract 
one-tenth of itself, and add 32. To change Fahr. to Cent., subtract 32 ; 
increase the remainder by one-ninth of itself, and take the half. Nine degrees 
Fahr. equal 5 degrees Cent. 

Celsus. Born at Centuripa, in Sicily; the most celebrated Roman physician ; 
flourished about 50 A.D., and wrote on rhetoric, history, philosophy, the art 
of war and agriculture, as well as medicine. His great De Medicina still 
survives and gives us the teaching of the Alexandrian School of Medicine. 
(Chambers. ) 

Centuripe. The ancient Centuripa, called until recently Centorbi. Three 
hours twenty minutes by mail-vettura from the Catena-NuOva Stat. , Catania- 
Palermo line ; the first purely Sikel town which lasted to Roman times. 
One of the largest and richest Roman towns in Sicily. 

Centuripa was plundered by Verres ; destroyed by the Emperor Frederick II. 
in 1242 : restored by Francesco Moncada, Count of Adern6. According to 
Murray, it has the remains of an ancient bath with five large chambers north 
of the town ; the Chiesa Matrice has broken Roman columns ; S. M. 
Maddalena has fragments of a Roman cistern, mosaic pavement, etc.; there 
are remains of a small Roman temple in the Palazzo di Corrado ; the Dogana, 
a Roman vaulted building ; and tombs, in which have been found many terra 
cottas, bronzes, and coins. 

There is an ancient tower called the Corradino, probably in memory of 
Corrado Capizzi, who maintained himself here a long time against the 
Angevins. Freeman considers its situation as fine as that of Castrogiovanni. 
Each street stands on a lofty ridge which join in the centre of the town. 
There are two tall peaks. You can see the valley of the Simeto, and the 
whole mass of Etna, and the ancient cities of Agira, Troina, etc. ' ' Remains 
of walls and buildings of respectable antiquity lie thick on the hillsides, and 
in some places reach to the hill-tops of Centuripa, witnessing to a former 



THINGS SICILIAN 143 

extent of the city, within which it has greatly shrunk up, and to a measure of 
architectural grandeur to which the present town can certainly lay no claim. 
The masonry of Imperial times, with its heavy wide-jointed bricks, is there 
in abundance ; fragments of stately columns lie in the front of the head 
church ; there is much to remind us of the Centuripa, whose wrongs were set 
forth by Cicero, little or nothing to remind us of the city which became the 
ally of Nikias and Lamachos. It is disappointing, amid such a mass of later 
fragments, to find nothing which we are tempted to refer to the days even of 
the Hellenised Sikel" (Freeman, History of Sicily}. 

The beautiful bronze Roman coins of Centuripa have the head of Proser 
pine on one side, and a leopard or a plough with a bird sitting on it on the 
other. The people of Centuripa were allowed the unusual privilege under the 
Romans of holding land in any part of Sicily : which gave them great wealth. 
Nearly all Lentini belonged to them. 

Cerami. Founded by the Greeks before the Saracen dominion. Mail- 
vettura 4 hours from Nicosia, which itself is 6 hours' drive from Leonforte 
Stat, Catania- Palermo line. 

Cerami, Battle of, in which Roger the Great Count defeated the Saracens 
in 1064. " In the field of Ceramio, fifty thousand horse and foot were over 
thrown by one hundred and thirty-six Christian soldiers, without reckoning 
St. George, who fought on horseback in the foremost ranks." The captive 
banners, with four camels, were reserved for the successor of St. Peter ; and 
had these barbaric spoils been exposed, not in the Vatican, but in the Capitol, 
they might have revived the memory of the Punic triumphs" (Gibbon's 
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. Ivi.}. 

Ceretanum. See Giarratana. It has very important remains of temples, 
sepulchres, a bath, etc. 

Cerda. Stat., Palermo-Catania line. Mail-vettura to Cerda (town), 
li hours ; La Petra, 3f hours; Caltavuturo, 5J hours ; Donaleggi, 8 hours ; 
Castellana, 9^ hours; Petralia-Sottana, lo hours; Petralia-Soprana, 
nj hours ; Gangi, 14 hours. Forty kil. from Polizzi (q.v.). Monte Castel- 
laccio with its "Pelasgic" acropolis and megalithic wall is only 3 kil. 
from Cerda. 

Ceremonies. There are many interesting ceremonies in Sicily, such as the 
splendid festas and processions of S. Rosalia at Palermo; S. Agata at 
Catania, the Good Friday procession of the Pieta at Palermo ; the Good 
Friday procession rather similar at Randazzo ; the Easter Sunday miracle play 
at Aderno (preceded by a procession of the Pace) ; the procession of the 
Corpus Domini with stendardi or Venetian masts at Marsala. See under 
Gethsemane, Gardens, for the Gardens of Gethsemane known as sepolcri, 
in which, especially at Palermo on Holy Thursday, the Christs are taken off 
the crucifixes and laid on the floor in a garden of coloured sand and pot-plants. 
See also under Palermo. There are carnivals at Syracuse, Palermo, etc. 
Funeral processions (at funeral services) are very fine on account of the 
picturesque dresses of the Burial Guilds. The Palm-Sunday procession is 
good at the Royal Chapel at Palermo. See under Palm -Sunday. The 
rending of the Lenten Veil at midday on Easter Saturday is interesting, The 
high altar is kept veiled all through Lent (q.v.). On Saturday at noon at 
Palermo the archbishop cuts a cord and lets the great veil, a hundred feet 
high, come down with a rush, while the bells ring out and the people cheer 
and throw up their hats. The Santo Sudario, or Shroud of our Lord, is 
shown on the Wednesday in Holy Week at S. Giuseppe. The poor make a 
great feature of S,. jjjseppe's Day, March 



144 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Ceres (Cerere the Greek Demeter), the corn-goddess and her daughter 
Proserpine, are the two most popular gods of Sicily. They were probably 
Greek deities and not native like the Dii Palici, though Cicero in his Verres 
says that the Sicilians believe that these goddesses were born in these 
districts, i.e. in the fields of Enna, and that corn was first discovered in this 
land. See Proserpine. The people of Enna could only be converted to 
Christianity by the identification of Ceres with the Virgin Mary. More than 
one antique statue of Ceres nursing the girl-child still exists at Castrogiovanni 
as the Virgin carrying the Child Jesus. No one who has seen these statues 
of Ceres can have any doubt that the millions of representations of the divine 
mother carrying the Infant Christ are an adaptation of the stereotyped Ceres 
carrying the infant Proserpine. Her temple at Enna was one of the most 
famous temples of the antique world. She had also important temples at 
Syracuse and Girgenti. See Proserpine and Enna. 

Cetrach. The cetrach fern or scaly spleenwort, common in many parts of 
these islands, is plentiful in Sicily. Easily recognised by its notched, fleshy 
leaves, like the tail of a crocodile. 

Chaereas and Callirrhoe, the Loves of. A Greek novel which claims to 
have been written by Chariton of Aphrodisias, secretary of Athenagoras, 
the rival of Hermocrates at Syracuse, whose speech is given in Thucydides. 
Callirrhoe was the daughter of Hermocrates, sister-in-law of Dionysius I., 
and the story supposed really to have been written at Alexandria is of unique 
interest as giving the first version of the plot used in Romeo and Juliet. 

Chalcidian Colonies in Sicily founded by Chalcis in Eubcea Naxos and 
Xancle (afterwards Messana). 

Chapels, Mortuary. See.Campo Santo. 

Charcoal is the principal fuel of Sicily, where the cooking is mostly done 
in tiled stoves with little holes filled with the red-hot embers, kept glowing by 
a fan of wild palm leaves. 

Chariot-ruts. The Greeks made their roads by levelling the surface of the 
rock. In the course of ages the chariots made ruts nearly a foot deep, which 
acted like tram-lines, and are much appreciated by the carretti of to-day. 
There are numbers of them round Syracuse. See Greek roads, 

Charity. Organised by foreigners at Palermo and Taormina. The Sicilians 
always give to beggars, but they have a poorhouse in many places called the 
Albergo dei Poveri. See Beggars and S. Giuseppe. 

Charles of Anjou. In 1266, Charles of Anjou, the infamously wicked 
brother of St. Louis, to whom the Pope had coolly presented Manfred's 
kingdom of Sicily, defeated and killed Manfred at Benevento. In 1282, after 
sixteen years of French oppression, the Sicilians rose in the celebrated rebel 
lion of the Sicilian Vespers. Peter of Aragon was brought forward as having 
married Constance, daughter of Manfred, and eventually the Aragonese dis 
placed the Angevins. Among his other ill deeds Charles went to Trapani 
when the heart of St. Louis was being brought direct to Sicily and wrecked 
all the Crusaders' ships he could in order to steal their treasure, 

Charles III., King of Spain 1759-1788, at eighteen conquered the Two 
Sicilies from the Emperor. He devastated ancient buildings for fortresses like 
the Emperor Charles V. See Carlo Quinto. 

Charms. See Amulets. 

Charondas. A lawgiver of Catana, before 494 B.C. See under Catania. 
His code, the t( laws of Charondas 3 " was accepted in the Ionian cities of Sicily. 



THINGS SICILIAN 145 

Charybdis. The celebrated whirlpool in the Strait of Messina (q.v.). 
According to Homer, Charybdis was only an arrow's-shot from Scylla, so 
that from getting out of Scylla you went into Charybdis. Homer was unaware 
that Charybdis was a rip or whirlpool a good way from the shore, and called 
it " the other cliff, lying lower, hard by the first 3 ' (Scylla). "Thou couldst 
send an arrow across. And thereon is a great fig tree growing, in fullest leaf, 
and beneath it mighty Charybdis sucks down black water, for thrice a day 
she spouts it forth, and thrice a day she sucks it down in terrible wise. Never 
mayst thou be there when she sucks the water, for none might save thee then 
from thy bane, not even the Earth-shaker ! But take heed and swiftly drawing 
nigh to Scylla's rock drive the ship past, since of a truth it is far better to 
mourn six of thy company in the ship than all in the selfsame hour " (Lang's 
translation of the Odyssey}. 

Cheese. Sicily has been famous since the earliest time for its cheeses. 
Many kinds are made, the most noticeable being a goat's-milk cheese, some 
thing like Port du Salut, made at Syracuse, mostly in tombs, and a goat's-milk 
or cream cheese as white as Devonshire cream sold in delightful little pottles 
of green rushes. Freeman, vol. ii. p. 399, says : " Even Athens, through the 
mouth of^ her comic poets, could acknowledge the skill of her Sicilian enemy 
in providing some special forms of good cheer. Hermippos, in mock heroics, 
calls on the Muses, who have their dwelling on Olympos, to celebrate, among 
the choicest things of every corner of the globe, the cheese and the swine of 
Syracuse. Philemon, in a later day, sang also of the cheese of Sicily, along 
with its varied garments, and with its doves those, perhaps, of Eryx. In an 
intermediate age of Attic comedy, it was a Sicilian cheese for the purloining 
of which the thievish dog was arraigned before the Aristophanic tribunal. 
Sicily itself the triangle having become a square appears in the same play 
as the mortar in which its own cheese and other dainties were to be brayed 
together." There is much reference to cheese in Theocritus. 

Chemists' shops. The Farmacia is a great institution in Sicily, In 
country towns it is a kind of club for the priests and other well-off people. 
Only the largest towns have chemists up to our ideas, and foreign patent 
medicines are difficult to procure elsewhere. 

Chersonesus, the Golden. The Sicilian Golden Chersonese is the long 
sickle-shaped promontory of Milazzo between Messina and Tyndaris. 

Chestnuts. There are chestnut forests in the mountains, especially on 
Etna. 

Chests. The magnificent old wooden chests one sees in Sicily were some 
times used for flour, as in the Castello di Maniace ; but more often used by 
the poor as wardrobes a sort of wedding-chests. The prizes for curio-hunters 
are the superb ivory-covered chests carved by Saracen workmen in Norman 
times and the tortoise-shell veneer chests of baroque times, neither of them 
large. 

Cniarampnte family. The greatest family in medieval Sicily were the 
Chiaramonti. In the fourteenth century they almost succeeded in grasping 
the crown of Sicily. For this Andrea Chiaramonte, the last of the race, was 
beheaded by Martin of Aragon in front of his principal palace, which stands 
on the Piazza Marina at Palermo (q.v.), which contains the roof that rivals 
the Bayeux tapestry. The name is always turning up in Sicily. In his 
valuable guide to Girgenti, the advocate Picone says that the Chiaramonti all 
sprang from Marchisia Prefoglio, an heiress of Girgenti, who founded the 
monastery of S. Spirito in that city in 1290, 



146 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Chlaramonte Buildings. Besides the Chiaramonte Palace on the Piazza 
Marina at Palermo (see Palermo, Dogana), the family built the church of 
S. Antonio Abate, the church of S. Antonio in the Via Roma, the church 
of S. Agostino, the church of S. Francesco dei Chiodari, and the Torre del 
Diavolo at Palermo, the Castello La Grua at Carini, and many famous 
castles in the country, as at Chiaramonte itself; Misilmeri, Siculiana, 
Gibellina, Favara, the seminary at Girgenti, a church at S. Stefano 
Quisquina. The public garden known as the Villa Giulia at Palermo, occupies 
the site of the villa of the Chiaramonte Palace. 

Chiaramonte Gulfi. In the neighbourhood of the ancient Gulfi, Has a 
fine feudal castle of the Chiaramonti, and takes its name from instead of 
giving its name to the family. Reached by mail-vettura, 3 hours from 
Ragusa Superiore on Syracuse- Licata line. 

Chiaristella. Has caves where some of the prehistoric objects in Palermo, 
given by the Principe di Mir to, were found. 

Chiesa Matrice, or Maggiore. The proper name for the principal 
church in a Sicilian town where there is ~ no cathedral, but Duomo is 
constantly used. 

Chimneys. The houses in Sicily are flat-roofed like Eastern houses. 
Chimneys are a modern innovation. There are none in old-fashioned towns. 

Chiusa Sclafani. Mail-vettura, 5 hours 20 minutes from Corleone Stat. 
on the Palermo-Corleone line, and 10 hours from Lercara on the Girgenti- 
Roccapalumba line. Founded in 1320 by Matteo Sclafani, Count of Adern6 
and Lord of Chiusa, whence its name. He was the rival of the Chiaramonti 
in designs upon the crown. See at Palermo, Sclafani Palace. 

Cholera. Sicily has been scourged by cholera from time to time, but not 
recently, owing to the great improvements in sanitation and water. 

Churchyards in Sicily, Do not have graves, but gardens surrounded 
with balustrades and decorated with figures of saints. 

Church of England at Palermo is in the Via Stabile ; at Taormina, at 
S. Caterina ; at Messina in the Via Secondo del Grand Priorato ; there are 
seamen's rests at Palermo and Messina. 

Christ, Mosaics of. The three vast mosaic Christs at Cefalu (q.v.), 
Monreale (q.v.), and the Cappella Reale at Palermo (q.v.), are among the 
chief objects in art, not only in Sicily. They represent a middle-aged 
ascetic with a dark beard thin on the chin, an aquiline nose, and a face very 
wide between its strong prominent ears. The face has infinite tenderness, 
but is the face of a man of boundless energy, the founder of a religion, not 
the meek type of the Christ on the Ring of Tiberius. It represents the 
tradition preserved from apostolic times by the Calogeri, the mosaic-working 
hermits of Mount Athos, who actually constructed the mosaics of Cefalu. It 
may therefore be taken to be the real Christ. The same type occurs in a 
mosaic at the west end of St. Mark's, Venice. 

Christian, John. The first Englishman, a Manxman, buried in Sicily (at 
the Woodhouse Mausoleum, at Marsala, in 1793). 

Chroniclers. Few English writers, except Prof. Freeman and Mr. Marion 
Crawford, have drawn sufficiently on the monkish chroniclers, such as the 
Chronicon Siculum^ which recapitulates the events of the forty-seven years 
during which the Saracens completed the conquest, beginning with the state 
ment that they came to Sicily in the middle of July, 827, 

" Chronicon Siculum." See preceding par. 



THINGS SICILIAN 147 

Chryselephantine. Derived from two Greek words meaning gold and 
ivory. The doors of the temple, which is now the cathedral at Syracuse 
(q.v.), were chryselephantine. See Cicero's Verres. The most famous 
chryselephantine work of antiquity was the statue of Athena in the Parthenon 
at Athens. The flesh was ivory, the clothes were gold. 

Ciacchia di Capaci. From caves near here prehistoric objects were found, 
which are in the Palermo Museum. 

Cicero. One of the best ancient authorities for Sicily is Cicero, especially 
in his oration against Verres, his De Deorum Natura, and his Tusculan 
Disputations. He was quaestor at Lilybseum, B.C. 75, and went to Sicily to 
collect materials for the indictment of Verres, B.C. 70. See Syracuse, Messina, 
Enna, Segesta, Verres, etc., and the finding of the Tomb of Archimedes. 

Ciminna. By mail-vettura, 3 hours from Baucina Stat. on Palermo- 
Corleone line. Only the ruins of a castle at its highest point. 
Cinisi-Terrasini. A stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. Both towns are 
2 kil. from the stat, and are unimportant. The former lives by manna 
and the latter by fish. Terrasini is Terrse Sinus, it being on the Gulf of 
Castellammare. 

Cipollino. The marble used so extensively for the panels below the 
mosaics in the Cappella Reale, Palermo, Monreale, etc. It is white, but 
veined like the wild onion, from which it derives its name. It is used mostly 
in panels about six feet by three, surrounded with ribbons of mosaic. 

Circum-^tnean Railway. See page 593. To go by this line, which 
runs round the back of Etna from Catania to Giarre-Riposto, is like taking a 
drive, at first between the most glorious wild flowers, and afterwards round 
the shoulders of the great mountain. One passes Aderno, Paterno, Bronte, 
Randazzo, Maletto (for Maniace), Castiglione, etc. (q.v.). It is a light 
railway, and more like a steam tramway. See also Catania. The place to 
stay at is Randazzo (Albergo d'ltalia). 

Cistercian Order, The. Was founded by an Englishman named Stephen 
Harding at Citeaux in Burgundy. They were reformed Benedictines, and 
were much the most popular order in England, where most abbey ruins are 
Cistercian. In Sicily their influence was principally at Palermo, on account of 
the English' archbishop Offamilia, who built the cathedral and the Church of 
the Vespers, which is itself Cistercian. 

Cisterns, bottle-shaped. There are an enormous number of antique 
bottle-shaped cisterns, varying from six to twenty feet deep, at Girgenti, and 
a good many at Cefalu and elsewhere. They can best be understood by 
seeing those which have been cut in sections by the railway line from Girgenti 
to Porto Empedocle. In Roman times they were often used for tombs. The 
fine catacomb called the Grotta di Fragapane, at Girgenti, was developed out 
of one of them. 

Cistus. The beautiful white and pink cistus, which looks something like 
a wild rose, is not so common in Sicily as at Capri, but it grows on the 
mountain at Savoca, etc. 

Cities. All Sicilians live in cities, and they call anything larger than a 
village a city. Except the great seaports they are generally on the tops of 
hills, partly to escape malaria, partly to escape brigands and corsairs. The 
poorest people ride down from the cities to their work on mules or asses. 
The animals board themselves while their masters work, and get nothing else 
to eat. 



148 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Citric acid. Manufactured in large quantities from lemons in Sicily as 
the smells tell you. 

Citron. Like other citrous fruits, is largely grown in Sicily. 

City, subterranean. See Marsala. 

Ciullo d'Alcamo. The first writer to use the Italian language. Born at 
Palermo towards 'the close c f the twelfth century. His real name was 
Vincenzo. In Sicilian " Vinciuilo." Only one canzone proceeding from him 
is believed to have been written in the reign of the Emperor Frederick II. 
Ginguene doubts if it ought to be called the first Italian document, it is so 
far from the ordinary language and so near the Sicilian ; but he is generally 
accepted. His poems were published first by Allacci, and reprinted by 
Crescimbeni in his history, Istoria della Volgar Poesia. See Tiraboschi. 

Cleon. A Cilician slave of Agrigentum who revolted at the same time as 
Eunus. At the head of an army of 5,000 armed slaves he marched to join 
Eunus, and magnanimously consented to serve as his lieutenant. At the end 
of the war, when Enna was on the eve of capture, Cleon sallied out, sword 
in hand, and was killed. See Eunus and Slave War. 

Cloaks. The cappa or capote (q.v.) of Sicily is a great institution. It is 
the foreign artist's standby. The men all over Sicily wear much the same 
cappa, mostly of dark blue cloth, reaching below the knee, with a hood which 
they use freely in cold or wet. In most places it is a rather rough cloth, but 
sometimes, as at Modica, a faced cloth, and sometimes black instead of blue. 
At Aderno, where people wore the old Greek costume till 1 794, the cloaks are 
silver-buttoned and braided. The women also wear cloaks instead of shawls 
at Modica, where they are made of dark-blue faced cloth, and at Randazzo, 
where at festas they wear cloaks of white cloth. The women's cloaks are 
short, only coming down to the thighs. A woman would say that they were 
half-length at Randazzo, three-quarter length at Modica. 

Cloisters. In a country so full of churches and convents there are 
necessarily innumerable cloisters. But as earthquakes also are innumerable, 
only a certain number of them are earlier than the seventeenth century. The 
Arabo-Norman cloister at Monreale is the finest in Europe, but it has no near 
rivals. The best Norman and Gothic cloisters are those at the Eremiti ; S. 
Domenico, the Quaranta Martiri, the Magione, and S. Maria di Gesii at 
Palermo ; the cathedral at Cefalii ; S. Maria di Gesu at Modica ; and 
S. Francesco at Messina. There are some beautiful Renaissance cloisters, 
such as S. Caterina and S. Domenico at Taormina, and the two cloisters in 
the museum at Palermo, and the cloister at Randazzo, which is a post-office. 

Clubs. All the great Sicilian cities have their clubs, and some have Alpine 
clubs. See Palermo, etc. But they are little used by strangers. 

Cluverius. Philip Cluver, the prince of geographers, was born at Dantzig, 
1580. He published his "Universal Geography" in 1624, and his Italia 
Antiqua in 1624. He is a much quoted authority on Sicilian topography. 
His Sicilia Antiqua was published separately at Leyden, 1723. 

Coaches. Sicily has an elaborate system of mail-vetture, though most of 
them would hardly be called coaches, even where they are drawn by four 
or five mules or horses. They are very rough, and the insides are unbearably 
stuffy, and many of them are hardly bigger than cabs. But they carry the 
mail, and are the only means of reaching cities like Nicosia unless you 
charter a carriage. 

Coal. Practically only used by foreigners and the hotels which cater for 
them. Where coal is spoken of as being produced in Sicily by foreigners' 
books it is generally a mistranslation for charcoal. 



THINGS SICILIAN 149 

Cocalus. King of Camicus (q.v.) is about the only Sicanian king whose 
name has come down to us. 

Cocchiere. Coachman. The term you use in addressing a cabman. 

Coffee-pots. Moorish. In Palermo the ordinary coffee-pot in use is the 
copper or brass one of a pure Moorish shape, which is thrust into the ashes to 
warm it. 

Cognac. Excellent cognac is made at the Baglio Ingham and on the 
Hon. A. N. Hood's Bronte estate. The best machinery is used, and the best 
French experts are employed. Sicilian cognac is rapidly gaining favour, 
being notoriously of pure grape spirit. 

Corns. Goethe wrote of the coins of Sicily : 

"What a satisfaction, even cursorily, to glance at the fact that the old 
world was sown thickly with cities ; the very meanest of which has bequeathed 
to us in its precious coins, if not a complete series, yet at least some epochs, 
of its history of art. Out of these cabinets there smiles upon us an eternal 
spring of the blossoms and flowers of art of busy life, ennobled with high 
tastes, and of much more besides. Out of these form-endowed pieces of 
metal the glory of the Sicilian cities, now obscured, still shines forth fresh 
before us." 

The coins of ancient Sicily have never been equalled. By the consensus of 
all experts the finest coins in the world are the great decadrachms struck by 
the Syracusans after their conquest of the Athenians, 413 B.C., from the dies 
engraved by Euaenetus and Cimon. They bear in their exergue, a kind of 
predella under the main design, representatons of arms borne by the Athenian 
hoplites, showing that they are trophy coins. In Sicily they are called the 
medallions, i medaglioni. They bear on one side a glorious high-relief head of 
Arethusa, as beautiful as anything which has come down to us in the whole 
history of Greek sculpture. Eusenetus and Cimon were the Phidias and 
Praxiteles of Dorian Greece. On the other side they show a galloping four- 
horse chariot. It is a curious feature of the great Sicilian coins that they bear 
the name of the engraver. We can be even more certain of the masterpieces 
of Euoenetus and Cimon, Eumenes, Sosion, and Euclidas than of the works 
of the great Attic and Rhodian sculptors. These coins are mostly of silver. 
There were a few very beautiful small coins of gold and of the compound 
half-gold, half-silver, pale yellow in colour, which was called electrum. There 
are quantities of copper coins, some of them quite beautiful, though the rust 
affects their outlines. See the Coins of Syracuse, Girgenti, Agira, Catania, 
and other principal towns. A good specimen of the decadrachm of Eusenetus 
when you can get one is worth ;6o in Sicily. The Golden Age of Sicilian 
coins was about the end of the fifth century B.C. But there were revivals 
under both Agathocles and Hiero II. The first fine coins date from the 
reign of the tyrant Gelo, whose wife, Damarete, received a ransom or present 
from the conquered Carthaginians, which was coined into the fine pieces 
known as Damareteia ; the beautiful archaic head is supposed to be a Victory. 
See Syracuse. The Phoenicians showed their good taste by imitating the 
most beautiful of the Greek coins. The Roman coins are, as a rule, quite 
inferior, and many of them are very common ; but there are a few of singular 
beauty, including a Cupid copied by Correggio in his Danae exactly, and the 
famous Trinacria copied by the sculptor Marabitti a hundred years ago, when 
he was ordered by Maria Carolina to find a coat-of-arms for Sicily, from a 
coin of Julius Caesar, which was in its turn copied from a drachma of 
Agathocles of much inferior beauty. 

Coins are easy to collect ia,Sicily. They are always being dug up by people 



ISO SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

who have no right to them and sell them for their value in silver. Sometimes 
the collector escapes the middle man and secures immense bargains. Where 
a long price is asked it is best to consult the director of a museum, a courtesy 
never refused in Sicily. But you can often buy coins for less than they would 
cost if they were imitations. See under Exergue, Obverse y Reverse. 

Coinage. The present coinage of Sicily is, of course, the same as that of 
Italy. For sums over two francs one uses Banca d 5 Italia or Banca di Sicilia 
notes. Five-franc pieces of any country are current. Lower denominations 
are refused. No franc is good which is anterior to 1863, and there are very 
few good Victor Emmanuel silver coins in circulation except those dated 1863 
and 1867. Coins bearing the present King's head are apt to be false. There 
are lots of spurious ones about which the foreigner can hardly distinguish 
from the real. The 20 centimes nickel pieces are constantly bad, but they are 
so hard to distinguish that it is best to refuse them altogether. 

French and English coins are sometimes accepted. In the remote parts the 
common people still reckon in the terms of the Bourbon coinage onze, tari, 
and gram. A grano is worth 2 centesimi, a tari 42 centesimi, an onza is 
12 '75 francs, though they are no longer current. In other parts sums to value 
of a franc or two are reckoned in soldi, e*g, 28 soldi or I franc 40 c. 

Colazione. The Sicilian breakfast, which we consider lunch, eaten between 
11.30 and 12.30. It generally consists of soup, an entree of macaroni, 
polenta, or what not, meat, cheese, and fruit, with wine. 

Collesano. Above Cerda. Two and a half hours by mail-vettura from 
Campo-Felice. Porphyry, quartz, jasper, and agate found here. It has a 
sulphur spring and a church tower belonging to an ancient castle of 1060. 
Near Collesano are the highest peaks of the Madonian Mountains. Monte 
S. Salvatore, 6,255 feet; Pizzo-Antenna, 6,470 feet. Excursions can be 
made to the Monte Nebrodi or Caronian Mountains. 

Above Collesano are some very interesting buildings, which Dr. Orsi 
considers to be Byzantine, but Comm. Luigi Mauceri considers to be pre 
historic buildings of the same epoch as those of Cefalu. 




THINGS SICILIAN 151 

Colli. At caves here prehistoric objects were found, now in the Palermo 
Museum. 

Colonne, Guido delle, and Colonne, Otto delle, were two fourteenth- 
century Sicilian poets born at Messina; among the earliest writers in the 
vernacular. 

Column and Ball. A favourite form of gambling in cheap Sicilian 
gambling-houses. 

Columbara. An island at the mouth of the harbour of Trapani. 

Columns. Sicily is full of antique columns. Some are left in sitit in the 
ruins of classical buildings ; others carried off to adorn churches or private 
buildings. The Greek columns are mostly fluted. Those of the Olympeium 
at Girgenti are so vast that a man can stand in one of the grooves. In one 
Sicilian temple the grooving was only half done when the Carthaginians 
destroyed the city. The Greek columns are mostly made of the local stone, 
which turns a beautiful gold colour. The Roman are of granite as in the 
cathedral of Messina, or precious marble as in the Cappella Reale at Palermo. 

Comacine. The name applied to the bands of Lombard workmen who, 
originating at Como, wandered all over Europe. A characteristic feature 
in their work was the introduction of lions as the basis of door-columns, as in 
the cathedral of Messina or S. Maria dei Miracoli at Syracuse. 

Comiso. A stat. on the Syracuse-Licata line. Some people place the 
ancient Casmenoe here, which was founded by the Gamori of Camerina when 
they were driven out by the Cyllyrii or plebeians. See Casmense. Here was 
the fountain of Diana, which would not mix with wine in the hands of women 
who were not chaste. 

Comitini-Zolfare. Stat. , Girgenti-Roccapalumba line. 

Conca d' Oro. The plain on which Palermo stands. Said to be called the 
Golden Shell on account of the vast number of orange and lemon trees, which 
make it golden with their fruit. It is rather the shape of an inverted shell, jn 
the best-known part, that which lies between Monreale and the opposite 
mountains. It is the most fertile region in Sicily, covered with orchards of 
oranges, lemons, nespoli, almonds, plums, peaches, olives, and other trees. 

There is a regular system of irrigation. The Conca d' Oro may be said to 
extend almost from Cerda to Carini, and is fertile right to the edge of the sea. 
It is full of queer Eastern-looking farmhouses, and is in every respect the 
Garden of Sicily. The best views of it are from Parco and from the garden 
of the Benedictine Convent at the back of the cloister of Monreale. 

Concordia. The name of a temple at Girgenti (q.v.), the most perfect in 
the island. 

Confraternities. See Burial Guilds. 

Conrad IV., King of the Romans. Second son of the Emperor Frederick II., 
King of Sicily from 1250 to 1254. But the Crown was usurped by Manfred, 
a natural son of Frederick II. Conrad was buried in the cathedral at 
Messina, which was partly destroyed by the fire which broke out during his 
obsequies. See Messina. 

Conradin. A son of Conrad. King of Sicily from 1264 to 1268, though 
Charles of Anjou was crowned King of Sicily in 1266. He led an army into 
Italy, and after some initial victories was utterly defeated in August at Taglia- 
cozzo, 1268 ; tried, condemned and executed in the market-place of Naples, 
He was buried in the Carmine at Naples, where (1847) Maximilian of 
Bavaria erected the Thorwaldsen monument to him. He has figured largely 
in romance. He died at sixteen. 



152 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Constance, daughter of Roger, King of Sicily. Married the Emperor 
Henry VI. , who succeeded to the crown of Sicily in her right. By him she 
was the mother of the great Emperor Frederick II. These two and Henry's 
father, Barbarossa, are Dante's " three blasts of Suabia" (Paradise, iii. 118). 

Constitution, the Sicilian. See Bentinck. 

Contessa-Entellina. Six hours by mail-vettura from Corleone Stat, 
Palermo-Corleone line. Founded 1450 by an Albanian colony flying from 
the Turks, under the shadow of the ancient castle on the hill of Calata-Mauro, 
which has caves of alabaster and gesso. Eight kil. from Contessa are the 
ruins of ancient Entella (q.v.), which cover a circuit of four miles. 

Convents. Sicily abounds in convents, mostly used by the Government for 
barracks, post offices, etc. See Badia^ which is what we call a convent (for 
nuns as distinct from monks). 

Convolvulus. The convolvuli are found everywhere in Sicily. One with 
small blossoms mottled with very bright blue, is particularly noticeable and 
beautiful. 

Conzatori. Cask repairers in the Marsala Baglj. 

Cooking. Sicilian cooking is seldom bad. They cannot always get good 
cuts of meat, but they do their best with it even in quite humble places. Oil 
is not used except for certain dishes, such as salads^ artichokes, etc. The 
Sicilians might be called a nation of cooks. 

Cooking-baskets. See Basket -stoves. 

Cookshops. A noticeable feature is the prevalence of cookshops over 
restaurants. The Sicilian is not addicted to restaurants ; but fuel being a 
difficulty, he likes to buy his food cooked. Palermo abounds in picturesque 
people's cookshops, treasure-troves to the artist with their long, beautifully 
clean stoves covered with rich old tiles and dotted like a cribbage-board with 
little holes to contain charcoal embers. Then there is a fine array of glittering 
brass and copper cooking vessels, often some good old plates, and sometimes 
an old brass lamp of fine design, though flares are taking their place. 
These cookshops are generally mere cupboards open to the busy thoroughfare, 
without glass. Their owners never seem to go to bed or go out. They seem 
to stand and cook and smile and give small change, from one end of the year 
to the other. Lent may do something for them.' 

Cook's Touring Agency. Cook's correspondent in Palermo, who sells 
every description ofrailway and steamship ticket, is Mr. Hans von Pernull, who 
has an office at 93, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. Excursions are formed with 
special trains to Segesta, Selinunte, Cefalu, Piana dei Greci, etc. ; and a hotel 
f in connection with the office has been planned at Castrogiovanni, the ancient 
Enna. Mr. Von Pernull talks several languages, and gives every description 
of information. 

Coppersmiths. There is a great deal of beaten copper-work in Sicily, 
often of fine medieval forms. See Palermo under Coffee-pots and Copper-workers* 
street. 

Coral of Trapani. A great deal of coral is found off Sicily ; the principal 
coral ports are Trapani and Messina. The coral in the caves at Syracuse is 
unimportant. The coral of Trapani is largely used in making monstrances 
and church embroideries. There are some coral exhibits in the museum at 
Messina and Palermo. All sorts of charms, such as hands and phalli made of 
coral, fill jewellers' shops ; but their specialty is the antique cameo carved 
of coral into the head of our Lord or some mythological scene. 



THINGS SICILIAN 153 

Coral-tree (Erythrma). A subtropical tree with large scarlet flowers rather 
resembling coral. A favourite in Sicilian gardens. 

Corinthian Capitals. See Capitals. 

Corinth was the mother-city of Syracuse, and their intercourse was always 
most intimate. They sent each other help. Without Corinth Syracuse might 
have succumbed to Athens, and later Corinth sent Timoleon with ten ships to 
rescue Syracuse from the tyranny of Dionysius II. Her influence was much 
felt thereby, for Timoleon revolutionised Sicily. It is a mystery to me why 
Greek histories say so little of Corinth, which had a career of unbroken 
prosperity till the Romans, under Mummius, sacked it. 

Corleone. A stat. on the Palermo-S. Carlo line. Until recently the 
terminus. From Corleone Stat. there is a mail-vettura to Palazzo Adriano, 
6^ hours ; Campo-Fiorito, 3 hours ; Bisacquino, 4! hours ; Chiusa-Sclafani, 
5 hours ; Burgio, 9 hours ; Villafranca-Siciliana, 9 hours 10 minutes ; Lucca- 
Sicula, 9 hours 40 minutes ; Sambuca-Zabut, 8J hours ; Sella-Misilbesi, 
10} hours; Menfi, 13 hours; Sciacca, :6J hours; Contessa, 6 hours; Corleone 
post office, J-hour ; Centa Vernaro, 4! hours ; Prizzi, 3^ hours. 

Corleone is the Arabic Korlioun. The Emperor Frederick II. ceded it to 
a colony of Lombards. Its inhabitants were the most determined enemies of 
the house of Anjou. In 1536, says Fazello, the earth opened and ruined the 
city to its foundation. The Moorish type is thought to be very strong in the 
inhabitants of this district, who have a bad name for highway robberies. 

Corpus Domini, Procession of. One of the great Catholic processions of 
the year. It can be well seen at Marsala. 

Corsairs' towers. Medieval towers for the protection of the coast against 
corsairs may be seen between Palermo and Termini. 

Corsari. Between Palermo and Bagheria, a stat. on the Corleone line. 
Called also Acqua-Corsari. Named from a corsairs' tower. 

Corso. Nearly every town in Sicily has a Corso for its main street, named 
after Victor Emmanuel II., King Humbert, or the present king. It has a 
proper name added to it in writing, but is spoken of as the Corso. 

Cortes, Descendants of. The family of the Duke of Montelone. The 
family name is Pignatelli-Cortes . It has immense possessions in the south of 
Sicily. 

Cossins, R. B., the English Vice-Consul at Marsala, when Garibaldi began 
the revolution there which drove out the Bourbons. 

Cortili, or Courtyards. Almost every house of any pretensions in Sicily is 
built round a cortile. Some of them, like that of the Palazzo Aiutamicristo, 
at Palermo, are very old and very beautiful, comparable to that of the 
Bargello at Florence ; but there are very few Gothic courtyards. They 
usually date from the sixteenth century onwards. As the owner generally 
does not use the ground floor, all manner of queer trades go on in them. At 
Syracuse and Marsala quite humble palazzetti are built round courtyards. 
See under Palermo, Syracuse, Marsala. 

Costermongers. Sicily abounds in costermongers with donkeys, though 
one does not at first regard them in that light Their cries are most extra 
ordinary, and they begin at daylight. I have compared them elsewhere to 
jodelling, they are loud and long, and not unmusical. The Sicilian coster- 
monger generally sells only one thing all fennel, or all artichokes, or all 



154 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

broccoli, and he quite as often piles his wares on his donkey or his head, as he 
piles them on a cart. He may be a baker, or a draper, or a bootmaker, or a 
knife-seller, or a jar-seller, or a water-seller. But perhaps these trades are 
rather peddling. His physique is not so good as the British coster's. 

Cosyra. A Phoenician colony in the island of Pantelleria, which has all 
kinds of prehistoric remains. 

Costumes. See chapter on Costumes. 

Cotillons. The cotillon is very fashionable at Palermo balls. As much as 
300 has been spent on presents in my personal experience. 

Cottabos. The Greek game of throwing a compact jet of wine at a mark 
is said by Freeman to be of Sikel invention. It was also popular among the 
Etruscans. 

Cottages. There are few in Sicily, the people mostly living in cities, 
either under the palaces of their betters or in tenements. A few may be 
seen on the outskirts of cities, generally either two-storied with some sort of a 
balcony, or utter hovels with nothing but a door. The cottage was not suit 
able to this malaria- and robber-scourged country. 

Cotton was grown in large quantities and of a 'good quality during the 
American War in the southern districts of Sicily. Since then its output is all 
absorbed by the Italian mills, but English cotton-spinners might with advan 
tage grow cotton for themselves in Sicily again. There is a numerous and 
superb peasantry, accustomed to very low wages, and all of them gardeners 
by instinct. Sicily is so near England and so near water-carriage in its 
cotton districts that Manchester would find it one of its easiest sources of 
supply. 

Courtship. The peculiarity of Sicilian courtships is that no introduction is 
necessary if the parties are not acquainted. But for a man to make any kind 
of advances to a girl unless he intends to propose to her is a deadly insult. If 
she accepts his attentions he sends a go-between to her family to arrange the 
terms. If they refuse it is quite regular for him to kidnap the girl and marry 
her with her connivance. In the country towns he lingers under her window 
at night, perhaps serenading. She opens her lattice wider every night and 
drops him a flower, or some other gage to show that he may demand her 
hand. Breaches of courtship are avenged in the most violent manner. They 
are much more serious than a breach of promise in England. 

Cow-harness. Both milch cows and the draught oxen wear huge wooden 
Gladstone collars, a bell being attached to the former, and harness, generally 
of rope, to the latter. 

Cranesbill, The cranesbill or wild geranium family are as common in 
Sicily as they are in England. The rose-coloured geraniums planted along 
the railway lines have formidable cranesbills for the seed-pods which gave the 
family its name. 

Cratera. A Greek bowl for mixing wine in. A very fine specimen from 
the Temple of Bacchus at Syracuse now acts as the font in the cathedral. 
There is another in the cathedral at Naples. 

Cratere is the Italian for the crater of a volcano. 

Crescenzio, Antonio. A Sicilian painter of the first half of the sixteenth 
century. The splendid fresco of the "Triumph of Death" in the Sclafani 
Palace at Palermo and the S. Cecilia in the cathedral at Palermo are no 
longer attributed to him. 



THINGS SICILIAN 155 

Crimesus, at the Battle of. Timoleon, with 11,000 Syracusans and 
mercenaries, routed 70,000 Carthaginians, B.C. 339. It is, according to 
Freeman, the southern Crimesus, the right branch of the Selimmte Hypsas, 
now known as the Belice. His men were terrified by meeting mules laden 
with the selinon plant, because the monuments of the dead were crowned with 
celery. A proverb spoke of one who was sick unto death as one who would 
soon need his celery. But Timoleon reminded his men that selinon was used 
to crown the victors at the Isthmian games of their mother-city Corinth. This 
turned the omen to a very good one. At the same time the soothsayers 
pointed out two eagles in the sky, one screaming defiance and the other 
carrying a struggling serpent. The Carthaginian army, though not so 
numerous as some of their hosts, contained 10,000 of the sacred band of 
Carthage. Timoleon won the victory by attacking the Carthaginians when 
only part of them had crossed the river and before they had time to re-forrn. 
Even then he only gained the victory by a fierce hailstorm, which beat in the 
faces of the Carthaginians and blinded them, and made the ground too slippery 
for their tactics. Both Plutarch and Diodorus give picturesque accounts of the 
battle. 

Crispi, Francesco. Late premier of Italy. Born at Ribera in Sicily, 
October 4th, 1819. Called to the bar in Palermo ; joined the unsuccessful 
revolutionary movement of 1848 ; organised the successful revolution of 
1859-60, re-entering Sicily with Garibaldi. Premier 1887-90, and Premier 
1894-96. A great Triple Alliance man. He was deputy for Palermo in the 
Italian Parliament, and it was his knowledge of Sicily and the revolutionary 
societies which averted the threatened revolution in Sicily in 1896. (Chambers. ) 

Croce, Cape S. One of the principal capes of Sicily. Between Syracuse 
and Augusta ; a conspicuous object to ships passing up the Strait of Messina. 
Visible from both Taormina and Syracuse. 

Crocus. The pretty mauve crocus which shows hardly any leaves is 
common in Sicily. It is the Crocus sativa, or saffron crocus. Saffron is 
much used in food in Sicily, and from its dried stigmas is made the dye 
so popular with the ancients and now the commonest colour for the head- 
kerchiefs of the women. 

Cruelty to Animals, the Society for the Prevention of. See under 
Palermo, which has the most successful society in Italy. 

Crupi, Sig-. Giovanni Of Taormina. One of the best landscape photo 
graphers in Europe. 

Crusaders. The two Sicilian towns most identified with the Crusades are 
Messina and Trapani. Richard I. spent six months at Messina in 1189. He 
stormed the city and was drastic. Edward I. was twice at Trapani. It was 
to Trapani that the heart of S. Louis was brought back by the Crusaders. 
Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, brother of William the Conqueror, died at Palermo 
on his way to the Crusades. 

Curios. Sicily is the paradise of the curio-collector. It abounds in cheap 
and genuine curios. The principal specialties are coins, especially Greek, 
terra-cotta figurines and vases, antique jewellery and bronzes, ^old lace^ em 
broideries ; ivory, pearl, and tortoise-shell work ; corals, majolica, old silver, 
smalti, fans, hammered ironwork, brass, etc. See chapter on Curios, 
Antickita^ Bargaining, etc. 

Curio-shops. Roughly speaking of three orders : the expensive professional 
curio-shop, the humbler professional curio-shop, and the general dealer, where 
you get the greatest bargains. See under Palermo, Taormina, etc. 



i S 6 



SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 



Custard Apple. The custard apple grows and fruits in Sicilian gardens. 

Custode. Simply means a watchman or caretaker. But the term is gener 
ally applied to the uniformed caretakers who have charge of the national and 
public monuments, who are often very good guides to the objects in their 
charge. 

Cuttlefish, or Calamaio. A favourite delicacy in Sicily. It gets its name 
from calamus^ a pen, because it contains all the materials for writing within 
itselfthe pen, the ink, and the eraser. Fishermen are very fond of pulling 
out the pen to show you. 

Cyclopean buildings. The term Cyclopean is applied to any polygonal 
building ; but there are two well-marked varieties in Sicily : the work of the 
Sikelians where the stones are not, as a rule, enormous ; and the Megalithic 
remains at Eryx, Cefalu, Collesano, Pantalica, and above Termini (q.v.). The 
Sikelian masonry may be seen at Naxos and on the road up to Taormina just 
outside the Messina Gate. 

Cyclops. The best-known country of the Cyclops lies between Etna and 
the rocks of the Cyclops opposite Acireale and Aci-Castello. Virgil and Homer 
have written much about them. Mr. Butler identifies them with the Lxstry- 
gonians, and says that the Cyclops had two eyes, their names merely signify 
ing round-faced, moon-faced. He says that they were the conquered remnant 




ACI-CASTELLO: THE ROCKS OF CYCLOPS 



of the old Sican inhabitants of Mount Eryx ; that they owed their repute for 
gigantic stature to the huge size of the stones with which their walls were built, 
which belong to the true Megalithic age when it was cheaper to carry than to cut. 
People think that "the men who built with such large stones must have been 
large men, whereas in reality they were only economical men." The Ninth 
Odyssey is taken up with Ulysses' adventure with the Cyclops. The rocks 
of the Cyclops are said to be the stones hurled at him by Polyphemus, 
though this is not the Homeric legend, but the Virgilian. Homer made his 
Cyclops giant shepherds living in the south-western corner of Sicily, while 
Virgil made them smiths forging the thunderbolts of ZeuS in Etna. 

Cyclamen, the wild, is found on the mountain-sides round Taormina, etc, 

Cyane. See Anapo and Cyane under Syracuse. 



THINGS SICILIAN 157 

Cyllyrii. According to Freeman, they were a sort of " villains" on the 
lands of the Syracusan Gamori. It was their revolt which drove the Gamori 
to Casmense, 486 B.C. 

Cyperus. A plant of the Cyperaceee order, common in fountains in Sicily 
and liable to be confused with the papyrus. Pots of it are much sold in 
London streets. 

Cypress. In Sicily an avenue of cypresses betokens a religious house. 
Cemeteries are planted with them something like our mazes with tombs 
between. 

Cypris. An epithet of Venus (Aphrodite). 



Daedalus. The inventor of flying-machines. Was an Athenian of the 
royal race of the Erecthidse. He was a famous sculptor, but having mur 
dered his pupil Calos, his sister's son, for excelling him in skill, he fled to 
Crete and resided with Minos at Cnossus (pace Mr. A. J. Evans). After a 
while he quarrelled with Minos as well and fled to Sicily, where he took 
refuge with Cocalus, the Sicanian king of the mysterious Camicus. Minos 
pursued him, but the daughters of Cocalus had fallen in love with Dsedalus 
and treacherously put Minos to death. Pausanias says, " The works of 
Dsedalus are somewhat uncouth to the eye, but there is a touch of the divine 
in them for all that." He gives a list of them, and says that his fame has 
spread all over Sicily and a great part of Italy. Among other places it 
spread to Eryx, where he and the Devil (Dsedalo and Diavolo) share the 
credit of a medieval arch on the site of the Temple of Venus, for which, 
Diodorus says, Dsedalus levelled the rugged top of the mountain. As an 
artist he may be compared to St. Luke. 

Daisies of Sicily. Sicily has a splendid wild daisy, sometimes lemon- 
coloured, sometimes white with a yellow heart, which grows waist-deep at 
Syracuse and Selinunte. The goats eat its foliage. Our common daisy, 
ox-eye, and fever-few are also common in Sicily. 

Damarete. See under Syracuse, Coins, p. 508. 

Damas. A rich Syracusan was the patron to whom Agathocles owed his 
rise. At his death his widow married the future king. 

Damophilus. A wealthy slave-owner of Enna. The cruelties of his wife, 
Megallis, led to the Slave War. Their slaves, many of them Sicilians as well 
born as themselves, had been made to work in the fields in heavy fetters in 
all weathers. The slaves chained Megallis's hands and feet with the fetters 
she had been accustomed to put upon them and carried her off to the theatre, 
where, when she had been tortured by inches to the verge of death, she was 
thrown over the precipice. As Damophilus had been more merciful, two of 
his slaves sprang upon him and killed him outright. A daughter who had 
been accustomed to shield the slaves was preserved uninjured by their 
gratitude. 

Damocles, For the legend of the Sword of Damocles told by Cicero see 
under Syracuse, Damocles. 

Dante hates the house of Anjou in his numerous references to Sicily ; but 
he is only less inimical to Henry VI. and Frederick II., though his feelings 
to the house change at the time of Manfred and Conradin. The following 
are the principal references to Sicily in the Divine Comedy : 



158 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

In the Inferno to 

Frederick //., whom he places among the heretics (Canto x. 1 18). 

Dionysius (q.v.), whom he places among the " violent against their neigh 
bours " (Canto xii. 107-109). 

Pier dells Vigne (q.v.), whom he places among the " violent against them 
selves " (Canto xiii. 38 et seq. ). 

The Origin of the Sicilian Vespers (Canto xix. 98-99). 

Frederick II. 's method of punishing traitors (Canto xxiii. 64-67).^ 

The Bull of Phalaris (Canto xxvii. 7-13). 

In the PurgafoHo to 

Manfred, whom he places among the excommunicate (Canto iii. to end). 

Constance (Canto iii. 142-145). 

Peter TIL of Aragon and Charles I. of Anjou, whom he places amongst the 
negligent rulers (Canto vii. 115-120). 

In the Paradiso to 

Constance (Canto iii. 1 8). 

"La bella Trinacria^ che caliga tra Pachino e Peloro, sopra il golfo che 
receve da Euro maggior briga " (Canto viii. 67 et seq. ). 

(" And fair Trinacria which darkeneth between Pachynus and Pelorus, o'er 
the gulf tormented most by Eurus.") 

Palermo (Sicilian Vespers) (Canto viii. 75). 

Robert of Sicily (Canto viii. 76). 

Charles of Anjoit, brother of St. Louis, who conquered Sicily from Manfred, 
son of Frederick II. , and became Charles I. (Canto ix. 1-6). 

Sicily ("the Isle of Fire where Anchises ended his long life") (Canto 
xix. 130). 

Frederick I I. (Canto xix. 130-132*). 

William of Sicily, Charles 77. , and Frederick II. (Canto xx. 6 1-66). 

Date-Palm. There are quantities in Sicily, but their fruit seldom comes to 
perfection. 

Datura. Called by Australians the trumpet flower. Its proper name is the 
thorn-apple. The Datura strawonia, a native of Asia, is very common in 
Sicily. It has large, white, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers. Chambers 
says that the daturas are in general narcotic and productive of wild excitement 
or delirium, and that the Thugs of India use the plant to stupefy their 
victims. Their scent is considered very unhealthy. 

Dazio Consume is one of the great institutions of Sicily, being the octroi 
or tax levied by municipalities of 12,000 inhabitants and upwards on most 
articles which are brought into the city, especially food. It employs an 
enormous staff of officials in grey uniforms. 

Decadrachm. A ten-drachma piece. For the superb ancient Greek coins 
of this denomination, see under Coins and Syracuse. 

Decameron, the, of Boccaccio has, at any rate, two famous stories with 
scenes laid in Sicily that about Restituta and young John of Procida, and 
King Frederick, the scene of which is laid at La Cuba at Palermo (q.v.) 
and that of Isabella and the Pot of Basil, which is laid at Messina. 

Demeter. See Ceres. 

Dennis, George. The writer of Murray's Guide to Sicily. His informa 
tion, which he had largely from Salvatore Politi, the husband of Mme. Politi, 
is the basis of most modern books on Sicily. 



THINGS SICILIAN 159 

Dentists. Street-dentists are common in Sicily:- one of the kodaker's 
"properties." 

De Ruyter. The great Dutch Admiral De Ruyter was mortally wounded 
and defeated in an action with the French Admiral Duquesne off Augusta 
(q.v.), and died at Syracuse, 1676. 

Dialect. Sicilian itself is a dialect, differing from Italian in the corruption 
and clipping of words as well as the inclusion of Arabic, Spanish, Greek, etc., 
words. It is quite unintelligible to Italians who have not learnt it. Words 
end in u instead of o. (See resume in preface.) There are also further 
dialects such as the Lombard dialect, spoken at Randazzo; the Albanian 
patois, spoken at Piana dei Greci and the other Albanian colonies; and a 
corrupt French dialect, spoken at Sperlinga, where the Angevin party were 
allowed to take refuge during the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers. 

Diana (Artemis), as the patron goddess of the Dorian race, is of great im 
portance. Ancient remains, whether they have any connection with her 
or not, are apt to be called Tempio di Diana, Bagno di Diana ; and there are 
many temples which must have belonged to her. That the glorious temple 
of Segesta was dedicated to her we know, from the chequered history of the 
splendid brazen image of her carried off by the Carthaginians, restored by the 
younger African us, and carried off again by Verres amid the lamentations 
of the inhabitants, which inspired the well-known passage in _Cicero. See 
under Segesta. It is thought that the very ancient temple ascribed to her at 
Syracuse was really the Temple of Apollo, and that the so-called temple 
of Minerva embodied in the cathedral was really the Temple of Diana. ^The 
transfefence is quite likely to have been made in Roman times. _ Cicero 
distinctly tells us that it was Minerva's in his time. Arethusa's Fountain is so 
near the cathedral that in ancient days when there was a triumphal approach 
from the port to the temple it may well have stood at the foot of the steps. 
Arethusa being a nymph of Diana, it would be natural to name the fountain 
after her. See under Syracuse, Cefalu, Segesta. 

Diana, Niccolo, purchased, in 1620, the city now known as Cefala Diana. 
Such names are common in Sicily. A man with the surname Apollo keeps a 
music-shop in Syracuse. 

Dicseopolis. Dicceopolis (city of justice), a name imposed upon Segesta by 
Agathocles when he expelled the Elymian inhabitants from their home 
of many centuries. As Freeman trenchantly remarks: "Such changes have 
been made after him by not a few princes who found the memories of history 
too strong for them." 

Dictionaries. There are dictionaries of the Sicilian dialect and Italian, 
compiled by G. Biundi (Palermo, 1857) and V. Mortillaro (new ed., 
Palermo, 1879). (Chambers.) 

Didrachma. A two-drachma piece. See Drachma. 

Diodes. A lawgiver of Syracuse (q.v.). It was on his proposal that 
Nicias and Demosthenes were put to death. Called by Diodorus the most 
eminent of the demagogues at Syracuse. In 412, when Hermocrates was 
driven out, he introduced the famous code known as the Laws of Diodes, 
which were generally accepted through the island till the Romans introduced 
their law. Banished 408 B.C. Said to have killed himself when he suddenly 
remembered that he had broken one of his own laws by coming armed into 
the assembly. 



160 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Diodorus Siculus. The Greek Froissart, a native of Agyrium (Agira), who 
wrote in the time of Augustus. He mentions Caesar's invasion of Britain and 
death. The most valuable portions of his work historically are those in 
which he embodies the work of Philistus and others of his predecessors. He 
is a very interesting writer. In translations he is more readable than even 
Thucydides. The most interesting part of his history is, of course, that which 
deals with the history of the Greeks in Sicily and Greece proper ; but his 
history is a history of the world, and there is a great deal of mythology and 
travel-information in it. 

Dion. See under Syracuse. 

Dionysius I. See under Syracuse. 

Dlonysius II. See under Syracuse. 

Dionysus. See Bacchus. 

Diversi Generi is the Sicilian for a general shop. Its stores consist of 
wine, food, forage, pottery, and charcoal, etc. , and samples such as a potato, 
a stick of charcoal, a broken bottle with a little oil in it, are hung on a string 
across the front. 

Doctors. There are generally no English doctors in Sicily ; but at Palermo 
there is a German named Berlin, who speaks English ; and Syracuse has a 
doctor named Mauceri who is known throughout the province for his ability. 

Dogs. It has been said that no one keeps the law or large dogs in Sicily. 
The dogs as a rule are small and humble, but in places where evil-doers are 
numerous, like the neighbourhood of Girgenti or Bronte, large and fierce dogs 
are kept. And even they regard your calling out to the owner to some, degree 
as an indication of bona fides. 

Dolls in armour. At Palermo for the Easter Fair they sell dolls in capital 
armour made out of food-tins to represent the historical personages they paint 
on their carts, such as King Roger or Saladin. 

Donax. The Donax reed plays a great part in Sicily. It is grown as a 
hedge and for flower-sticks, etc. But its place has rather been taken by the 
bamboo, even for making the reed-flutes used by the goatherds. It is a very 
graceful plant with classical associations. 

Donkeys are used for everything in Sicily. See Asinello. 

Doors and doorways. Doors play a great part in Sicily. Many dwellings 
consist of nothing but three walls, a roof, and a door. Windows are a luxury, 
unknown to hundreds of thousands who live in bassi (q.v. ), Doors are always 
kept open during the daytime. The doorways are, some of them, very hand 
some. In Taormina, Messina, Randazzo, etc., there are many fifteenth- 
century Gothic doorways, and well-built archways of a later date are too 
numerous to notice. Most buildings in Sicily have some pretence to architec 
ture. 

Door-tiles, armorial. The noble and religious bodies placed at the right 
top corner of the principal entrance a majolica tile with their armorial bear 
ings or devices, for the same purpose as we have street numbers. These 
"mattoni" are much sought by collectors. The best collections are those of 
the Palermo Museum and Mr. Joshua Whitaker. 

Dorian race. With the exception of Catane (Catania), Zancle (Messina), 
Naxos, and Leontini (Lentini), nearly all the Sicilian cities were founded by 
the Dorian Greeks, who, though they are never treated with sufficient import 
ance in Greek histories, were at least as important as the Ionian Greeks, of 
whom the Athenians were the chief. Sparta is proverbial for fighting ; Corinth 



THINGS SICILIAN 



161 



and Syracuse were the greatest of Greek commercial cities. The Dorians 
built fine temples, as we know, from Girgenti, Segesta, etc. They carved fine 
metopes. Those of Selinunte come next to those of Athens and Olympia. 
They made the finest coins that have ever been made in the world ; they made 
the finest fortresses of their time, as witness the Castle of Euryalus ; and noble 
theatres. The only Greek mathematician who is still an authority was the 
Syracusan Archimedes. In literature they were less prominent, though the 
pastoral poet Theocritus was the greatest of the later Greek poets. It is because 
their historians and general writers had not the graces of their Athenian 
rivals that nearly all our knowledge of Greek life in England relates to the 
Athenian. But Freeman has recorded his opinion, that at least as much 
material has survived about the Dorian Greeks as about the lonians, and all 
scholars wait eagerly for some great scholar and writer to arise to give us a 
picture of the Dorian Greeks as complete as the picture of the Ionian Greeks 
which we enjoy^ already. Politically the Dorian Greeks may be regarded as 
much the more important. In ordinary Greek histories Sparta plays as great 
a part historically as Athens, and we must add to this the prowess of Syracuse 
in beating back the Carthaginians for two centuries and a half. 

Doric style. See under Capitals and Columns. 

Dorieus, the king's son of Sparta. A Heraclid who set out to conquer 
the Heraclid heritage of Eryx. He was the eldest son of King Anaxandrides 
by his first wife, but born after the child of the second, and was unable therefore 
to inherit the throne of Sparta. He wasted his strength in the feud between 
Sybaris and Croton, and was destroyed with most of his men in a battle at 
Eryx against the Egestans and Carthaginians. This was in 510 B.C. 

Drachma. An ancient Greek coin corresponding roughly to the modern 
Greek drachma, or the franc. Sums were generally reckoned in drachm. 
See Coins. 

Drepanum. See Trapani. 

Dress, native, of men and women. See chapter on Costumes. 

Drug-jars. Much sought by collectors in Sicily, both to obtain jars of 
Sicilian manufacture, and because, in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, 
many were manufactured in the great majolica centres of Italy for Sicilian 
hospitals, notably the unique set of drug-jars made at Urbino for Messina. 
See under Messina Museum. Baron Chiaranionte Bordinaro has a very fine 
collection. 







THE FAMOUS URBINO DRUG-JARS, FORMERLY IN THE HOSPITAL, 
NOW IN THE MUSEUM OF MESSINA 



162 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Drug stores. See Chemists. Farmacia is the Sicilian term. 

Dryden, John, Jun., son of the poet, author of the comedy entitled 
The Husband His Own Cuckold, 1696, visited Sicily in November, 1700, 
and wrote an account of his voyage before he died at Rome in 1701. It was 
not published till seventy years afterwards, When it was brought out uniform 
with Brydone, to stultify the latter's advertisement. "Had there been any 
book in our language on the subject of the following letters, they never should 
have seen the light. Young Dryden was an observant and entertaining writer, 
and visiting Sicily so soon after that supreme earthquake of 1693, had its 
ravages fresh before him. 

Ducetius. A Sikelian king. He attempted to form a Sikel confederacy 
against the growing power of Syracuse, starting in 459 by founding 
Mensenum, now Mineo, on the hill above the Lake of the Palici, the special 
gods of his people. Six years later he founded a new capital nearer the lake, 
and called it Palica. Then he commenced attacking Greek cities at ^tna. 
The next he took was Motyon, a town belonging to Acragas, undoubtedly the 
modern Modica. Syracuse and Acragas united against the common peril and 
defeated Ducetius. They broke up his power, and he rode into Syracuse in 
the early morning and threw himself as a suppliant on the altar of the gods of 
the Agora. The Syracusans spared him, but exiled him to their mother-city, 
Corinth. In time he returned to Sicily and founded the city of Calacte, and 
established a new league of Greeks as well as Sikels, prominent among them 
Archonides, the Sikel king of Herbita. He died of a disease B.C. 444, and 
with him the Sikels lost their last chance of maintaining themselves as rivals 
to the Greeks and Carthaginians. 

Duenna. Even poor girls are carefully chaperoned in Sicily. At balls, for 
instance, a girl is taken back to her chaperone the moment the dance is over. 

Dumas. I never feel quite sure if Dumas actually visited Sicily, but he 
wrote a book about his journey to Sicily in the "Journeys with Dumas" 
series, entitled The Speronara. My suspicions were aroused by noticing that 
it is largely drawn from Lettres sur la Sidle et sur File de Maltke, by M. Le 
Comte de Borch de Plusieurs Acadamies A.M., le C. de TV., Icrites in /777, 
who acknowledges having taken his materials from Brydone's Tour through 
Sicily and Malta. The Speronara is a kind of sailing-boat. 

Duomo. Properly signifies a cathedral, but the Sicilians apply it to the 
principal church of a town whether it is a cathedral or not, just as they call 
anything larger than a village a city. 



Eagles. The large birds seen over Pellegrino and elsewhere are generally 
griffon vultures, not eagles. 

Earthenware, ancient and modern. Sicily is a paradise to the lover of 
earthenware. Beautiful specimens have been made in all ages. The 
museums of Syracuse and Palermo have magnificent specimens of Sicanian 
and Sikelian earthenware vases, and of importations from Etruria and 
Athens, as well as the ancient Greek pottery of the' island. Earthenware was 
used for many purposes. Splendid sarcophagi, for instance, of the fifth 
century B.C., have been discovered at Capo Soprano, near the ancient Gela, 
etc. Earthenware lids were used sometimes for the coffin-shaped graves cut 
in the surface of the rock. The Sicilian Greeks made vases of exquisite 
shape, though they did not rival the Athenians in their decoration. Some of 



THINGS SICILIAN 163 

their little toilet-boxes are wonderfully beautiful. Sicily is very rich in terra 
cotta figurines of the fifth century before Christ. They have not the 
Parisian grace of the figurines of Tanagra and Myrina, but the faces are 
nearly all beautiful and nearly all female. They have the conventionalised 
hair and smile noticeable on the coloured statues of the fifth and sixth 
centuries B.C., exhumed at Athens in the eighties. Enormous quantities of 
them have been found near the last-discovered temple at Selinunte. Coming 
to the ^Middle Ages, there are beautiful Arabic water-jars decorated with 
inscriptions, still to be picked up at Palermo, where they are occasionally 
found. There are many in the Palermo Museum. The earthenware used by 
the poor people is almost always of old Greek or Saracen shapes, just as 
the pottery of the Roman period is Greek in character. At Palermo, 
Saracenic influences and Phoenician influences are naturally prominent. At 
Caltagirone, Catania, and Syracuse the shapes are purely Greek. At Messina 
and Taormina they are rather nondescript, but show Greek influence. A 
charming collection may be made of Sicilian pottery, both of the glazed and 
unglazed vessels used by the poor, and also of the collector's prizes, the 
majolica of the seventeenth century; the fast-disappearing armorial tiles, 
the earthenware figures representing the various types of Sicily which have 
made Caitagirone famous, and drug-jars. A splendid collection could also 
be made of the majolica wine-jugs of the last few centuries. 

Earthenware lamps. I have left these to a separate heading, because 
their name is legion, Round one temple in Selinunte 37,000 of them have 
been exhumed. They are mostly small, flat vessels with a little hole in the 
top, plain or ornamented. In ancient times all of them had a sort of spout 
with a hole in it to contain the wick. The modern Sicilian has invented an 
ingenious variant of them glazed figures of men and women caricatured, 
such as a man blowing a trombone or a woman with the Grecian bend. 
Somewhere or other about their persons they have holes for the wicks. There 
are also very comical cats. 

Earthquakes. Sicily has always been scourged by earthquakes. I have 
often been in slight ones. Only in 1902 one did much damage, ruining the- 
Gothic monastery adjoining S. Gregorio at Messina, and devastating with 
its accompanying floods the whole district round Syracuse and Modica. 
The greatest of all earthquakes was in 1693, which destroyed all the 
cities in the south of Sicily. Some of them, like Noto Antica, have never 
been rebuilt. A chapter on the great earthquake of 1693, translated from a 
pamphlet of the time, will be found in Mr. Sladen's forthcoming work on the 
Cities of Sicily. 

Easter customs and sweets. They make much of Easter in Sicily. On 
the Wednesday before Easter they show the Santo Sudario (Holy Shroud) of 
our Lord at S. Giuseppe. At Palermo, on the Thursday, they have the 
Sepolcri or Gardens of Gethsemane (q.v.) in their churches. On the Friday 
they have the procession of the Pieta (q.v.); on the Saturday they have the 
Rending of the Veil (q.v.) ; on the Sunday they have various celebrations, such 
as the miracle play and the Procession of the Pace at Adern6 ; and on the 
Monday and the following days at Palermo, they have the Easter Fair, and 
balls and races, and so on. The favourite sweets for Easter are Paschal lambs 
done in almond paste, the expensive ones with elaborate scenery, the Three 
Magi, and so on, and the cheapest with a tinsel flag like the Crusaders' lamb. 
They vary in price from a halfpenny to several pounds. Another favourite 
design for sugar, and soap, is the Pieta. There are elaborate Easter eggs 
developing into Easter birds' nests and various rich cakes. 



164 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Eating-shops. Cookshops (q.'v.) play a much more important part in 
Sicily than restaurants. 

Ecnomus. The ancient name for the hill above Licata. It was an outpost 
of Acragas. 

Edmund of England, son of Henry III., accepted the kingdom of Sicily 
1254. Two hundred ounces of gold yearly and the support of three hundred 
knights were to be promised ; the expenses of the war were to be paid and an 
army sent at once to claim the kingdom. (Bright.) 

Edward I. of England visited Sicily twice on his crusades, going on both 
occasions to Trapani. The first time he sailed from Tunis, where he found 
St. Louis dead. He, or another, brought the heart of St. Louis to rest in 
Sicily, where it still rests in the glorious cathedral of Monreale, while the 
unworthy brother of the saint, Charles of Anjou, whom the Pope had^made 
King of Sicily, took the opportunity of wrecking all the Crusaders' ships he 
could to steal their valuables. The second time Edward came to Trapani 
was when he was homing from his victory at Acre, to begin the forty years of 
kingship which have given our empire its unity and all the world its constitu 
tions. There is much traffic between Trapani and Africa still. 

Egesta. See Segesta. 

Egypt. Egypt had an ancient connection with Sicily. King Agathocles 
married the stepdaughter of Ptolemy. The papyrus groves of the Anapo are 
said to have been planted from Egypt. Small majolica mummies are some 
times found in the tombs at Girgenti, but I cannot remember any mention of 
a temple to an Egyptian god except at Taormina. 

El Edrisi. One of the most eminent Arab geographers. A man _ of 
princely birth. Born at Ceuta. After studying at Cordova and travelling 
he settled at the court of Roger I. of Sicily, and made him his famous silver 
map of the world and a celestial sphere. Roger invited him to write a 
description of the earth founded upon direct observation. For this purpose 
travellers were sent on journeys of exploration to many parts and were 
directed to assist him by sending him their itineraries, their measurements of 
longitudes and latitudes, their observations and adventures. El Edrisi's 
description of the world, the Nuzhat el Mushtak, was not completed till 1154. 
It is the best of medieval geographies. A Latin version of the portion 
referring to Sicily was published by Rosario Gregorio in 1790. El Edrisi 
died 1180. 

Elymians, the. One of the three earliest races that we find in Sicily. 
They and the Romans believed that they were of Trojan origin. They 
founded Eryx and Egesta, possibly also Entella and Halicyse. Elymus is 
said to have been the illegitimate son of Anchises. See under above- 
mentioned towns. 

Emirs. A term applied by the Saracens to their generals as well as their 
monarchs. Roger took the name for his admiral, George of Antioch, whose 
successes were the origin of the title Admiral (q.v.). 

Empedocle, Porto. The harbour of Girgenti owes its prosperity to the 
mole built by the Emperor Charles V. See under Girgenti. 

Empedocles, of Acragas, Flourished B.C. 444. He assisted in driving 
out Thrasydseus, the son of Theron, and refused the tyranny himself. He 
was a great orator and accredited with miraculous powers over malaria, 
obnoxious winds, storms, etc. He freed Selinus from malaria by filling up its 
harbour and Acragas by cleaving the citadel from the Rupe Atenea. For an 



THINGS SICILIAN - 165 

account of his philosophy see Smith's Greek and Roman Biography and Myth 
ology. He is said to have died in the crater of Etna, which threw up one of his 
brazen shoes. Like Archimedes, he was an engineer as well as a philosopher. 
Empire furniture. Many palaces in Palermo have the original Empire 
furniture made for them when Ferdinand and Maria Caroline transferred their 
court from Naples to Sicily. See Villa Florio, Royal Palace, PaL Scalea, 
Pal. di Gregorio, etc., under Palermo. 




THE HARBOUR OF PORTQ EMPEDOCLE 

Embroideries. There are splendid embroideries in Sicily to be seen in 
churches and museums, and certain kinds can still be purchased. The old 
Arabic silk embroideries can hardly be obtained even by the museums. A 
few rich men like the Conte Mazzarino have exquisite medieval silk em 
broideries. Of the period following there are magnificent specimens in the 
Palermo Museum. Some of the church robes and altar-fronts at Cefalu, 
Monreale, the Cappella Reale, Palermo, and the cathedral at Palermo are 
among the finest of their period. Curious and purely Sicilian are the coral 
embroideries. Pearls were also used in some of the Palermo embroideries. 
Embroideries that have formed part of ecclesiastical vestments may be bought 
in many curio-shops. They are quite a thing to look out for. 

Enamels, which the Sicilians call smalti^ are among the most interesting 
curios to collect in Sicily, where you are constantly able to buy charming 
little pieces of the seventeenth century. In the museums you see splendid 
pieces of smalto, especially in connection with church articles. Smalti can be 
bought at quite moderate prices, but beware of imitations. 

English in Sicily. See under Joanna, Edmund of England, Edward I., 
Richard Cceur de Lion, Nelson, Bentinck, Stuart, Ingham, Whitaker, Wood- 
house, Angell, Harris, Asphalt, Anglican Church, Hamilton (Lady), Messina 
Faro, Brown, A. P. 

English occupation of Sicily. From 1806-1815, says Freeman, "Sicily, 
practically a separate kingdom under British protection, enjoyed a measure of 
wellbeing such as it had not had for some ages, and in 1812 a constitution 
was established. The European settlement of 1815 brought back the Bourbon 
to his continental kingdom. Ferdinand I. became a constitutional king over 
the United Kingdom of tlie Two Sicilies. This was equivalent to the 
abolition of the separate constitution of the island, and before long all con 
stitutional order was trodden under foot." 



i66 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

- Entablature. Architectural term. In Greek, Roman, and the revived 
classical architecture, the horizontal part laid on the top of the columns is 
called the entablature. It consists of three parts, the lowest of which is the 
architrave (q.v.), or epistyle, the centre the frieze, and the upper the cornice. 
See Bannister Fletcher's flistory of Architecture^ pp. 53-57, where it is very 
interestingly explained. 

Engyium. A Sikel town which received a settlement from the Cretan 
followers of Minos. It had a temple built of stone brought from Agira. 
Engyium and Apollonia had a tyrant named Leptines expelled by Timoleon. 
It took a leading part for the Carthaginians in the second Punic War, and 
had a splendid temple which Cicero ascribes to Mater Magna and Plutarch 
and Diodorus to the Deae Matres. Scipio Africanus presented many beauti 
ful trophies to it which were carried off by Verres. Cicero calls it * ( augustis- 
simum et religiosissimum fanum." (Sir W. Smith.) It is the modern Gangi. 

Enna. The modern Castrogiovanni. Celebrated for its great temple of 
Ceres, one of the three chief temples of the ancient world. The fields of 
Enna which contain the sacred lake of Pergusa are supposed to be the scene 
of the rape of Proserpine. Freeman considers it to be of Sikel origin, and 
considers there must have been local gods identifiable with Ceres, Proserpine, 
and Pluto, which is doubly curious in view of the later absorption of Ceres 
and Proserpine into the Madonna and the Child Jesus. (See Castrogiovanni.} 
Enna, which Freeman writes "Henna," is treated most interestingly and 
exhaustively in that gold-mine for information about ancient Sicily, Freeman's 
History of Sicily. 

Entella. See Contessa-Entellina. A city of Sicily. Considered by the 
Sicilians to be Elymian, though Freeman pronounces it Sican. The ruins of 
Entella, which are four miles in circumference, have been much neglected by 
foreign visitors because they are so ungetatable, being 8 kil. from Contessa- 
Entellina, which is itself 6 hours by mail-vettura from the Corleone Stat. of 
the Corleone Railway. It is said to have been built by Acestes, the founder 
of Segesta. Called also Atella, from the name of Acestes's wife. It was 
surprised, 403 B.C., by the Campanian mercenaries of Dionysius, who 
massacred its inhabitants and allied themselves to the Carthaginians. It was 
taken by Dionysius and retaken by the Carthaginians, and, finally, freed by 
Timoleon. Entella was still flourishing in the time of Count Roger ; but 
under the Emperor Frederick II. it fell in ruins, and has not since been rebuilt. 
Cicero mentions it as suffering severely by the depredations of Verres. It 
owed its destruction in the thirteenth century to its having become a Saracen 
stronghold. Cicero calls the Entellans a people of the greatest perseverance 
and the greatest industry. 

Enzo. Natural son of Emperor Frederick II. Captured by the Bolognese 
at Fossalto (1247), and kept in prison till he died in 1272. One of the earliest 
poets in the Italian language. The Dizionario Biografo Universak says : 
" To Enzo then, as to the illustrious Frederick II. and to the not less illustrious 
Manfred, Italy should be grateful for the first beginnings of its great language, 
as they generously welcomed in their Sicilian kingdom the troubadors of 
Provence and others who sang at that time in the lingua romanza or romanesca, 
poems of love." 

Epichannus. The chief poet of the. Dorians ; was born in the island of 
Cos about B.C. 540, and taken as a baby to Megara in Sicily. When Gelo 
destroyed Megara, 484 B.C., Epicharmus went to Syracuse and spent the 
rest of his life at the court of Hiero I., where he met ^Esclrylus. He died 



THINGS SICILIAN Z 6 7 

aged ninety, or some say ninety-seven. We know the titles of thirty-five of 
his plays. Their style, according to Sir W. Smith (see Dictionary of Greek 
and Roman Biography and Mythology^, was a mixture of the broad buffoonery 
of _the old comedy of Megara and the sententious wisdom of the Pythagorean 
philosophy. His language was remarkably elegant. It was.celebrated for his 
choice of epithets. His plays abound with moral maxims and speculative 
digressions. Both Cicero and Plato attest the high estimate in which he was 
held by the ancients. 

Epidemics. Considering the heat of the climate and the crowdedness of 
the island, Sicily has not suffered greatly from epidemics. 

Epipolae. One of the five quarters of ancient Syracuse (q.v.). 

Eraclea-Minoa. See Heraclea-Minoa. 

Erbessus. Called by Freeman "Herbessos." He says there were two one 
m the west (besides the well-known Erbessus in the east of Sicily), the modern 
town of Grotte, founded ^ by the Sikels, many centuries before Rome. The 
Romans drew their provisions hence during the siege of Girgenti, B.C. 262. 
The name Erbessus signifies a place of caves. Grotte is a stat. on the line 
from Girgenti to Roccapalumba. 

Erbita. See Herbita. 

Ercta. A fortress on Monte Pellegrino, held by Hamilcar Barca (q.v,) 
against the Romans in Palermo, 247-244 B.C. 

Eremiti (hermits). The popular name of the church of S. Giovanni degli 
Eremiti at Palermo (q.v.), one of the most Saracenic pieces of architecture 
in the island. It has, in reality, nothing to do with hermits, but is a corrup 
tion of Hermes ; there having been a temple to Hermes on the site of the 
church founded by Pope Gregory the Great. 

Eruptions. See Etna. 

Erice, Monte. Mount Eryx. See next line. 

Eryx, city of. See under Monte S. Giuliano, page 394, 

Etna, and its eruptions. According to Baedeker, the worst of the eighty 
eruptions of the historical period were those of B.C. 396, 126, 122 (? 121), and 
A.D. 1169, 1329, 1537, 1669 ; the last of these was the worst. In it the'twin 
peaks of the Montirossi, 450 feet high, which look like fortifications, were 
thrown up. In 1169, 15,000 Catanians were killed. In 1329 a new crater 
opened near the Valle del Bove. In 1444 the cone fell into the crater. In 1537 
two villages and many people perished. From 1603 to 1620 it was almost 
continually in eruption. In 1755 Etna threw up the famous flood; in 1776 
lava eruptions 7 kil. in length ; in 1792 the eruption originated at Cisterna ; 
in 1811 the eruption threw up the crateriform mountain of S. Simon; in 
1838 there was a very peculiar eruption which made a red cupola overhang the 
mountain at night. The eruption of November 17th, 1843, threatened to over 
whelm the city of Bronte. In 1852, the most famous eruption of the century 
threw up the craters of the Monti Centenari on the 2Oth of August. The 
lava stream, 2 kil. long, did not stop until September. In 1865 the eruption 
lasted for more than six months ; in two days the burning stream ran 14 kiL, 
with a frontage for 6 kil. of 2,000 yards and a velocity of 300 yards an hour. 
From 1869-1874 there were slighter eruptions ; and in 1883, 1885, and 1886 
less severe eruptions. In 1885 the eruption almost destroyed Nicolosi and 
formed a new crater, Monte Gemellaro. In 1879 a new crater was formed, 
#je Monte Uraberto-Margherita. In 1801 trier e was an important eruption, but 



i68 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

it flowed over a previous stream. In 1892 a new crater, near Monte Gemellaro, 
discharged another stream at a velocity of over 500 feet an hour ; in 1899 there 
was an explosion in the central crater. In 1887 an observatory was built at 
a height of 9,000 feet above the sea, on the site of the Casa dei Inglesi, built 
by some English officers of the Messina garrison in 1811. 




ETNA : VALLE DEL BOVE 



The ascent of Etna is usually made from Nicolosi or Randazzo. The 
ascent from Randazzo is only 5^ hours with mules, but the Nicolosi route is 
more used. There is an office for guides, and a head guide, who makes 
arrangements at Nicolosi. The landlord of the Albergo Italia at Randazzo, 
a very pleasant man, is the head guide there. There are, of course, numerous 
points of interest on Etna besides the main peak, which is 10,742 feet above 
the sea. It has lost more than a hundred feet in recent years. There is an 
Alpine Club in Catania. The asqent can be made at all times, but the snow 
makes the ascent more fatiguing in winter, and at certain points more dangerous. 
The best time for ascent is at the full moon in July, but August and September 
are also good. 

Etna has three zones. The cultivated, or Piedimontana, up to 4,000 feet 
called by the Greeks the Campus TEtnaeus is one of the most fertile districts 
in the world, with a very even climate. The second, or the Boschiva, ranges 
to the height of 6,000 feet ; this is the forest district. The third, called the 
Deserta- or the Scoperta, which here and there accumulates snow, has hardly 
any animal life and few plants in the lower regions various lichens and the 
Spine Sante, The Saracens called the mountain Giabal Huthamet, which 
means mountain of fire. But they usually spoke of it as Giabal or Gibel the 
mountain. The Italians took this for a proper name and called it Monte 
Gibel Mongibello. The natives of the Etna district simply call it Mon- 
tagna. There is an almost inconceivable richness of wild flowers on the 
slopes of the mountain above Catania. 



THINGS SICILIAN 169 

Randazzo is the typical mountain town, and no one has seen Sicily 
thoroughly who has not seen a medieval mountain town. 

The most characteristic features of Etna are the tremendous lava streams 
crossed by the railway and the provincial road. An immense time elapses 
before anything will grow on these black sierras and abysses. Among the 
first are the gigantic golden-flowered spurges {Euphorbia}, Between Bronte 
and Aderno, a distance of ten miles, Baedeker enumerates no less than six 
lava streams those of 1843, 1727, 1763, 1603, 1787, and 1610. There is 
one just outside Randazzo easy to examine. Among the special wild flowers 
of Etna are a great variety of richly-coloured irises and wild peonies, which 
are found in the forests. Virgil, J&neid^ iii. 571 et seq^ describes an eruption 
of Etna : ' ' Near it, Etna thunders with horrible ruins, and sometimes sends 
forth to the skies a black cloud, ascending in a pitchy whirlwind of smoke 
and glowing embers, throws up globes of flame, and kisses the stars : some 
times belching flings on high the ribs and shattered bowels of the mountain, 
and with a rumbling noise in wreathy heaps convolves in air molten rocks, 
and boils up from the lowest bottom. It is said that the body of Enceladus, 
half-consumed with lightning, is pressed down with this pile, and that 
cumbrous Etna, laid above him, is therefore still spouting forth flames from 
its burst furnaces ; and that as often as he shifts his weary side, all Trinacria, 
with a deep groan, inly trembles, and overspreads the heaven with smoke." 
(Old Translation.} 




ETNA, WITH CATANIA IN THE FOREGROUND 



Eunus. The leader of the Sicilian slaves in the Slave War of 134 B.C. 
He was a Syrian, the slave of Antigenes, a, rich citizen of Enna. By his 
powers as a juggler, he attained great influence with his superstitious fellow- 
slaves, and at the head of four hundred, chiefly slaves of D.amophilus, made 
himself master of the town. While yet a slave he had prophesied that he 



170 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

would be a king. 'After the capture of Enna he assumed the crown and title 
of King Antiochus. Cleon, a Cilician, raised another successful, revolt in the 
south of the island, and at the head of S,ooo armed slaves joined Euntis as his 
lieutenant. The praetor was defeated. C. Fulvius Flaccus, consul 134 B.C., 
could do nothing, and though L. Calpurnius Piso, consul of the next year, 
took^ Messana, he found Enna too strong for him. In the following year P. 
Rupilius captured Tauromenium, one of the principal strongholds of Eunus, 
and then advanced upon Enna. Cleon sallied out and died fighting, but 
Eunus was captured, and died eaten by vermin. 




MOUNT ETNA 3 NICOLOSI, AND MONTI ROSSI 



Euphemius. A rich Syracusan whom, to accomplish his ruin, the Governor 
of Syracuse, under the Emperor Michael Balbus, Photinus, accused of trying 
to carry off a beautiful nun. Euphemius gathered his followers and fought 
a pitched battle with the governor, in which he won. He then took posses 
sion of Syracuse and declared himself emperor. Being driven out by the 
Byzantine troops after a counter-insurrection, he fled to the Mahometans 
in Africa, and suggested that they should restore him as sovereign of Sicily on 
condition of his paying a yearly tribute. The Emir Ased led an army into 
Sicily, 827 A. D. , and landed at Mazzara, but more with a view to Mahomed- 
ising Sicily than with a view to helping Euphemius, who was killed in 
829 while trying to make the imperial troops, who had taken refuge at Enna,. 
capitulate. 

Euphorbia. A genus of plants widely represented in Sicily, from glorified 
specimens of our common spurge to huge cactus-looking plants. The spurges, 
which grow wild in England, ^in Sicily attain the height of several feet, and 
have most gorgeous golden blossoms, especially on Etna. 

Euryaius, Castle pf, The finest ancient Greek fortress, See under 
Syracuse. 



THINGS SICILIAN 171 

Excavations. Sicily affords a most interesting field for excavations. The 
Government is too poor to excavate much. Of recent years the principal 
excavations have been at Selinunte, where the splendid new Temple of Hecate, 
with^a propylsea and enormous quantities of lamps and remains of terra-cotta 
figurines have been laid bare, and at Syracuse, where Professor Orsi has quite 
lately unearthed the Temple of Bacchus behind the church of S. Giovanni, 
and an adytum near the Scala Greca, besides numerous tombs. There 
are some splendid areas for excavation which have never been touched, such 
as the Island of S. Pantaleo, the site of the Carthaginian city of Motya, 
where excavations are suspended until its proprietor, Mr. Joseph Whitaker, 
receives certain protective rights. Some fine ancient cemeteries have also 
been excavated in recent years, notably the Greek necropolis of the fifth 
century B.C., near Terranova, the ancient Gela, the unique Phoenician necro 
polis at Birgi, near Marsala, and the prehistoric necropolis of Pantalica. 
There is a great deal of unlicensed excavating going on near Marsala, and at 
Girgenti licences are issued to prospectors, who have to submit their findings to 
the Museum a method which seems to answer pretty well. Innumerable 
quantities of coins and small objects of bronze and terra-cotta are exhumed 
annually in the process of cultivation, which makes Sicily a splendid field for 
the collector. 

Excursions. Sicily is not a good country for excursions. There are 
hardly any excursions at present which you can do in a day by rail, owing to 
the difficulties in getting sufficient traffic to make trains pay. The natives 
travel so very much in trains which leave about dawn that trains for sight 
seers in the middle of the day would depend almost entirely on foreign sight 
seers, who are not sufficiently numerous. The head of the Sicilian railways, 
however, the well-known antiquary, Comni. Luigi Mauceri, is exceedingly 
interested in the matter, and maybe trusted to do all he can in this direc 
tion. The same thing applies to steamers. With the exception of the trip 




ETNA : AT THE MOUTH OF THE 
GRAND CRATER 



172 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

from Messina to the mainland there is not a single return sea-trip in Sicily 
giving one time to see anything, to be made in one day. But if a few days 
can be spared, Malta, the Lipari Islands, Tunis, sometimes Tripoli, and 
Pantelleria can be visited. But steamers are not cheap in Italy. They always 
run them up to train prices. The mail-vetture are not inviting, and certain 
districts in the interior have a brigandy reputation, though it is proverbial in 
Sicily that brigands never touch foreigners except those who have possessions 
in the island. The excursions which are possible in Sicily are at present those 
which can be done by carriage. For cyclists the hills are so formidable, and 
the distances are so considerable and carriages so slow that there are few 
places which can be visited in the day even by carriage. The only way to 
make excursions at present is to go a tour, working from place to place. 
What Sicily wants is a system of motor-cars. With their aid the extremely 
interesting cities of the interior, hitherto almost unvisited by foreigners, could 
be got at quite easily. The distances are not great for motors, because they 
can go up the interminable hills as easily as they can go along the flat. And 
the main provincial roads of Sicily are magnificent, though byroads are no 
better than the beds of torrents. From Catania it would be easy to visit in 
a day almost any town on Etna, Centuripe, and Agira. From Castrogiovanni, 
where Herr Von Pernull thinks of opening a civilised hotel, a motor could 
take people to cities like Nicosia, and so on. 

Evil Eye. This is a common superstition in Sicily, and you see charms for 
use against it in every jeweller's shop. See Amulets. 

Eyes, Sicilian. In all the Greek parts of Sicily large liquid black eyes are 
usual, but in other parts, especially at Palermo, you get the so-called Sicilian 
eyes, which are of a dark grey, which looks quite blue in some lights and 
black in others, very beautiful and striking eyes. 

Eyes on boats. This Chinese superstition is usual in Sicily. See Barcas. 

Exergue. f * On a coin the segment of the circle below the type is some 
times cut off by a line ; this segment is known as the ' exergue ' " (Mr. G. F. 
Hill). A very good example is on the splendid decadrachms of Syracuse 
(q.v.), which are filled with representations of the arms worn by the Athenian 
hoplite, as trophies. 

F 

Facchini. The facchini are a feature of Sicily. A facchino is a porter. 
There are guilds of them who do the portering at railway stations and in the 
streets. The term is also used for the boots of a hotel. The latter is gener 
ally a decent fellow. The former is a licensed robber unless you know what 
he ought to 'be paid, and make a bargain against the least departure from his 
stereotyped duties. When you are getting in or out of a train you pay two 
pence for every large piece of baggage, a penny for every hand package. But it 
is when he conveys your luggage to the hotel, or is carrying it from a row-boat 
up to the steamer, that he shows his talents for business. Sometimes the 
machinations of the guild make one set of porters lift your luggage from the 
steamer into a row-boat, and another from the row-boat to the shore in a 
harbour where every inch of the shore is deep-water wharf. 

Factory women. In Palermo factories for lemon-packing, etc., are 
beginning to break down the semi-oriental privacy in which Sicilians had 
kept their women. 

Fairs. Sicily is rather great on fairs. They take a childish delight in peep- 
shows. Every market like that of the Piazza Nuova of Palermo is more or 
less of a fair with its marionette theatre and knights in tin armour and stalls 



THINGS SICILIAN . I73 

of impossibly cheap and worthless knick-knacks. But the great fair of the 
year is the Easter Fair opposite the Politeama, in Palermo. That lasts three 
days, and besides its peepshows where women let young anacondas embrace 
them, and the showman wipes the stomach of the crocodile with something 
like a tear, and waxworks of King Bomba's tortures with insects and pick 
pockets galore, there is solid business done at these fairs. Country people buy 
their knives and their copper saucepans and coffee-pots, the last two invariably 
by weight; and strangers buy the dolls in tin armour, Roger the Great 
Count, Saladin and the rest of them, and the majolica lamps made in the 
shape of grotesque human figures, and miniature editions of the painted 
Palermo carts. The booths in which the business of the fair is carried on must 
have been introduced from Japan, for they are of the Japanese pattern, and 
are hung at night with Japanese lanterns. Indeed, the Sicilians call them 
Japanese fairs. The water-seller is the best thing about these fairs. His great 
Greek jar and quaint table with flashing brass and glass shows up splendidly 
when the table has the old-fashioned ship's lanterns fixed on to its sides lit up. 

Falcandus, Hug;o. A twelfth-century historian born in Normandy. He 
wrote in Latin a history of the events which happened in Sicily, 1146-69, 
published for the first^ time by Gervais de Tournay, a canon of Soissons 
(Paris, I55)> aad reprinted in various collections such as those of Muratori 
and Burman. Freeman says: c 'One of -those few medieval writers who as 
historians really stand alongside of Thucydides and Polybius, of Tacitus, 
Ammianus, and Procopius." 

Fans. In a climate like Sicily's, a country moreover where Spanish influence 
has been strong, the fan was bound to play a leading part. Very beautiful old 
fans can therefore be picked up in the curio-shops. 

Farmhouses. There are few farmhouses in Sicily, because the Sicilians, for 
fear of robbers and malaria, prefer to live in cities. What there are, are poor 
one-storied buildings with hardly any windows, and little of the arabesque 
picturesqueness of the farms round Naples. 

Faro. The Faro of Messina, the ancient Pelorus, is the site of the light 
house at the entrance to the Strait of Messina, one of the three capes ordin 
arily accepted as giving the island its name of Trinacria (q.v., and see under 




THE FARO OF MESSINA 



174 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Messina). The name Faro comes from the ancient lighthouse. Diodorus 
says that the spit of sand which connects it with the mainland was constructed 
by the giant Orion. His fountain stands outside the cathedral. The cockles 
of Pelorus have been famous since classical times. 

Fat. The Sicilians like their women to be embonpoint. 
- Favara. See also under Palermo. Favara is the Arabic/aware^ (fewwar), 
a spring of water. It is about five miles from Girgenti. .Murray is eloquent 
about its feudal castle, built by Frederick Chiaramonte in the fourteenth 
century, which stands on the piazza, and is a fine square battlemented pile 
with Moresque windows, and a little ruined chapel entered by a beautiful but 
quaint pointed doorway. It has columns of porphyry inlaid with mosaics, and 
commands a fine view of the sea. Mail-vettura I hour 20 minutes from Caldare 
Stat. (Girgenti-Roccapalumba), and 2 hours from Girgenti. 

Favarotta. Stat, Licata-Girgenti line. Unimportant. 

Favignana. One of the ^Egatian Islands (q.v.). 

Fazello or Fazelli, Tommaso. One of the historians of Sicily ; born at 
Sacca in Sicily, 1498. "Entered the Dominican order ; Professor of Philosophy 
at Palermo, where he died 1570. He wrote De Rebus Siculis Decades Dues. 
His history is highly esteemed. The best edition is that published at Catania, 
1749-53- 

Feluccas. The ordinary coasting-craft of the Mediterranean. Very elegant 
half-decked vessels with high frigate bows, a great shoulder-of-mutton sail on 
a mainmast and a smaller one on a jigger. 

Fennel (Finocchio). The favourite vegetable of Sicily, in spite of its strong 
aniseed taste. It is eaten raw or stewed like celery, and is considered most 
wholesome. Its technical name is the sweet F. Cretan fennel, or Italian 
fennel (Fcsniculum dulce) ; it is to be distinguished from the Fosniculum vulgare, 
whose leaves we boil with mackerel and salmon (Chambers). Its popularity 
is shown by two Italian proverbs: "Voglio la mia parte fino al finocchio" 
(I will have my share to a farthing), and "Esservi come il finocchio nelle 
salicce" (to stand for a mere cipher, to be regarded as nobody). .; 

Fennel, "wild. One of the most conspicuous wild flowers of Sicily, with its 
feathery, pale-green leaves and its large stalks of golden flowers several feet 
high. Chambers calls this the giant fennel (Ferula), and says it belongs to a 
different genus and is akin to asafcetida. 

Ferdinand IV. of Naples and III. of Sicily, and from 1815 Ferdi 
nand I. of the Two Sicilies j the husband of Marie Antoinette's sister, 
Maria Caroline, and thrown much into contact with our Nelson ; had an in 
ordinately long reign: from 1759-1825. He sometimes neglected and some 
times oppressed his kingdom, and his only pleasures were those of the table and 
hunting. His numerous portraits and coins show him to have had a face like 
a pig. From 1759 t 1815 the year of the Battle of Quebec to the year of the 
Battle of Waterloo he was Ferdinand IV., and for the last three years of 
that period, under the moral compulsion of the English, he was a constitutional 
king. (See Bentinck. ) But after the Battle of Waterloo, having been formally 
restored as a constitutional king, he suspended the constitution and became 
very tyrannical. 

Ferdinand II. (Re Bomba) reigned from 1830 to 1839 over the Two 
Sicilies. His iniquities were thundered over Europe by Mr. Gladstone, but 
the modern Sicilian would like to go back to the days of King Bomba. 



THINGS SICILIAN 175 

Ferla. Reached by mail-vettura from Vizzini Stat. in 6 hours (Caltagirone 
line), and from Syracuse in lof hours. There are chambers and sepulchres 
cut into the rock on Monte di S. Martino. Ferla is near the remains of another 
ancient place destroyed by the great earthquake of 1693. 

Ferrovia (Stazione- Ferrovia), the Sicilian for railway station. Strada 
ferrata is the more usual term for a railway. 

Ferrovia Sicula Occidentale. The line from Palermo to Trapani, serving 
also Carini, Alcamo, Segesta, Castelvetrano, Selinunte, Mazzara, Marsala, and 
Monte S. Giuliano (Eryx). It is a private line, not belonging to the Strade 
Ferrate della Sicilia. 

Fevers. Fever-districts in Sicily, like the fever seasons, are well marked. 
With a little care the traveller, who need only go where he pleases, can avoid 
any risk of fever. July, August, and September are the worst months, and 
some oHihe worst districts are the Plain of Catania, especially round the Lake 
of Leutini ; the marshy land round the Great Harbour at Syracuse ; the 
Campobello di Mazzara, and the alluvial lands along the Paler mo -Trapani line 
and the Palermo-Girgenti line. There is no doubt but that the people who 
work on the land surfer a good deal from malaria. The numerous shops for 
selling dried herbs would prove that, as the poor make their own febrifuges of 
herbs. 

^ Ficarazzelli. A village near Palermo, with some of the richest orchards in 
Sicily. Stat., Palermo-Messina line. 

Ficarazzi. Stat. on the Palermo- Messina line between the above and 
Bagheria. Jasper and marbles are found here. The Villa S. Elia, with its 
superb outside staircase, is here. 

Fichi d' India (Prickly-pears), so called because they were introduced into 
Europe from the West Indies. Their grey cactus foliage forms such a pre 
dominant feature in the landscape of Sicily, that it is almost impossible to 
picture the Sicily of the Greeks without prickly-pears or aloes. Its fruit, which 
ripens, according to the variety, red, white, yellow, or purple, is excellent and 
much eaten. It has a texture something like the banana, but a much more 
delicate flavour. It is something the shape of horse-chestnut fruit, and, like it, 
covered with prickles. They rankle and cause sores if they are allowed to 
work into the flesh. Tiny iron tweezers, costing a halfpenny each, are sold 
in the shops which sell prickly-pears. 

Ficus Rubiginosa. A native of Queensland, where they call it the Morton 
Bay Fig. Like the banyan, it drops down roots from its branches which grow 
into tree-trunks. There is one in the Botanical Gardens at Palermo which 
measures a hundred yards round and has little avenues between its numerous 
trunks. 

Ficuzza. A stat. on the Palermo-Corleone line ; a favourite hunting-seat 
of Ferdinand I. 

Figs. There are quantities of fig trees in Sicily. Dried figs are a great 
article of diet. The best come from the Lipari Islands. They are generally 
called white figs to distinguish them from the black figs (fichi neri], which are 
roasted with almonds stuck in them, and the Turkey figs, which are called 
Fichi di Smyrna. They are often sold in large cakes impaled on reeds or 
sticks. Foreigners consider them rough, as they are, compared to Turkey 
figs ; but they are very valuable in diet to counteract the astringent element 
in the Sicilian wines. 

Figs, Indian. See above, Fichi d' India, and Prickly-pears. 



176 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Figs, wild. The wild fig is very fond of growing in ruins. There is a fine 
one in the Treasury of the Olympeium at Syracuse. 

S. Filippo-Archi. Stat. next Milazzo on Messina-Palermo line. Mail- 
coach to S. Filippo Mela, I hour ; S. Lucia Mela, i\ hours. 

Fiore di Persko. A very valuable antique marble, only known in Rome 
and Palermo. See Cappella Reale, under Palermo. 

Fire, the Isle of. Dante, Paradise, xfx. 131, calls Sicily " the Isle of Fire' 3 
(Le. of Etna), " where Anchises ended his long life." 

Fires. The Sicilian seldom has fires or fireplaces in his house. His cook 
ing is done over a handful of charcoal in a tiled stove. As a consequence 
conflagrations are few. I have never seen one. There are hardly any chimneys 
in Sicilian towns. 

Fireplaces. See preceding paragraph. 

Fish. The choice of fish in Sicily is very small. You see grey mullet 
as often as all the other fish put together ; after it comes the red mullet ; you 
sometimes see gurnet, a kind of hake, and small bony bream ; the big pink 
bream called " snapper" by Australians; and the long-nosed, green-fleshed 
garfish. You seldom get sardines or anchovies, except very small as whitebait. 
There is also a transparent kind of whitebait, and the Sicilians are fond 
of octopus and sea-urchins and other molluscs. There are a few oysters, and 
the cockles of Pelorus (Messina). To make up for the dearth of ordinary fish, 
there are, however, two splendid monsters which are p^uite good eating 
the tunny and the swordfish. The tunny fisheries of Sicily (see Tonnaro) are 
among the most important fishing industries in the world. Tunny have been 
caught up to a thousand pounds in weight, but they are generally more about 
a hundredweight. They are gigantic fish of the mackerel tribe, and their 
great value lies in the fact that they are summer fish, and that their close 
fibre makes them keep well. Similar in the appearance of its flesh and even 
more prized in the north-east corner of the island is the swordfish. See 
under Messina, Pesce spada. 

Fishing in Sicily. Visitors do not fish much in Sicily. 

Fiumara. A river which overflows. In certain parts of Sicily rivers which 
only flow intermittently are the rule. See under Messina, Torrente. There 
is a splendid example of the fiumara at Fiume d'Agro, near Taorrnina. 

Fiumefreddo Sicilia. A railway stat. and a river close to Taormina. 
The coldness of the water is due to a vitriolic acid, which lowers its tempera 
ture to 3! degrees cent. There are some remains of the Flumen frigidum 
of the Romans. 

Flag, the Yellow, or Wild Iris, grows freely along the banks of the 
Cyane, Madiuni, and other rivers. 

S. Flavia. A stat. a few miles from Palermo on the Messina line. Here 
you get out for Solunto. The necropolis of Solunto is near the stat. The 
ruins of the Sicilian Pompeii are on Monte Catalfano above. 

Flax. A great deal of flax is grown in Sicily. Country people have their 
patch of flax, and make their own linen, as we have a patch of potatoes. 
The flax with its pale blue and crimson blossoms is one of the prettiest wild 
flowers. The Americans have a pretty name for wild flax blue-eyed grass. 

Fleas in the winter and spring are not very troublesome. The worst place 
for fleas and bugs we ever tried in Sicily was Patti, the Hotel Nasone. The 
Italian for flea is puke. 



THINGS SICILIAN 177 

Florio, Comm. Ignazio, the chief owner of the Navigazione-Generale- 
Italiana (Florio- Rubattino) steamship line, the Florio -Marsala wines, the 
Anglo-Sicilian Sulphur Company, and the great Tunny Fisheries, resides 
at Palermo in the Villa Butera. See under Palermo. He is a young man, 
son of Senatore Ignazio Florio. 

_ Florio, Senatore Igriazio. The founder of the great industries which bear 
his name is buried in the Gesii Cemetery, in Palermo. There is a public 
monument to him in Palermo. He was one of the most remarkable Italians 
of modern times, an immense benefactor both to Italian commerce and to the 
Sicilian labour market. 

Florio-Rubattino, The, is the principal line of steamships in Italy, now 
known as the Navigazione-Generale-Italiana. Its vessels not only do the bulk 
of the coasting traffic, but go to North and South America, Egypt, India, 
etc. It has a line of steamers between Naples and Palermo, which are very 
fast and fitted like miniature Atlantic liners. 

What is wanted is a line of large fast steamers going direct from Genoa to 
Palermo without a stop of any kind. They would secure most of the English 
and German traffic. It is such a long drag down to Naples by sea or land, and 
Palermo is almost as near Genoa as Naples is. 

Floridia. A small town near Syracuse (mail-vettura in I hour). Founded 
1640 by Giacomo Bonanno, near the entrance of the Cava di Spampinato, 
where the destruction of the Athenians was thought to have begun. 

Flowers. Sicily is a paradise of flowers. Almost any flowers belonging 
to the temperate or subtropical zones will grow here if they have plenty 
of watering. 

Flowers, wild. The wild flowers of Sicily are a proverb. It is the 
land of Proserpine, the spring goddess. Among those which I have person 
ally noted are the Acanthus, Scarlet Adonis, Anemone, Artichoke, Wild 
Asphodel, Wild Asparagus, Barba di Giove (Beard of Jove), Bluebell, Borage, 




bill, Cyclamen, Daisy, Datura, Donax, Fennel, Fiore Bianco, Flax, Friesias, 
Fumitory, Garlic, Genesta, Geranium, Germander, Gladiolus, Gorse, Grape- 
hyacinth, Henbane, Iris, Ivy, Lily, King's-spear (Yellow Asphodel), Lord and 
Lady, Lupin, Mallow, Marguerite, Marigold, Corn-marigold, Wild Mignon 
ette, Myosotis, Myrtle, Narcissus, Nightshade, Wild Onion, Orchid, Pink 
Orchid, Orpine, Fooi's-parsley, Peony, Prickly-pear, Penny-piece, Pimpernel 
(red and blue), Poppy, Rosemary, Rose, a sort of Crimson Rambler Rose, 
Flowering Rush, Sainfoin, Snapdragon, Spurge, Wild Stock, Tare (purple and 
white), Thistle, Toadflax, Trifoglio, Peavetch, Violet. 

Flower-stalls. The flower-stalls of Palermo are very picturesque with their 
tall plumes of dried grasses in the recesses of the principal streets. In the 
spring, when foreigners are there, they have fine shows of violets, friesias, 
camellias, roses, mignonette, etc. 

Flutes. Architectural term. In Sicily the temples, being mostly Greek, 
generally have fluted columns. 

Flutes. Round Syracuse especially one can always hear the goatherds 
playing on their reed flutes as they did in the dayS of Theocritus. They 
generally play Sicilian music, old airs which you cannot buy in shops but 
very valse-like. 



xyS SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Forestieri. The terra by which the Sicilians invariably speak of foreigners. 

Folk-songs. Sicily is celebrated for its folk-songs. Chambers says of the 
Sicilian dialect : "It has furnished a rich literary material to the popular 
imagination for six hundred years down to our own clay, and yielded a harvest 
of genuinely popular poetry not equalled elsewhere in the world. Not in 
their number alone are the Sicilian folk-songs pre-eminent, but in their 
intrinsic poetic excellence. The love-songs especially are tender, passionate, 
and sincere, and many have a penetrating pathos that haunts the memory of a 
reader. They have been collected by S. Salomone-Marino, Dr. Pitre (q.v.), 
and L. Vigo, whose Raccolta ampliss. di canti popolari SiciL (1870-74) alone 
contains 6,000 songs, besides a good bibliography of books in the Sicilian 
dialect. Dr. Pitre's great BibHoteca delle Tradizioni pop. SiciUana (19 vols., 
1870-90) is a vast encyclopaedia of folk-songs and ballads, folk-tales, legends, 
proverbs, customs, games, jests, riddles, etc., with grammatical introductions 
and glossaries. Two other works that must be named are Laura Gonzenbach's 
Sizilianische Mdrchen (2 vols., Leip., 1877), and S. Salomone-Marino's 
Storie Populariin Poesia SiciUana (Bolog,, 1877). 

Sismondi sees in the Sicilian folk-song Sicilian words wedded to Arabic 
airs dating from the Saracenising court of William I. He quotes the names 
of Ciullo d'Alcamo, the Emperor Frederick II. , his Chancellor Pietro Delle 
Vigne, Oddo delle Colonne, and Mazzeo di Ricco. 

Fortifications. Sicily is not very well off for modern fortifications, though 
there are a few round Messina. In the Castle of Euryalus, near Syracuse, it 
possesses the finest antique Greek fortress. There are also some splendid 
Greek fortifications at Selinunte, and noble Spanish bastions at Messina and 
Palermo. 

Fortune-tellers. The professional fortune-teller with blindfolded eyes 
and a long hollow rod may be found in the popular Piazza di S. Domenico at 
Palermo and elsewhere. 

Foro does not mean a Roman forum, except perhaps at Catania. The 
Sicilians remained Greek under Roman masters, and went in for an agora^ 
K.Qtz.forum. It means a marine esplanade, as the Foro at Syracuse or the 
Foro Italico at Palermo. 

Fountains, medieval, etc. In Sicily "fonte" has a wide range of mean 
ings. It may mean (i) the wall-fountain or the tap in the centre of the 
piazza at which the poor women fill their water -jars ; or (2) a spring like the 
Fountain of Arethusa and the Fountain of Cyane at Syracuse ; (3) a lovely 
early Renaissance fountain like that at S. Maria di Gesu at Palermo and the 
Orion fountain in the Piazza del Duomo at Messina ; or (4) a heavily- 
decorated baroque basin like that in the Piazza Pretoria at Palermo or the 
Fountain of the Four Beasts at Taormina; (5) modern waterworks fountains 
like that in front of the Palace at Palermo. Taken as a whole, Sicily does 
not excel in fountains. One should notice the variety to be seen on the road 
to Monreale and elsewhere of picturesque plaster erections at the roadside, fed, 
not by pipes, but by mountain streams unenclosed till they reach these fa9ades. 

Fountains, the Women's Clubs. The taps at which they fill the water- 
jars they carry on their heads to draw the water for domestic purposes, are 
certainly the women's clubs. The women often have to wait half an hour 
before their turn comes, if there is only a single jet. 

Fowl-keeping*. The poor Sicilians in Palermo as much as anywhere else 
keep a crate of live fowls in their houses, which is put outside all day for the 
hens to take the air in this captive form. 



THINGS SICILIAN 179 

Francavilla di Sicilia is 3 hours by mail-vettura from Giardini Stat, 
Messina-Catania line. There is a daily coach from Taormina in the season. 
Francavilla commands one of the finest views of Etna. 

Francis I. was king of the Two Sicilies 1825-30. He was son of 
Ferdinand I. and IV. Professor Pietro Orsi describes him as venal, cruel, 
and cowardly to a shameless degree, and says that he died of remorse and 
fright at the French Revolution of 1830. 

Francis II. of the Two Sicilies. Was the son of Ferdinand II. (*' II Re 
Bomba") and was called the Little Bomba and Franceschiello. He had only 
reigned a year when Garibaldi drove him out of his kingdom. Professor 
Orsi calls him weak-minded, ignorant, and bigoted. 

S. Fratello-AcquedolcL A stat. Palermo-Messina line. Mail-vettura 
to the town of S. Fratello takes 3 hours. S. Fratello is built on the site 
of the ancient Aluntium, plundered by Verres. S. Fratello is probably the 
ancient Aluntium. Near S. Fratello is the Grotta di S. Teodoro, a famous 
bone-cavern. 

Frederick II., the Emperor. Often pronounced the most brilliant 
monarch of the Middle Ages. Son of the Emperor Henry VI., by 
Constance, daughter of King Roger. Born A.D. 1194. He became King of 
Sicily, under the guardianship of his mother, at four years old. He spent 
most of his life in his Italian and Sicilian dominions, and died at Fiorentino 
in Apulia in 1250. In 1229, worried into it at length by the Pope, who 
viewed with much apprehension Frederick's idea of reducing the Papacy to 
the level of a patriarchate, he went on a crusade, and without striking a blow, 
obtained from the Sultan of Egypt a ten years 5 truce, and the surrender of 
Jerusalem, where he crowned himself with his own hands. His Sicilian 
court was the centre of all the learning and art of the age, and he himself 
was one of the fathers of the Italian language, and among the best of the 
early Sicilian poets. See Folk-songs above. He is often spoken of as 
Frederick of Hohenstaufen. 

A note of the Temple Classics Dante quotes Villani on this emperor. 
" He was addicted to all sensual delights, and led an epicurean life, taking 
no heed of any other." (Note 2, page 260.) 

Frederick II. punished those guilty of treason by having them fastened 
in cloaks of lead, which were then melted over a fire. 

Frederick II. of Aragon. The real restorer of Sicilian independence. 
His brother James was, in 1296, reconciled to the Church, and bound himself 
to restore Sicily to Charles of Anjou. But Frederick and the Sicilians 
disowned the agreement, and he was crowned king in 1296. He died 
1337- 

Frederick III. (The Simple). (1355-1377). King of Sicily. 

Freeman, Professor E. A. The greatest authority on Sicily. His great 
history of Sicily, which unfortunately, even with the continuation of Mr. A. 
J. Evans, who has made such splendid discoveries in Crete, only takes us 
down to the death of Agathocles, is one of the noblest historical monuments 
in the language, marvellously eloquent, erudite, and interesting. He also 
wrote an admirable smaller history of Sicily, which carries the reader down 
to the reign of Constantine V., in Mr. Fisher Unwin's Story of the Nations 
Series. But the -last chapter is a mere outline after the death of Augustus. 
In the third series of his historical essays, again, there are two dealing 
specially with Sicily "Sicilian Cycles," and "The Normans at Palermo," 
the latter of uncommon charm and value. Mr. Freeman, who was a scholar 



i8o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, and Regius Professor of History, 
spent much of his later years in Sicily. He was born in 1823, and died in 
1892 of smallpox at Alicante in Spain. 

French dress of the ladies. Most Sicilian ladies who can afford it get 
their dresses from Paris. 

French in Sicily. At the time of the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers, 
the French took refuge at Sperlinga (q.v.). Putting the Normans out of the 
question, the first connection of the French with Sicily was when the Pope 
presented the kingdom of the German line to Charles of Anjou, brother of 
St. Louis. For sixteen years he had more or less possession of it, and 
oppressed it mightily till the people rose and massacred the French at the 
Sicilian Vespers. He disputed his crown with Conrad, Manfred, Conradin, 
Peter of Aragon, James the Just, and Frederick II. With this exception the 
French have never held Sicily. When the rest of Italy fell to them in 1799, 
Nelson, with his fleet, and Stuart, with his two thousand English at Messina, 
successfully kept them out of it. 

Frescoes (i) Roman, There are in the Palermo Museum frescoes in the 
Pompeian style discovered at Solunto. 

(2) Medieval. Sicily possesses hardly any good late medieval frescoes 
in situ. The best are in the Sclafani Palace at Palermo, q.v. ( sc The Dance 
of Death"), and S. Maria di Gesii, in the Cappe'lla La Grua, q.v. There 
are, however, in the Museum at Palermo some charming frescoes of Tom- 
maso di Vigilia, beautiful enough for Lo Spagna, and a fair number of 
mutilated Gothic frescoes as in the Castle of Aderno. To make up for this 
it has a good many Byzantine frescoes in most interesting positions, the 
best perhaps in the subterranean church of S. Marcian at Syracuse. Others 
are in S. Giovanni Boeo at Marsala and in the three subterranean chambers 
used as churches, during the persecutions, at Modica and the Val d'Ispica, etc. 

(3) Baroque and modern. The late Renaissance and more recent frescoes 
are very numerous in Sicily, but many of them have little value, though some 
Sicilian, artists, like the Messinian Paladino, were very effective, not to 
mention more famous names. 

(4) Domestic. It has been rather the custom to fresco the walls and 
ceilings of palaces in Sicily, though they are not always frescoed. These can 
hardly be called art. Good examples of this artisan work may be seen in 
the Palazzo Monteleone at Palermo, tenanted by the Pension Suisse. 

Frieze. An architectural term. The middle division of the entablature 
(Bannister Fletcher). The frieze in a Doric temple consisted of triglyphs and 
metopes, the^triglyphs being the three-grooved projections between the sculp 
tured and painted metopes. The Sicilian metopes (q.v,) are famous. Carved 
wooden friezes or outdoor wooden decoration may be seen outside a club in 
the Corso and on a house just beyond the Porta Nuova at Palermo, both 
modern, and the latter pleasing. 

Friesias are very favourite flowers in Sicily. Their fragrant white blossoms 
tinged with purple and yellow are a feature of every flower-stall in spring. 

Fuga, Fernando. A Roman architect, 1699-1784. Born in Florence. 
But for the destructive restoration by this baroque monster of bad taste, 
the cathedral in Palermo would have been almost matchless. As it is its 
arabesque exterior almost resists the disfigurement of the dome which breaks 
through its roof like a fester. The interior is hopelessly modernised. 



THINGS SICILIAN 181 

Funeral services in Sicily are often beautiful up to a point. Fine bands 
play Chopin's " Funeral March" till you almost weep as the procession in the 
picturesque dress of the Burial Guilds (see Confraternities) pursues its stately 
march. But when the coffin reaches the grave the Guild hurry away, the 
actual burial being of the most hurried and informal description. The 
service takes place with fine music, often with costly singing and a blaze 
of tall candles in some prominent church where the body has been lying 
in a chapelk ardente before the procession begins. Sometimes the procession 
is halted for a speech on the services of the deceased. 

Furnari. Reached by mail-vettura in 40 minutes from the Castroreale- 
Novara-Furnari Stat., Palermo-Messina line. Unimportant. 

Furniture. There is a great deal of fine furniture of the Empire period 
still in the palaces for which it was made, e.g. in Sig. Florio's villa at 
Palermo (q.v.). There is also a certain amount of much older and quite 
beautiful furniture to be found in the vestries of out-of-the-way churches, 
sometimes upholstered with fine old Spanish leather. 



Gagini, Antonio, or Antonello (1478-1536). The most famous sculptor 
of Sicily, and one of the best of Italy, putting aside Michael Angelo. His 
work is not well known yet in England, but he is certain to be the subject 
of much discussion before long. He was also an architect. He was vejy 
versatile. Some of his Madonnas have much archaic simplicity and feeling, 
others are very modern for his date. But Gagini's great claim is the high 
amount of real beauty which he imported into his work. He excelled most 
of all in large pieces, where low- and high-reliefs of beautiful human faces 
are mingled with a delightfully free and graceful conventional ornament 
unexcelled by the great Florentines. The huge tribune behind the high 
altar at S. Cita in Palermo is unsurpassed in beauty by any work of Mino 
da Fiesole, or Verrocchio, or Rossellino. It is absolutely charming. Antonio 
Gagini had a genius for charm, like the Delia Robbia family. He is some 
times a little decadent. Taking both sides of Antonio Gagini's work, his 
sculptures of the human form and his low -relief arabesques and other conven 
tional ornamentations, it is doubtful if any of the great fifteenth-century 
Florentines excelled him when at his best. He was the son of Domenico 
Gagini, a Lombard. Vincenzo, Giacomo, and Fazio were the sons of 
Antonio Gagini ; Nicol6, Giuseppe, and Nubilio were his nephews. These 
carried on the school of Gagini. Among the works of the Gagini in Sicily 
are those at Alcamo, S. Oliva ; Baida, the Convent ; Burgio (according to 
Baedeker), in the Franciscan church ; Caltagirone, S. Maria di Gesu ; Castel- 
vetrano, S. Giovanni Battista ; Castroreale, SS. Annunziata ; Catania 
Cathedral ; Catania, S. Maria di Gesu ; Girgenti, S. Spirito (school) ; Gir- 

fenti, 39 Via Garibaldi (see under Girgenti, Sicilian-Gothic) ; * Marsala, 
. Giovanni a Boeo, his best St. John ; Marsala, Chiesa Maggiore ; Mazzara 
Cathedral ; Messina Cathedral ; Messina, *S. Agostino ; Messina, S. Fran 
cesco d'Assisi ; Monte S. Giuliano, Biblioteca Commune ; Monte S. Giuliano, 
S. Giovanni Battista ; Nicosia, **S. Maria Maggiore (the Cono, 36 feet high 
high with sixty figures) ; * Palermo, window in the Archbishop's Palace ; 
Palermo, Carmine ; Palermo, S. Caterina ; Palermo, **S. Cita ; Palermo, 
S. Domenico ; Palermo Cathedral (the benitier) j Palermo, *La Gancia ; 
Palermo, *Museum, etc. ; Palermo, Monte di Pieta; Polizzi, Chiesa Maggiore ; 



182 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Randazzo, S. Nicolo ; Syracuse, Archbishop's Palace ; Trapani, SS. Anmm- 
ziata ; Trapani, S, Niccolo (school) ; Comiso, S. Francesco. 

There are two sumptuous books on the work of the Gagini, 7 Gagini e 
la Scultura in Sicilia nel Secolo XV. e XVI., by G. di Marzo, in two large 




THE CAPPA DELLA PIETA IN MESSINA CATHEDRAL, DESIGNED AND PARTLY CARRIED 
OUT BY ANTONELLO GAGINI 

volumes (Palermo, 1883-4), whose illustrations are spoiled because the 
engraver has lost the likeness and character ; and a recent work sold by 
Hoopli at Milan, which is chiefly devoted to the Gagini who stayed in Lom- 
bardy, but has a chapter on the Sicilian Gagini. 



THINGS SICILIAN 183 

Gallidoro, the Marchese di, a noble much interested in things English. 

Gallipoli. Founded by the Athenians of Naxos, was on the site of the 
modern Mascali (q.v.), whose wines are known even in England. 

Gallo, Capo, a prominent landmark on the north coast of Sicily between 
Palermo and Carini. 

Gambling;. Sicilians of all degrees are gamblers. The cheapest form is 
the mora of immemoral antiquity (q.v.) and the lotto ^ or public lottery. The 
column and the ball is, I think, a specially Sicilian form. Petits chevaux 
obtain a little. See Lotto. There is much card-playing in the open air. The 
workmen use their dinner-hour for gambling. 

Games. See Batting the ball through the ring, Mora, Cottabos, etc. 

Gangi. Reached by mail-vettura from Castelbuono, 9J hours ; Nicosia, 
3^ hours ; and Cerda, 14 hours. The ancient Engyum (q.v.). Remains of 
feudal castle. Prince Gangi is one of the principal nobles of Sicily. 

Gardens. There are some glorious gardens of semi-tropical vegetation in 
Sicily, notably the Botanical Gardens at Palermo, where they will sell speci 
mens of anything, and the Parco d'Orleans, Villa Tasca, Villa Sofia, Villa 
Sperlinga, Villa Malfitano, Villa Giulia, Giardino Inglese, Giardino Garibaldi, 
Villa Butera, Villa Serradifalco, etc., at Palermo, the gardens of the villas 
at Bagheria, the Villa Politi and Villa Landolina at Syracuse, the Villa 
Rocca Guelfonia at Messina, etc., the gardens of S. Caterina and S. Do- 
menico and Mr. Stopford's garden at Taormina, and the garden of the 
Convent of S. Nicola at Girgenti. Almost anything belonging to the tem 
perate or subtropical zone will grow in Sicily if well watered. Roof and 
terrace gardens, in which the flowers are grown in the hollow tops of brick 
walls, are managed very effectively in Sicily, where the loggia is such a 
feature. There are a few fine pergolas, e.g. at S. Domenico, Taormina, and 
S. Nicola at Girgenti. There are many noble palms in the public gardens 
besides agaves, aloes, yuccas, daturas, euphorbias, etc., and the bougainvillea 
grows gloriously. A marked feature is that wild flowers are nearly always 
allowed to grow where they please in the most formal gardens, even the 
Botanical Gardens of Palermo. 

Gardner and Jevons's "Grk. Antiquities." See Guhl and Koner, p. 195. 

Garibaldi. Landed in Sicily with his Thousand the famous Mille at 
Marsala on the nth May, 1860, by the connivance of two British men-of-war 
which got in the line of fire of the Neapolitan warships. On the i$th of May 
he won the Battle of Calatafimi with badly armed and much inferior forces. 
On the 27th of May he won the Battle of Gibilrossa outside Palermo with a 
bayonet charge and entered Palermo in triumph. The best-fought battle was 
the long summer day's fight at Milazzo on the 2Oth July. Victor Emmanuel 
was compelled by the hostility of the European Powers, except England, to 
write to him begging him not to cross the Straits, but Cavour sent him a hint 
not to obey the letter. There is a statue and a piazza, if not a public garden, 
and a Corso to Garibaldi in almost every city in Sicily, and the rooms he 
occupied in the Royal Palace are one of the sights of Palermo. There are 
also inscriptions on the Municipality and the Palazzo Villafranca. 

Garlic, wild. Common in Sicily. A beautiful scentless variety with pink 
flowers is found at Selinunte, etc. 

Garofano. The rich red clove of this name, sometimes with a hundred 
blossoms on one plant, is quite a feature in the Sicilian spring. Pots of it 
are stuck on the spikes, left for the purpose on the balustrades of balconies, 
which give a lovely note of scarlet in the street, 



184 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Garrisons. The Sicilian garrisons consist nearly always of North Italian 
troops. In the same way the Sicilian troops are sent into North Italy. This 
is such a valuable educational influence that it goes far towards justifying the 
expense of the Italian military establishment. The Sicilian who has done 
his military service is fifty per cent, the better man. Sicily is rather heavily 
garrisoned. In 1896 it contained 60,000 soldiers. See Fortifications. 

Gates. Gates in Sicily are always named from the place they lead to, e.g. 
the Mazzara Gate of Palermo terminates the road leading to Mazzara, and 
the Messina Gate at Taormina the road to Messina. 

Gebbias. Gebbias are the large plaster-lined cisterns you see in every 
Sicilian garden. The name is Arabic. 

Gela. One of the most important cities of ancient Sicily, after Syracuse 
and Acragas, stood on the site of Terranova, its necropolis being at Cape 
Soprano. It was founded in 690 by a joint colony of Cretans and Rhodians 
from Lindii, whence its first name of Lindus. It was altered to Gela because 
it stood on the river of that name. Acragas was founded by the Geloans 
in 599. Cleander was tyrant of Gela 505-498, and his brother, Hippocrates, 
from 498-491. On his death, in 491, Gelo became tyrant, and interfering in 
485 to restore the Gamori to Syracuse, became master of that city, after 
which Gela became a minor city. Half the inhabitants of Gela migrated to 
Syracuse. In 406 B.C., after the destruction of Acragas by the Carthaginians, 
its inhabitants were received into Gela, but the next year Gela was itself 
besieged by the Carthaginians, and first relieved and then abandoned by 
Dionysius. Gela was destroyed. It became tributary to Carthage, but 
helped Dion and was recolonised by Timoleon. There are considerable 
remains of the ancient city. Its best-known coins have a bull's head with 
a human face on one side, and a horseman on the other. Agathocles won 
his first distinction in his assault on Gela; B.C. 311 Agathocles massacred 
4,000 of the citizens. After his defeat at Ecnomus he took refuge in the 
city. Phintias, the tyrant of Acragas, removed its inhabitants to people his 
new city of Phintia. It was also sacked by the Mamertines later, though it 
must have been restored by the Romans, for Cicero says that Verres carried off 
the statues restored to Gela by Scipio after his capture of Carthage. In 
Strabo's time it was uninhabited. See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and 
Roman Geography. It is said that Gela was first founded inland on the site 
of the present city of Piazza Armerina. 

The remains of ancient Gela at Terranova are 

(1) Site of the ancient Gela, temple, etc. 

(2) At Cape Soprano, the ancient necropolis. Splendid sarcophagi lately 
found there. 

(3) Remains of a temple of Apollo. 

(4) Virgil's Campi Geloi outside (^Eneid, iii. 701), the principal plain of 
Sicily after Catania. 

Gellias. The wealthiest citizen of Acragas at the time of its capture by the 
Carthaginians, Diodorus tells us much about him. "It is said that this 
Gellias was of a very mean presence, but of admirable parts and ingenuity. 
Being once sent as ambassador to the Centuripes, when he entered the assembly 
all the people fell a-laughing, seeing the mean aspect of the man, so dis 
agreeable to his great fame and reputation in the world. Upon which, he 
made this sharp retort That what they saw in him was not to be wondered 
at, because the Agrigentines always send the comeliest and handsomest men to 
the noblest cities, but to those that were mean and of little note, such as him 
self. Marvellous stories are told of his wealth. 



THINGS SICILIAN 185 

'* It happened once that five hundred Gelonian horsemen came to his house 
in the winter-time, whom he liberally entertained, and furnished every one of 
them out of his wardrobe with cloaks and coats. Polyclitus in his history 
declares that when he was a soldier in Agrigentum, he saw a wine-cellar in 
his house, in which were contained three hundred hogsheads ; and that near 
to these was placed a cistern of pure white tempered mortar, containing a 
thousand hogsheads, out of which the liquor ran into the vessels." When 
the Carthaginians had taken the city, "Then it is said Gellias, who was so 
eminent above the rest of his countrymen in the greatness of his wealth, and 
integrity of his conversation, ended his life with the loss of his country : for 
he and some others fled to the tenrple of Minerva, hoping the Carthaginians 
would not commit any outrages against the gods : but when he perceived the 
cursed impiety of the men, he set fire to the temple, and together with the 
wealth that was there, (consecrated to the gods), burnt himself; by one act 
preventing three evils, as he conceived ; the impiety of the enemy against the 
gods, the rapine and plunder of the vast treasure that was there, and (that 
which was the greatest) the abuse of his own body." 

Gelo, or Gelou. Tyrant of Syracuse and Gela. Achieved his power as 
cavalry leader of Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, upon whose death the demo 
cracy rose against his two young sons. Gelo put down the revolt, but assumed 
the tyranny himself. This was in 491. In 485 he restored the Gamori 
refugees to Syracuse. See Casmense, which opened its gates on his approach. 
No doubt the union of Gelo at the head of an army with the immensely 
wealthy Gamori aristocracy was too powerful to be opposed. He took half 
the population of Gela with him, all the inhabitants of Camarina/ and the 
citizens of Eubasa and Megara Hyblsea. The poorer classes he sold into 
slavery. The Athenians and Spartans sought his alliance against Persia. 
He offered to send 200 triremes and 28,000 men if they gave him supreme 
command. When they refused, he said that the Greeks had lost the spring out 
of their year. But he was preparing to aid them when the news came of the 
great Carthaginian irivasion of Sicily. Hamilcar marched from Panormus to 
Himera with 300,000 men. It was defended by Theron, the tyrant of Acragas, 
and then came one of the finest episodes in Sicilian history. Gelo, who had 
married Theron's daughter, Damarete, marched post haste across the island 
at the head of 50,000 foot and 5,000 cavalry, and utterly destroyed the 
Carthaginian force at the great Battle of Himera, fought, as Herodotus tells us, 
on the same day as the Battle of Salamis, 480 B.C. Freeman has a splendid 
account of the battle in the second volume of his history. This victory 
brought Gelo vast wealth and a popularity and power that nothing could 
shake at Syracuse. Years afterwards his statue was the only tyrant's ^ statue 
spared by Timoleon. Out of the ransom money paid by the Carthaginians to 
Damarete were coined the first notable coins of Sicily, the beautiful deca- 
drachms known as Damareteia, considered the best of the archaic pieces, with 
their noble head of Victory, easily to be recognised by its string of pearls. 
He only lived two years after his victory, dying of dropsy B. c. 478 (Smith's 
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology and Biography]. 

Genesta. The yellow-flowered genesta, used so much as a pot-plant in 
English rooms, grows wild on Sicilian mountains, and is also used for hedges, 
which grow four feet high. 

Geraci Siculo. Remains of Count Roger's castle. It is the oldest 
marquisate in Sicily. Reached by mail-vettura in 7$ hours from the Castel- 
buono Stat, Messina-Palermo line. 



1 86 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Geranium-hedges. Most of the railway lines in Sicily are bordered on 
both sides with tall hedges of profusely flowering rose-geraniums, mixed with 
the agave, whose swordfish leaves repel trespassers. 

Germans in Sicily. The German connection with Sicily is extensive and 
of very long standing. The Emperor Henry VI. having married Constantia, 
the heiress of Sicily, he and his son, the Emperor Frederick II. , spent a large 
part of their reigns in Sicily, and they were followed by Conrad IV. , Conradin, 
and Manfred, though much of the fourteen years, ending in 1268, was taken 
up in wars with the French under Charles of Anjou, upon whom the Pope 
had bestowed the crown in 1264. After the death of Conradin, in 1268, the 
German power in Sicily was broken. But in Messina especially (q.v.) there 
are considerable remains of the German dynasty, and in Palermo there is 
a church of the Teutonic knights, La Magione, and a hunting-box of Frederick 
outside the Favara. With the reign of the Emperor Charles V. a fresh 
German interest came in. He concerned himself much with the development 
and fortification of Sicily. Goethe (q.v.) visited Sicily in 1789. In modern 
times the Germans are, with the English and the Americans, the principal 
travellers in Sicily. You meet quantities of them, especially at Taormina, 
where there are German shops. There are some valuable books about Sicily 
in German, such as Holm, Gselfels, etc. 

Gerlando, S. The first bishop of Girgenti. He was appointed by the 
Normans and is the patron saint. There is a silver image of him in the 
cathedral. 

Gesso. There are valuable mines of gesso, i.e. gypsum, in Sicily. 

Gethsemane, Gardens of. On the day before Good Friday they have 
gardens made of coloured sands and pot-plants in the churches. The Christ 
is taken down from the principal crucifix and laid on the floor, with the head 
supported by a fine linen cushion, and the vacant cross is erected just beside 
Him. Crowds come in and kneel to kiss His feet. Called also sepolcri 
(q.v.). Palermo (q.v.) is one of the best places in Italy to observe this 
ceremony. The rites are said to be of pagan origin, connected with the death 
of Adonis. (J. G. Frazer.) 

Ghetto. The Jews' quarter, called in Sicily the Giudecca, as at Trapani 
and Syracuse. 

Giampilieri. Stat. on Messina- Catania line. The famous Benedictine 
monastery of S. Placida is 2 miles from it (q.v.). 

Giardini (for Taormina). Stat. Messina-Catania line, close to Naxos, the 
oldest Greek city in Sicily (q.v.). It has mail-vetture to Taormina, I hour ; 
Kaggi, i\ hours ; Ponte Graniti, 2 hours ; Bivio-Spatolo, 2 hours 35 minutes j 
Francavilla-Sicilia, 3 hours. 

Giardino d* Infanzia, i.e. a kindergarten. There is a famous kinder 
garten at Palermo, the Giardino d' Infanzia da Feltre in the Palazzo Mont- 
leone ; and an interesting little kindergarten in the main street near the 
cathedral at Taormina. 

Giarre-Riposto. Stat. Messina-Catania line, and on the Circum-^Etnean 
railway, which runs from here to Catania round the back of Etna. It is 
7 kil. from the famous Castagno dei Cento Cavalli the great chestnut tree of 
Etna, which is 180 feet round. 

Giarratana. Four hours by mail-vettura from the Ragusa Inferiore Stat. 
on the Syracuse-Licata line. Giarratana is the ancient Ceretanum, the mys 
terious ancient Greek town of which even Freeman seems to know nothing, 



THINGS SICILIAN 



187 



which ^lies away in the hills between Palazzolo and Modica, and has remains 
of ancient temples, elegant baths, mosaics and sepulchres from which many 
terra-cottas and coins have been taken. 

Gibellina. Stat. next to Alcamo ; Palermo-Trapani line. Mail-vettura to 
Gibellina town, 3! hours ; Salaparuta, 4 hours ; Poggioreale, 4^ hours. An 
ancient town with a medieval fortress of the Chiaramonti. 




SALAPARUTA, SEEN FROM GIBELLINA 

Gibilmanna, A village with a monastery on a lovely wooded mountain 
overlooking Cejalu on the Palermo-Messina line. The Bene Economico 
of Palermo is much interested in the establishment of a summer station here 
with a good hotel, as the air and the view are 
""71 alike splendid and it is so handy to Palermo. 




GIBILMANNA : THE NEW SUMMER RESORT 
A COUNTRY ROAD 



1 88 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Gibilrossa. Above Monte Griffone outside Palermo, where Garibaldi 
bivouacked before he marched into Palermo, May 27th, 1860, 

Ginnasio. See Palestra. Both the Romans and the Greeks were immense 
enthusiasts over gymnastic and athletic exercises. There are fine remains of 
gymnasia both at Syracuse and Tyndaris. 

Giolleria. Sicily is a happy hunting-ground for the collectors of ancient 
jewellery. The Consul, Mr. Churchill, has a wonderful collection. Strangers, 
before purchasing, should consult Cook's correspondent in Palermo, Mr. H. 
von Pernull, whose office is in the Corso near the Piazza Marina. The old 
jewellery closely resembling the Italian, with a delicate tracery set with rose- 
diamonds or old paste, is very beautiful, and some of the seventeenth-century 
filigree is superb. Enamels (smalti) are a special feature. These beautiful 
little pictures, chiefly of religious subjects in brilliant colours, make these 
enamels charming effects for setting in other jewellery. 




GIBILMANNA I IN THE WOODS 

Giordano, Luca. A Neapolitan painter (1632-1705) who did a good deal 
of painting in Palermo and Messina. 

S. Giovanni-Gemini. Noted for the Califerro mineral water ; is near the 
Cammarata Stat. on the Girgenti- Palermo line. 

Giovanni, Vincenzo di. A Palermitan antiquary, author of a valuable 
book entitled La Topografia antic a di Palermo Dal Secolo X. al XV. 

Giove. The Greek Zeus, the Latin Jupiter. Most of the great cities had 
temples to him, though in Sicily he was not part of the life of the people as 



THINGS SICILIAN 189 

Ceres, Diana, or Venus. Temples to Jupiter Olympius, Polias (Atabirius) 
etc., still exist at Syracuse, Girgenti, Selinunte, etc. The temples of the 
Olympian Jupiter are generally enormously large. 

Girgenti, See below, page 337. The Greek Acragas, the Roman Agri- 
gentum, in its heyday second only to Syracuse, has remains more or less 
perfect of ten Greek temples, fine Greek houses, prehistoric dwellings and 
tombs, Greek tombs, Roman tombs, catacombs, a Greek bridge, a large 
Greek necropolis, a museum with choice Greek vases, etc. ; a cathedral with 
a valuable treasury and a Gothic tower ; numerous other Gothic buildings, a 
secret passage from the town to the temples, and marvellous Greek subter 
ranean aqueducts. 

Giudecca, or Ghetto. The Jewish quarter of a town. There are interest 
ing buildings in the Giudecca of Trapani and the Giudecca of Syracuse. 

Giunone. Lacina, Lucinia, etc. The Greek Hera, the Latin Juno. Not 
a very popular goddess in Sicily. Temples are assigned to her without much 
authority at Girgenti (one of the first Greek temples in existence) and Seli 
nunte : and Freeman thinks that Hybla Henea, the modern Ragusa, may 
have been called from its temple of Hera. 
^ S. Giuseppe. The slang expression for the complacent husband in a menage 

S. Giuseppe. _ A licensed beggar, dressed up like the suisse of a church, 
with certain privileges. 

Gladiolus, the wild. Generally of a beautiful rose colour, is a great 
feature in Sicilian cornfields, 

Goats and Goats' Milk. There are swarms of goats in Sicily, which 
depends almost entirely on them for its milk. They are kept penned up at 
night, and driven out on to uncultivated land during the daytime with a herds 
man. Where this is not possible, they are tethered on any bit of waste 
ground and fed with lemon-peel, which for some reason they prefer to orange- 
peel. They are very fond of the leaves of the prickly-pear, whose wicked 
spikes present no terrors to their leathery palates. Different cities have 
different breeds. The large white goats of Girgenti are very handsome. 
The Palermo goats are pretty little creatures with long horns, long white hair 
and brown faces. Goats are extraordinarily clever and agile.. With one rake 
of their horns they will examine a whole dust-heap. The kids are eaten as 
much as lambs, and sheep are considered as uneatable as goats. 

Goddesses were far more popular in Sicily than gods, especially Ceres, 
Proserpine, Diana, and Venus. Indeed the worship as well as the present 
ments in art of the Virgin Mary may be traced to the Ceres worship of Sicily. 
(See Ceres.) 

Gods. Sicily is one of the lands of the gods, both on account of its 
physical conditions and because many of the legends about the lives of the 
gods on earth are located in it. It is extraordinarily interesting to be in a 
country of the manifestations of the gods of Greece. Though, to understand 
it properly one should have been in some Eastern country, like Japan, where 
gods and demigods still form part of the life and belief of the people and 
still have their habitat upon earth. 

Goethe in Sicily. Goethe's progress in Sicily justifies the remark that he 
was a Goth with a modified "o," He went over the Royal Palace at Palermo 
without a remark upon its Royal Chapel, the most beautiful ecclesiastical 
building in Christendom, and he drove up the hill of Monreale without getting 
out to look at the cathedral and cloister. But he wrote pages and pages about 



190 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

the Villa Palagonia at Bagheria, the bottomless pit of Baroque. He was in 
Sicily from April 2nd to May I4th, 1 787. He visited and rode through Palermo, 
Alcamo, Segesta, Castelvetrano, Sciacca, Girgenti, Caltanisetta, Castro- 
giovanni, Motta S. Anastasia, Misterbianco, Catania, Taormina, and 
Messina (q.v.) Kniep, the artist, went with him. His remarks upon Sicily 
savour much more of the man of science than the man of culture. A transla 
tion of his Diary is published in Goethe s Travel's in Italy^ vol. i. of Bonn's 
Library, by Mr. A J. Morrison and Mr. C. Nisbet. In Palermo he stayed 
at the palace on the south side of the Corso, a little above the Piazza S. Spirito, 
which is marked with a tablet. 

Golf in Sicily. Through the exertions of the Bene Economico, golf-links 
will shortly be opened in Palermo, probably in the Royal Villa at the Favorita, 
close to the Hotel Igiea. ' 

Good Friday in Sicily. The main feature of Good Friday is the procession 
of the Pieta, the Christ taken from the cross. See under Ceremonies and Pieta. 

Gorse, Grows in Sicily, but I am not acquainted with any large stretches of it. 

Gorgias of Leontini. One of the most famous orators of antiquity. He 
was born about 480 B. c. , and broke the rule that no famous man ever lives to 
be a hundred by five, or, some say, nine years. He went on the celebrated 
mission to Athens^ B. c. 427, to enlist the aid of Athens for the Chalcidian 
cities of Sicily in their war against Syracuse. His eloquence was disastrously 
effective. As this was after the death of Pericles, Pericles could not have 
been his pupil. Some works attributed to him survive, also a dialogue about 
him attributed to Aristotle. 

Goridan, Lago di. The medieval name of the Lake of Pergusa in the fields 
of Enna. Obviously the same word as Gurrita, the shallow pestiferous lake 
on Etna. 

Goths in Sicily. Sicily formed part of the empire of Theodoric, and was 
ruled by a Gothic count. Theodoric gave Lilybzeum to the Vandal king 
Thrasamund as the dowry of his sister Amalfuda, but it was part of the 
Gothic possessions again when Belisarius conquered Sicily, 535 A.D. Cassio- 
dorus won Theodoric the loyalty of the Sicilians, and Sicily sent corn to Gaul. 
In 549-550 Totila, the Gothic king, invaded Sicily. He could not take 
any of the chief. towns, but ravaged the island, and left garrisons in four 
places. In 551 the Goths were finally driven out of the island. (Freeman.) 

Gothic architecture. Sicily has a school of its own in Gothic architecture, 
of which the nomenclature is rather confusing. Certain parts of it are 
distinctly to be classed as Arabo-Norman, and the fifteenth- century portions 
can only be called Sicilian-Gothic, but there is a transition period in between 
which is not so easy to name. Sicilian-Norman has been suggested, but 
Sicilian-Gothic is perhaps the best all-round name, as, with rare exceptions 
(mostly traceable to the English archbishop Offamilia), its arches are pointed 
throughout. We have a definite date, supported by proper evidence, for the 
pointed arches of the Ponte del Ammiraglio at Palermo, 1113. There is said 
to be very much older Sicilian-Gothic in the Castle of Maniace at Syracuse, 
but I cannot speak so surely of the evidence. 

It is said that the only building in Sicily, or at any rate Palermo, built by 
Arabs for Arabs is the lower part of the tower of the Archbishop's Palace. 
The Arabo-Norman portion of Sicilian-Gothic is nearly all to be found in or 
round Palermo, in the palaces of the Zisa, the Cuba, the Cubola, the Favara 
and Mimnerno, and the central part of the Royal Palace which contains the 
Norman room ; the chapels of the palace (Cappella Reale), and the Zisa ; the 



THINGS SICILIAN 191 

churches of Monreale, Cefalu, the Eremiti, the Martorana, S. Cataldo, 
S. Giovanni del Lebbrosi, S. Christina la Vettere, the Incoronata, the 
Maddalena, with the Torre del Diavolo, near the Gesu, and the Bridge of 
the Admiral. The cathedral is rather later, though it is in the Arabo-Norman 
style, with the exception of its domes. Its crypt, however, and the Church of 
the Vespers, S. Spirito, though early in date, are not Arabo-Norman, but 
English-Norman. There are also a superb church of the period which I have 
never seen, S. Pietro e S. Paolo on the Fiume d'Agro near Taormina, the church 
of S. Nicola at Girgenti, the church at Maniace, the Badiazza outside Messina." 

But the bulk of the Sicilian-Gothic now preserved belongs to the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries, and the former, especially, is beautiful. It really 
differs comparatively little from North Italian architecture of the same period, 
as, for example, at Brescia, and Mid- Italian, as at Siena. Its great feature is 
the containing arch, containing pairs or triplets of small windows divided by 
shafts ; but the Sicilians, having a Norman influence, filled in the heading 
between the small windows and the arch containing them with rich tracery. 
Take, for example, the windows in the Palace of the Inquisition or the Casa 
Normanna at Palermo. Sometimes the Saracen influence is strong enough to 
make a distinct departure, as in the exquisite arabesque window of the Palazzo 
Lanza at Syracuse. To this period belong a number of beautiful buildings 
all over Sicily, such as the two palaces just mentioned the Aiutamicristo 
Palace, with its exquisite cortile, and the Sclafani Palace at Palermo. Most 
of the churches which have porches with clustered columns and rose windows 
over them belong to this period, as do the splendid feudal fortresses erected by 
the Chiaramonti and their rivals in the country. Syracuse has two gems in 
the windows of the Montalti Palace and the doorway of the Castello of 
Maniace. To these should be added the doorway of S. Giorgio and the 
windows in the cathedral tower at Girgenti, the celebrated doorway at 
Bivona, a doorway at Modica, a doorway at Catania, and much in the 
cathedral of Messina. The two loveliest buildings of the style, though their 
date may not quite synchronise, are the Badia and Palazzo S. Stefano at 
Taormina, the former almost unsurpassed for pure beauty. There is another 
range of fourteenth-century Gothic even more like the North Italian, which 
survives in the palaces of towns like Randazzo. But this may be due to 
Lombard settlement. By far the most numerous Gothic remains in Sicily are 
those of the fifteenth century, when Gothic was melting into Renaissance. 
Sicily is full of charming buildings of this period, one of the most constant 
characteristics being a pointed or ogee arch contained in a square heading. 
Pointed arches with a dripstone or projecting moulding of their own shape 
just above them are also a great feature. There are many buildings with these 
doorways to be found in the Via dei Monasteri at Messina, the Corso at 
Taormina, and various parts of Palermo and Syracuse, But the most 'beautiful 
specimens of late Sicilian-Gothic are those into which classical features have 
been embodied, like the airy and elegant porch of S. Maria alia Catena at 
Palermo. See Gothic under Syracuse, Palermo, Taormina, Girgenti, Randazzo, 
Modica, Ragusa, Messina, Catania, Trapani, Castrogiovanni, Cefalu. 

The beautiful but vitiated Gothic chapels and doorways of Modica and 
Ragusa are dealt with under these towns. 

Gourds. A wild gourd grows on the rock of Cefalu, which is otherwise 
rather unique in its vegetation. 

Grammichele. Stat. before Caltagirone (Catania-Caltagirone line). Near 
the ancient Ocula (Occhiaia). Founded by the Prince of Butera after the 
earthquake of 1693. 



iQ2 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

^ Granary of Europe. Cato called Sicily " the granary and nurse of the 
city of Rome." Cicero called it the treasure and life of the city, and its wheat 
is still of a very superior quality, noted for its hardness. But it imports 
a good deal from the Black Sea. 

Grano. One of the old Bourbon coins. The country people in the west of 
Sicily still use in their reckoning onzi, tari, and grani, though the coins no 
longer pass. A grano = 2 centesimi. 

Grape-Hyacinth. A flower that looks like a raspberry of hyacinth blue. 
Very common in Sicily, and very handsome. Its Latin name is muscarum^ 
and it is one of the Liliacese. 

Gravina. Gives its title to a Sicilian prince. One of the family com 
manded the ill-fated Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, and the sword 
of this gallant officer is preserved at Palermo. One and three-quarter hours 
by mail-vettura from Catania. 

Graziavecchia. 

Greek architecture. One of the glories of Sicily is its Greek archi 
tecture. It has the remains of at least forty temples, two fortresses, several 
theatres, many necropoles and tombs, subterranean aqueducts, Greek 
houses, a propylsea, walls, bridges, odea, etc. See under Syracuse, Girgenti, 
Selinunte, Segesta, Catania, Messina, Palazzolo, Tyndaris, Terranova, 
Naxos, Camarina, and Doric. 

Greek churches. There are churches where the modified Greek rite is 
celebrated for the benefit of the Greek settlements in Sicily, dating from the 
fifteenth century, at Palermo, Messina, Piana dei Greci, etc. See Albanians 
in Sicily. 

Greek coins. The Greek coins of Sicily have never been equalled. See 
under Coins, and coinage of the various Greek cities. 

The Greek Colonisation reached its highest development in Sicily. 
Neither Miletus nor Massilia played the commanding part in the world's 
history achieved by Syracuse. Nor must it be forgotten that the wars between 
the Greeks and the Carthaginians lasted far longer and involved greater blood 
shed than the wars of the Romans with the Carthaginians. Naxos, the earliest 
colony, was founded by Chalcis in Eubsea, B.C. 735 ; Syracuse, the second, 
by^Corinth, B. c. 734 ; Tyndaris, the latest, by Dionysius of Syracuse, B. c. 396. 
With the exception of Naxos, Catane, Xancle (Messana), and Leontini, 
and to some extent Himera (founded by Eubseans, chiefly from Chalcis), 
the Greek colonies were all of Dorian foundation, and the gradual 
crushing of the few Ionian colonies was one of the chief reasons which 
brought about the invasion of Sicily by Athens, the head of the Ionian 
cities. The chief Dorian Greek colonies in Sicily were Syracuse (Megara- 
Hybkea), Acragas, Selinus, Gela, Camarina, Casmense, Tyndaris, Cefalii ; 
of less importance were Lipara, Acrse, Mtna., Cephalcedium, Heraclea, 
Phintia. Tauromenium was founded by the survivors of Naxos and Sikels. 

Greek curios. Sicily, especially Girgenti, is an excellent place to buy 
Greek curios. They may also be bought at Palermo, Taormina, and Catania, 
but great caution must be used with regard to forgeries. There are quantities 
of genuine Greek objects on sale, because they are continually being dis 
covered in tilling the ground, and if you can buy them from the people who 
find them, you get them very cheap. The ordinary Greek curios purchasable 
in Sicily are heads of terra-cotta figurines, occasionally whole figures all fifth 
or sixth century B.C. ; terra-cotta vases and toilet-vessels and jewel-boxes ; 



THINGS SICILIAN 193 

jewels, engraved stones for seals, coins ; small bronze articles, from needles 
to statuettes ; weights, arrowheads, candelabra, bronze utensils, and a little 
glass. See Terra-cottas, Curio-buying, Coins, Bargaining. 

Greek history. Freeman somewhere remarks that the materials for the 
Greek history of Sicily are probably as extensive as those for Greece Proper. 

Greek houses. See under Girgenti, Selinunte, Cefalu. Professor Salinas 
has partly excavated a very large Greek house at Girgenti, where there are 
extensive remains of Greek houses unexcavated. The prehistoric house at 
Cefalu may be Greek of the Mycenian period. 

Greek inscriptions. Most of them are in the museums of Palermo, Syra 
cuse, etc. There is one on the font of the cathedral of Syracuse ; there are 
one or two in churches at Messina. I cannot recall any inscriptions before 
the Roman conquest of Sicily in situ, but there are Greek inscriptions at 
Palazzolo in the wonderful tomb chambers of the Roman period. 

Greek metopes. See Palermo Museum. Only a few lots of sculptured 
metopes have been discovered in Sicily, and all of them at Selinunte. The 
best Selinunte metopes rank after those of the Parthenon and Olympia. 

Greek pottery. See under Earthenware, Curios, etc. Sicily is full of 
ancient Greek pottery. Pottery remained Greek in the Roman period. 

Greek rites. Hardly anything is known of Greek rites in Sicily except 
incidentally from Diodorus or Theocritus, etc., or from the Sepolcri and other 
modern rites. Sicily is remarkably poor in marble reliefs which would give 
us information on the subject. What a prize, for instance, it would have been 
if we had had a frieze representing the rites practised by Sicilians when they 
were sacrificing to Apollo Archagetas before a journey to Old Greece, or the 
rites in the world-famous temples of Enna and Eryx, like we have of the 
Panathensea on the Parthenon at Athens. 

f Greek roads were cut in the solid rock. There are quantities of them in 
Sicily, easily to be distinguished by the deep ruts cut by the chariot wheels. 
A good example is in the street of tombs at Syracuse. 

Greek customs surviving. An example is the throwing back of the 
head to say no, the ananuein of the Greeks. 

Greek temples. See above under Architecture, and at the various cities 
mentioned under that heading. The finest standing are the Concordia and 
Juno at Girgenti, the Diana at Segesta, and the Minerva embodied entire in 
the cathedral of Syracuse. 

Greek terra-cotta figurines. See above under Earthenware, and Greek 
Women. See also the works on Greek terra-cotta statuettes by Mr. Marcus 
Huish (Murray) and Miss Hutton (Seeley). They were probably votive, and 
the Sicilian figures belong to the period when the subjects depicted were 
chiefly goddesses. Other subjects are sometimes founds such as masks or 
animals. The great places for finding them are at Selinunte and Girgenti, 
cities destroyed by the Carthaginians in 409 and 406 B.C. They are therefore 
anterior to these dates. A few beautiful figures of the Tanagra period have 
been found at Solunto. Proserpine is the favourite subject of all, though 
there are ^ many of Diana and Venere. They were made in moulds in 
separate pieces and then cemented together with clay. The makers sometimes 
used the head of one with the body or limbs of another. The moulds are still 
sometimes found. They were used for votive offerings at the temples, and 
when the temples got too full the priests cleared out the worst ones. They 
broke them and threw tten in the temple dustbin because they had been 



194 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

sacred and must not be used for other purposes. Sometimes they were too 
"lazy to break them. The heads and feet being solid have lasted longer than 
the hollow portions. They are therefore commoner. 

Greek type, the ancient, is supposed to be strongest in the province of 
Messina, but is also very noticeable at Girgenti and Palazzolo. 

Greek women. The Dorian Greeks allowed their women far more liberty 
than the lonians, and much more influence. Many women come into the 
story of Syracuse. See under Syracuse, Arete, Aristomache, Callirrhoe, 
Damarete, Sophrosyne, Philistis. That they were gloriously beautiful there 
can be no doubt. The female heads on the Sicilian coins are the most beauti 
ful in the whole of art. Unfortunately, the Syracusans do not seem to have 
gone in much for the terra-cotta figurines, and there have been no finds in 
Sicily beyond a few stray figures at Solunto of figurines of the Tanagra 
period. The Sicilian specimens belong to the fifth and sixth centuries B. c. , 
when only stereotyped goddesses were represented, all of them very good- 
looking. Some clay, perhaps, there may be a find at Syracuse or Girgenti of 
the figurines of the middle of the fourth century, which would be photographs 
in clay of the elegant and luxurious dames of Syracuse, like those of Tanagra, 
as you see them in the famous idyll of Theocritus. We know the smart 
women of Tanagra from top to toe : their coiffures, their parasols, their hats, 
their fans, are quite Parisian. There are even some with high-heeled slippers, 
and a fortune awaits the Parisian modiste who first copies their elegant dust- 
cloaks. 

Greek words. A few Greek words have never dropped out of the 
language, e.g. latomia. The language of ancient Sicily was mostly Greek 
even in Roman times. The Sikelians and Sicanians became Grsecised, and 
the Romans never imposed their language. Theocritus and the other writers 
of the best period wrote in Dorian Greek, the language of most of the great 
cities. 

Greeks and Phoenicians. They had shrines respected by each other as we 
know from Diodorus's account of the storming of Motya. The Phoenicians 
imitated the Greek coins even down to their inscriptions, and Greek was 
spoken at Palermo, a city which never was Greek, though held for a brief 
while by Pyrrhus. 

Di Gregorio, the Marchese. A distinguished writer on scientific sub 
jects. Nelson occupied an apartment in his palace when in Sicily. See 
under Palermo. 

Gregory the Great, Pope, was the son of a Sicilian heiress named Sylvia, 
and owned great estates in Sicily, six of which he used for founding 
monasteries, including the famous S. Giovanni degli Eremiti at Palermo, and 
the great monastery of S. Martino above Monreale. 

Grey Mullet. See Fish. 

Grilles. The iron and bronze grilles used for screening the nuns from 
observation in their churches and their balconies, generally gilt, are frequently 
of great beauty, e.g. S. Lucia near the Duomo in Syracuse, and inside the 
church of S. Spirito at Girgenti. 

Grotte. A stat. on the line between Canicattl and Girgenti, the ancient 
Erbessus (q.v,). 

Gurrita, Lake. A malarious lake near the monastery of Maniace on Mount 
Etna. Cf. Goredan (Lago di), the medieval name of the Lake of Pergusa. 
Does the name signify something malarious ? 



THINGS SICILIAN 



195 



Guhl and Koner's " Life of the Greeks and Romans." One of the best 
illustrated popular guides (published by Chatto and Windus, 7s. 6V.) for the 
traveller on all subjects, from temples and tombs to the vases and little 
bronzes he buys at curio-shops. Gardner and Jevons's "Manual of Greek 
Antiquities" (Griffin and Co., i$j. net) is the most up-to-date dictionary of 
Greek antiquities. 

Guardia di Questura. See above, under Carabinieri. They are dressed 
almost exactly like the infantry. 

Guides. Cabmen and custodes of the various monuments are the best 
guides. Boys do pretty well. There are no proper guides, except the brothers 
Caltagirone at Girgenti, and Mr. Von Pernull himself, Cook's correspondent 
in Palermo, who takes parties to Cefalu and Segesta, and lectures. 

Guide-books. See under Preface. 

Guiscard, Robert. Robert Guiscard invaded Sicily in person in the year 
1061. There are various buildings in Palermo connected with him, such as 
the poor little church of S. Maria della Vittoria, which enshrines the wooden 
door he burst with fire in storming the Calsa which gave him Palermo, and the 
church of S. Salvatore in the Vfa Protonotaro at Palermo, a building with 
beautiful Gothic features of a later day, which stands on the site of a church 
founded by Robert. See under Robert. 

Gylippus, the deliverer of Syracuse from the Athenian invasion, the man 
who stopped the building of the blockading- wall, and eventually captured 
Nicias and all his army, was a Spartan. He was the son of Cleandridas, and 
left at Sparta when his father was exiled to Thurii, B.C. 445. He tried to save 
the Athenian generals when the Syracusan assembly sentenced them to death. 
He died in disgrace for stealing the public treasures. 

H 

Haberdashery peddler. Haberdashery shops are so few outside ofjarge 
towns that the haberdashery peddler is a constant joy to the kodaker. Some 
times he carries his wares on his head, at others they are contained in a huge 
chest of drawers, sufficiently multitudinous and ingenious for an American 
millionairess to covet, which is drawn by a meek little Sardinian ass the size 
of a goat. And sometimes two haberdashers carry their wares on a pole slung 
between them, like the spies bringing back the monster bunch of grapes from 
Canaan to Joshua. 

Hadranum. The ancient city which has become the modern Aderno (q.v.). 
Chiefly remembered for its Temple of Hadranus, guarded by a thousand dogs. 
Freeman tells us that the dogs of Hadranus * ' had thoroughly mastered the 
human or divine power of discerning good and eviL They were dogs of great 
size and beauty, surpassing the breed of Molottis itself. But they knew when 
to use their strength and when to forbear. By day, when good men, whether 
strangers or men of the land, came to the temple and the grove, the mighty 
beasts welcomed them with whine and bound. But he that came with blood 
on his hands was seized and torn in pieces, while the man of unclean life was 
not indeed torn in pieces, but driven away from the holy place. By night, as 
guardians of the temple, the faithful beasts tore in pieces any who came to 
rob. But as its guides, they gently led thither those who had stumbled and 
lost their way. Nor did they scorn to do the same good office to harmless 
dramkards, having first dealt out to them the warning chastisement of leaping 
on them and tearing their clothes to bring them to their senses." 



196 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Hadranus. The Sikel fire-god was, of course, identified by the Greeks 
with Hephaestus, and the Romans with Vulcan. Freeman sees no reason for 
identifying him with the Semitic Adrammelech. 

Hadrian in Sicily. Hadrian, who visited all parts of his dominions, was in 
Sicily A.D. 126, and was much interested in the study of Etna. 

Hairdressers. Called in Sicily Monsu. See Barbers. A lady cannot 
get her hair dressed at a shop in Sicily, servants ^ being cheap. The shops 
are poor in every respect except shaving, over which you have to bargain as 
you do over curios, or pay double. 

Halaesa. A Sikel town, now known as Alesa. Near the modern Tusa 
(q.v.). It was founded by Archonides, Prince of Herbita, the ally of Ducetius, 
according to Diodorus. 

Halicyae. Near the modern Salemi (q.v.). Freeman discredits the Sicilian 
tradition that the town was of Elymian origin. 

Hamilcar, the father of Gisco. The Carthaginian general defeated with 
such slaughter by Gelo at the Battle of Himera. He was the son of Hanno. 
According to Herodotus adapted by Freeman, "Hamilcar stands apart from 
the fight, like Moses or Samuel. All day, while the battle goes on, he throws 
burnt-offerings into the fire. At last, towards evening, news comes that his 
army is defeated ; he then throws himself into the fire, as the most costly gift 
of all For this he was honoured as a hero wherever Carthage had power." 

His grandson, Hannibal, the son of Gisco, made the vast invasion of Sicily, 
which swept off every Greek city except Syracuse, to avenge this defeat and 
Hamilcar's death. He took three thousand men, captured in the fall of 
Himera, to the spot where his grandfather had died, and insulted and tortured 
and put them to death as an offering to his ghost. 

Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal, was much in Sicily. Surnamed Barca 
or Lightning, from his energy and daring. He was a young man when 
appointed to command the Carthaginians in Sicily in B.C. 247, the eighteenth 
year of the first Punic War. He threw himself into Hercte (Ercta), a fortress 
on Monte Pellegrino, which had a small, safe harbour, and there maintained 
himself for three years against the Romans in Panormus (Palermo), raiding in 
every direction from this stronghold and keeping Panormus in perpetual 
danger. In 244 he abruptly quitted it and transported himself to Eryx, 
which he seized and tried to transfer its inhabitants to his fortress of Drepanum, 
the modern Trapani. He was eventually compelled to withdraw from Sicily 
by the destruction of a fleet, sent with men and treasure to reinforce him, in 
the great battle of the ^Egatian Islands, 241 B.C., which terminated the first 
Punic War in favour of the Romans. Before he died he swore his little son 
Hannibal to eternal enmity against the Romans. 

Hamilton, Sir William and Lady. Sir William Hamilton, the British 
Ambassador at Naples in the time of Ferdinand and Maria Caroline, accom 
panied the Royal Family to Sicily in the last days of 1798, and stayed there 
during the first half of 1799, He had a palace near the Villa Giulia at 
Palermo, probably on the site of part of the Baucina Palace. 

Hammered Iron. Sicily is famous for its hammered iron. See especially 
the balconies of Syracuse, the gates of the cathedral of Syracuse, and the 
collection in the museum of Palermo. 

Hannibal, the son of Gisco, commanded the most successful of all the 
Carthaginian invasions of Europe, although he did not live to finish the 
campaign. In it every Greek city in Sicily except Syracuse was destroyed. 
See under Girgenti, Selinunte, Himera, Gela, etc. 



THINGS SICILIAN 197 

Hannibal the Great, son of Hamilcar, was never in Sicily. But there is a 
legend that Pelorus (Messina) was named after his pilot, whom, after the 
manner of the ancients when dissatisfied, he threw into the sea. Had Hannibal 
possessed Sicily as a basis, Freeman sees no reason to doubt that he would 
have conquered Rome. It was so handy, so safe, so full of munitions. The 
most wonderful part of Hannibal's exploits is that he had to march all the 
way round from Spain and cross the Alps before he could begin. 

Hardrada, Harold. With his Norse mercenaries, called by the Greeks 
Varangians, took a great part in George Maniaces's great victory over the 
Saracens near the Castello di Maniace, on Etna. He afterwards invaded 
England, and was defeated and killed in the Battle of Stamford Bridge, fought 
a short time before the Battle of Hastings. 

Hares appear on ancient coins of Girgenti and Messina. Anaxilas (q.v.) 
is said to have introduced them into Sicily. They are still very numerous 
round Girgenti. 

Harness. The Sicilians are Oriental in their ideas of harness. On festa 
days their horses and asses have a horn a yard high surmounted by a plume of 
scarlet feathers and another great plume of scarlet and green feathers on their 
heads. The harness is mostly scarlet, ornamented with brass and little pieces 
of mirror. The pack-mules, whose harness is generally of webbing decorated 
in this way, look as if they were part of a circus. On ordinary days the horses 
have a tuft of pheasants' feathers. Formerly they had cruel serrated bits, but 
these are going out. You seldom see in Sicily the great brass-mounted saddles 
decked with various chaarms and saints used for draught animals in Naples. 
The oxen have simple yokes. 

Harris and Angell, Messrs. Two English architects, who in the year 
1823 discovered the splendid metopes of Selmunte, now in the Palermo 
Museum. 

Hartstongue Fern grows very freely in Sicily, especially in the rlumerous 
antique cisterns, 

Hasdrubal. A Carthaginian general who besieged Panormus and was 
defeated by L. Caecilius Metellus, B.C. 251. 

Hawkers. As only the large cities have many shops, Sicily is full of 
hawkers of haberdashery, boots, cutlery, pottery, knick-knacks, etc. 

Heads, carrying burdens on. The Sicilians, especially the women, are 
accustomed to carry burdens on their heads. See Water-jars. 

Headkerchiefs. Used by the peasants all over Sicily. The women prefer 
saffron-dyed kerchiefs, the men red ; but they use them less. At Taormina 
occasionally you see one of the valuable old headkerchiefs, which match the 
splendid shawls so fast dying out. They are apt to have a white ground, 

Hecate. A Titan goddess, who accompanied Proserpine to hell and became 
her companion. The new temple of Selmunte, beyond Madiuni, is ascribed 
to her, as is the Adytum, near the Scala Greca at Syracuse, recently dis 
covered by Prof. Orsi. She entered much into witchcraft, as we know from 
the Second Idyll of Theocritus. 

Heius, Caius. A rich Messenian who was robbed by Verres of the Eros of 
Praxiteles, the bronze Hercules by Myron, the Canephorse of PolycleituSj and 
priceless tapestries from Pergamus. See under Messina. 

Helorus. A river of Sicily, Now the Tellaro. There is also an ancient city 
of which there are some remains of the fifth century B.C. They are near Noto, 
and on the banks of the former is the column of stone 30 feet high, known 



198 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

as La Pizzuta, which tradition declares to "be a monument raised by the 
victorious Syracusans to commemorate the capture of the armies of Demos 
thenes and Nicias. It stands on a hill over the sea. The Helorus road was 
that finally chosen by the Athenians for their flight. 




THE RIVER TELLARO (HELORUS) 

Henry VI., Emperor. He married Constantia, daughter, and heiress 
eventually, of King Roger, and obtained the crown of Sicily. With the great 
ransom he received from Richard Coeur de Lion, he made an expedition to 
Sicily and conquered it in 1194; but in 1197 he died at Messina. 

Hera. See Giunone. 

Heradea MInoa. An ancient city, whose ruins are near Montallegro (q.v.) 
and the mouth of the Platani, and the Capo Bianco, on the site of the Sicanian 
town of Mecara. The Cretans captured it, and gave it its name of Minoa. 
It was called Heraclea by a colony of Lacaedemonians, under Euryleon, who 
accompanied Dorieus in his expedition against Eryx. It was generally in the 
power of the Carthaginians. The exact epoch of its destruction is not known. 
If Zeuxis was born 'in Sicily, as it is claimed, this was his birthplace, for he 
was always called Zeuxis of Heraclea. He was the most famous painter of 
antiquity. See under Girgenti. 

, Heraclidae. The name given to all Greek descendants of Hercules j but 
especially those descendants of the hero who, in conjunction with the Dorians, 
conquered the Peloponnese. It was as a Heraclid that Dorieus, the king's son 
of Sparta, considered he had the right of succession to Eryx, which resulted 
in the expedition in which he met his death. 

Heraea, Hybla. See Hybla Heraea. The modern Ragusa. 

Heraei Monies, the, of antiquity, lay between Tyndaris and Mount Etna. 
They are a branch of the modern Nebrodi, 

Herbita. According to Freeman, the modern Sperlinga. It was a purely Sikel 
city, the capital of Archonides, the ally of Ducetius (q.v.). Sicilian tradition 



THINGS SICILIAN 199 

identifies Herbita, which it calls Erbita, and Cicero calls Otterbita, with the 
neighbourhood of the modern Nicosia at the springs called Salso Orientale. 

Herbs. Sicily abounds in aromatic and medicinal herbs which its inhabi 
tants use for cooking and febrifuges. Among others, rosemary, mint, pepper 
mint, thyme, rue, wormwood, sage, the large silvery kind of wormwood they 
call vermouth, juniper, basil, marshmallow, etc. Dandelions are also much 
used medicinally. 

Herb-shops. Shops for the sale of dried herbs are common in Sicily. 
They are used not only for culinary purposes, but for home doctoring in case 
of fevers. 

Hercules (Greek Heracles, Italian Ercole). The Samson of the classics ; 
the most celebrated hero of antiquity ; the son of Zeus and Alcmena. It is 
only necessary to mention here the names of his twelve labours which furnish 
the subjects of various Sicilian coins and his personal connection with Sicily. 
The twelve labours were the fight with the Nemean lion, a frequent coin- 
subject ; the fight with the Lernsean Hydra, the catching of the stag of Cery- 
neia, the catching of the Erymanthian boar, the cleaning of the stables of 
Augeas, the killing of the Stymphalian birds, the catching of the Cretan bull, 
the bringing of the mares of the Thracian Diomede to Eurystheus at Mycence, 
the winning of the girdle of the Queen of the Amazons, the capture of the 
oxen of Geryon, the winning of the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, and 
bringing up Cerberus from the Lower World (Smith's Dictionary of Greek and 
Roman Mythology and Biography]. The reason why Hercules comes so much 
into Sicilian legends and coins is that he became identified with the Phoenician 
Melkart. Indeed, Freeman says the labours were Melkart's. "The Greek 
hero Herakles got mixed up with the Phoenician Melkart, and in that charac 
ter he was sent on various errands in the West, as far as the ocean. Many 
stories arose about him in Sicily, about his driving away the oxen of Geryones, 
about their crossing the strait, and how the hero first received the worship of 
a god in the Sikel town of Agyrium, where the hoof-prints of his oxen were to 
be seen. All this last the historian Diodorus, who was a man of Agyrium, 
takes care to tell us at length. But above all, Herakles wrestled with Eryx, 
the eponymus of the mountain and town so-called, and overthrew him. He 
thus gained a right to his land, but he left it to him on a kind of lease, to hold 
till a Herakleid should come and claim it. This last part, at least of the story, 
was clearly made up in the interest of certain Herakleids who, as we shall see 
in time, did come to claim Eryx." See under Dorieus. There were famous 
temples of Hercules at Messina and Agira, the former of which was perfect 
until it was taken down two or three centuries ago. Also at Girgenti (q.v.), 
where the Temple of Hercules, of which there are enormous remains, contained 
the masterpiece of Zeuxis; and at Selinunte (q.v.), also attributed to Apollo. 
The older metopes in the Palermo Museum were found there. 

Hercules and the Hind. A celebrated bronze of considerable size in the 
museum at Palermo, representing the capture of the Ceryneian stag. See 
above. It is a fountain group discovered at Pompeii in 1805. 

Hercte. See Ercta. 

Hermocrates. The Pericles of Syracuse. It was he who saved the city 
by forcing it in spite of the pooh-poohing of Athenagoras, the Syracusan 
Gladstone, to arm for the Athenian invasion. And he was the best Syra- 
cusan commander in the war, Syracuse, with the ingratitude typical of 
Greek republics, exiled him shortly afterwards. He then distinguished him 
self greatly in the Sparta- Athens- Persia campaign in the Jgean. He was 



200 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESO'RT 

at length persuaded, in spite of his unwillingness to act against his native 
city, to return to Syracuse at the head of an armed force to assist the party m 
favour of his restoration ; but entering the city in advance of his men, he was 
attacked by his enemies and killed. If he had not been so opposed to using 
violence, he might easily have effected his object. Dionysius, who married his 
daughter, was wounded and left for dead in this dmeute. 

Hexastyle. A word seemingly invented by Vitruvius to express a porch 
with six columns, a usual feature of a Doric temple. 

Hibiscus. A plant of the order Malvacese. Various members of the family 
are valuable for their fruit, sap, and bark. But the variety common in 
Sicilian gardens is grown for its brilliant red flowers. 

Hicetas, a tyrant of Syracuse, a contemporary of Dionysius II. and 
Timoleon, with whom he carried on a three-cornered contest for the possession 
of the city. He protected, but afterwards murdered, Arete and Aristomache 
(q.v.). Having been defeated and captured by Timoleon, he was put to 
death with his son at once, while his wife and daughters were carried to 
Syracuse and barbarously executed to avenge Arete and Aristomache. 

Hiero I." Tyrant of Syracuse, 478-467 B.C. Born at Gela. For the 
account of his glorious reign, see under Syracuse, p. 523. 

Hiero II. King of Syracuse, 270-215. See under Syracuse, p. 523. 

Hieronymus. King of Syracuse, son of Hiero II. See under Syracuse, 

P- 5 2 3- 

Hill, G. R, in his The Coins of Ancient Sicily (Constable, 2is. net), gives 
illustrations of all the most famous Sicilian coins, and is valuable, not only as a 
coin book, but as a history of ancient Sicily. 

Himera, Battle of. At this battle, which took place, according to Hero 
dotus, on the same day as the Battle of Salamis, 480 B.C., Gelo, the tyrant 
of Syracuse, defeated an immense Carthaginian army commanded by Hamilcar 
(q.v.), the father of Cisco. Himera (q.v.) is the modern Termini. See also 
Gelo and Coins, p. 508. 

Himera, Town of. Himera was a favourite name with the Sicilian 
Greeks, who applied it to more than one town, as well as ^two rivers, 
which run into the sea near Licata and Termini respectively. The 
Himera Meridionalis of the ancients is the Fiume Salso ; and the ancient 
Himera Septentrionalis is the Fiume Grande. Both Termini and Sciacca 
formerly bore the name of Himera. Agathocles is generally supposed to 
have been born at the former a most historical place founded by Zancle 
about 648 B.C. Here Gelo won the great battle (see preceding par.). The 
city was utterly destroyed by the Carthaginians under Hannibal (q.v.), the 
son of Cisco, B.C. 408, rebuilt nearer the sea on the site of the modern 
Termini, and called Thermae and occasionally Himera. 

Himilcon, son of Hanno. A Carthaginian general who was associated 
with Hannibal, the son of Cisco, in command of the great expedition. 
When Hannibal died of fever at Agrigentum Himilcon succeeded him, and it 
was he who conquered Sicily. He made, in 397, an unsuccessful attempt 
to relieve Motya, which was captured by Dionysius. In' 396 he returned 
to Sicily, and had a most victorious campaign till his army was desolated by 
fever while besieging Syracuse. He then paid three hundred talents to be 
allowed to take the Carthaginian part of his army back to Africa, abandoning 
the allies and mercenaries to their fate. But he was so overwhelmed with 
obloquy at Carthage that he starved himself to death. (Sir W. Smith.) 



THINGS SICILIAN 201 

. Hipparinus. A leader of the Gamori at Syracuse. Having squandered 
his property, he supported Dionysius in seizing the tyranny. He was the 
father of Dion and Aristomache, who married Dionysius I. Dion had a son 
of the same name, who threw himself from the roof of a house and killed 
himself when his father tried to cure him of his luxurious and dissolute 
habits. 

Hipponia is the ancient city on the site of the modern Bivona (q.v.). It 
was built by Gelo, tyrant of Syracuse, as a trophy of his victory over the 
Carthaginians at Himera. 

Hiram, King of Tyre, is supposed to have built the more ancient parts 
of Solunto, the Sicilian Pompeii. As most of Solomon's trading operations 
were carried on through Hiram's fleet, Sicily may well have been represented 
in the Great Temple in Jerusalem. 

Holm, Adolf, the great German scholar,* who is constantly being quoted 
by Freeman. His Geschichte Sicilians im Altertkum, 3 vols., and his 
Geography of Ancient Sicily \mjs both been translated into Italian, but not 
into English. 

Holy Thursday. On Holy Thursday Sicilians make Gardens of Geth- 
semane or Sepolcri with coloured sands and pot-plants in their churches. 
See Ceremonies and Gethsemane, Gardens of. 

Holy Week. See under Ceremonies, p 143. 

Homer. Mr. Butler, in his ingenious book, The Authoress of the Odyssey, 
published by Longmans, boldly tries to prove that the Odyssey was written in 
Sicily by a woman. Be this as it may, Sicily comes a good deal into the 
Twelfth Odyssey, where there is a small island Trinacia, which must be 
connected with the name Trinacria, though there is also a Sikel town 
Trinacia. Homer's Cyclops are not ironworkers in Etna like Virgil, but 
shepherds in the south-west of the island. He has a good deal to say about 
Scylla (q.v.) and Charybdis (q.v.). He mentions Sikels and a land called 
Sicania. (See Freeman, History of Sicily , vol. i. 105-107 and pages 462, 494.) 

Honey. The honey of Sicily has always been famous. It is an article of 
export to-day, and in the island the best Sicilian honey is still called Hybbean 
from the range of hills where it is produced. They have a honey town, 
Melili (q.v.), which has curious ceremonies. 

Horses. Sicily was once famous for its horses. The Syracusans had the 
best cavalry of all the Greeks. A few years ago the condition of horses in 
Sicily was deplorable, not so much from beating as from starvation and 
diseases. The very poor work for next to nothing with miserable horses. 
Owing to the efforts of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
at Palermo this evil has much decreased. Visitors can help its work best by 
refusing to take any horse which looks underfed or unfit to work from its sores. 
Sicilian horses are not good as a rule. They are very slow. Asses and mules 
do more of the work of the country. Good riding horses can only be pro 
cured in one or two places. But the horses are very hardy, and if allowed to 
#o at their own irritating pace they do an immense amount of work. See 
Harness. Subscriptions to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals should be addressed to Ambroise Pare Brown, Esq., Via S. Martinog, 
Palermo. 

Hotels. For hotels the traveller should consult Baedeker, who takes great 
pains to be honest and up to date. The best-known hotels in Sicily are the 
Hotel Igiea, Hotel de France, and Hotel des Palmes at Palermo, the Hotel 



202 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

S. Domenico and Hotel Timeo at Taormina ; and the Villa Politi at Syra 
cuse. Cook's correspondent, Mr. H. von Pernull, is contemplating an 
up-to-date modern hotel at Castrogiovanni, the ancient Enna, which, with a 
motor-car service, is the best place for visiting the little-known cities of the 
interior. Other extensively patronised hotels by those who frequent Sicily^ for 
study, etc., are the Hotel Trinacria, Pension Panormus, and Pension Suisse 
at Palermo ; the Casa Politi and Hotel Acradina at Syracuse ; the Hotel 
Victoria, Hotel Naumachia, and Hotel Castellammare at Taormina ; the Hotel 
des Temples and Hotel Belvedere at Girgenti ; Hotel Stella d' Italia at 
Modica ; the Hotel d' Italia at Randazzo ; the Hotel Bixio at Castelvetrano ; 
and certain hotels at Messina, Catania, and Trapani. The Hotel Belvedere 
at Messina, little known to foreigners, has much to recommend it for those 
who are satisfied with a native inn. At Tyndaris the priests of the Madonna 
del Tindaro have a good hospiciurn put up for pilgrims, where they take 
women as well as men on receiving two days' notice, addressed to the Superior. 
See under Tyndaris. The cooking in Sicily is generally fair ; the Sicilians are 
good cooks. See hotels under various cities. 

Humbert, King 1 . The various streets named Humbert in Sicily are called 
after the late King Humbert, who visited the island. 

Hybla, A goddess of the nether world in the Sikel religion not identified 
with any Greek goddess, but in Roman times, says Freeman, " the goddess of 
Hybla became identified with the Latin Venus. But it should be remembered 
that the Latin Venus was, in her first estate, a harmless goddess of growth, 
falling in well with one aspect of the powers of the nether world. Her worship 
is, of course, connected with Etna." 

Hybla. The ancient city whose name is corrupted into the modern Avola 
(q.v.}. 

Hybla, the Galeatic (or Gereatic), Freeman. Still Sikel in the time of 
Philistus. It is represented by the modern Paterno (q.v.). Mentioned by 
Pausanias, who says that there are two Hyblas in Sicily, Hybla Gereatis and 
Hybla the Greater, which was entirely desolate. The temple was at the 
former, and Pausanias says that its inhabitants were the most devout of all the 
barbarians in Sicily. There are some remains of the ancient city. 

Hybla Heraea. The modern Ragusa (q.v.). On the river Hyrminos, or 
Ragusa, which caused the disastrous flood of 1902. It is not near the 
Hereaan Mountains. Freeman suggests that there may have been a great 
temple of Hera, the Greek goddess identified with Juno. 

Hybla Minor, or Hybla Gereatis, identified by Sir W. Smith with Megara 
Hyblsea. 

Hybla Major. Freeman puts Hybla the Greater close to Megara Hyblsea. 
Sicilians apply the name to Patern6 (q.v.), the Galeatic Hybla of Freeman. 
It has coins one of which has a bee for its type. 

Hyblaean Hills. The table-mountain which is such a prominent landmark 
at Syracuse. In them or their offshoots lie the gorge of the Spampinato, 
along which the Athenians marched in their unsuccessful attempt to escape at 
the Pass of Palazzolo. 

Hyccara. The modern Carini. A Sicanian town. The only one known 
not on a hill-top. Later, when it was Greek, it was captured by Nicias in 
an expedition which carried off the celebrated Lais, 4.15 B.C. See under 
Carini. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



203 



Hygeia. The goddess of health. One of the two patron deities of ancient 
Messana (Messina). There are fonts inscribed to her both in the cathedral and 
La Cattoiica. 

Hypaethral, i.e. open to the sky. It 
is always a moot point whether Greek 
temples had a roof or not. Vitruvius, to 
whom we owe the term, applies it to the 
temple of the Olympian Zeus at Athens. 
The subject is treated at great length in 
Russell Sturgis's Dictionary of Architec 
ture (Macmillan). 

I 

laeta (letas, the later Yato, Freeman). 
A Sicanian city mentioned by Philistus 
as a strong hill fort, and famous in the 
wars of Pyrrhus and Roger. The Roman 
Silius Italicus calls it Celsus letas. Mr. 
G. F. Hill mentions an Itetia which had 
coins. It was not very far from Palermo 
(Panormus), because Pyrrhus, to whom 
it capitulated, used it as his base in attack 
ing that city, and the Carthaginians in 
the first Punic War had to evacuate it as 
soon as Panormus fell. Cicero just men 
tions it as having been ruined by Verres. 
Fazello says there was a medieval fortress 
named lato on a mountain 15 miles from 
Palermo and 12 from Entella (Smith). 

Ilex, or Holm Oak (Quercus ilex\ a 

tree with a small leaf something like a sloe. Evergreen, much planted in 
Italian and Sicilian gardens. There are constant references to it in the 
classics, in Pliny, Virgil, Horace, Marcian, etc. 

Ineorpora, Cav. Giovanni. The best photographer in Palermo. See under 
Palermo. 

Ingham family. The great wine business of Ingham, Whitaker and Co. 
was founded by Mr. Ingham in 1804. See under Marsala. 

Inghilfredi di Palermo. A Sicilian of the fourteenth century ; was one of 
the earliest Italian poets to write in the vernacular. 

Inquisition. The headquarters of the Inquisition in Sicily were in the 
Chiaramonte Palace, now known as the Dogana, or Palazzo Tribunale (q.v.). 
It was abolished in 1782 by the Viceroy Caracciolo after having been in 
existence for about 200 years. See under Palermo. 

Immacolata. The festival of the Immacolata takes place on December 8th. 
It is the day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, one of the 
great festivals of Sicily. The seaside shrine of the Immacolata at Palermo is 
very picturesque. 

Imachara. A Sikel town. Freeman discusses the origin of the name, 
History of Sicily \ vol. i. 494, but is not sure whether it coincides with the 
modern Troina (q.v.), where there are considerable Greek remains. 




HOLY-WATER STOUP, INSCRIBED WITH THE 

NAME OF THE GODDESS HYGEIA IN 

THE CATHEDRAL OF MESSINA 



204 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Imera. The Italian way of spelling the ancient Himera (q.v.). _ But there is 
also a modern village of Imera on the banks of the Himera Meridionalis (q.v. ). 

" In Sicily." The title of Mr. Douglas Sladen's large work on Sicily, 
published by Sands and Co., 1901, 2 vols., quarto, 63^. net. 

Intergugliemi. A well-known photographer. See under Palermo. 

Introductions. Not necessary, but often very useful. It does almost as 
well to consult Cook's correspondent, Mr. Von Pernull, at Palermo. 

Inycum. One of the cities of the Sicanian king Cocalus of Camicus (q ; v.). 
Its exact site, beyond that it was in Agrigentine territory, is uncertain. Sicilian 
tradition places it near Sciacca. 

Ionian Sea. Called in ancient times the Sicilian Sea ; is the widening out 
southwards of the Strait of Messina. Sicilians often spell it with a J. 

Ionic style. See under Capitals and Columns. Its most striking feature 
is the horizontal spiral of the capital. 

Ionic colonies. The principal Ionic colonies were Naxos, Catane (Catania), 
Leontini (Lentini), Zancle (Messina), and Himera (Termini). 

Iris. A great variety of irises grow in Sicily. The most beautiful of them 
are on Etna, for example between Randazzo and Maniace. The little blue 
Greek iris, which comes up so Quickly after rain, is found all over Sicily, and 
the yellow flag on the banks of the rivers. The great purple iris is com 
paratively rare. They are generally smaller, and parti-coloured or white. 
At the Olympeium outside Syracuse I have picked the beautiful velvety green 
iris for which Corfu is famous. 

Ironwork. See Hammered Iron. 

Irrigation. There is a great deal of irrigation in Sicily, which, though it 
has a very small rainfall, has an immense number of springs and wells. The 
water is raised by methods as old as Archimedes, and stored in great plaster 
gebbie, or cisterns, which are often many feet square and ten or fifteen feet 
deep. Thence it is sometimes carried long distances in open inclined plastered 
channels. Anything belonging to the temperate or subtropical zones will 
grow in Sicily with irrigation. 

Isabella, Keats'. The scene of this poem, founded on a story in Boccaccio, 
is laid at Messina. 

Isis. The worship of Isis has left very few traces in Sicily. I do not know 
of any temple in existence. 

Isnello. Reached by mail-vettura from Campofelice on the Palermo- 
Messina line in 4^ hours. It is in the Monti Nebrodi, and founded on the 
antique Castle of the Ass. Its proper name is Asinello. It is mentioned by 
historians from the tenth century. It has a very early acropolis. 

Isola Lunga. An island off Trapani and Marsala, in the lagoons called the 
Stagnone. 

Isola delle Feminine. An island off Monte Pellegrino. Has a square 
tower where Cottizona was executed as a sorcerer in the sixteenth century. 
Really the Isola di Fimi. 

Ispica Cava d' or Val <T. The most famous collection of prehistoric tombs 
in Sicily. It is a valley with rock walls stretching most of the way from 
Modica to Spaccaforno, full of the dwellings and tombs of troglodytes, includ 
ing a fortress. At the Modica end there are two chambers cut in the rock, 
whose Byzantine frescoes show that they must have been used as churches 
during the Saracen persecution. One was quite perfect till the flood of 1902. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



205 



In a cavern between the two, used by the farmer for his animals, are some 
galleries of Roman tombs of the third century with arches and cancelli, like 
the splendid galleries of tombs at Palazzolo (q.v.). 




GENERAL VIEW OF THE CAVA D ISPICA, SHOWING THE CAVES OF THE TROGLODYTES 

Isola delle Correnti. The most southerly point of Sicily is on the mainland 
opposite the Isola delle Correnti, a very small island. (Freeman.) '. 

Ivy. The ivy in Sicily is extremely fine, especially the golden ivy, so called 
on account of its spikes of golden flowers, which stand up like horse-chestnut 
blossoms. It floods whole precipices in the latomias, and its mighty stems 
help one to understand the carved ivywood bowls mentioned by Theocritus. 

J 

James of Aragon. King of Sicily from 1285-96. Surnamed the Just. 
To avert invasion of his Aragonese dominions, he surrendered Sicily to 
Charles of Anjou, but his brother Frederick successfully resisted the transfer, 
and became Frederick II. of Sicily. 

Japs of Europe. The country Sicilians much resemble the country Japanese 
in real primitiveness, cheerful acquiescence in poverty, fatalism, the artistic 
feeling that permeates the lowest of them, and in the dilettante kind of in- 
dustriousness which seems like idleness, but is really never-ceasing work done 
with the exercise of intelligence and individuality. In appearance the ragged 
Sicilian and the ragged Japanese are ridiculously alike. 

Jars. See Earthenware. 

Jebel Hamed. The Arabic name of Monte S. Giuliano (q.v.). 



206 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Jews. There are not a great many Jews in Sicily, though Syracuse and 
Trapani have their Giudeccas. The Eastern element in the Sicilian type is 
Arabic and in the south even Berber, but not Jewish. You can pick the 
Sicilian Jew out at Syracuse with great ease. This is due to the Spanish 
expulsion of the Jews ; because Sicily had Spanish dynasties for nearly six 
hundred years (1282-1860). The Jews were driven out of Sicily by Ferdinand 
the Catholic in 1492, in spite of the protest of the Municipality of Palermo. 

Jilting in Sicily. See Courtships. Jilting is hardly possible in the state 
of Sicilian feeling. 

Joanna of England, daughter of King Henry II., married King William 
the Good of Sicily. 

Jupiter. See Giove. 

Judas Tree. A leguminous tree belonging to the order Ccesalpinese. " The 
common Judas tree (C. silquaslrum) is indigenous in the South of Europe" 
(Chambers). With its masses of peach-coloured blossoms it is a very striking- 
looking object in Sicilian gardens in the spring. Judas is said to have hung 
himself on this tree. 

K 

Kaggl An hour and a quarter from Giardini Stat., Messina-Catania line. 
Unimportant. 

Kalat-al-Bellnt (castle of cork woods). Saracenic of Caltabellota (q.v.). 

Kalat-Bntur. The Saracenic name of Caltavutura (q.v.). 

Kids. Kids are eaten in Sicily more than lambs. They taste nice, but are 
extremely stringy. 

Kidnapping goes on a good deal in Sicily ; principally with marriageable 
girls, heiresses especially, when the suitor is unacceptable to the relations. 

Kindergartens are a Sicilian institution. See Giardino d 5 Infanzia. 

Kings in Sicily. Until 1860, first Sicily and then the Two Sicilies had 
had kings for more than eight centuries, beginning with Roger II. The 
Saracen Emirs were almost kings. In ancient times Sicily only had three 
Greek kings, Agathocles, Hiero II., and Hieronymus. One or two Sikels 
such as Ducetius and Archonides are spoken of as kings, and one Sican, 
Cocalus the king of Camicus. 

Knives. Ancient daggery-looking knives are a speciality in Sicily. Knives 
with blades more than a palm long being forbidden by law, they are, for the 
most part, relegated to curio-shops. The knives in ordinary use by the 
people, with their scimitar-shaped blades and boldly-curved iron or brass or 
horn handles, are very picturesque. They are made of iron but take a good 
edge, and are quite a thing for the tourist to collect at stalls. The knives 
have no spring, though a good deal of stabbing goes on. This is not necessary, 
as Sicilians stab upwards. They have other knives tapering into very long 
points almost the shape of a needle. 

Kodaks. Almost every foreigner takes a kodak to Sicily. But you can 
only get kodak supplies at Palermo, Messina, Catania, and Taormina, At 
Syracuse one has to send to Malta for them through the steamboat office, 

Korlioun. The Arab name of Corleone (q.v.) is a corruption. 

Kusa. Eight kil. from Campobello-di-Mazzara Stat. on Palermo-Trapani 
line. At Kusa are the Cave Selinuntine quarries from which the temples at 
Selinunte were built. 



THINGS SICILIAN 207 



Labour. Labour in Sicily is abundant and badly paid. Many of the 
three millions and a half of the population are labourers. Some of them are 
paid as low as half a franc a day ; and between a franc and two francs a day 
is good pay. The labourers live in towns, and if their work is distant have 
an ass or mule to ride to it. The labour in the sulphur mines is in some 
places conducted under horrible conditions. The evil-doers are recruited from 
them. The peasants, as a rule, are very wholesome people. 

Lsestrygonians. A race always supposed to be fabulous, mentioned by 
Homer, etc. Butler identifies them with the Cyclops and the Sicans, and 
says that the modern Italian Lastricare, which means to pave roads with stone, 
probably comes from the same root. He translates Laestrygonians, workers 
in stone, and identifies their city Telepylus with Cefalu. See Butler, The 
Authoress of the Odyssey, p. 124. Freeman says that the Greek settlers of 
both Italy and Sicily found homes for the Lsestrygonians and Circe and other 
mythical beings each in their separate neighbourhood. If Butler's translation 
is sound, Laestrygonian is an excellent name for the builders of Cyclopsean 
walls at Cefalu, etc. 

Lamachus. An Athenian general. Son of Xenophanes. A colleague of 
Alcibiades and Nicias in commanding the expedition to Sicily. Lamachus 
wished to attack Syracuse and occupy Megara directly they landed, which 
would have been fatal to Syracuse. He was killed while heading a victorious 
sally, and his death was the turning-point in the campaign. (Sir W. Smith.) 

Lamia, the purple-worker of Segesta, is mentioned in Cicero's Indictment 
of Verres, Lamia is both a Greek and a Roman word. Cicero says : "There 
is a woman, a citizen of Segesta, accepted very rich and nobly born, by name 
Lamia. She having her house full of spinning-jennies, for three years was 
making him robes and coverlets, all dyed with purple," It would be interest 
ing to know the nationality of this Lamia, for Segesta was more Elymian, 
and after that Mamertine, than Greek. 

Lamps. Any quantity of antique lamps are found in Sicily, mostly terra 
cotta. Cheap earthenware lamps, antique in character, with the pinched spout 
for holding the cotton strands which form the wick, are still largely in use in 
a land where so much olive oil is made and where petroleum is shockingly 
dear. For odd shapes, see under Earthenware. 

Land-snails. Sicily is full of small white land-snails, which are specially 
fond of the great horny leaves of the agave, or American aloe. 

Language. See Dialect. The characteristics of the Sicilian language are 
given in the Preface. 

Chambers gives the following authorities for the Sicilian dialect : Wentrup 
(Halle, 1880) and C. Avolio (Moto, 1882) ; the Sicilian-Italian Dictionaries 
of G. Biundi (Pal., 1857) and V. Mortiikro (new ed. Pal, 1879). See also 
under Folk-songs, p. 178, and Poetry, p. 259, 

Lascari. Stat. next to Cefalu on the Messina-Palermo line. A starting- 
point for the summer station and monastery of Gibilmanna. 

Latomia. Literally a stone-quarry. The latomias of Syracuse (q.v.) were 
famous as prisons. See also Quarries, and p. 524. 

Lattices (Italian, per slant}. Almost every window in Sicily has its green 
lattices outside, generally with a little wicket, or hatch, in the centre, which 
can be opened while the rest is kept bolted. They play a prominent part in 
Sicilian courtships. 



ao8 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Laurana, Francesco. Sculptor, has a statue in Palermo Cathedral and a 
beautiful bust, resembling that of the Louvre in the Palermo Museum, and 
decorated a chapel in S. Francesco at Palermo. 

Lava is used everywhere for paving the roads in Sicily. Very few towns 
have side-walks. It is not much used for building except in ornamentation, 
because it is so hard and Sicily is full of splendid building-stone. 

Lava streams. Etna (q.v, ) is naturally covered with lava streams. They 
are also found in many places remote from existing volcanoes, such as Cape 
Schiso, a black lava spit jutting out into the sea near the ancient Naxos 
below Taormina ; and at Syracuse, near the Camp of Marcellus below the 
Castle of Euryalus. 

Lavatojo. Public washing-place. Sicily, like Italy, is full of these, 
though they seldom have any architectural pretensions. 

Lawn-tennis enjoys considerable popularity in Palermo. Some Sicilians 
play very well indeed. There are regular tennis days in the gardens of 
Mrs. Joshua Whitaker, Signora Florio, etc., and an annual tournament at 
the Sports Club, instituted by its popular and energetic president Cav. 
Giuseppe di Scalea. 

Lemons. Lemons are one of the great staples of Sicily. The Conca 
d Oro is one vast lemon grove. Hardly any oranges are grown except for 
the owner s requirements, as lemons pay better. They are exported in boxes 
whole, or m large casks cut in pieces. At certain seasons the wharves are 
almost monopolised with them. Besides the ordinary lemon, the wild lemon 
and the sweet lemon and various other citrous fruits, such as the shaddock 
the citron, and the pomelow, are grown to some extent. Both goats and 
cattle are largely fed with lemon-peel. 

Lent, how it is kept In Palermo, at all events, a great change has come 
over Sicily in the keeping of Lent. Formerly no opera went on and no 
entertainments to speak of; but now, as Lent is the season in which the 
Falermitans make their principal harvest off foreigners, they have dropped 
these restrictions. They always have a good many semi-festas. The principal 
way in which they keep Lent is to hang a bluish-grey Lenten veil painted 
with some scene from the Passion in faint outline before the altar, and to rine 
the bells with a clapper instead of a bell-rope, a relic of the days of the 
Sicilian Vespers. See under Bell-ringing. * 

Lenten Veil. See preceding par. and under Ceremonies. It is cut down 
on the Saturday preceding Easter Sunday. 

Lentini, the andent Leontini. Mail-vettura from the stat. to Carlentini, 
h 2f >. 1 t tttim ^) 2 5 minutes ; Francofonte, 3 hours. A station on 
the Catania-Syracuse line. The L^strygonians are located in this neighbour 
hood by some ancient authors. Chiesi says that though they were largely 
imaginary they must have been founded on the Sicanians; in fact, the lost 
* ^itions of Lentini say that on the site of the Greco-Siinian city 
of Le onto i was the Sicaman city Xuthia, founded by Xuthus, son of MoluL 
fot king of the Sicans^ The Greeks, led by Theocles, settled here in 729 B.C 

l^^^T f YK W S With Sy A acUSe - Tt was a ^ of much culture 
TVmSh grated orator Gorgias, who was only surpassed by 

Demosthenes among the orators of antiquity. Lentini has the lamest lake 
in Sicily, which must have formed itself ?n modern times, beca^l^ ifS 
mention of it among ancient writers. It has a circumference of 15 or 20 kii 
S ar i T 6 - red with v luxurio *s vegetation, but in summer it is ver^ 
malarious. Lentini was in the region of the sacred lakes, of which the molt 



THINGS SICILIAN 209 

celebrated was Palicus, a small lake with sulphureous exhalations, which lies 
near Palagonia on the line from Valsavoia to Caltagirone. There are con 
siderable remains of ancient Leontini, such as walls, aqueducts, etc. ; and in 
the neighbourhood are vast caves, remains of Xuthia, and of the fortress of 
Bricinnia. The modern Lentini has dwindled, owing to malaria having 
driven its inhabitants in the sixteenth century to Carlentini. It is, however, 
the best place for visiting the prehistoric tombs and rock-dwellings of Pantalica 
in the day if you have a carriage to meet you at the station. 

Lentini, Jacopo da. A fourteenth-century Sicilian poet, one of the earliest 
writers in Italian (Sicilian). 

Lentisk. ^The lentisk is an aromatic and rather glutinous shrub which 
grows wild in the latomias of Syracuse and elsewhere in Sicily. Pistaeia 
lentiscus is its Latin name ; it yields the mastic of commerce, and looks 
rather like a small carob tree. Of mastic, Chambers says : " It oozes from 
cuts made in the bark, and hardens on the stem in small, round, tear-like 
lumps of a light straw colour, or, if not collected in time, it falls on the 
ground ; in the latter state it acquires some impurities, and is consequently 
less valuable. The chief use of this gum-resin is in making the almost 
colourless varnish for varnishing prints, maps, drawings, etc. It is also used 
by dentists for stopping hollow teeth, and was formerly employed in medicine." 
(Chambers.) 

Leonforte. Stat. on Palermo-Catania line. The most important stat. in 
Sicily for mail-vetture to the various cities of the interior. They run to 
Assarp (town), I hour; Leonforte (town), i hours; Pontesalso, 4^ hours; 
Nicosia (35 kil), 5f hours ; Mistretta, 3 hours 10 minutes ; Reitano, 4! hours ; 
S. Stefano-Camastra, 6 hours. From Nicosia mail-vetture run to Sperlinga, 
1 1 hours; Gangi, 3j hours; Cerami, 44 hours; Troina, 6 hours; Capizzi, 
4 hours. In the Cappuccini Church are a Raphael (school of) and a Pietro 
Novell!. It is near the site of the ancient Tabas or Tavi. 

Leontini, The ancient name of Lentini (q.v.). The coins of Leontini 
were very beautiful. One of the most familiar types is the lion's head with 
ravening jaws surrounded by four corn grains. On the other side is a beautiful 
head of Apollo. Another has the head of the Damareteion coins of Syracuse 
surrounded by corn grains instead of dolphins, the other side of the coin 
having the four-horse chariot and winged Victory above. 

Lepidus, M. ^milius. The triumvir who invaded Sicily 36 B.C. and laid 
siege to Lilybaeum. But he did little in Sicily till after the death of Sextus 
Pompeius, when Plinius, the lieutenant of the latter, joined forces with him 
to sack Messana, the Pompeian stronghold. For a moment Lepidus hoped to 
become master of Sicily, but the soldiers all deserted to Octavian. 

Leptines. A Syracusan admiral, brother of Dionysius I. , who commanded 
the fleet at the siege of Motya. He won an important victory over the 
Carthaginian fleet under Himilco, which he intercepted on its way to Pan- 
ormus, destroying 50 transports and 5,000 troops. But the greater part of the 
force escaped. In a subsequent battle off Catania he was too rash, and cut 
off" from his fleet, which was severely defeated. In the siege of Syracuse which 
followed, he and Pharacidas, the Lacoedemonian, destroyed the naval camp 
and fleet of the Carthaginians. He was afterwards exiled for his leniency to 
the people of Thurii. He retired to that city, and rose to great power among 
the Italian Greeks. Dionysius therefore recalled him to his favour, and gave 
him his daughter in marriage. He was killed, 383 B.C., in the battle against 
the Carthaginians at Cronium. Another Leptines of Syracuse took a leading 



210 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

part against Dionysius II. , and became tyrant of Apollonia and Engyum. He was 
expelled by Timoleon and exiled to Corinth. A third Leptines of Syracuse was 
a general of Agathocles who won two great victories against the Agrigentines. 
A fourth Leptines of Syracuse was father-in-law of Hiero II. (Smith], 

Lercara ( Arcara di li friddi ; not to be confused with Arcara di li fusi. ) 
Stat on Girgenti- Palermo line. Unimportant except as a starting-point for 
the mail-vetture to Lercara post office, 2 hours ; Filaca, 5 hours ; Stefano- 
Quisquina, 7| hours ; Bivona, 9 hours ; Alessandria-della-Rocca, io| hours ; 
Cianciano, 12 hours ; Raffadali, 17^ hours ; Vicari, z\ hours ; Bivio-Prizzi, 
6 hours ; Centa-Vernare, 6J hours ; Palazzo-Adriano, 8 hours ; Chiusa- 
Sclafani, loj hours ; Prizzi, 7 hours. A sulphur district. Its full name is 
Lercara-Friddi. 

Letojanni. Stat. on Messina- Catania line near Taormina. Called also 
Gallidoro, from the gold mines of the region. There are the remains of a 
magnificent palace of the baronial epoch, and in the neighbourhood rises 
Mongiuffi Melia, which has a beautiful valley with a celebrated waterfall. 

Letter-writers, professional. The professional letter-writer is a feature 
of Sicily. He is generally to be found hanging about the post office, and 
writes letters for people who cannot write to people who cannot read. 

Levanzo. One of the /Egatian islands (q.v.). 

Libera. A Roman goddess identified with Persephone (Proserpine), the 
daughter of Demeter. See Proserpine. 

Libraries. For Public Libraries see under Biblioteca. Libreria means a 
bookshop (q.v.). 

Licata ( " La Diletta "). An imjxnrtant seaport on the south coast of Sicily, 
the site of the ancient Phintias, while the hill outside the town is the ancient 
Ecnomus. It is a junction for the lines between Syracuse and Canicatti. Its 
name is a corruption of the Saracen Alicata, and it stands at the mouth of the 
Fiume Salso or Hirnera Meridionalis. It has also been claimed for the site of 
the ancient Gela. There was originally a Phoenician fortress here. In 256 
Regulus won a great victory over the Carthaginians here. In 249 B.C. the 
Carthaginians destroyed a Roman fleet here. In 1553 Licata was devastated 
by a Turkish fleet. In the Middle Ages the town was guarded by the castles 
of Agnera and Mezzocasale and the Tower of Gioetta, which was developed 
into a fortress. Licata is a great sulphur port. In Norman times it was 
called Castello di Limpiados. Ecnomus, which is now called Monte S. Angelo, 
is said to have contained the Castello di Phalaride, where the tyrant Phalaris 
kept his famous brazen bull 

LIcodia-Eubea is I J hours from the Vizzini-Licodia Stat. It has ruins of 
an ancient castle and the remains of an unknown ancient city near it Fazello 
says it was a Saracenic name, but Maurolycus considers it Greek. It is not to 
be* confused with S. Maria di Licodia (q.v.). 

" Life of the Greeks and Romans," by Guhl and Koner. An excellent 
popular and portable dictionary of Greek and Roman antiquities, published in 
English by Chatto and Windus (75-, 6d.). The most useful book of the kind 
the sightseer and curio -collector can take with him. 

Lighting. There is a great deal of electric light. In Syracuse especially 
acetylene is found most useful. There is very little coal gas. Hotels, except 
the largest, still rely mostly on candles and petroleum lamps. 

Lily. The lily tribe are chiefly represented in Sicily by the two pink and 
much rarer yellow asphodels. 



THINGS SICILIAN 211 

Lilyba, the Spring 1 of. This spring, which has always been considered 
sacred, was called Lilyba by the Carthaginians and the Well of the Sibyl by 
the Romans. It Is now consecrated to S. John, and is enclosed in a sort of 
crypt in the church of S. Giovanni Boeo outside Marsala. 

Lilybaeum, the ancient Carthaginian city upon whose site Marsala rises, 
was built by the Carthaginians after the destruction of Motya by Dionysius 
397 B.C. It is 'called the Virgin Fortress because it was never captured. The 
Carthaginians ceded it to the Romans as part of the general surrender of Sicily. 
Dionysius tried to capture it soon after its foundation. Pyrrhus tried to 
capture it in 276, but after two months' siege was compelled to abandon it as 
hopeless. The Romans tried to capture it in 250 B. c. , but were totally defeated 
by Adherbal, the Carthaginian commander, in 249. They went on besieging 
it for ten years. Like Drepanum, it was still holding out when the Battle of 
the ^Egatian Islands in 241 B.C. compelled the Carthaginians to give up all 
Sicily. In 218, at the beginning of the Second Punic War, the Carthaginians 
tried to surprise it, but were defeated by the Praetor Marcus ^milius. In 
204 B.C. Scipio sailed from Lilybseum to his conquest of Africa, as did the 
younger Africanus in 149, for the expedition which destroyed Carthage. 
Csesar made it his headquarters for his African campaign. Cicero was 
quaestor of Lilybaeum in 75 B.C. It was a place of much importance under 
the Goths and Vandals. The Saracens when they conquered Sicily attached 
so much importance to it that they called it Marsa Allah the Port of God, 
the origin of its modern name, Marsala (q. v. ). Of ancient Lilybseum there are 
considerable remains, including an important portion of its ancient walls near 
the Porta di Trapani and the best Phoenician necropolis yet discovered, at 
Birgi. For the underground city, see under Catacombs and under Marsala. 

No coins of Lilybseum are known prior to the Roman period. The Roman 
coins of Lilybaeum have Lilyb, Lilybit, or Lilubaiitan, if the lettering is 
Greek. 

Lilybaeum, the Cape of, one of the three capes of Sicily, is now called 
Cape Boeo (q.v.). 

Lipari Islands. Called by the ancients the Isles of yEolus. Seven rocky 
and volcanic islands off the north-east coast of Sicily, the connecting-link 
between Etna and Vesuvius. They are called at present Lipari, Vulcano 
Isola Salina, Filicuri, Alicuri, Stromboli, and Panaria, etc. Stromboli is one of 
the most constantly active of all volcanoes, but it is none the less inhabited. The 
name Lipara was known to the Greeks. The islands were settled by a colony of 
Cnidians and Rhodians, under the Heraclid Pentathlus in 578 B.C., after they 
had been defeated by the Carthaginians and the Elymians of Segesta in their 
attempt to help the Greeks of Selinunte. In 260 B.C. the Roman Consul 
Cn, Cornelius Scipio was blockaded in the port of Lipara by the Carthaginians, 
and captured with his entire fleet. Nine years later the Romans took the 
islands and established a post there. Until 1609 the islands belonged some 
times to Sicily, sometimes to Naples; but from that time onwards they 
belonged to Sicily, with which they passed to the kingdom of Italy in 1861. 
Pausanias says of the colony of Pentathlus : "They either found the islands 
uninhabited or expelled the inhabitants. Of these islands they inhabit 
Lipara, where they founded a city ; the islands of Hiera, Strongyle, and 
Didymae they till, passing to them in ships. In Strongyle fire may be seen 
rising up out of the earth, and in Hiera fire blazes up spontaneously at the 
highest point of the island, and there are baths beside the sea, which are well 
enough if you let yourself gently into the water ; but to plunge into the water 
is painful on account of the heat." Hiera is now called Volcano and has a 



212 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

constantly smoking crater ; and Strongyle is now Stromboli. In the Middle Ages 
Charles Martel was believed to be imprisoned in Stromboli. The vapour baths 
described by Diodoras Siculus on Lipara may still be visited. Lipara has a 
good many remains of antiquities, including a Greek necropolis and ancient 
baths partially excavated once, but according to Baedeker filled up again by 
Bishop Todaro so that visitors might not be attracted to the island. The 
dried figs of the Lipari Islands are the best in Italy. They owe much to 
a British capitalist, who has presented some interesting terra-cottas, including 
figurines of an unique pattern, to the Glasgow Art Gallery. The island of 
Volcanello adjoining Vulcano was thrown up by the eruption of- 183 B.C. 
There was another great submarine eruption in 126 B.C. Geologically, the 
Lipari Islands are of extreme interest. The University of Oxford contem 
plates sending a small commission to examine them. The rarest volcanic 
products have been found there. There is a daily steamer from Milazzo to 




THE LIPA.RI ISLANDS 

Lipari and Salina, and a weekly steamer from Messina to Lipari, Salina, 
Panaria, and Stromboli. 

Liveries, ancient. Many of the old families have their ancient liveries 
carefully preserved, and on great occasions, like a coming-of-age festivity, put 
men into them. 

Livery-stables. Only in the largest towns. 

Livolsi. The Sicilian sculptor of the seventeenth century who modelled 
the statue of Charles V. in the Piazza Bologni at Palermo. 

Litra. A Sicilian coin worth rather more than the ordinary Greek obol 
based in value on the litra or pound of bronze. (G. F. Hill.) 

Litro. An ordinary liquid measure about the size of an English imperial qt. 

Lizards. Sicily swarms with lizards, mostly of the common variety found 
all over Italy. They are running about on every sunny wall. 

Lloyd, W. Watkiss, the author of The History of Sicily to the Athenian 
War, with Elucidations of the Sicilian Odes of Pindar (John Murray. 1872). 



THINGS SICILIAN 213 

Locanda. Humble inns in Sicily are called locande, 

Locust tree. See Carob. 

Loggia. An arcade with open sides, not so much used in Sicily to border 
streets as they are in some towns of Italy, but a great deal used in upper 
stories for the belvedere. 

Lombards in Sicily. Sicily has various Lombard colonies planted by the 
early kings. They have preserved their characteristics to a surprising degree, 
including even the Lombard dialect in some places, such as Aidone, near Piazza 
Armerina. Other Lombard colonies are at Randazzo, Nicosia, Corleone, etc. 
The architectural influence is plainly marked at Randazzo and Nicosia in the 
Palazzetti, but the Lombard architectural influence is often seen in Sicily, 

Lombardo, the. A steamer belonging to Rafiaelle Rubattino, a Genoese. 
When Garibaldi was wondering how he should transport his " Thousand " to 
Sicily, Rubattino sent him word that two steamers belonging to him, the 
Lombards and the Piemonte^ would be left imperfectly guarded at a certain place, 
and that the engineers would obey instructions without question. Garibaldi 
took the hint, and transported his " Thousand" to Marsala (q.v.), where his 
landing commenced the unification of Italy. The unlucky Lombardo _ran 
ashore a hundred yards outside the harbour of Marsala, and two Neapolitan 
frigates were about to make a shambles of her when the captain of a British 
man-of-war steamed in between so that not a shot could touch the Lombardo 
without hitting her. This was a responsibility for which the Neapolitans were 
not prepared. As soon as every man was safe ashore, H.M.S. Argus steamed 
away and the Neapolitans pounded the Lombardo to pieces. Italy owes this 
to the English. 

Lombardo, Pietro, a painter of the Byzantine period in Sicily (Petrus 
Lampardus). 

Loquats (Japanese medlars). Called by Italians nespolL A Japanese tree 
of the order Rosacese (Eriobotrya japtmica]. It is an evergreen resembling 
a small horse-chestnut, with a fine yellow fruit, full of large stones, which 
tastes something like an apricot (Chambers.) 

Lords and Ladies. There is a handsome but evil-smelling variety of this 
wild flower in Sicily. It is an arum. 

Lorenzo da Palermo. The fifteenth-century artist of the noble unfinished 
frescoes at S. Maria di Gesu at Palermo. 

S. Lorenzo. A suburb of Palermo, a stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. 
S. Lorenzo is not a very favourite saint in Sicily. 

Loria, Ruggiero di. The great Catalan admiral of Frederick II. of Aragon. 
See Aci-Castello. He comes into the story of Boccaccio, the scene of which is 
laid at La Cuba in Palermo. It was his interference which made Frederick 
give up his beautiful slave Restituta to the young John of Procida, her fiance 
before she was captured, who had fallen into his power while attempting to 
rescue her. They had been sentenced'to be burnt, but Roger di Loria reminded 
Frederick that it was the boy's uncle John of Procida who, with himself, had 
been chiefly instrumental in giving Frederick the crown of Sicily, basely 
abandoned by James of Aragon to the Angevins. 

Lorimer, Miss Norma, author of By the Waters of Sicily^ (Hutchinson, 
105. 6d. net), a story with a great deal of information about Sicilian scenery 
and customs round Syracuse, Girgenti, Castrogiovanni, and Palermo; of 
Josiatis Wife*, story with its scene largely laid at Girgenti ; and On Etna 
a story dealing with Sicilian brigands. 



2i 4 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Lotteries and Lottery Offices. The Sicilians are, if possible, fonder 
of a public lottery than other Italians. There are offices for it in every 
town. 

Louis Philippe. The Sicilian Bourbons offered Louis Philippe a home 
when he was driven out of France. They bought the Palais d 5 Orleans, or 
Parco d'Aumale, at Palermo for him (q.v., p. 405). 

Love-letters in Sicily. See Letter-writers, professional. 

Low Latin period. The materials for this have not been at all adequately 
explored, being mostly in monastic writings. There are many tombs of the 
period at Selinunte. It may be taken to cover the later days of the Roman 
Empire, the Gothic period, and the Byzantine period up to the Saracen 
invasion. It is a contusing term which should not be used for periods better 
defined in other ways. 

Lumia, La. One of the most valuable historians of Sicily, author of 
Storie Siciliane (4 vols., Palermo, 1881-1883) and Studi di Storia Siciliana 
(Palermo, 1870). 

Luna, di. One of the two great families whose vendetta formed the far- 
famed Casi di Sciacca. See Sciacca. 

Lupines. The lupine is a common wild flower in Sicily, and in places 
is very fine. Its seeds are edible, but it takes some time getting accustomed 
to them. The Sicilians grow it as a crop, but rather despise it. 

Lysimeleia. The marshy ground between the Great Harbour at Syracuse 
and Epipoke. Army after army of besiegers perished of fever here. See 
Syracuse. 

M 

Mabuse, Jan. The glorious fifteenth-century cabinet picture in the 
Museum in Palermo, formerly attributed to J. Van Eyck, is now generally 
attributed to Jan Mabuse, born at Maubeuge about 1470. It is one of the 
most beautiful Flemish pictures in existence. 

Macalda. This celebrated heroine, who took so prominent a part in the 
Sicilian Vespers, was sister of Matteo II., Selvaggio of Scaletta (q.v.). 

Macalubi (Maccaluba). Four miles from Caldare ; near the springs 
of Majaruca, famous for cures of cutaneous diseases. On an argillaceous and 
calcareous hill, about 135 feet high and 860 feet above sea-level, are a 
number of little cones half a yard or a yard high. Their craters are filled 
with mud, and hydrogen gas issues from the cracks with a hissing noise. The 
discharge destroys all the vegetation of the neighbourhood. There are 
similar phenomena at Salinella in the Etna region. They are usually spoken 
of as mud volcanoes. 

Macarinus (of Ptolemy). The modern Mazzarino (q.v.). 

Maccaroni. A good deal of maccaroni is made in Sicily, Sicilian wheat 
being the best for it. The shops with the sticks of maccaroni hanging 
doubled like fringe on light wands, or broken up when it is dried in baskets 
of elegant shape, are scrupulously clean and quite a picturesque feature with 
their golden colour. 

Machanat. Supposed to be the ancient name of Palermo in Phoenician 
times. Others prefer Machoshbim, "the camp of the workers in colour." 
Others Ziz, a name which is, doubtless, the same as our Zisa, the exquisite 
Saracenic palace still existing in Palermo. 



THINGS SICILIAN 215 

Maddalena. The peninsula and bay of Plemmyrium (q.v.) on the Great 
Harbour of Syracuse. 

Madonian Hills. One of the principal ranges of Sicily, lying back from 
Cefalu. The lofty peaks of Monte S.'Salvatore (6,255 feet) and Pizzo 
Antenna (6,470 feet) are among them. 




MADONIAN MOUNTAINS : COSTA DEL DAINO 



Madpnrla, The. See under Ceres, p. 144. 

Madiuni, River. Runs through Selinunte (q.v.). 

Mafia (Maffia). There is a good account of this society in Chambers's 
Encyclopedia. It "expresses an idea rather than indicates a society with 
regular chiefs and councillors. It represents the survival among the people of 
a preference for owing the securing of their persons and property rather to 
their own strength and influence than to those of the law and its officers. 
Therefore a distinction is drawn between the high and the low Mafia, the 
latter embracing the great mass of members, who, themselves not active in 
the matter, are afraid to set themselves against the Mafia, and are content to 
accept the protection of this shadowy league, which, in them inspires more 
awe than do the courts of justice. Indeed, much of the Mafia's strength 
and vitality is directly due to this looseness of organisation, and to the fact 
that it is an ingrained mode of thought, an idea, and not an organised society, 
that the government has to root out. Direct robbery and violence are resorted 
to only for vengeance ; for practical purposes the employment of isolation 
in fact, the system of boycotting is carried to the extreme point is sufficiently 
efficacious. From the landholders blackmail is levied in return for protection, 
and they must employ mafiosi only on their farms ; and the vendetta follows 
those who denounce or in any way injure a member of the fraternity. The 



216 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Mafia controls elections, protects its members against officers of justice, 
assists smugglers, directs strikes, and even fixes the hire of workmen." 

See my chapter on Mafia and Omerta, p. 22 et sqq., written by Dr.^Pitre. 
A good account of the Mafia is to be found in the chapter on the subject in 
Sicily (Methuen's " Little Guide " Series) by F. Hamilton Jackson (1904). 

Mafiosi. Members of the Mafia. 

Mago. A Carthaginian admiral associated with Himilco in the war against 
Dionysius, 396 B.C. He defeated Leptines in the great sea-fight off Catana. 
Afterwards appointed to the chief command in Sicily, and in 393 attacked 
Messana, but was defeated by Dionysius near Abacsenum. Next year, with 
80,000 men, he advanced to the river Chrysas, but Agyris, tyrant of Agyrium, 
cut off his supplies, and compelled him to retreat. He was defeated and 
killed in a subsequent invasion. 

Mail-coaches. Preferably to be called mail-vetture because they are often 
no more than closed flys, hideously dirty. They travel very slowly in 
hilly country, hardly more than four miles an hour in some places, but 
there is a fairly complete system of them to all towns of any size ; and 
the magnificent Strade Provinciate are, I suppose, kept up for thenL See 
the Elenco, or table of stations, in which every mail-vettura service is laid 
down. 

Majolica, Sicily has had for centuries a very handsome majolica of its 
own, made principally at Caltagirone (q.v.). See also Earthenware and 
Palermo Museum. 

Majone, Admiral, or Majo of Ban, Admiral of William the Bad, King of 
Sicily. Amari says that he lived like an Arabic Emir. Mr. Marion Craw 
ford says that although he repressed sedition in Sicily with wisdom and justice, 
he was cruel in his Italian campaigns. He captured Brindisi and Bari. He 
was murdered by the people in an insurrection. 

Malaria. Considering its situation, Sicily is not a malarious country, 
though certain districts are bad in the summer and early autumn. The 
plain of Catania, the marshy land round the Great Harbour at Syracuse, the 
country along the Palermo-Trapani line, from the Alcamo-Calatafimi Stat. to 
Mazzara, and the country along the river Platani between Girgenti and 
Palermo, and the environs of Giardini are considered the worst districts. In 
other words, malaria is incidental to the alluvial lands, and is largely 
concerned with mud. The natives doctor themselves for it with decoctions 
of the herbs in which Sicily abounds. Doctors use immense quantities of 
quinine. 

Maletto. Stat. on Circum-yEtnean railway with a feudal castle on a rock. 
Maniace (q.v.), Mr. Hood's seat on his Bronte estate, is about half- an - 
hour's drive. It stands on the watershed between the Simeto and the 
Alcantara, and the little Lake of Gurrita is in its territory. 

Malfitano. Formerly the great Mediterranean seaports were accustomed to 
have their factories in Palermo, Messina, etc. In Palermo we still have the 
churches of the Venetians, the Genoese, and the Catalans, etc. , and traces of 
the factory of the men of Amalfi, the Malfitani, who manned the fleets of 
Roger. The name survives in Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker's villa, Malfitano, built 
on a piece of land belonging to the factory. See under Palermo. 

Malpasso. A town destroyed by lava in the eruption of 1669. The modern 
town of Belpasso, a stat. on the Circum-^Etnean Ime, was built close to its 
ruins. See under Belpasso. 



THINGS SICILIAN 217 

Malvagna. A town on Etna, a short drive from Randazzo. Famous as 
containing a Byzantine chapel, the only perfect building in Sicily prior to the 
Normans, erected after classical times. 

Mamertines, the, i.e. children of Mamers or Mars, were the Campanian 
mercenaries employed in the Sicilian wars. One company of them seized 
Entella in the time of Dionysius ; another seized, and was able to retain, 
Messina, It was their appeal to Rome for help which brought about the 
Punic Wars. 

Mancia. A pourboire^ a tip. See Buonamano. * 

Mandanice. Stat. on the Messina-Catania line. Has aqueducts (ancient). 

Manfred. Natural son of the Emperor Frederick II. Usurped the crown 
of Sicily in 1258. His mother was Bianca Lancia. Frederick, who had 
legitimised him, made him Prince of Tarento. He acted as a regent for 
Conrad IV., but after his death, and the reported death of Conradin, was 
crowned at Palermo. Pope Urban excommunicated him, and bestowed his 
dominions on Charles of Anjou (q.v.). He was treacherously defeated and 
slain at the Battle of Benevento (Chambers). Manfred was an author. He 
was one of the first poets in the Italian tongue. Continued his father's 
Treatise on Falconry -, and wrote two epistles on his death. Dante introduces 
him in the Purgatorio. Dante's sympathy with the Aragonese dynasty in 
Sicily is shown by his allusions to Manfred's daughter Constance (Purgatorio, 
iii. 112-117). There is much reference to Manfred, whom he places among 
the excommunicated, in this third canto. 

Maniace, Castello di. The capital of the Duchy of Bronte, and seat of 
the Hon. A. N. Hood. The church goes back to the time of Margaret, mother 
of William the Good, A.D. 1174, and has an entire nave and magnificently 
carved west door. It stands near the site of the town of Maniace, founded by 
George Maniaces, after (aided by the Norsemen under Harold Hardrada) he 
had defeated the Saracens. 

Maniace, Castle of. See Syracuse. 

Maniaces, George. A Byzantine general who defeated the Saracens in the 
above battle, and near Syracuse. 

Manto. The black shawl worn over the head and shoulders by women in 
many parts of Sicily, a custom of Spanish origin. 

Marabitti. An eighteenth-century Sicilian sculptor. Entrusted by Maria 
Carolina with the designing of a coat-of-arms for Sicily. He chose the three- 
legged device known as the Trinacria or Triquetra (q.v.). 

Marcellus, Marcus Claudius. When consul for the third time 214 B.C., 
he extorted the permission of the Senate to re-enlist the men who had been 
defeated and disgraced in Hannibal's victory -of Cannae, and led them against 
Syracuse, which he captured after two years' siege, and gained immortal 
fame by not allowing it to be sacked. He was killed in his fifth consulship, 
208 B.C., in a skirmish with his old enemy, Hannibal, on the hill of Petely. 

"The fourth yeare following, Claudius Marcellus tooke Syracusa after along 
continuing siege. In the sacking of which city, the famous Mathematician 
Archimedes was slaine : who was drawing certaine Astronomicall figures in 
dust, not dreaming of the conquest of his country. Marcellus, having notice 
thereof, took his death wonderfull heavily, and commanded his body to bee 
buried : not onely suffering the Conquered City to remaine in safety, as Cicero 
writes, but also left it so furnished, that it should stand for a monument of 
victory, humanity, and clemencie. Moreover as he speakes upon Verres the 



218 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Praetors (Much like our Lord chiefe lustice at this day) arriyall there ; ^ in 
this victory of Marcellus, there were fewer men, then gods slaine. But Livy 
reports, that many abominable examples of wrath, envy, and avarice were 
then and there shewed. 3 ' From the translation of J. Sleidan's De Quatuor 
Summis Imperils. 

S. Marco <T Alunzio. Stat. on Palermo-Messina line, so called from the 
ancient Haluntium, which it is not very near. It has a castle founded in 
1061. 

S. Marco Monte. 

Mare Africano. Washes the southern shore of Sicily. 

Mare Jonio, or lonio, is the continuation of the Strait of Messina south 
ward. 

Mare Tirreno. The sea between Sicily and Tuscany, whence its name. 

S. Margherita-Belici. Reached by coach in 5^ hours from Castelvetrano, 
a stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. There is a mail-vettura from S. Mar 
gherita-Belici to Sella Misilbesi in I hour. It is on the river Belici. 

Maria-Carolina. Queen of the Two Sicilies, wife of Ferdinand I. and IV., 
daughter of the Empress Maria-Theresa, and sister of Marie Antoinette. 
Her sister's death made her the undying enemy of the French, and she took 
an active part in organising the opposition to them in the Mediterranean. 
She was a woman of considerable abilities, and had much to do with Nelson 
and Sir William and Lady Hamilton, since Ferdinand allowed her to govern 
his kingdom while he indulged himself in hunting. 

S. Maria-di-Licodia. Not to be confused with Licodia Eubea. A stat. 
on the Circum-^tnean railway, supposed to be the site of the city of /Etna. 
It has numerous arches of an aqueduct. 

Marianopoli. Stat. on Girgenti-Palermo line. It has a fine church with 
a well-preserved tower, and a tunnel 6\ kil. long. 

Marie. Little girls bearing the name of Marie are dressed in white for 
certain church ceremonies in Sicily, as they are in Italy. 

Marineo, Lucio. An historian of Spain, born at Bidino in Sicily, 1460. 

Marionette theatres are a great institution, round the old market at 
Palermo, and in the Via dei Monasteri at Messina, where there is one with 
almost life-sized figures, etc. 

Marittimo. One of the ^Egatian Islands off which Nelson cruised for some 
time, and dated several of his letters. 

Markets. It is always market-day in Sicily. Market is a question of 
place, not of day. Sunday is often quite a fair. At Palermo there are very 
picturesque markets in the Piazza Nuova and beside the church of S. Antonio. 
At Messina the fish-market, though new, is good for strange monsters. 
Catania has a wonderfully picturesque little market just close to the cathedral. 
See under the various towns. 

Marsala. See below, page 353, 

S. Martino, della Scala. Above Monreale. One of the six monasteries 
founded by Gregory the Great, with paintings by Novelli, and wonderful gardens. 
The buildings are only large, not ancient. It stands in the valley called by 
the ancients Gemizia. 

Martorana. See under Palermo. 

Marvuglia. The most graceful of the baroque architects of Sicily, who 
built the two delightful cloisters of the Oratory of the Filippini now used as 



THINGS SICILIAN 219 

the Museum at Palermo, and the beautiful Pal. Riso in the Corso. He is 
buried in S. Domenico at Palermo. 

Marzo, G. di. A well-known Sicilian writer on art Author of / Gagini 
e la Scultura in Sicilia nei secoli XV. e XVL, Palermo, 1883-4 ; Delh Belle 
Arti in Sicilia dai Normanni sino alia fine del s&colo XVL^ Palermo, 
1858-74 ; La Pittura in Palermo nel Risorgimento , Palermo, 1899, etc - 

Mascali. Stat. on Circum-^Etnean line, whose wines, lighter than most 
Sicilian wines, are exported a good deal to England, etc. Very important 
district. Gives its name to a whole class of light wines. 

Mascalucia. By mail-vettura from Catania in 2 hours, A favourite Ville- 
giatura. Mascalucia should be Massalucia. See following par. 

Massa. Massa was the medieval word for immense tracts of land on 
which the agriculturists lived with their families. The Sicilian word for a 
farm, masseria, is derived from this. 

M as tr angel o was the leader in the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers. 

Mattoni Stagnati. The tiles painted with inscriptions and coats-of-arms, 
or figures of saints, placed at the top right corner of the entrance of a house, 
to show the proprietorship. As they are much collected now, hardly any are 
in situ. See Armorial Tiles. 

Mauceri, Cav. Dott. Francesco. Medical Officer of the Province of Syra 
cuse. Is employed by foreigners at Syracuse, where there is no English doctor. 

Mauceri, Comm. Luigi. Vice-Director of Sicilian railways, is one of the 
best-known Sicilian antiquaries. Author of a monograph on the Pelasgian 
house and builder of the Casa dei Viaggiatori, a house in the old Greek style 
near the Castle of Euryalus at Syracuse. 

Mauceri, Dr. E., author of the admirable Guida Archeologica ed Artistica 
di Siracusa and of Monografie Siciliane^ 7. Stracusa, 1904. 

Maurolyco, Francesco. One of the most famous natives of Messina. A 
mathematician, historian, and astrologer. Most esteemed by his contem 
poraries as the last, for he foretold Don John of Austria's immortal victory 
over the Turks. He was a man of extraordinary attainments, much quoted 
still (. 1494 ; d. 1575). He brought out a Euclid (Euclydis Phenomena, 1591). 
He is buried in S. Giovanni di Malta at Messina. His tomb has one of the 
best busts in Sicily. Author of the Compendia dellt Cose di Sicilia. 

Mazarin, Cardinal, said to have been born in the Mazzarino Palace on the 
Piazza Garraffello at Palermo (q.v.), a scion of a noble Sicilian family. 

Mazzara. A stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. Called Mazzara del Vallo 
to distinguish it from Mazzarra S. Andrea, 

Mazzara Vase. One of the finest pieces of Hispano-Moresco lustre in 
existence. See under Palermo, Museum. 

Mazzarino, Conte. One of the chief nobles of Sicily. At his palace in 
Palermo are some magnificent medieval silk hangings (q.v.). He is President 
of the *' Bene Economico" (q.v.), 

Mazzarino. Supposed to be the Macarinus of Ptolemy. Six and three- 
quarter hours by mail-vettura from Caitanisetta, on tlie Catania- Girgenti, and 
6J hours from Terranova on the Licata- Girgenti Hne. Remains of an ancient 
castle on a high rock. Large and conspicuous baronial palace. 

Mazzarra-S. Andrea is an hour by mail-vettura from the Furnari Stat. 
on the Palermo- Messina line. 

Mecara. A Sicanian city on whose site Eraclea Minoa was built (q.v.), 

Mediterranean tides. The tide in the Mediterranean only rises and falls 
a foot or two. 



220 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Megalithic. See under Pelasgic and Cyclopean. 

Megallls. The wife of Damophilus of Enna, whose cruelties caused the 
First Slave War. See Damophilus. 

Megara, the Bay of. The stretch of sea enclosed between Syracuse and 
Augusta. 

Megara Iblea. Stat on Catania- Syracuse line. The city of Megara 
Hyblsea was founded on the deep bay formed by the Xiphonian promontory, 
734 B.C., or 726 B.C. (Thucydides), by colonists from Megara in Greece Proper. 
The Sicilian Megareans in turn founded Selinunte, in 628. But a little more 
than a century later, Megara came to an end, Gelo, on its capitulation, 
removing the upper classes to Syracuse and selling the lower classes into 
slavery. The only other thing we know about it is that it had a war with its 
Ionian neighbour at Leontini at the end of the seventh century B.C. Repre 
sented by a single badly-preserved coin (G. F. Hill). Mr. Hill says we have 
charming little coins in the drachms and half-drachms of Stiela, the repre 
sentative of the once important city of Megara. The types are the head of the 
young river-god, and the forepart of a man-headed bull. See under Hybla. 

Meli, Giovanni. One of the most famous poets of Sicily. Baedeker says 
that his Anacreontic songs in the national dialect were universally popular 
even before they were printed. Born at Palermo, 1740. He published his 
Fata Galante at eighteen. He was at first a doctor in the little town of Cinisi, 
but became Professor of Chemistry in the Palermo University. When Ferdinand 
and Maria Caroline came to Palermo in 1798, they gave him a pension of 300 
ducats. He died in 1813. He wrote a poetical satire in twelve cantos called 
Don Chisciotte. He left behind him eight volumes of sonnets, satires, canzoni 
capitoli, gavote, epistles, elegies, etc. He has a monument in S. Domenico 
at Palermo the Westminster Abbey of Sicily. 

Melili. Four hours by mail-vettura from Syracuse, and from Priolo in 2 hours. 
The town of the Hyblsean honey, from which it gets its name. It is situated 
high on the Hyblaean hills with a splendid view of the Gulf of Megara and 
the peninsula of Thapsus. Its fortress was damaged by the earthquake of 
1543 and destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. On the hills behind it is an 
antique fortress which has never properly been examined, said to be quite a 
little Euryalus. 

Mense. An antique city near the present Mineo. It was founded by 
Ducetius, 448 B. c. He gave it its own laws, and it was popu 
lated after the Sikelians by the Greeks. In the ninth century 
it fell into the power of the Saracens. Here the Emperor 
Frederick III. celebrated his nuptials with Constance. It is 
a stat. on the Caltagirone line. 

Menfi. By mail-vettura from Corleone, 13 hours, and 
from Sciacca in 3 hours. Is called also Borgetto, and is 
near the ruins of Cocalus the Sicanian king's town of 
Inycum (q.v.). It is on the Belici, the ancient Hypsas. 

Merlate. The cloven battlements used on Sicilian palaces, 
especially in the fifteenth century. 

Mesilimir. The Saracen name of Misilmeri (q.v.). 

Messina. See below. __ 

Messina, Antonello da. A celebrated painter born at. U ^LD BY R TH'E^ 
Messina about 1410. See under Messina. OSPEDALE civico 

Messinese School of Painting. See under Messina, MESSWA^USEUM 





MESSINA : S. FRANCESCO DEI MBRCANTB (THE MIRACLE OF THE ROSES) 



222 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Metopes are the sunken panels in the frieze of a Greek temple. The 
magnificent metopes found at Selinunte (q.v.), the best after those of the 
Parthenon and Olympia, are now in the Museum at Palermo (q.v.). 

Metropolis in Greek means the mother city of a colony. Corinth was the 
mother city of Syracuse. 

Metellus, Lucius Caecilius. Proconsul, defended Panormus against 
Hasdrubal, whom he severely defeated under the walls, 251 B.C. 

Metellus, Pnetor of Sicily 70 B.C., was the protector of Verres, who 
attempted to prevent Cicero from taking copies of the necessary documents. 
When he failed, he declared that Cicero's speaking Greek in the Senate of 
Syracuse was beneath the dignity of a Roman magistrate. 

Mezzi-Botti. Wine casks containing 46 or 47 imperial gallons. 

Mezzojuso. Four kil. from its railway stat. on Palermo-Corleone line. 
A town of Arabic origin, but occupied in 1467 by the Albanian colony 
founded by the son of Scanderbeg. See under Albanian. 

S. Michele di Ganzaria. Called by the Saracens Janzaria, called also 
Casale dei Greci from the numerous colonists from Epirus who came to it, 
and whose names are preserved in those of the inhabitants of to-day. One 
and three-quarter hours by mail-vettura from Caltagirone. 

Middleton, Prof. J. Henry, the late, wrote the articles about Sicilian 
architecture in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 

Migrating' birds. Sicily is one of the main tracks of birds in their 
migrations north and south. Immense quantities of quails are killed there 
on passage. For the habits of birds, see under ./Egatian Islands. 

Milan butter. All the good hotels in Sicily get their butter from Milan in 
tins, mostly direct by parcels post. It is very solid, the whey having all been 
pressed out to make it keep better. The factories are examined by govern 
ment officers. It is one of the finest butters in the world. 

Milazzo. Stat. on Palermo- Messina line from which the steamers start 
for Lipari. The ancient Mylse. Founded by the men of Zancle, 726 B.C. 
Probably a border fortress rather than a city and colony (Freeman). . De 
pendent on its mother city till 427 B.C., when it was taken by the Athenians. 
In 394 it was recaptured by the Messanians. In 270 B.C. Hiero II. of 
Syracuse won a great battle over the Mamertines near Mylae on the river 
Longanus. It was in the bay of Mylse that the consul Duilius gained the 
first Roman victory over the Carthaginians at sea by the use of the bronze 
" corvus," The beaks captured from the Carthaginian galleys adorned the 
rostral column still preserved in the Vatican. Here Augustus defeated Sextus 
Pompeius, 36 B.C. The Saracens defeated the Christians here A.D. 866. 
Charles V. built a strong castle which stood several sieges in the war of the 
Spanish Succession. It was at Milazzo in 1860 that Garibaldi forced the 
Bourbon army under General Bosco to surrender on July 2oth. From Milazzo 
there is a daily steamer to the Lipari Islands (q.v.). Tyndaris (q.v.) may 
also be visited by boat from Milazzo. Its long sickle-shaped promontory was 
called by the Greeks the Golden Chersonese, and by the Romans the Island 
of the Sun. 

Milch goats. Almost all the milk in Sicily is yielded by goats. It is a 
common practice to hire the milk of a certain goat who, when brought into 
the street by her herdsman, soon learns to walk up to her hirer's room of her 
own accord. Sicilians always want to see the milking done before them. 
See Goats. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



223 



Military bands. They are fairly good, but never play any tunes you can 
recognise. 

Militello in Val-di-Catania (to distinguish it from Militello-Rosmarino). 
Said to be the honey town tellus mellis, or soldier town tellus militum, from 
its being founded by the soldiers of Marcellus. In the church of S. Maria 
La Vetera is a portal with rich decorations of 1506 ; it has a castle thrown 
down in the earthquake of 1693. 

Militello-Rosmarino. See S. Agata-di-Militello, It is famous for its 
wild oleanders and its Roman bridge. 




VIEW OF MILAZZO 

Mille of Garibaldi. Garibaldi invaded Sicily with a thousand men, the 
famous ** Mille," who gave their name to the Corso dei Mille at Palermo, etc. 

Mimnerno. A palace built by Arabic workmen for Roger, a sort of much- 
ruined Zisa. See under Palermo. 

Mineo. See under Menae above. 

Minerva (identified with the Greek Pallas Athene) was not one of the 
most worshipped goddesses in Sicily. But the magnificent temple of the 
sixth century B.C. which is built into the cathedral at Syracuse bears her 
name, though it may have been changed in Roman times from Diana. And 
at Girgenti there is both a rock of Athene and the tradition of a temple of 
Minerva having occupied the site of the present cathedral. And Temple F. 
at Selinunte, near Sig. Florio's baglio, is also attributed to her, but there 
is not much authority in either case. The temple (so called) of Juno at 
Girgenti (q.v.) is the most likely existing temple to have been dedicated to 
this goddess. 

Misericordia. Burial Guilds called Cpnfraternita (q.v. ) in Sicily wear a 
hooded dress resembling that of the Misericordia at Florence. 



224 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Misilmen. Stat. on Corleone line. Its Saracen name was Mesilimir. 
Here the Normans gained a signal victory over the Saracens. Before that it 
was known as Villa Longa. The feudal castle on the rock above was built 
"by Manfred Chiaramonte in the fourteenth century. It gives its name to a 
whole class of white wines. 

Misterbianco. Stat. on Circum-^Etnean line. It means the white 
monastery, and stands close to Monte Cardillo, the most southern point of 
Etna, which commands a beautiful view and has some remains of ancient 
buildings and baths. The surrounding district known as Terreforti gives its 
name to a class of wines with a good deal of alcohol in them and a fine 
flavour. 

Mistretta. Three hours and ten minutes by mail-vettura from Leonforte 
on the Palermo-Catania line. Ancient name Mytistratus, perhaps also 
Amestratus. A good-sized town mentioned in medieval writers. 

M oar da. Near Parco. Has an acropolis from which some of the pre 
historic objects in the Palermo Museum were obtained. 

Modern Sicilian architecture is often very good. There is a marked 
tendency to revive, with the good mason's work always procurable, Sicilian- 
Gothic or Renaissance styles. At the same time, the cheapness of stone- 
carving produces many baroque monstrosities. The building is generally 
excellent, except at Syracuse, where there is a tendency to build the walls of 
stucco and small stones, which caused the complete disappearance of the 
domestic buildings of ancient Syracuse. The city of Noto and the churches 
of Modica and Ragusa show how magnificently the modern Sicilians can 
build. 

Modica, See below, p. 386. 

Mojo- Alcantara. Stat. on Circum-^tnean railway close to Randazzo. 
Near Malvagna (q.v.), which has the only perfect Byzantine chapel in 
Sicily. 

Mola, A village on the mountain above Taormina, which has a beautiful 
medieval gateway and a ruined castle. The gate is dated 1578. The Chiesa 
Maggiore has a remarkable gate. Mola has its famous niche in history. 
When Dionysius had captured Tauromenium he attempted to surprise Mola, 
which was one of the citadels of Tauromenium, but was repulsed and very 
nearly lost his life. (Dennis. ) 

Molinello. Three kil. from Augusta stat. on Catania- Syracuse line. It 
has tombs of a Sikel village and Christian catacombs. 

Money-changers. Only the very large towns in Sicily, and Taormina, 
have money-changers, but in Palermo their little dens are rather a feature. 

Mongibellisi. The modern Sicilian name for the Castle of Euryalus (q.v.). 

Mongibello. The Sicilian name for Etna : derived from mons, and gebel, 
both of which mean mountain. This means not mountain of mountains, but 
mount mountain. 

Monreale. Near Palermo. See page 391. 

Montalbano EHcona. Five hours by mail-vettura from Furnari Stat. on 
the Palermo-Messina line. Has a medieval castle, temp. Frederick II. 

Montallegro. Reached by mail-vettura from Girgenti in 7 hours 40 
minutes, and Sciacca in 7 hours. It has also a mail-vettura to Cattolica- 
Eraclea. Also called Angio because it belonged to the Gioeni Dukes of 
Angi&. The inhabitants were so molested by the corsairs when they lived on 
the hill of Cicaldo near the sea that they left their houses there and built a 



THINGS SICILIAN 



225 



new town on the neighbouring mountain, which has also been abandoned for 
want of water, and is called the alabaster town, because it is built of a beauti 
ful red-veined alabaster. It has a little lake about half a mile round impreg 
nated with soda. Might be called the Sicilian Les Baux 




A PIECE OF THE COAST UNDER MONTALLEGRO 

Monte Castellaccio. The mountain with the abandoned castle above 
Monreale, near Palermo. 

Montedoro. Two hours by mail-vettura from the Serradifalco Stat on 
the Girgenti-S. Caterina-Xirbi line. Unimportant. 

Monte S. Giuliano. The ancient Eryx. See page 394. 

Monte Maggiore. A stat. on the Palermo-Catania line. Called after the 
magnificent mountain the shape of the lions in Trafalgar Square, which can 
be seen for about half the journey between Girgenti and Palermo. 

Monte Pellegrino, which Goethe thought the most beautiful mountain 
in the world, a noble crown-shaped mass of stone which guards the Bay of 
Palermo on the north. The ancient Carthaginian city of Ercta, which 
Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal, held against the Romans three years, 
247-244 B.C., stood upon its top and had two little harbours at its base. In 
a cave half-way up, in 1624, when the plague was raging in the city, Arch 
bishop Doria discovered the body of S. Rosalia, the hermit niece of William 
the Good. Carried in procession through the city, it stayed the plague. A 
shrine was placed over the spot where the body had rested, and a church 
faade was built in front of the cave. There is a coastguard station on the 
top which commands very fine views, and is the best place for hearing the 
mellow bells of Palermo at Vespers. The mountain can be climbed in an 
hour or two. The Falde omnibus terminus is at its foot, and the royal villa 
of the Favorita, Prince Belmonte's villa with its beautiful gardens, and the 
Hotel Igiea lie round its base. It is a limestone rock 2,065 feet high, and has 
quarries of a beautiful yellow marble. The griffon vulture may be seen 
wheeling round its heights, and quail are killed here in great numbers when 
they are migrating. 



226 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Goethe's description (Bohn's Library Translation) still holds good : 
" The nave is an open space, which on the right is bounded by the native 
rock, and on the left by the continuation of the vestibule. It is paved with 
flat stones on a slight inclination, in order that the rain-water may run oft". 
A small well stands nearly in the centre. The cave itself has been transformed 
into the choir, without, however, any of its rough natural shape being altered. 
Descending a few steps, close upon them stands the choristers' desk with the 
choir books, and on each side are the seats of the choristers. The whole is 
lighted by the daylight, which is admitted from the court or nave. Deep 
within, in the dark recesses of the cave, stands the high altar. As already 
stated, no change has been made in the cave ; only, as the rocks drop 
incessantly with water, it was necessary to keep the place dry. This has 
been effected by means of tin tubes, which are fastened to every projection of 
the rock, and are in various ways connected together. As they are broad 
above and come to a narrow edge below, and are painted a dull green colour, 
they give to the rock an appearance of being overgrown with a species of. 
cactus. The water is conducted into a clear reservoir, out of which it is taken 
by the faithful as a remedy and preventative for every kind of ill. . . . 
Through the openings of a large trellis-work of lattice lamps appeared burning 
before an altar. I knelt down close to the gratings and peeped through. 
Further in, however, another lattice of brass- wire was drawn across, so that 
one looked as if it were through gauze at the objects within. By the light of 
some dull lamps I caught sight of a lovely female form. She lay 'seemingly 
in a state of ecstasy the eyes half-closed, the head leaning carelessly on her 
right hand, which was adorned with many rings. I could not sufficiently 
discern her face, but it seemed to be peculiarly charming. Her robe was 
made of gilded metal, which imitated excellently a texture wrought with gold. 
The head and hands were of white marble. I cannot say that the whole was 
in the lofty style, still it was executed so naturally and so pleasingly that one 
almost fancied it must breathe and move. A little angel stands near her, and 
with a bunch of lilies in his hand appears to be fanning her." 

The zigzag viaduct which climbs the mountain on arches, to enable great 
ecclesiastical processions to go to the shrine, is extremely fine. I doubt if it is 
equalled anywhere It is made so that wheeled vehicles cannot use it, though 
it is a fine wide road. Some distance from the shrine on a rock overlooking 
the sea is a colossal statue of the saint, and a ruined chapel which has the 
effect of a Greek temple. I could find no traces of Ercta. 

Monterosso-Almp. May be reached by mail-vettura from the Vizzini 
Stat. on the Caltagirone line in 3 hours, from Ragusa Inferiore Stat. on 
the Syracuse-Licata line in 6 hours, and from Chiaramonte (no stat.) in 
3 hours. Is the Monte Jahalmo of Norman times. It has the remains of an 
antique castle under that at present occupied. 

Montesi (Mountaineers). In Sicily you find the finest types in the moun 
tain cities. They are proud to other Sicilians, but very courteous to foreigners. 
They are tall and strong and very picturesque in their top-boots, hooded 
cloaks, and shawled heads. 

Monte S. Giuliano. See p. 394. 

Montevago is 4 hours 50 minutes by mail-vettura from Castelvetrano Stat. 
Unimportant. 

Montorsoli. This famous Florentine sculptor executed much at Messina, 
including the beautiful fountain of Orion, near the cathedral, the fountain of 
Neptune by the harbour, and the Wolf in the cloister of S. Agostino ; d. 1563. 



THINGS SICILIAN 227 

Monuments in Sicily as in Italy have stakes in front of them declaring 
them to be monumenti naszonati, or monumenti pubblici^ according to their 
importance. M.N. or M.P. Anything maybe declared a monument the 
Latomia dei Cappuccini at Syracuse, for example. There is an office for the 
preservation of monuments in Palermo behind the Martorana. It is in charge 
of Prof. Patricola. 

Moorish honeycomb ceilings. There are very few examples of this left 
in Sicily, and they were all executed by Saracen workmen for the Norman 
kings. They are mostly at the Royal Palace, the Zisa and its chapel, and the 
Cuba at Palermo, and at Mimnerno. By far the best example is the ceiling 
of the Cappella Reale in the Royal Palace at Palermo (q.v.). There are also 
some good pieces in the Museum at Palermo. 

Mora. Said to be the oldest game in the world, which is still national and 
popular, and is played by two or more persons throwing out the fingers and 
guessing the right numbers in a certain way. Called " Tocco " in Sicilian. 

Mortillaro, Vincenzo, author of the Sicilian and Italian Dictionary and 
many works on the history and legend of Sicily. 

Mosaics. Sicily has the finest medieval mosaics in the world. The 
mosaics of the Royal Chapel and the Martorana at Palermo, of Monreale 
and Cefalu, are earlier and better than the mosaics of Venice. The Ravenna, 
Constantinople, and early mosaics of Rome must be considered separately as 
late Empire rather than Medieval. To these must be added now the mosaics 
at Messina, which are much more numerous than was suspected. The entire 
east end of the cathedral is lined with them, and they are being uncovered as 
money is forthcoming. Messina has a medieval mosaic also in S. Gregorio, 
and another in the convent behind. See under the places mentioned, and 
Calogeri and Christ. 

Moschus. A bucolic poet born in the third century B.C. at Syracuse (q.v.). 

Mosques. Though there are said to be no buildings in Sicily erected as 
mosques, the church of the Eremiti at Palermo was used for a mosque, and 
S. Cataldo and a portion of the cathedral are mosque-like in their architec 
ture. More than one street in Palermo is named after a mosque, but it is said 
that the only bit of architecture undoubtedly built in Arabic times is the lower 
part of the great tower of the Archbishop's Palace at Palermo. 

Motoring 1 in Sicily. See chapter on page 84. 

Motta S. Anatasia. A stat. on the Palermo- Catania line. The town is 
|-hour from the stat. The castle, which stands on a curious prismatic rock 
famous among geologists, was the prison of Bernardo Cabrera, ** the proud 
Spanish noble, who, at the commencement of the fifteenth century, long kept 
Sicily in a state of ferment by his pretensions to the crown. When at last 
he fell into the hands of his enemies he was placed here in a subterranean 
dungeon which had formerly been the cistern, and nearly drowned by the 
order of the Governor, who caused water to be turned on by pipes into the 
old reservoir. The Count was then transferred to another dungeon, from 
which he bribed the gaoler to assist him in escaping, but was treacherously 
caught in a net half-way between the window and the ground, and suspended, 
almost naked, to the derision of his foes." (Murray.) 

Motye (Motya), the island of, near Marsala, now called S. Pantaleo, the pro 
perty of Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker. One of the finest passages in Diodorus Siculus 
(xiv. viL), the Greek Froissart, is that -which describes the storming of Motya 
in 397 B.C. by Dionysius I. of Syracuse. See also under Archylus of Thurii. 
The Carthaginiar) gateway of the city and a paved causeway a foot or two 



228 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

under the sea, still used by carts coming to and from the mainland, and a few 
other Phoenician ruins remain. It has never been excavated, owing to 
Mr. Whitaker not having yet been guaranteed by the Government the posses 
sion of what he may discover. The Carthaginian necropolis of Birgi on 
the opposite shore has yielded most valuable results. 




THE MOSAIC OF THE MADONNA BELLA CIAMBRBTTA IN S. GREGORIO AT MESSINA 

Motye, near Pachynum. Pausanias says, v. xxv. 2 : "At Pachynum, the 
promontory of Sicily which faces towards Libya and the south, there is a city, 
Motye, inhabited by Libyans and Phoenicians. With these barbarians of 
Motye the Agrigentines went to war, and having taken booty and spoil from 
them, they dedicated the bronze statues at Olympia, representing boys stretch 
ing out their right hands as if praying to the god. These statues stand on the 
wall of the Altis. I guessed that they were works of Calamis, and the tradition 
agreed with my guess." This Motye is obviously not the same as the above, 
but the present city of Modica,^See Motyka below. 



THINGS SICILIAN 229 

Motyka, or Mutyka. The modern Modica. Cicero, in his Verres, iv. 43 
(Bohn), says: "Why was Theomnastus the Syracusan sent by you to the 
district of Mutyca, where he so harassed the cultivators that for their second 
tenths they were actually forced to buy wheat because they had none of their 
own ? " This is interesting Irecause Modica is still the principal agricultural 
town of Sicily. In. Verges, iv. 51, he mentions that in three years under Verres 
the number of cultivators went down from 188 to 101. It is pretty clear from 
Pausanius (see preceding par. ) that Motye, which must be the same as Motyka, 
was founded, like the other Motye, by Phoenicians. Motyuin, the fortress of, 
in the Agrigentine territory, captured by Ducetius, the Sikel king, in 451 B.C., 
must be the same as this Motye near Pachynum. The country round Modica 
and the Val d' Ispica is full of Sikel tombs and fortresses just the place for 
Ducetius to gather a Sikel force. 

Mother-of-pearl, or nacre, much used for veneering crucifixes, etc., in the 
baroque period in Sicily. It is generally quaintly but rudely chased. 

Mountains. Sicily is all mountains, except the four plains of Catania, 
Terranova (the Campi Geloi), the Campo Bello of Mazzara, and the Conca 
d' Oro near Palermo. For the rest, it consists only of strips between mountain 
and mountain, or between mountains and the sea. Etna is a solitary mountain. 
The principal ranges are the Monti Madonie, Monti Nebrodi, and the Monti 
Peloritani along the north coast, and the Hyblsean Hills near Syracuse. The 
other mountains are not considered much as ranges, because they never stop. 
They sometimes are named as mountains, like Monte Maggiore, and some 
times from the name of the city on the top of them, like Castrogiovanni. 

" Much Ado About Nothing." The scene of Shakespeare's famous play is 
laid at Messina, apparently soon after the Sicilian Vespers, as Don Peter of 
Aragon is coming to Messina after an action. 

Mucina. A kind of barrel used for bringing in the grapes in some districts, 
fourteen of which are reckoned a cartload. 

Mulberries. Chiefly used for avenues. 

Mules are very numerous. Except for carriages in the large towns they are 
used more than horses. There are many pack-trains of mules in the mountain 
towns. The mule is a poor man's beast. He rides to work on a mule or an ass. 

Murders in Sicily are not rare. But foreigners are never murdered, murder 
being reserved for vendettas and quarrels. 

Museums. The museums of Palermo and Syracuse are presided over by 
distinguished antiquaries and contain almost unique collections of early Sicilian 
antiquities. The museum of Messina has, like Palermo, an interesting 
collection of work by Sicilian artists, besides its incomparable set of Urbino 
drug-jars. ^ There are also museums at Catania, the Municipal and the Biscari ; 
at Girgenti ; at Randazzo, belonging to Cav. Vagliasindi-Palizzi ; at Tyndaris, 
in the Castello della Scala ; at Marsala, belonging to Mr. Joseph Whitaker ; 
Termini, etc. 

Music Palermo has the largest opera-house in the world. There is not 
much music in the towns except a weekly performance by a band. But in 
some parts of the country; every goatherd plays on his reed pipes generally 
the music of the native dances, which most of it has never been written down. 
There is a rich harvest awaiting the musician who writes down the Sicilian 
folk-music as Pitre and others have written down the folk-songs. 



230 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Mussomeli. Reached by mail-vettura from Acquaviva-Platani Stat. in 3 hrs. 
(8 kil.) Fine medieval castle belonging to Prince Scalea. * 




MUSSOMELI CASTELLO 



Mylae. A colony of Messana. See under Milazzo. 

Mylne, Robert, F.R.S., executed a fine map of Sicily, published by 
Lawrie and Whittle, 1747. 

Mystagx>gi. Cicero, in his Verres^ says that after the pnetorship of Verres, 
the ciceroni, whom he calls the Mystagogi, spent their time in telling people 
what had been taken away (from the Temple of Minerva at Syracuse). 

Mytistratus. An antique city, identified with the modern Mistretta(q.v. ). 

N 

Naccari. See under Noto. 
Nacre, See Mother-of-pearl. 

Naftia, Lago di. So called from the naphtha it contains. The modern 
name for the sacred Lake of the Palici (q.v.). 

Narcissus. Sicily is famous for its wild narcissi. A hundred -headed 
narcissus was the bait with which Pluto lured Proserpine on the fields of 
Enna. See chapter on Flowers. 

Naro. Twenty minutes by mail-vettura from Serra-Alongi, which is 
2 hours and 20 minutes from Canicattl on the Licata to Girgenti line. It 
is 12 kil. from Canicatti. Ancient town church and fourteenth-century castle. 
Many classical remains and catacombs. A Norman baptistery in the Chiesa 
Madre. Is mentioned in Tasso's Gerusalemme under the name of Naja 
" E con esso innalzar le insegne al vento 
Delle ruine dell' antica Gela 
Dalle piaggie di Naja e di Agrigento. 3 ' (Canto i., st. 69.) 



THINGS SICILIAN 231 

Naos. The Greek word for a temple. The word is more frequently used 
now in the sense of cella (q.v.) the naos proper. 

Naso. A stat. on the Palermo-Messina line, 2j hours from the town. It 
is still surrounded by antique walls, and is mentioned in history from Norman 
times. 

Nasturtiums flower all the year round in Sicily if they are watered. 

Naumachia. Signifies properly a theatre flooded for naval tournaments 
and mimic sea-fights. The subject is very obscure. A Naumachia existed at 
Taormina near the theatre ; at Palermo out at the Favara. And the pool in 
the centre of the amphitheatre at Syracuse is traditionally called the Nau 
machia. 

Navel of Sicily. Enna, the modern Castrogiovanni, is called by Cicero 
umbilicus, i.e. the navel of Sicily. A stone near the site of the Temple of 
Proserpine in that city marks the exact centre of the island, and is pointed 
out as the umbilicus. See under Castrogiovanni. 

_ Naxos. The oldest Greek settlement in Sicily. Founded by the Chal- 
cidians of Eubsea, 735 B.C. Here stood the temple of the Apollo Archagetas, 
at which, as the oldest Greek temple in the island, all Sicilians sacrificed 
before going to Old Greece. Naxos was conquered by Hippocrates of Gela at 
the beginning of the fifth century B.C. In 476 Hiero I. of Syracuse deported 
its inhabitants to repeople Leontini. But it had recovered its independence 
sufficiently to take the part of the Athenians as fellow-Ionians with vigour. 
Nicias ^ wintered there, 413-414. It was destroyed by Dionysius in 403. 
When its inhabitants lifted their heads again they removed to Tauromenium 
(Taormina). ^ That it had a strong Sikel element is plain from its ruins and 
from the ancient wall of Taormina (q.v.). Pausanias says: "Naxos was 
founded in Sicily by the Chalcidians who dwell on the Euripus. Not a 
vestige of the city is now left, and that its name has survived to after ages is 
chiefly due to Tisander, son of Cleocritus. For Tisander four times vanquished 
his competitors in the men's boxing-match at Olympia, and he won many 
victories at Pytho." This is quite incorrect. There are some hundred yards 
of a fine polygonal wall, a necropolis, ef., already excavated. It is about 
half an hour's walk from the Giardini-Taormina Stat., and can easily be 
found, because it runs parallel with the river, where it flows into the sea. 

Nea. The antique Noto. See also Neetum. Was the mother city of 
Ducetius, the Sikel (q.v.). It was conquered by Syracuse in the time of 
Hiero II. 

Neapolis. One of the five quarters of ancient Syracuse (q,v.). 

Necropolis. The Greek for a cemetery. Sicily is full of necropoles, 
Greek, Roman, Prehistoric, Phoenician, Byzantine, Saracen, etc. They have 
mostly been rifled, except at Girgenti, where fresh ones are constantly being 
opened. See under Syracuse. 

Neetum, or Netum. The antique city on the site of Noto Antica, Founded 
as Nea by Ducetius, 448 B.C. Under the Romans the Neetans showed them 
selves independent, and were the only people to resist the extortions of 
Verres. Mentioned by Ptolemy, Diodorus, Silius Italicus, and Cicero. By 
the treaty between the Romans and Hiero II. in 263 Neetum was left part of 
the kingdom of Syracuse. In Cicero's time Neetum was a '* frederata." In 
Pliny's time it was one of the four Civitates Latinse Conditionis. 

Nef. The French for the Italian navata. Our nave. Much used by 
Sicilian guides in describing churches. The typical medieval church in Sicily 
consists of three naves, terminating eastward in apses. 



232 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Nelson. Nelson first visited Sicily July 20th-22nd, 1798, when he watered 
his fleet at Syracuse before the Battle of the Nile. December 26th, 1798,^6 
arrived at Palermo with the royal family of the Two Sicilies, who were flying 
from the French. He remained there till May, 1799. May 20th-28th he 
was cruising off Marittimo, one of the /Egatian Islands, to intercept the 
French fleet. May 2Qth to June 2ist, and August 8th to October 4th, 
1799; and October 22nd, 1799, to January, 1800 ; February jjrd-iSth, 
1800; March i6th to April 25th, 1800, he was at Palermo. April 30th to 
May 3rd, 1800, at Syracuse ; June 1st to June loth, 1800, at Palermo. He 
then went to England with the Hamiltons. and was never in Sicily again. 
While at Palermo he engaged the apartments usually tenanted by the Spanish 
viceroys on their first arrival in Sicily, part of the piano nobile^ of the vast 
palace facing the Mole belonging to the Marchese di Gregorio. But he 
generally stayed with the Hamiltons in the palace they rented near the 
Villa Giulia, using his own apartments as the headquarters of the fleet. 
It was at a ball at Palermo that Ferdinand invested Nelson with the 
Duchy of Bronte. In the Woodhouse baglio at Marsala (q.v.) is preserved 
an autograph letter from Nelson ordering wine for the fleet. See also Bronte 
and Maniace. 

Neptune (identified with Greek Poseidon). Does not appear muchjn 
Sicily except at Messina, where he had two temples, one in the present city 
still standing at the back of the little antique church of S3. Annunziata dei 
Catalani. The other out at the Faro, whose gigantic columns now are in the 
nave of the cathedral. One of the Peloritan Mountains is known as the 
Mons Neptunius. See also Fountain of Neptune under Messina. He was 
the god of the sea and thunder. 

Nespoli. Japanese medlars or loquats (q.v.). One of the commonest fruits 
in Sicily. 

Newman, Cardinal. The Rev. John Henry Newman, afterwards Cardinal, 
visited Sicily twice first in February, 1833, and afterwards from April to June, 
1833. He visited Messina, Catania, Taormina, Syracuse, Castrogiovanni, 
Segesta, Palermo, etc. It was between Syracuse and Catania that he 
caught the fever of which he lay ill for weeks at Castrogiovanni and almost 
died. At Palermo he stayed at Page's Hotel (q.v.). He dined with Mr. 
Ingham in the old part of the Palazzo Whitaker, in the Via Cavour, Par- 
tenico and Alcamo he pronounced masses of filth. Calatafimi, " where we 
slept, I dare not mention facts. " 

Newspapers. Sicily has a few quite good newspapers. The Giornale di 
Sicilia^ in Palermo, is much better than most of the Parisian papers. It is a 
paper much of the same class as the Tribuna at Rome The principal 
editions are published in the evening and cost a halfpenny. There are a few 
illustrated papers in Sicily, such as Flirt 9 but they are not important. The 
Ora of Palermo is also a good paper ; and the Corriere di Catania has good 
foreign telegrams, though an unambitious little paper. After Palermo, 
Messina has the largest papers. 

Nicias. An Athenian general, chief commander of the Athenian expedi 
tion against Syracuse which ended so disastrously. He had a very large 
fortune from the silver mines of Laurium, in which he employed 1,000 men. 
Put in command of the Athenian expedition against Syracuse with Alcibiades 
and Lamachus, he was not new to Sicilian warfare, having commanded the 
expeditions of 427-422 B.C., in which Hyccara was destroyed. He had 
succeeded in his previous military enterprises. He was the evil genius of the 



THINGS SICILIAN 



2 33 



expedition. But for him Syracuse would have been seized at the beginning, 
and it was his delay which caused the destruction and capture of the two 
Athenian armies. The Syracusans executed him. 

S. Nicola. St. Nicholas of Ban, the national saint of Russia, the saint 
of children (Santa Klaus), and the patron saint of sailors, is a very favourite 
saint in Sicily. S. Nicola da Tolentino also has a few churches dedicated 
to him. 

S. Nicola. The town of, stat. Palermo-Messina line. It has a fifteenth- 
century tower. 

Nicolosi. Nine miles from Catania, is the favourite place for commencing 
the ascent of Etna. The Alpine Club of Catania has an office here which 
makes arrangements for guides, etc. , to ascend the mountain. 




NICOLOSI I MONTI ROSSI 



Nicosia. Five and three-quarter hours by mail-vettura from Leonforte. 
It was founded near the ruins of the ancient Herbita (q.v.). Roger the 
Norman strengthened it with a great fortress and adorned it with a cathedral 
of which there are some ruins. Its inhabitants are of Lombard descent and 
speak a Lombard dialect. At the foot of Monte S. Giovanni rises the 
famous milky stream (Acqua-Lattea) of repute for cutaneous diseases. 
Nicosia is always considered the most medieval town in Sicily and contains 
a great deal of very beautiful architecture. King Roger's castle occupies the 
highest peak, and commands a fine view of Etna. See Lombard colonies. 
The sights of Nicosia are : 

Casa Speciale of the fifteenth century. 

Castle, medieval, on a rock. 

Churches S. Benedetto, fourteenth century ; S. Calogero (important 
picture) ; Chiesa del Carmine ; Cathedral ; church of S. Maria Maggiore 
(Gagini's II Cono, 36 feet high, 60 Figures) ; Church of the Misericordia, 



234 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

sixteenth century ; S. Michele Arcangelo, fourteenth century ; S. Vincenzo 
Ferreri (frescoes). 

Herbita, ruins of ancient. 

Sperlinga can be visited from Nicosia (kil. 40) (q.v.). 

Springs of Acqua-Lattea at Monte S. Giovanni. 

There is said to be coal in the district, unworked. 

Nina Siciliana, or Nina di Dante, a Sicilian poetess who flourished in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The fame of her beauty and her poetry 
began the extraordinary poetical liaison between her and the Tuscan poet, 
Dante da Majano, whom she never saw. She was the earliest poetess in the 
Italian language of course, in the Sicilian dialect and some of her poems 
have been preserved in Giunti. 

S. Ninfa-Salemi. Stat., Palermo-Trapani line. S. Ninfa is an un 
important seventeenth-century town. Salemi (q.v.) is supposed to be the 
site of the ancient Halicyse (q.v.). 

Ninfe. Flytraps, made of strips of paper suspended from the ceiling. 

Nizza-Sicilia. Stat., Messina-Catania line. Formerly known as S. Ferdi- 
nando. It doubtless gets its name from the Fiume di Nisi, the river of 
Dionysius, which gives its name to a neighbouring village. It was in the 
neighbouring forest that the Emperor Henry VI. contracted a fever of which 
he died in 1197. Valuable mines have long been worked in the neighbour 
hood of silver, lead, copper, antimony, iron ; and Fazello says that gold-dust 
has been found in the river. There is a ruined castle. 

Nobles. Sicily has a numerous local nobility, who, with few exceptions, 
live on the proceeds of their lands. They often have very extensive estates 
with castles on them, and several palaces and villas in and round Palermo. 
They seldom go into any profession except the Army, or the Navy, or the 
Church. They have several orders prince (principe), duke (duca}^ marquis 
(marchese), count (conte\ and baron (barone}. I am not sure if viscount 
(visconte) exists ; at all events, it is not common. The titles are mostly 
of Spanish creation. The principal noble in the island is the Prince of Trabia 
and Butera. Other leading nobles for the moment are the Conte di Mazzarino, 
the Principe di Scalea, the Duca di Monteleone, etc. There is no House 
of Lords in Italy. 

Normans in Sicily. The Norman Conquest of Sicily was largely due to 
Robert Guiscard's natural jealousy of his brother Roger, who was young, 
handsome, as remarkable for courage as for astuteness, and very ambitious, 
though he was open-handed. Robert diverted his energies to the invasion 
of Sicily. He began with a boat-raid across the Strait at the head of sixty 
men. In 1061 he and Robert invaded Sicily together. In 1064 he won the 
Battle of Ceramio (q.v.). In the same year he and his bride, Eremberga, 
stood a four months' siege by the Saracens in the Castle of Troina. In 1071 
the brothers took Palermo ; 1078, Taormina ; 1085, Syracuse ; 1086, Girgenti 
and Castrogiovanni ; 1090, Noto. In 1 068 Roger won his great Battle 
of Misilmeri ; and by 1090 he had conquered the island. He became Count 
of Sicily in 1071, Great Count in 1089, and in 1098 Legate Apostolical for 
Sicily. He died in 1101. His son, Simon, was the second Count, 
1101-1105. T ne tn i r d Count, Roger II., in 1130, was crowned King 
of Sicily and Italy at Palermo, and lived another twenty-four years. His 
son, William I. (the Bad), reigned 1154-1156; his grandson, William II. 
(the Good), 1166-1189. Roger's illegitimate son, Tancred, reigned 1189- 
1194, and Tancred's son, William III., was for a brief period king. With 



THINGS SICILIAN 235 

him the pure Norman line died out. He was succeeded by the Emperor 
Henry VI. of Germany, who had married King Roger's daughter, Constance. 
He reigned three years, and was succeeded by his son, the Emperor 
Frederick II., who reigned fifty-seven years and made Palermo the greatest 
city in Europe. He was succeeded by his son, Conrad IV. (1250-1254), and 
his grandson, Conradin (1254-1268); but Manfred, Frederick XL's natural 
son, usurpjed the Crown (1258-1266) ; and Charles of Anjou was crowned 
King of Sicily, 1266 He beheaded Conradin in Naples in 1268. It will be 
observed that the Norman Conquest of Sicily took place about the same time 
as the Norman Conquest of England. The Norman kings were great 
patrons of the arts. El Edrisi, the great Arabic geographer (q.v.), flourished 
at their court, and the famous Sicilian song-writers date from the Norman- 
Suabian period. But architecture was their hobby, and they made use 
of the decorative talents of their Saracen and Byzantine subjects to decorate 
their buildings with the wonderful marble work and mosaics which have made 
Sicily famous. Ivory-carving also and metal-working flourished under them. 
There are some glorious specimens in church treasuries. 

Norman architecture in Sicily. Generally called Arabo-Norman because, 
with a very few exceptions, their work shows Saracen influences so strongly. 
Owing to this pointed arches in Sicily are much earlier than those of Northern 
Europe. The date of the Bridge of the Admiral at Palermo, which has very 
pointed arches, is known to be 1113, and there may be earlier. The character 
istics of the early Arabo-Norman work are stilted arches in churches, and 
small pointed windows sunk in panels pointed like themselves. The churches 
are generally of a basilica form, divided into a nave with aisles, or, as Sicilians 
say, three naves, terminating eastward in apses. Many of them have the 
Arabic feature of a square space in the centre of the nave, two-thirds up, 
surrounded by four arches supporting a little cupola which gives most of the 
light, e.g. at the Cappella Reale and the Martorana at Palermo, etc. 

The English-Norman style is to be found in the crypt of the cathedral and the 
Church of the Vespers, both the work of the English archbishop Offamilia (q.v. ). 
Other magnificent examples of early Arabo-Norman work are to be found in 
the cathedral of Monreale and the four Royal Palaces of the period the 
Zisa, the Cuba, the Favara, and Mimnerno ; and in the Norman room of the 
Royal Palace at Palermo. One of the best examples is the vaulted hall under 
the Zisa with a fountain running down the centre, walls panelled with marble 
below and adorned with mosaics above, and a roof of Moorish honeycomb 
work (q.v.}. This style of roof and the use of mosaics were special character 
istics of the work of the Norman kings. The influence of the Northern 
Normans and English is shown most in doorways, like that of S. Giorgio 
at Girgenti, in capitals like those of the cloister of Monreale, and windows 
like the glorious example in the Chiaramonte Palace at Palermo. Later 
Arabo-Norman work resembles the North Italian architecture we find at 
Siena or Brescia, groups of two or three windows with pointed arches divided 
by shafts being enclosed within a containing arch. The richest and most 
beautiful example of this is in the Palazzo Montalto at Syracuse (q.v.). But the 
hand of the Arabic workman often imparts to this style a grace and lightness 
not found in Northern Italy.- The numerous castles and palaces erected by 
the Chiaramonti, like the Chiaramonte Palace in Palermo, the Casa Normanna 
in Palermo., etc., belong to this period. To the fourteenth century also belong 
the doorways with slender clustered columns with elegant rose-windows above 
them, like S. Francesco and S. Agostino at Palermo, and S. Giovanni at 
Syracuse. It is through this style that the Arabo-Norman melts into the later 
Sicilian-Gothic. 



236 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Norman room. The Royal Palace at Palermo contains a perfect Norman 
room of the twelfth century splendidly adorned with marbles and mosaics. 
This is almost the only perfect example in existence of a domestic chamber in 
a building neither religious nor military. 

North's Plutarch. The Plutarch translated into noble old English by Sir 
Thomas North (the translation used by Shakespeare) is now to be obtained in 
the Temple Classics. The Lives of Dion, Timoleon, Nicias, Marcellus, and 
Alcibiades throw much light on ancient Sicily. The English is singularly 
charming. 

Noto Stat., Syracuse-Licata line, a short drive from the town. This is 
the new Noto. Noto Antica on the site of the ancient Neetum (q.v.) is 
12 kil. above it, and is called "the medieval Pompeii," having been deserted 
since its destruction by the great earthquake of 1693. ^ contains some 
Roman remains and the Torre Maestra, built by Peter, brother of King 
Alfonso, in the fourteenth century. The lower franchise of Latium was 
granted to Neetum by the Romans. Modern Noto is one of the handsomest 
cities in Sicily. Its buildings, including the cathedral, all built since the 
earthquake, are very fine. It is a good example of the excellent modern 
classical work that you so often find in Sicily. It has a mail-vettura to 
Palazzolo Acreide in 4 hours, and to Pachino (q.v.) in 3! hours. In the 
neighbourhood of Noto are 

La Pizzuta, 4 miles south of Noto on the River Helorus, a triumphal 
monument of the Syracusans (q.v.). 

Favorita, remains of a sepulchral chamber near the Villa Favorita. 

Naccari, remains of an ancient city near the Lake of Vendicari. 

Novara di Sicilia. Three and a half hours by mail-vettura from the 
Castroreale-Novara-Furnari Stat. on the Palermo-Messina line. The ancient 
Nose. Mentioned in Pliny as one of the communities in the interior 
of Sicily. Mines of porphyry, etc. It was peopled by the Lombards who 
followed Count Roger. 

Novels. The Sicilians read a great number of French and English novels. 
They are great novel readers, and pick up enough English to read our novels 
because they are cheaper than others. Mr. Marion Crawford's Corleone, 
Mr. Justin Huntly McCarthy's The Proud Prince, Miss Norma Lorimer's 
On Etna, Joszatfs Wife and By the Waters of Sicily, Mr. Douglas Sladen's 
The Admiral, and Miss Selma Lagerlof's The Miracles of Anti-Christ, all 
deal with Sicily. One Sicilian novelist, Verga (q.v.), is beginning to have a 
European fame. 

Novels, ancient Greek. There are several in existence : Theagems and 
Charklea> Daphnis and Chloe, Clitopho and Leucippe, and Chareas and 
Callirrhoe. The last (q.v.), by Chariton of Aphrodisias, is a novel of 
ancient Syracuse, and the original of the story of Romeo and Juliet. 

Novell!, Pietro. A native of Monreale (1603-47). Baedeker says: " Sur- 
named * Monrealese,' a master of considerable originality, and a follower of 
the Neapolitan school, to which he owes his vigorous colouring and his 
strongly individualised heads. Besides his works at Palermo, there is an 
interesting work by this master on the staircase at Monreale. Several of his 
monkish figures are among the finest works produced by the Italian naturalists." 
He is a sort of Sicilian Guercino. His work can be best studied in the large 
Novelli room in the Museum at Palermo. Other examples are to be found at 
Alcamo, S. Oliva ; Leonforte, Cappuccini ; Monreale, in the Tabulario behind 
the cathedral ; Palermo, S. Chiara ; Palermo, Carmine ; Palermo, Casa 



THINGS SICILIAN 237 

Professa ; Palermo, cathedral ; Palermo, S. Maria del Cancelliere ; Palermo, 
S. Francesco d' Assisi ; Palermo, S. Domenico ; Palermo, S. Giuseppe ; 
Palermo, S. Matteo ; Palermo, S. Rosario di S. Domenico ; Palermo, S. Maria 
del Oliveto ; Palermo, Olivella ; Palermo, Chiesa di Valverde ; Piana dei 
Greci, S. Demetri ; Piana dei Greci, Cappuccini ; Piana dei Greci, S. 
Antonio ; Ragusa, Cappuccini ; S. Martino above Monreale ; Trapani, 
Collegio. 

Nymphaeum. The Sicilians apply the name to almost anything connected 
with water. The Nymphseum at Syracuse (q.v.) was a cave with a fountain. 
Andrews, in his Latin- English Lexicon, defines it as a fountain sacred to the 
nymphs. 



Obituary notices. It is the custom with Sicilians, especially the poorer 
ones when they lose a relative, to stretch a band of crape across the front door 
with the inscription, "Per mio padre," "Per mia moglia." But the upper 
classes do it too, without the inscription. I noticed in 1903 one of these bands 
of crape on the gate of Comm. Florio, the wealthiest man in the island. 

Obol. An ancient Greek coin the sixth part of a drachma, made of 
silver. Mr. G. F. Hill says that the 0&?/ weighed 11.25 grains troy of silver ; 
and the litra (q.v.), which was purely a Sicilian coin, representing a pound 
of bronze, weighed 13.5 grains troy of silver. Some of the so-called obols of 
Sicily are very beautiful little coins. They are tiny coins about the size of the 
silver twopennies of Maundy money. 

Obligate. To advance money on a crop. " Messrs. Ingham, Whitaker, 
and Co. ' obligate 3 the farmers in advance for their grapes, and they send 
their brokers round at intervals during the winter and spring to make sure 
that the vines are being properly pruned and cultivated " (Siaden's In Sicily, 
vol. ii., p. 349). 

Obverse in a coin means literally the side which goes against the lower or 
anvil die. In practice it is generally used for the head side, because the later 
coins had to have their high-relief heads on the obverse. 

Octopus. A small kind of octopus, the calamaio^ is much esteemed for 
food in Sicily. It is often cut up in strips, and looks almost like maccaroni. 
It is extremely nice, but rather tough. Pounded up like soft-shell crab it 
would be very good. 

Octroi, or municipal taxes, are chiefly on produce. There is no octroi in 
towns of less than 12,000 inhabitants. It is not paid by those who live outside 
the city bounds. It is only paid on goods which pass within the city bounds. 

Ocula (Occhiala). An antique city which stood near the modern Gram- 
michele (q.v.). 

Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, brother of William the Conqueror, died at 
Palermo on his way to the Crusades, and was buried in the crypt of the 
cathedral. 

Odyssey. The late Samuel Butler wrote an extremely learned and in 
genious book called The Authoress of the Odyssey to prove that the Odyssey 
was written in Sicily by a woman. The principal proof for the latter contention 
which he advanced was that nothing was described correctly except women's 
things, The other part of his contention is possibly correct He reasons it 
out convincingly. (Published by Longmans.) There is much about Sicily 
in the Twelfth Odyssey, into which the Cyclops and Scylia and Charybdis 
come. See Cyclops, Scylk, Trapani, etc. 



238 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Offamilia, Gualterio, or Offamiglio, was Archbishop of Palermo in the 
latter half of the twelfth century in the reign of William the Good. He 
built the cathedral and the Church of the Vespers and the curious little church 
named S. Cristina La Vetera in a lane behind the ruined chapel of the In- 
coronata. When it is stripped of its plaster, this will prove an architectural 
gem. The Sicilian name is corrupted from the English Walter of the 
Mill. 

Oil. Naturally much olive oil is made in Sicily, and a good deal is exported 
from Messina. An oil of recognised repute is that made by the Hon. A. N. 
Hood on the Bronte estate. A great deal of kerosene is now imported into 
Sicily, where it is inordinately dear. Prior to this coarse olive oil was much 
used in lamps of old Greek shapes. 

Oldest things in Sicily of human handiwork are the various tombs and 
dwellings of the troglodytes, Sicanian or Sikelian, and certain so-called 
Pelasgic or Cyclopean walls at Cefalu, Collesano, Eryx, and that discovered 
by Comm. Mauceri above Termini (q.v. ). But by far the most important 
example is the ancient Greek house (q.v.), generally called the Temple of 
Diana, on the Castle Rock at Cefalii (q.v.), which goes back certainly to 
Homeric times, and has most of its ground floor and part of its upper floor 
standing. The oldest temple seems to be the Temple of Diana at Syracuse 
(q.v.). 

Oleanders. Both wild and cultivated grow in Sicily. The wild oleander 
is a much smaller plant. It is plentiful round Taormina in the river valleys. 
But the great place for it is the Fiumara Rosmarino, near S. Agata-di-Militello 
Stat. on the Palermo-Messina line. 

Oleaster. The wild olive, which is a thorny shrub looking almost like a 
myrtle, is found in various parts of Sicily. It is very useful, both for graft 
ing with the cultivated olive, which is not so hardy, and for violent fevers, 
in which a strong decoction of it is administered internally. The wild olive 
was used for crowning the victors at Olympia. Jevons and Gardner in 
their manual of Greek Antiquities say (p. 274): "At the conclusion of 
the contest, the name of each winner, and that city which claimed him as a 
citizen, was recited with loud voice by a herald ; and the Hellanodicse placed 
on his head the crown of wild olive, which was the greatest object of ambi 
tion of every Greek youth. " And Pausanias says : ' ' When Zeus was born, 
Rhea committed the safe-keeping of the child to the Idsean Dactyls or Curetes, 
as they are also called ; that the Dactyls came from Ida in Crete, and their 
names were Hercules, Pseonseus, Epimedes, lasius, and Idas ; and that in 
sport Hercules, as the eldest, set his brethren to run a race, and crowned the 
victor with a branch of wild olive, of which they had such an abundance that 
they slept on heaps of its fresh green leaves. They say that the wild olive 
was brought to Greece by Hercules from the land of the Hyperboreans." 
In the great temple of Hercules at Girgenti there is a wild olive springing 
from the fallen masonry. 

Olive. The ancients regarded the olive tree as equal or superior to the vine. 
It was with the olive that Minerva won the day against Poseidon, when they 
were contesting who should be the patron of Athens, and Columella, the most 
learned of Roman writers on agriculture, in his De Re Rmtica, calls the olive 
"prima omnium arborum." Garlands of olive were used to crown victors. 
Archbishop Potter, who wrote a valuable book on Greek antiquities called 
Archaologia Graca, which went through many editions in the eighteenth 
century, makes it out a kind of Victoria Cross. " Nay, when Miltiades only 



THINGS SICILIAN 239 

desired a Crown i of Olive, one Sochares stood up in the Midst of the Assembly 
and reply d , #^ M* *fa// w?tt*r alone, Miltiadcs, thou shall triumph so 
reacted" (voMfnT^ S agreeable to the P P ulace > th *t his Suit was 
The olive was as much honoured and cultivated in Sicily as in Greece 
Proper. It was an insult to Aristceus, its protecting deity at Syracuse, which 
was the last straw m causing the outburst against Verres, Olives of immense 
age, growing spirally, like shells, are to be found round Syracuse. Olive- 
growing is one of the principal industries of the island. There is a tradition 
that some of the old olives were planted by the Saracens. 

Oliver!. A stat. on the Palermo-Messina line, the nearest to the ancient 
Greek city of Tyndaris, from which it is 3 miles (q.v.). 

Olympeium (Italian, Olimpeo). A temple of Zeus or Jupiter Olympius. 
There are a good many in Sicily, notably at Syracuse, Girgend, Selinunte, 
etc. 1 he temples of the Olympian Zeus were noticeably unlucky. That at 
Syracuse, in the outpost of Polichna, bore the brunt of many invasions ; 
those of Girgenti and Selinunte were barely finished before they were de 
stroyed for ever by the Carthaginians. That of Athens lingered on uncom 
pleted for ooo years. 

Omnibus. A few of the largest cities in Sicily have omnibuses runnin^ 
in the streets, and the principal hotels have them. But the real Sicilian 
omnibus is the dirty, paintless, antique, uncomfortable sort of a closed fly, 
which climbs at about four miles an hour from railway stations to remote 
citylettes on the tops of mountains. 

Onion, the wild, looking like a little blunt American aloe, is found on all 
waste land m Sicily. It has given its name to a beautiful veined marble known 
as cipollmo, which looks like a section of the onion (q.v.). 

Onze. Sicilian for the Italian oncie (literally, ounces). A Bourbon coin 
in which people still reckon in the remoter parts : though the coin is no longer 
current. It was worth about ten shillings. 

Operas and Opera-houses. The opera-house in Palermo (q v.) is the 
largest in the world by one yard. There is an opera season. The opera has 
lately been continued in Lent, that being the season for foreigners and making 
money. A good deal of opera is given at most Sicilian theatres. The fine 
opera-house at Catania enjoys the lustre of the name of the immortal youth 
of music, Bellini, who was born at Catania and died before he was thirty-three. 

Oranges. Sicily is a fine orange country ; one of the few orange forests in 
the world is on the Duchy of Bronte. Few oranges, however, are grown except 
for the owners' needs and the local market, lemons being a more paying crop. 
The poor people make an industry of drying orange-peel in long strips. You 
often see the side of a house covered with orange-peel. 

Orchestra, The pit of a Greek theatre, which was really used for the Chorus 
to dance in, and from which they mounted the stage to take part in the action. 
To use Liddell and Scott's concise definition, " the orchestra had the stage on 
its diameter, and on its circumference the spectators' seats. The thymele 
stood in it, an altar-shaped platform, on the steps of which stood the leader of 
the Chorus." 

Orchids. The orchids which are so fine and so abundant at Capri are found 
^n Sicily also, buj; they are not so fine or so frequent. 



2 4 o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Oreto, the. The river of Sicily on which Palermo stands. It has high, 
rather picturesque banks ; it is- useless except for irrigation. 

Oria. See Loria, Ruggiero di. 

Orlando, Capo d'. Naso-Capo-d' Orlando is a stat. on the Palermo- 
Messina line. There are ruins of a castle on the cape, and the Sikel town of 
Agathyrnum stood upon it. Founded by Agathyrnus, whose figure appears on 
a coin of Tyndaris. 

Orpine. A plant belonging to the Sedum or Stonecrop family (the Sedmn 
telephitim}. The brilliant crimson flower which grows on rocks and walls in 
the warmer parts of England. A dwarf variety is very common in Sicily. 

Orsi, Cav. Paolo. Prof. Orsi is the director of the Syracuse Museum, 
and one of the most learned antiquarians in Italy. Author of many valuable 
monographs. He has made the study of the prehistoric races in Sicily a 
speciality. 

Orsi, Prof. Pietro. Professor of History in the R. Liceo Foscarini at 
Venice. Author of Modern Italy, in Mr. Fisher Unwin's Story of the Nations 
Series, the easiest book in English to consult about the history of modern 
Sicily. 

Ortigia. The ancient Ortygia, one of the five quarters of ancient Syracuse, 
is an island between the Great Harbour and the sea. The modern city of 
Syracuse is almost confined to the island. See under Syracuse, Ortygia. 

Ottavi. Octaves, casks containing about eleven gallons, used in the Sicilian 
wine trade. 

Ovid spent a year in Sicily about 25 A.D., and mentions it a good deal. He 
has left us a description much too flowery for nowadays of the sacred lake of 
Pergusa. See under Castrogiovanni. 

Oxen are used for ploughing, and for almost all heavy haulage in Sicily. 
In Messina, which is very hilly," they are used even for carretti. 




A CARETTO DRAWN BY OXEN 



THINGS SICILIAN 241 

P 

Pachino. Twenty-four kil. by mail-vettura from Koto Stat, Syracuse- 
Licata line. Founded m 1438- The Porto d' Ulisse, the ancient Hebrus 
(q.v.), and Cape Passaro or Pachynus can be visited from it. The ancient 
Pachynus (q.v,). 

Pachynus, Cape. One of the three capes which made Sicily Trinacria. 
According to Cicero there was a Portus Pachyni and a Portus Odyssey in its 
neighbourhood, the former now called Porto Palo. Freeman supposes the 
ancients to have called the whole southern peninsula Pachynus, and the 
actual cape to have been the lofty island of Passaro, not the more southerly 
but insignificant point opposite the Isola delle Correnti. 

Pack-mules are common in the mountainous parts. They are very gay 
with scarlet harness, often of webbing. 

Paese. Literally country, but, like terra, constantly used in Sicily of a 
small town as we use our word glace. 

Painted carts, Sicilian. See p. 410, Palermo, Palermo Carts. All over 
bialy, but most m Palermo, you meet yellow two-wheeled carts, painted with 
scenes from the Bible or Sicilian history or Dante, or Tasso, or Ariosto. 
Occasionally also single figures of saints or ballet-girls or conventional 
designs. They are often carved underneath and have elaborate hammered 
ironwork. 



. Sicily. In the Palermo Museum there are a good many paint 

ings by Sicilian artists of the Byzantine period, much in advance of the Italian 
paintings of the period. But painting did not flourish under the Spanish 
dynasties, though Tommaso di Vigilia, in the fifteenth century, had much of 
Lo Spagna's charm ; and Antonello da Messina, who had studied in Flanders 
under the Van Eycks, introduced oil-painting into Italy during the course of 
his long life which covered nearly the whole of the fifteenth century. Another 
good medieval painter was Riccardo Qiiartararo, who painted the S. Cecilia in 
the Palermo Cathedral, formerly, like the superb fresco of the Dance of 
Death, attributed to Antonio Crescenzio, whom Baedeker places in the first 
half of the sixteenth century. The great Sicilian painter is the realist 
Pietro Novelli (q.v.), a Monrealese (1603-47). At Messina (q.v.) were pro 
duced quite a number of painters of merit whose names are little known. 
See Messinese School of Painting. 

^ Palaces. Sicily abounds in palaces, many of them of enormous size. The 
Sicilians are good masons, and all Sicily is a quarry. They are of all dates 
from the twelfth century. The earliest the Zisa, the Cuba, the Favara, and 
Mimnerno, and part of the Royal Palace at Palermo, were built by Saracen 
workmen for the Norman kings. With the exception of the Pietratagliata 
Palace at Palermo, there are not many palaces after that anterior to the fourteenth 
century, when the Chiaramonti built the noble palace on the Piazza Marina, 
now called the Dogana, and some unknown person built the Casa Normanna 
behind S. Matteo, with its range of profosely decorated windows, and Matteo 
Sclafani built his vast palace opposite the Royal Palace, all at Palermo ; and 
a Montalto and a Bellomo built their magnificent palaces at Syracuse. The 
great characteristics of the fourteenth-century palaces are their richly decorated 
windows clustered in twos and threes in a containing arch, just as the leading 
characteristics of the twelfth-century palaces are their narrow windows con 
tained in sunken Saracenic panels. At Randazzo and other Lombard towns 
there are fourteenth-century palazzetti with plain windows in a containing 
arch, hardly decorated beyond the slender shafts which divide them. This 




S. CHIARA (SCHOOL OF <ANTONELLO), MESSINA MUSEUM 




THE HOLY FAMILY, BY AN UNKNOWN ARTIST, IN THE MESSINA MUSEUM 



244 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

style influenced the ordinary fifteenth-century palace, of which the examples 
are much more numerous. The doorways are simple, pointed arches with 
projecting hood-mouldings or square labels over them. Except the twelfth- 
century palaces, nearly all have a cortile in the centre. All the above, which 
may be grouped as Gothic palaces, are of a moderate size, and, as a rule, have 
no openings on the ground floor except the great entrance. The windows are 
high enough up to be out of danger from street riots. In Taormina there are 
a couple of palaces of the fifteenth century as ornate as if they had been built 
a hundred years earlier. They have a black-and-white decoration, and ex 
quisite windows. One of them, the Badia, is the most beautiful Gothic build 
ing in Sicily. A characteristic frequently destroyed is a fine processional stairway 
and terrace occupying two or three sides of the cortile. Taormina has examples 
in the Palazzo Corvaja and the Casa Floresta (q.v.), Syracuse (q.v.), in the 
House of the Clock, the Palazzo Daniele, and the Opera Pia Gargallo. Castro- 
giovanni has one in a palace near S. Chiara, and there is a curious variety of 
them in the palazzetti of Marsala. 

In the sixteenth century palaces became much larger,, and the staircases 
were rather in the style of our English double staircases. All large towns in 
Sicily have examples of this epoch. The Royal Palace at Palermo may be 
taken as a specimen, and subsequent palaces have followed the sixteenth- 
century manner, growing larger and larger, like the Palazzo Cattolica occupied 
by Wedekind's Bank at Palermo. To-day the nobles build villas in preference 
to palaces, though the name should not really be applied to the house, it 
belongs to the garden. Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker's villa Malfitano is about 
the finest example. Mr. Joshua Whitaker's splendid mansion is a copy of a 
Venetian palace. 

Palaestra, or Gymnasium (Ginnasio). Both the Greeks and the Romans 
were extravagantly fond of them, and took their other training, in rhetoric, 
etc. , in the same buildings. The Greek who had money spent his whole day 
about the Paloestra, exercising himself or watching famous athletes. There 
are two considerable Pal^estne remaining in Sicily, that dating from Roman 
times at Tyndaris, which Freeman considers the best Roman building in the 
island, and the better-known example which was probably the Timolonteum 
built round the tomb of Timoleon at Syracuse, called by guides the Palestra 
or Ginnasio, and by the natives the Bagno di Diana (q.v.). This gives you 
some idea of the way in which such buildings were laid out, with their running 
and wrestling grounds, their colonnades, their lecture theatres, etc. 

Palagonia. Reached by mail-vettura in 2 hours from Scordia Stat. on the 
Valsavoia-Caltagirone line. Founded above the remains of the ancient Palica 
(q. v. ). Once belonged to the great admiral Roger di Loria. It gave his title to 
the prince whose vulgar monsters at his Bagheria villa are described by Goethe. 
He could never have heard of the Palici, or he would certainly have tried to 
reproduce its nether- world deities with some phantasmagoria at this villa. 

Palamita. An ancient city which stood near the modern Partenico. 

Palazzetti (literally little palaces). The fortified houses of the gentry and 
lesser nobles in the Middle Ages. Marsala has splendid examples. So has Ran- 
dazzo, and there are a few at Syracuse, etc. On the ground floor there was no 
opening but the main entrance, and they were built round a courtyard which 
contains a well and a washing-place, and in Marsala, at any rate, an outside 
staircase and terrace going round the court. 

Palazzo-Adriano. Reached by mail-vettura in 6\ hours from Corleone, 
Palermo-Corleone line ; and in 8 hours from Lercara (Girgenti-Palermo 



THINGS SICILIAN 245 

line). One of the fifteenth-century Albanian settlements, like Piana del 
Greci. 

Palazzolo-Acreide. See below, page 398. 

Palermo. See below, page 401. 

Pales, the goddess of the shepherds, was much honoured at Rome, where 
her festival was celebrated on the anniversary of the foundation of the city. 
Freeman (vol. ii p. 527) discusses her connection with the Palici. Sig. 




PANORAMA OP PALAGON1A 

Rosario Salvo, quoted by Chiesi, suggests that *' Palermo" is probably 
derived from Pales (p. 588, La SiciUa Illustrata\ " Why should not the Italic 
Pales have been able to give her name to Palermo, when that city belonged to 
the Italic-Siculans (z'.e, Sikels) ? It is said that no name adapts itself better 
than the Greek Panormus, which meant the All-Haven ; but the city was not 
an all-haven." There were two havens: because Palermo thrust itself into the 
sea like a tongue, washed by the water on both sides. 

Palica. The city founded near the Lake of the Palici by Ducetius in 
453 B.C. Destroyed shortly after his death. The modern town of Palagonia 
is said to preserve its name. Reached from Mineo Stat on the Catania- 
Caltagirone line. 

Palici. The Dii Palici were a pair of indigenous Sicilian deities whom some 
have attempted to identify with Castor and Pollux. They could give an 
asylum to fugitive slaves, and important oaths were taken beside their 
bituminous springs to be made specially binding. Doubtless it was for this 
reason that Ducetius, who tried to form an anti-Greek Sikel league, established 
his capital first at Mense, the modern Mineo r and second at Palica, both over 
looking the lake. Freeman (History of Sicily, vol. i.) discusses the Palici at 
great length. There was a superb temple here dedicated to the Dii Palici, 
who were declared to be the sons of Zeus and Etna (or Thalia). Virgil speaks 
of the "pinguis &t placabilis ara Palici" The Greeks said that Zeus, having 
made the nymph with child, made the earth open to conceal her from the 
wrath of Hera, and when the time came for her to be delivered, the children 
came up through the earth. The natural phenomena here are very remark 
able. A little lake five hundred yards round contains the spring from which a 



246 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

rich and nauseous black oil comes up, which Fazello says is very deadly to 
animals. These exhalations in the neighbouring territory of Favorotto produce 
a mirage called the Fata Morgana. The evil atmosphere of the lake must be 
exaggerated, for the Sicilian railways have lately established a ferryboat over 
them so that the phenomena may be observed. 




THE LAKE OF THE PALICI, THE OLDEST SANCTUARY IN EUROPE 

Palici, Lake of. See preceding paragraph. 

Palma-Monteehiaro, reached by mail-vettura from Canicatti in 5 hours, 
is on the seashore near Licata and the fortress of Montechiaro. It _can be 
reached by sea from Porto Empedocle or Licata. The women of this place 
have a special dress. 

Palms. The palms in Sicily are, with those of Bordighera, the _best in 
Europe. The latter excel them in age, having been planted by the corsairs from 
Africa early in the Middle Ages. But the Sicilian palms excel in the number 
of rare varieties and the skill and ease with which they are grown. See 
especially the Botanical Gardens, the Giardino Garibaldi, the Parco d' Aumale, 
and the villas of Count Tasca, Mr. Robert Whitaker (Villa Sofia), and his 
brothers, Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker has some specially rare varieties. 

Palm brooms and fans for blowing the charcoal fires are made from the 
dwarf indigenous wild palm, and are universally used. 

Palm Sunday is a great day in Sicily. They break through Lent and 
have interesting ceremonies in the churches, especially in the Royal Chapel in 
Palermo. Crosses plaited with wild palm and often decorated with daisies are 
sold for a soldo or two each outside the churches. 

Palmetto, or Palmito. The dwarf wild palm, which grows in many parts 
of Sicily. Far the largest I have seen is about seven feet high, growing from 
an inaccessible crag beside the ancient Greek kilns at Plemmyrium, opposite 
Syracuse (q.v. ). The wild palm was used as an emblem of victory among the 
ancient Greeks. Pausanias says: "At Isthmus the pine and at Nemea the 
celery were adopted as symbols of the sufferings of Palsemon and Archemorus. 
But in most of the games the crown is of palm, and everywhere a palm is 
placed in the victor's right hand. The origin of the custom was this : They 
relate that Theseus, returning from Crete, celebrated games in Delos in honour 
of Apollo, and crowned the victors with the palm. They say that this was the 
beginning of the custom. The palm tree at Delos is mentioned by Homer in 



THINGS SICILIAN 247 

the supplication which Ulysses addresses to the daughter of Alcinous." The 
wild palm appears between two greaves on a coin of Camerina. The palm 
tree which appears on the Phoenician coins of Motya before its destruction by 
Dionysius is of course African. 

As the emblem of triumph and victory the palm was invariably employed by 
the early Christian as a sign of martyrdom. 

S. Panagia. Near the cape of that name is the last stat. before Syracuse, 
on the Catania line. There is a famous Tonnara here, and a peculiar Latomia, 
and many foundations of large Greek buildings. This wild and interesting 
plateau and gorge above the sea is well worth driving to from Syracuse. It 
is not the Pantagias mentioned in Virgil's Itinerary, &}ieidi iii., which is north 
of Megara. 

Panormus. The Greek name for Palermo (the All- Harbour), though it 
never was a Greek city, having been founded by the Phoenicians, and held 
by them or the Carthaginians, except for a brief time, under Pyrrhus. For 
history, coins, etc., see under Palermo. 

Panormitan. This word, inscribed on the marble Trinacria on the Fountain 
of the Genius of Palermo in the Villa Giulia at Palermo, is taken from a 
Roman coin of the city of the Christian era. Compare the Lilybaiitan of the 
coins of Lilybseum, also a Carthaginian city. These Greek inscriptions belong 
to the coins of the Roman period. See p. 441. 

Pantagias. A river mentioned by Virgil, s&neid, iii., and Ovid, who 
place it north of Megara Iblea and south of the Simethus, now called the 
Porcari (Smith). Virgil says: "I am borne beyond the mouth of the Pan 
tagias, fringed with living rock, the Bay of Megara, and low-lying Thapsus." 
The place would not be worth mentioning except that Pliny, placing it nearer 
Syracuse, gives the idea that it is the same as S. Panagia. It plays a part in 
the legend of Ceres and Proserpine. It filled all Sicily with the noise of its 
falling. The noise vexed Ceres when hunting for her daughter, and the river 
stopped. 

Pantaleo, S., the Island of. Now belonging to J. J. S. Whitaker, Esq. 
Contains the ancient city of Motya, the oldest Carthaginian or Phoenician 
settlement in Sicily (q.v.). 

Pantalica. The most famous city of the dead in Sicily, a wild gorge full 
of tombs and troglodytes' dwellings, to which Prof. Orsi has given much 
attention. To do it in the day the best plan is to have a carriage meet 
you at Lentini Stat. Prof. Orsi recommends staying the night at Sortino 
(6 hours 40 minutes by mail-vettura from Syracuse). It may also be ap 
proached from Augusta. Freeman says of the eastern Herbessus, ** the older 
Sicilian antiquaries place it at Pantalica, the famous city of the dead, where 
the Sikel himself was hardly the first to honeycomb the hillsides with the last 
resting-places of his fathers," 

There are several thousand tomb chambers, says Baedeker, "cut in the 
cliffs of the Anapo valley ; one of the caves appears to have been adapted as 
a Byzantine chapel, and there are other traces of human habitation as late as 
the fourteenth century." There is also a megalithic house at Pantalica. 

Pantelleria. An island used as a penal settlement, which lies between 
Sicily and Africa. Its ancient Phoenician name, Kossoura, is preserved in its 
chief town, Cossura, and it possesses an extint volcano. Said to be better 
for Phoenician remains than any place in Sicily. It has some low, round 
prehistoric towers. The steamer from Marsala to Tunis reaches Pantelleria 
in 7 hours. The large riding-asses used in Sicily are from Pantelleria. 



248 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

S. Paolo. Stat Syracuse-Licata line. It is on the river Assinaro, where 
Nicias was defeated. 

Papyrus. The only place where the papyrus now grows wild is said to be 
on the banks of the river Anapo, really the Cyane (q.v.). It is planted in 
the Fountain of Arethusa and most other public fountains in Sicily. Said to 
have been introduced by Texena, wife of Agathocles, who was the daughter of 
one of the Ptolemies, from Egypt. Others say that it was introduced by the 
Arabs. 




THE CITY OF THE CAVE-DWELLERS AT PANTALICA 4 

Parcels Post, Sicily, like Italy, has a very convenient parcels post, by 
which parcels up to 1 1 pounds can be sent to England for about 2s. It takes 
about a week. 

Parco. Two hours by mail-vettura from Palermo. Situated on the south 
of Monte Pizzuta. Part of the vast royal park enclosed in a wall by Roger in 
1149, Frederick of Aragon founded there, in 1328, the abbey church and a 
convent, dedicated^ to S. Maria d j Alto Fonte. On the altar at the right of the 
church is a bas-relief representing the Virgin. Parco enjoys one of the finest 
views in Sicily. 

Parsley, wild. There has been much argument as to the question of 
whether the selinon from which Selinunte takes its name is wild parsley or 
wild celery. Liddell and Scott maintain that the leaves with which the 
victory at the Isthmian and Nemean games were crowned was wild parsley, 
and this is the local view, but Freeman says wild celery. 

Partanna. Reached by mail-vettura from Castelvetrano Stat. in ij hours ; 
Palermo-Trapani line. According to some, Partanna is Parte-di-Enna ; 
according to others, including Maurolyco, Spartanna, a colony being imagined 
in each case. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



249 



Partenico. Stat. on Palermo-Trapani line. Mail-vettura to Sancipirello, 
2| hours ; Campo Reale, 4 hours. A wine centre. Near the antique Palamita 
(q.v. ). A Norman town. 

Paschal lambs. In Palermo for a few days before Easter Paschal lambs 
in almond paste and sugar are sold in the streets, etc. (See Eastern Customs.) 

Passeggiata. The Sicilians, like other Italians, are devoted to the pas- 
seggiata, or drive at sunset. In Palermo the winter passeggiata is by the 
Giardino Inglese, the summer along the Foro Italico by the sea. Anyone 
who can keep the most rattletrap carriage and shabbiest horse goes in for this 
slow and mournful procession. It is the last straw of respectability. 

Passaro, Cape. The ancient Pachynus (q.v.). One of the three capes 
of Sicily. 




VIEW OF THE RIVER ANAPO BELOW I'ANTALICA 



Passozingaro. Stat. on Circum-zEtnean railway. Called from the gypsies, 
who gave this place the worst repute in Sicily for brigandage. 

Passports. They are good things to have, but the only use I have ever 
put them to is for proving my identity for registered letters. 

Pasticceria. A pastrycook's shop. Sicilians make very good pastry, 
specialities being tartlets with fresh strawberries, and the Sicilian, cakes which 
are full of a sort of cream and covered with sugar and candied fruit. 

Paterno. Stat. on Circum-^Etnean railway. Freeman thinks Paterno 
the ancient Hybla Minore or the Galeatic Hybla (q.v.), a Sikelian city. 
Things to see are the feudal castle of Count Roger on the site of the Acro 
polis (1,000 feet above the sea) ; church of S. Francesco d'Assisi, fourteenth 
century ; remains of a Roman bridge across the Simeto ; numerous tombs at 
Casteluzzo ; remains of a mosaic pavement at Lo Spedali ; remains of baths 
3 miles north at Bella Cortina ; Grotto del Fracasso an extraordinary phe 
nomenon, a roar produced by the passage of the waters coming from the 
melted snows of Etna ; and the Acqua Grassa which comes from the district 



250 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

of Salinella, a sparkling mineral water much drunk in Catania. Gianotta 
identifies Paterno with Hybla Maggiore (q.v.). This must be a mistake, 
because Pausanias, V. xxiiii. 6, says : ' * Hybla the Greater is entirely desolate ; 
but Hyblsea Gereatis is a Catanian village and contains a sanctuary of the 
goddess Hybteea which is Venerated by the Sicilians." It was from this 
Hybla, I believe, that the image was brought to Olympia ; for Philistus, son 
of Archomenides, says that these Hyblseans were interpreters of portents and 
dreams, and were the most devout of all the barbarians in Sicily. See Hybla. 

Patricola, Prof., an antiquary in charge of the department for the preser 
vation of monuments at Palermo. 

Patriarchal institutions. Sicily was a country of patriarchal institutions 
before the reforms of the last century, and they are on the whole best suited 
for the country. 

Patti. \ On opposite sides of the Patti Stat. on the Palermo - 

Patti-Marina. ) Messina line. From the stat. a good road leads to Tyn- 
daris (q.v.) ; about an hour's drive. Visitors should go straight to Tyndaris, 
where accommodation for either sex may be obtained by writing two days in 
advance to the Superior, Madonna del Tindaro. There is nothing to take 
visitors to Patti. The inn is extortionate and swarming with bugs and fleas, and 
the town dirty and malarious and suggestive of typhoid. The cathedral where 
Roger's mother, Adelasia, is buried is hopelessly modernised, and the tomb 
belongs to some centuries later. From Patti there is a mail-vettura to 
S. Piero Patti, 3 hpurs. 

Paul, St, was in Syracuse for three days, and it is claimed that he 
preached in the underground church of St. Marcian (q.v.), under Syracuse 
(Acts xxviii. 12). "And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days." 

Peacock. The sign of immortality in Christian catacombs. In pagan 
catacombs it denoted an empress. 

Pear, wild. A handsome beehive-shaped shrub common in Sicily. 

Pear, prickly- (Opuntia vulgaris}. See under Fichi d* India. 

Peasants. See Chapter IV. In many parts they have a handsome national 
dress which they wear at festas, especially round Modica, Piana dei Greci, 
Aderno, and Randazzo. They are very badly paid from half a franc to two 
francs a day. 

. Peasants' pottery. All of old Greek or Saracenic shapes. See Earthen 
ware. 

Pediment. An architectural term. The low triangular gable, corre 
sponding with the roof-slopes at the top of the front and rear of a classical 
building. The triangular sunk part or tympanum is often elaborately 
sculptured in high relief. (Russel Sturgis.) 

Pedlars. See Hawkers and Costers. A great institution in Sicily, where 
there are few shops outside of the great towns. 

Pelasgians. The term Pelasgian has a very disputed meaning. They 
have even been identified with the Philistines. Classical writers allude to 
them as a kind of aborigines. It is not certain if they were of Greek origin 
or not. As their name is often attached to Cyclopean architecture, it is 
probable that they were an earlier race. The Etruscans are very likely the 
same race, and may be looked upon as the survivors of a race once widely 
spread over Europe, driven back and exterminated. Pausanias regards them 
as the inhabitants of Arcadia, and says that there were many of them living 
below the foot of the Acropolis who built most of the walls. The term 



THINGS SICILIAN 251 

Tyrrheni is used identically with that of Pelasgi. According to Niebuhr, the 
Pelasgians were the original population not only of Greece but also of Italy, 
and once, perhaps, the most widely spread people in Europe. See next 
par. 

Pelasgic buildings and walls. The finest "Pelasgic" house in 
existence is on the castle hill of Cefalu (q v. ). There is another at Pantalica, 
another behind Termini, the subject of an excellent monograph by Comm. L. 
Mauceri. There are also Pelasgic remains by the seashore at Cefalu, behind 
Collesano, at Eryx, etc. See under these various headings. 

Pelorus, or Peloris. One of the three capes of Sicily. Now called the 
Faro (q.v.), and see under Messina. It is the nearest point to the Italian main 
land, and is said to have received its name from the pilot of Hannibal, who 
was suspected of treachery and put to death. But the name is much older 
than Hannibal's time. There was a great temple of Neptune here whose 
columns are preserved in the cathedral of Messina. The eels and cockles of 
Pelorus were famous. 

Peloritan Mountains. The most eastern of the ranges on the north coast 
of Sicily. They may be reckoned to extend as far as Taormina. 

Pensioning 1 . The Sicilians have odd methods of pensioning. The most 
profitable to the pensioned is a license as a church beggar. One of the great 
Marsala wine firms finds that a popular form of pensioning is to allow the 
men who are past other work to come and pick oakum to earn their wages. 

Pentarga. A town destroyed by the great earthquake of 1693, on whose 
ruins was founded the modern Sortino (q.v.). 

Pepper trees. The pepper tree, whose pale green leaves and pink berries 
are such a handsome feature in Sicilian cities, has nothing to do with the 
edible pepper which grows on a vine. 

According to the . B. , its proper name is Schinus Mulli^ and gets its name 
from its fruit, which has a hot aromatic flavour from the abundance of resin it 
contains. When the leaves are thrown upon the surface of the water the 
resinous fluid escapes with such force as violently to agitate them. The 
Piazza di Fonderia at Palermo is full of them. 

Pepoli, Count, the proprietor of the castle at Eryx (q.v.). 

Per mia moglia. See under Obituary notices. 

Pergola. A horizontal trellis supported by columns of stone or posts of 
wood covered with vines, and less often with laurels, etc. 

Pergusa. The holy Lake of Pergusa is situated in a little plain below 
Castrogiovanni, the ancient Enna. It was one of the most sacred spots in 
ancient Sicily. The Lake of Pergusa is described by Diodorus as surrounded 
by groves and masses of flowers. They were so fragrant that dogs in hunting 
lost the scent ; and Cicero in his Verres speaks of the lake and numerous 
groves and a wealth of flowers at all times of the year. It is a volcanic lake, 
sometimes full of splendid eels and crowded with water fowl, but with its 
malariousness much increased by its flax-steeping industry. It is no longer 
surrounded by the flowery groves of which Ovid romanced. It was from a 
cavern near this lake that Pluto issued in his chariot drawn by black horses, and 
arresting her attention with a hundred -headed narcissus, carried off Proserpine. 
The district has not a good name with the police. It has been said that the 
holy Lake of Pergusa and the other holy Lake of Palici are the oldest landmarks 
of the history of religion in Europe. These are the sacred places of the 
worshippers of the elemental gods. It is now called Pergo. It is about 
4 kil. round. Called in the Middle Ages Lago di Goridan (q.v.). 



252 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Peripteral. An architectural term signifying ' ' surrounded by a single 
range of columns." Nearly all the Sicilian temples are peripteral. It is a 
Vitruvian term. (Sturgis.) 

Peristyle. Sturgis defines this as "a range or ranges of roof-supporting 
columns enveloping the exterior of a building, as of a peripteral temple ; or 
surrounding an internal court of a building, as in the peristylium of a Greek 
or Roman house ; or forming a covered ambulatory or open screen around any 
large open space, partly or wholly enclosing it. Also, by extension, the space 
so enclosed. See Columnar Architecture. 

Peribaida (Beribaida). An ancient Saracen fortress near Campobello di 
Mazzara. 




ENVIRONS OF PETRALIA SOTTANA IN THE MADONIAN MOUNTAINS 

Peraull's Sicilian Tours. Excursion office is at 93, Corso Vittorio Em- 
manuele, Palermo (q.v.). 

Perollo. One of the two great families whose vendetta formed the far-famed 
Casi di Sciacca. See Sciacca. 

Perseus and Medusa. The subject of the fine antique metope from the 
temple C (Hercules or Apollo) at Selinunte. See under Museum, Palermo. 

Persephone. See Proserpine. 

Persiani. The green wooden jalousies or lattices attached outside nearly 
all Sicilian windows. 

Petalism. The Syracusan form of ostracism, so called from the names 
being written on olive leaves instead of oyster shells. It lasted for five years 
instead of ten, and was therefore used more recklessly. (Freeman.) 

Peter I. of Aragxm, The first Aragonese king of Sicily, which he took as 
husband of Manfred's daughter Constance, 1282-1285. 

PetraHa Soprana. Reached by mail-vettura from Castelbuono Stat. 
(Palermo -Messina line) 9! hours, and from Cerda (Girgenti-Palermo) in 
II j hours. Has an ancient fortress, mostly in ruins, dominating the whole 



THINGS SICILIAN 



2 53 



city, called from its rock, the Petra, which gave its name to the classical city. 
Petralia is said to be derived from Petra del Olio, from the medicinal oil float 
ing on its famous spring. Soprana means the same as Superiore. It is an 
older town than Petralia Sottana. The ancient Petra had a coin figured in 
Mr. G. F. Hill's book. 

Petralia Sottana. Ten hours from Castelbuono Stat. and io| hours from 
Cerda Stat. ; has mail-vettnre of its own to Bompietro, 2 hours ; Locati, 
3 hours ; and Alimena, 4j hours. The name simply signifies lower. Near 
Petralia Sottana is Polizzi la Generosa (q.v.). The scenery round these two 
cities is very striking. 




ENVIRONS OP PETRALIA SOTTANA, MADONIAN MOUNTAINS 

Phaedra and HIppolytus. The subject of the splendid sarcophagus pre 
served in the cathedral at Girgenti (q.v.). 

Phalaris. The famous tyrant of Acragas, known equally well on account of 
his forged letters and his brazen bull. The former formed the subject of the 
famous Boyle and Bentley controversy, and are discussed at length in Free 
man's History of Sicily. His brazen bull, in which he is said to have roasted his 
victims alivCj was doubtless taken from the Moloch worship of the surround 
ing Phoenicians. He is said to have kept it on the hill of Ecnomus outside 
the modern Licata. There is a beautiful little building called the Cappella di 
Phalaride, or Temple of the Sun, in the garden of the Convent of S. Nicola 
at Girgenti (q.v.). 

Pharos. Greek for a lighthouse. Gives its name to the Faro, a peninsula 
with a lighthouse at Messina (q.v.). 

Philemon. A comic poet born about 360, died 262 B,c, of excessive 
laughter. Some make him a native of Soli in Cilicia, and some of Syracuse, 
He is compared to Menander, but considered inferior. 



254 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Philistis. Daughter of Leptines, Queen of Hiero II. See under 
Syracuse. 

Philistus. Son of Archimenides. A Syracusan, the early patron as well as 
the historian of Dionysius I. , whose excesses, Pausanias says, he concealed. 
Freeman considers him to have inspired the best portions of Diodorus. He 
died 356, and was born about 435. (Sir W. Smith.) 

Philoxenus. A poet of Syracuse, born at Cythera, but lived at the court 
of Dionysius I. , who shut him up in the Latomia del Filosofo, corrupted from 
his name, for criticising his verses. He was one of the most distinguished 
dithyrambic poets of Greece. See under Syracuse. 

Philosophus, the meaning 1 of. This term, generally translated philosopher, 
means properly a man who loves a handicraft or art. Pythagoras first gave 
it its modern meaning of "a lover of wisdom," applied in a wide sense 
previously expressed by sophos. It was used in a wider sense for men 
of science or liberal education, and it is in this sense that it was applied to 
Empedocles and Archimedes. 

Phintias. A town founded by Phintias, the tyrant of Acragas, for the 
remnant of the inhabitants of Gela in 280 B.C., which had been destroyed by 
the Mamertines. It was never as important as Gela. In the First Punic War 
the Carthaginians destroyed the Roman fleet lying in its harbour, 249 B.C. 
The modern Licata (q.v.) is founded on its site. 

Phintias. Phintias was the tyrant or king of Acragas. He was defeated 
by Hicetas of Syracuse in a battle near the Henean Hybla (Ragusa), but was 
supported by the Carthaginians, and founded a large empire in which 
Agyrium was at one time included. When Gela was destroyed by the 
Mamertines he built his new town of Phintias for them, which was the last 
Greek city founded in Sicily. 

Phocians. Pausanias, V. xxv. 6, says that the Greek population of Sicily 
"consists of Dorians and lonians, with a small proportion of people of the 
Phocian and Attic stocks." 

Phoenicians. No one knows when the Phoenicians came to Sicily. They 
founded flourishing settlements at Motya, Panormus, and Solous (Solunto). 
Also it seems the other Motya (Motyka), the modern Modica, and certainly 
the flourishing town of Cossoura in the island of Pantellaria. Gradually 
their possessions in Sicily were taken over by the Carthaginians. The one 
Phoenician name of importance we have in Sicily is that of Hiram, the King 
of Tyre, who was King Solomon's admiral. There are a few traces of their 
buildings a fine piece of polygonal wall in the Via Candelai at Palermo, 
parts of the wall at Eryx, and well-paved roads and fragments of houses 
at Solunto. Lately a splendid Phoenician necropolis has been opened up 
at Birgi, opposite the island of Motya. There are two curious Phoenician 
coffins in the Museum at Palermo,, and a great many Small objects from 
glass beads to fine gold jewellery have been dug up in various parts of the 
island, a famous find, oddly enough, having been made at Randazzo, where 
the objects are kept in a private museum. There are a good many Siculo- 
Phcenician coins, but the Carthaginian and Phoenician antiquities have not yet 
been very fully distinguished. The Phoenician trading with Sicily went 
on for centuries. 

Phrygians. The Elymians of Eryx, Segesta, etc., are often referred to 
as Phrygians, which would be in favour of the theory that they were Trojans. 
Pausanias says: "The Phrygians came from the river Scamander and the 
district of the Troad." 



THINGS SICILIAN 255 

PhrygiHus. A coin-engraver of Syracuse. His coins are distinguished by 
the extraordinary spiritedness of their four-horse chariots, and the heads are 
quite beautiful. 

Piana dei Greci. The best-known of the Albanian settlements made 
in Sicily in the fifteenth century, which still maintain to some extent their 
religion, their language, and their costumes. It is 24 kil. from Palermo, and 
is reached by a mail-vettura, which takes about 4 hours. In the official 
Orario it is called Piana Greci. The charge is two francs. It is on the east 
side of Monte Pizzuta. Founded by Greeks from Albania, conquered by the 
Turks under Amurath II., 1488. Formerly called Casale Merco. The in 
habitants wear their rich and singular costume with best effect at a wedding, 
and by giving a short notice, a wedding can always be arranged by the priests 
on the stranger paying a few pounds for the bride's dowry. There are frescoes 
by Pietro Novelli in the church of S. Demetrio, the Chiesa dei Cappuccini, 
and the Chiesa di S. Antonio. See under Albanians. 




PIANA DEI GRECI ALBANIAN COSTUMES 

Piano della Foresta. Near Carini (q.v.). Antique sepulchres cut in the 
rock. 

Piazza- Armerina. Reached by mail-vettura from Caltanisetta in 8 hours 
(Girgenti-Catania line) ; from Caltagirone (Valsavoia-Caltagirone line), in 
5f hours ; from the Assaro-Valguarnera Stat. (Palermo-Catania line), in 
6 hours; from Raddusa Stat. (Palermo-Catania line), in 6 hours. It can 
also be reached in 12 hours from Barrafranca (q.v.). Like Piana dei Greci 
(see above), it contains one of the fifteenth-century Greek colonies. It stands 
by the sources of the Gela River, and is thought by some to have been the 
original city of Gela before it was moved to the seashore. Others think it 
was founded by the Boeotians. In ancient times it was called Plutia, or 
Pluzia, or Plugia, so called from the Greek Ploutus, on account of the 
richness of its territory. It is nicknamed to-day *' Opulentissima." It is 
a large town, with no less than five lines of mail-vetture converging on 



256 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

it. For richly cultivated mountain scenery it is said to have no superior in 
Sicily. It was enlarged first by Roger the Great Count, then by William the 
Good, and then by Martin of Aragon. Murray gives a very interesting 
account of it. Most writers have missed this beautifully situated and 
important town. " The original town, which stood three miles west, was 
one of the settlements of the Lombard followers of Count Roger, and was 
utterly destroyed by William the Bad for the part it took in the rebellion of 
Bonello. That sovereign constructed the present town from its ruins. Piazza 
is celebrated as the seat of a parliament held in 1296, to discuss the question 
of the submission of Sicily to Charles of Anjou, in which it was resolved to 
maintain the independence of the island. Piazza, corrupted in the Sicilian 
dialect into ' Chiazza, 3 is irregularly built on the crests and slopes of an 
eminence (1,564 feet), which rises from the bosom of luxuriant and varied 
foliage. One of these crests is surmounted by the cathedral, a seventeenth- 
century building, with remains of early work in the lower stages of its tower, 
which is known by the name of * Lanterna Greca.' A few remains of 
Siculo-Norman or Sicilian-Gothic architecture are to be met in the gateways 
of private houses ; also in the churches of S. Giovanni de' Roti and San 
Carmelo, which latter stands on the height opposite the town to the east. 
The Castello, which crowns the height to the south of the cathedral, has a 
small square tower at each angle, enclosed by an outer line of battlemented 
wall. The keep has a pointed door and windows. Piazza is quitted by an 
avenue of elms, beneath slopes covered with magnificent stone-pines. The 
environs are luxuriantly wooded and abundantly watered, the hills cultivated 
to their summits, and the hollows filled with groves of walnut, chestnut, and 
hazel, relieved by groups of forest trees. In less than an hour the path 
divides: east to (2 hours) Aidone." Aidone (q.v.) can be reached in 2 hours. 
When the religious houses were suppressed, Piazza-Armerina had fifteen 
monasteries and convents, and quarter of a century ago there were twenty. 

Piazzi, Giuseppe. Born in the Valtellina in 1746. Appointed Professor 
of Mathematics at Palermo in 1780. Established the Observatory there 1789. 
Made a catalogue of the stars, published in 1803, and enlarged in 1814. He 
discovered Ceres, and died 1826 at Naples. His monument is in S. Domenico 
at Palermo. 

Piccola moneta. Small change. Said by the dictionaries to be a cor 
ruption of Spicciola moneta (scatter-money). 

Piedimonte. Stat. on the Circum-JEtnean railway, with an old castle. In 
the neighbouring hermitage there is a miraculous image of the Madonna. 

Pier delle Vigne. See Pietro delle Vigne and Folk-songs. 

Pieta. The procession on Good Friday in which the body of our Lord is 
taken down from His crucifix and carried on a bier round the city mag 
nificent at Palermo. 

Pietraperzia. By mail-vettura from Caltanisetta, on the Girgenti- Catania 
line, in 3 hours. It is 20 kil. from Caltanisetta. On the ancient Himera 
Meridionalis. The important Castello Barresi (fifteenth and sixteenth 
century). Chapel and courtyard. Is one of the most imposing castles in 
Sicily, There are also some classical ruins about which nothing is known. 

Piety and irreverence. Sicily is a strange mixture of the two. The 
Sicilians are devout to the extent of superstition, but treat their churches and 
religious affairs with a familiarity astonishing to Protestants. 



THINGS SICILIAN 257 

Pletro delle Vigne. Chancellor of Frederick II., and one of the earliest 
writers in the Sicilian language. See Folk-songs. Dante (Inferno, Canto 
xiii. 38) places him among the violent against themselves. The Temple 
Classics edition has the following note : 

" The speaker is Pier delle Vigne (ca. 1190-1249) minister of the Emperor 
Frederick II. and Chancellor of the two Sicilies. In the latter capacity he 
rearranged all the laws of the kingdom. Till the year 1247 he enjoyed the 
utmost confidence of his master. But suddenly he fell into disgrace (the 
reason usually given being that he plotted with Pope Innocent IV. against 
Frederick) ; he was blinded and imprisoned, and eventually committed 
suicide. Pier's Latin letters are of great interest, and his Italian letters 
neither better nor worse than the rest of the poetry of the Sicilian school." 

Pigs. Sicily has a peculiar breed of lean, black pigs, something like our 
New Forest pigs, with legs and hair almost as long as goats. They were 
sacrificed to Asculapius, and apparently sacred to Proserpine and Ceres, who 
are repeatedly shown carrying them in the Greek terra-cotta statuettes found 
at Psestum and Girgenti. According to Pausanias, they were used for 
purification. 

Pimpernels. Sicily has a bright blue pimpernel, often found growing 
beside the ordinary red pimpernel. 

Pinarius, Lucius. The Roman commander who saved Enna for the 
Romans during the siege of Syracuse by massacring the inhabitants on 
the eve of their revolt 

Pindar. Was born at Cynoscephalse near Thebes, 522 B.C. He was 
employed by Hieron of Syracuse and Theron of Agrigentum to write odes 
about then- triumphs. He called Etna "the forehead of fertile Sicily.*' He 
was at the court of Hiero for four years (473-469 B.C.). He recited some of 
his odes on Hiero in the great theatre at Syracuse. 

Pines. The stone-pine (Pinus pinw} is one of the most beautiful trees of 
the south, with its tall stem and umbrella head. They form a conspicuous 
object in landscapes, being generally planted on skylines. They form no 
exception to the rule that the Sicilians grow hardly any trees except fruit 
trees. For the seeds and their cones, which are kept for four years to ripen 
in their cones to prevent their turning acid, are much prized for food, 
especially for inserting into rolled beef and boar's flesh. The stone-pines of 
Monreale and of the garden of S. Nicola at Girgenti, and the single tree by 
the Cappuccini at Syracuse, have done duty in numberless pictures. 

Pindemonte, Ippolito, a poet of Verona, wrote a well-known poem on 
the gruesome subject of the mummies of the Cappuccini at Palermo, where the 
Via Pindemonte is called after him. 

Paraino. Has a mail-vettura to S. Angelo di Brolo or Briolo (q.v.) ; stat. 
Palermo-Messina line. Got its name from Pimgmoa, a Cyclops, servant of 
Vulcan. The fortress, now a prison, is of the Saracen period, and it has a 
baronial palace, mostly in ruins. 

Pirata Siculus, The Sicilian pirate a name applied by Lucan in his 
Pharsalia to Sextus Pompeius, 

Piscina. A reservoir or fishpond in the times of the Romans, There are 
some very interesting examples in Sicily, especially the superb vaulted and 
aisled cisterns in the rise above the town, at Taormina, which may be com 
pared to the famous cisterns at Constantinople and outside Napfes. The 
Piscina at Syracuse, under the church of S, Nicola by tii Greek tbeatre, was 



258 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

built in Roman times, though its architecture is in the Greek trabeate style. 
At Girgenti the Piscina was the latomia, now dry, beneath the Temple of 
Castor and Pollux, which would make quite a lake. 

Pitre, Dr. Luigi, born at Palermo 1842, a doctor by profession. One of 
the most eminent Sicilian antiquaries. He resides in Palermo, and his 
collection of the Sicilian folk-songs is known all over Europe among 
students. He is also a great authority on festas. He has written innumerable 
valuable books on Sicilian folk-lore and folk-songs. The chapter on the Mafia 
in this book is derived entirely from his writings. 

Pizzicheria. Literally, pork-butcher's shop ; practically provision-shop, 
something like our cheesemongers' shops. 

Pizzuta, La. A column of masonry about 30 feet high, and several feet 
thick j about four miles from Noto. The popular tradition makes it a trophy 
erected by the Syracusans to commemorate their capture of the army of 
Nicias. It stands near the ruins of the ancient Helorus, and is called the 
Colonna Pizzuta or the Torre Pizzuta. Its only inscription is a modern one 
recording its restoration. It is well worth a visit, it is so finely placed on a 
hill above the sea, and approached by rather charming lanes. 




LA PIZZUTA, ALLEGED TO BE THE MONUMENT ERECTED BY THE SYRACUSANS 
TO COMMEMORATE THE CAPTURE OF NICIAS AND HIS ARMY 

Plato in Sicily. Freeman says that the letters attributed to him dealing 
with Syracusan affairs in Dionysius's time are probably by someone of his 
school, but may well give us his views. He visited Sicily three times. The 
elder Dionysius, whom he first visited, is said to have been so angry with his 
outspokenness that he sold him as a slave to some ^Eginetans in 389 B.C. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



2 59 



Dionysius II. persuaded him to come to Syracuse again to act as a kind 
of spiritual adviser and suggest constitutional changes. Freeman says : 
" Dionysius listened to the philosopher awhile with pleasure ; geometry 
became fashionable at his court ; he talked of making reforms and even giving 
up the tyranny. But Philistus and his party urged him the other way. 
Dionysius II. kept Plato for a while at Syracuse, and even, through Dion, 
persuaded him to visit it a second time ; but while Plato was visiting the 
tyrant, the latter seized Dion's property and divided it among his friends, and 
Plato was glad to get away. He had no knowledge of affairs ; he was only 
a dreamer about politics." When Dionysius came back after his exile, 346 
B.C., Freeman says, "all this time Plato was dreaming dreams and writing 
letters and sketching another constitution for Syracuse, in which Dionysius and 
Hipparinus and the young son of Dion should all be constitutional kings at 
once." 

Plemmyrium. The promontory opposite Syracuse on the Great Harbour 
(q.v.). Interesting for its ancient Greek pottery furnaces and splendid pre 
historic tombs, and the part it played in the campaign of the Athenians. 

Ploughing. The wooden Virgilian plough drawn by oxen is still almost the 
only plough used in Sicily, where the ground is too stony for the ordinary 
plough in most places. If you watch them ploughing round Syracuse you will 
see that nothing has changed since the days of Virgil's Georgies. 

Pluzia, or Plutia. See Piazza Armerina. 

Plutarch. Plutarch's Lives of Nicias, Dion, Marcellus, and Timoleon, etc., 
give one of the best pictures of ancient Sicily. 

Pluto, or Hades, the god of the lower world, called the infernal Zeus. Like 
Jupiter and Neptune, he was the son of Chronos (Saturn) and Rhea. Also the 
god of wealth, on account of metals being found in the earth. He was re 
garded as a beneficent deity. His emblems were the cypress, boxwood, 
narcissus, and maidenhair. Black rams and ewes and bulls were sacrificed to 
him, the latter annually, at the Fountain of Cyane near Syracuse. See also 
Ceres and Proserpine. 

Poetry. Italian as a literary language is generally considered to have 
originated in the songs written in Sicily by the Emperor Frederick II. and his 
court. Besides Frederick himself and his illegitimate sons, Manfred and 
Enzio, there were his Chancellor, Pietro delle Vigne ; Ciullo d'Alcamo ; 
Mazzeo di Ricco, Guido and Otto delle Colonne, etc. Upon this question 
Cav. Scandurra has written me the following: 

" We must go back to the tenth century when the * trouveres' of the North, 
and the ' troubadours * of the South of France brought into Italy the love-song 
and the narrative poetry in the languages of *Oc' and *Oil. 5 Then our 
peninsula sang of love, religion, and fatherland in a dialect which varied in 
every region (for we had not yet a literary language of our own), a dialectical 
literature interweaving and blending so with the Provencal and French 
literature. 

"In Sicily, at the court of Frederick II., the ardent promoter of scientific 
and literary scholarship, while the ' Fresh Rose J ( ' Rosa Fresca J ) of Ciullo 
d'Alcamo bloomed into the sweetest fragrance, a lyrical poetry sprouted out 
and flourished into life reflecting the erotic Provencal poetry, written in a 
language that, according to Dante and other modern scholars, is almost 
literary and whose formation is difficult to determine. 

"Since artistic poetry had its cradle in Sicily, it seems more than likely that 
the first attempts at poetical composition should be written in the Sicilian 



a6o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

dialect ; but, on the contrary, the language in which the people of that country 
couched their rhymes, presents no striking difference from the posterior Italian 
language ; and as the basis of this posterior language is the Tuscan dialect, it 
is almost inexplicable the fact of finding it in an epoch when Central Italy had 
not yet awakened to artistic life. 

" Many remarkable scholars have tried to settle the question, putting forth 
the theory that the Sicilian poems were originally written in the dialect of the 
country, and subsequently translated by the Tuscan copyists and handed down 
to posterity in the vulgar idiom. But this affirmation has been opposed by the 
greatest number. What appears more akin to truth, is the supposition of a 
language existing at the court of Frederick II. different from that used by the 
people, but presenting much affinity to the Italian we speak nowadays. In 
such a case the Sicilian school's merit is to have established the metrical form, 
and to have first used the vulgar language with a literary intent. 

"All this proves that the Sicilian dialect did not especially and directly con 
tribute in^ the formation of the Italian idiom. Manzoni, Bonghi, Morandi, 
Ascoli, D'Ancona have, after an accurate examination of the Italian language, 
demonstrated with profundity of criticism that its words, phrases, inflexions, 
diction^ and pronunciation are all Tuscan ; nevertheless, there is no doubt that 
all Italian dialects, and the Sicilian with them, have* a common groundwork 
with the language, deriving all of them from the same main trunk." 

Politi Family. The Villa Politi is a hotel outside the city of Syracuse be 
longing to Madame Politi, widow of the famous guide Savaltore Politi, from 
whom Mr. George Dennis got all the local information in writing his guide (q.v.). 
It is situated on the Latomia dei Cappuccini and has one of the loveliest gardens 
in Italy. Madame Politi also owns the Casa Politi in the city. See under 
Syracuse. Another Politi, Vincenzo, wrote the admirable guide called Antichi 
Monumenti Siracusani^ illustrated with many beautiful engravings by himself 
(Published 1856. ) Raffaelle Politi, another of the family, was one of the 
most celebrated artists of^his time, who occupied important government posts, 
and wrote the guide to Girgenti which is now so valuable and unprocurable. 

Polizzi la Generosa. Reached by mail - vettura in 3^ hours from 
Dpnaleggi, which is 8^ hours by rnail-vettura from Cerda^Stat. on the 
Girgenti- Palermo line. It is 40 kii. from Cerda. It has remains of a fortress 
of Count Roger. In the Chiesa Maggiore is the area of S. Gandolfo by 
Domenico Gagini. In the church of S. Maria degli Angeli, a fine fifteenth- 
century Flemish picture. It is on the great coach-road from Palermo, 20 kil. 
from Caltavuturo, and 8 kil. from Petralia-Sottana. Cardinal Rampolla was 
born here, 1843. 

Polygonal masonry. The Phoenicians, the prehistoric race called Lses- 
trygonians, Pelasgians, and possibly the Sicans, built with megalithic polygonal 
stones. The Sikelians built with smaller potygonal stones. There are fine 
Sikelian walls on the road down to the station from Taormina, and at Naxos 
half an hour from the Taormina-Giardini Stat. ' 
Polyphemus, the Cyclops, is generally located in Sicily. Acis, the other 
lover of Galatea, the nymph beloved by Polyphemus, has given his name to 
not less than four towns near Catania, of which Acireale and Aci-Castello are 
the principal. The rocks of the Cyclops in the sea opposite these places are 
said to have been thrown by Polyphemus at Ulysses. Virgil describes Poly 
phemus in Sicily at great length, .&n., iii. 641-681 : 

"For such and so vast as Polyphemus pens in his hollow cave the fleecy 
flocks, and drams their dugs, a hundred other direful Cyclops commonly 
haunt these winding shores and roam on the lofty mountains. . , Scarcely 



THINGS SICILIAN 261 

had he spoken, when on the summit of the mountain we observe the shepherd, 
Polyphemus himself, stalking with his enormous bulk among his flocks, and 
seeking the shore, his usual haunt : a horrible monster, misshapen, vast, 
of sight deprived. The trunk of a pine guides his hand and firms his steps ; 
his fleecy sheep accompany him ; this is his sole delight, and the solace of his 
distress; from his neck his whistle hangs. After this he touches the deep 
floods, and arrives at the sea, he therewith washes away the trickling gore 
from his quenched orb, gnashing his teeth with a groan ; and now he stalks 
through the midst of the sea, while the waves have not yet wetted his 
gigantic sides." 

Pompeius, Sextiis, occupied first Mylse and Tyndaris, then Messana, then 
Syracuse, the provincial capital, and then the whole island, 43 B.C. For 
seven years Sicily became the seat of a separate power at war with the rest of 
the Roman dominion. In 39 B.C. peace was made, by which Sextus was 
to keep his three islands and receive the province of Achaia ; but a year 
later war began between Octavian and Sextus. In the battles of Cumss 
and Messana Sextus gained important victories. Octavian persuaded the 
other triumvirs to join him, and his admiral, Agrippa, won a sea-fight off 
Mylse. Octavian landed at Tauromemum, but Sextus again defeated him 
by land and sea. Finally Agrippa won a decisive victory off Naulochus, 
between Mylse and Messana, and the next year Sextus was killed in Asia. 

Ponte-Graniti. Reached by mail-vettura from Giardini in 2 hours. 
(Messina-Catania line.) 

Poor. See Chapter IV. They are very poor and very ragged, and live 
in anything, from a disused tomb to a basso underneath better-off people's 
houses. Begging is being put down with a strong hand. See Bassi, Tomb- 
dwellers, etc. 

Poppies flower almost in the beginning of the year. They are bright- 
coloured, but not very large or a feature, 

Porcupines. The porcupine is one of the largest wild animals in Sicily. 
Mr. Ambroise Pare Brown seat two quite three feet long from Ragusa to 
Palermo last year. 

Porphyry, i.e. the crimson or purple stone. The Norman kings made 
great use of porphyry. They were buried in enormous sarcophagi and used 
it to wonderful advantage in decorating their superb churches. Porphyry 
is found in Sicily, but I cannot say if the glorious white-flowered crimson 
porphyry in the Cappella Reale at Palermo was found in the island. 

Portazza, the popular name for Cefalu among the inhabitants, means 
"wide gate." Mr. Butler seized with glee the opportunity of identifying 
it with Telepylus, the wide -gated city of the Lsestrygonians. See The 
Authoress of the Odyssey^ p. 185. 

Porto Empedocle, See under Girgenti. 

Porto Palo. Freeman says : " The real Pachynos (Pachynus) seems to lie 
on the east coast of Sicily by the modern Porto Palo, one of the little harbours 
near Cape Passaro which played such an important part during the Punic 
Wars." 

Portns Odysseae is placed by Freeman in the neighbourhood of Cape 
Pachynus. 

Post offices. The post office in a Sicilian town is a sort of club- People 
go there when they have nothing better to do and register something. There 
fore everything takes an interminable time. If your letters are going to^be 
sent to a postc r^tante^ have them addressed with initials and not a Christian 



262 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

name, Italians never recognise the difference between a Christian and surname, 
and would give Douglas Sladen's letters to any Douglas, and any Douglas's 
letters to Douglas Sladen. This is because the Christian name in Sicily is 
sometimes placed before, and sometimes after, the surname. 

^ Post, Parcels. This is a great convenience for sending home curios. Five 
kilos, eleven pounds, can be sent for about two shillings ; and I have never 
lost a parcel ; but in packing you must allow for the fact that the Sicilian 
method of placing a parcel on board a steamer is the throw-and-catch that 
London bricklayers use in unloading bricks from a cart. 




THE COAST BETWEEN THE RIVER BEL1CE AND PORTO PALO 

Pottery. Sicily has an elegant peasants' pottery and quantities of antique 
pottery for the collector. See Earthenware. 

Pozzallo. A stat. on the Siracusa-Licata line. It was the fortified seaport 
of the Counts of Modica. It is the principal fishing port of South Sicily. 

Praxiteles. One of the most famous sculptors of antiquity. Lived in the 
fourth century B.C. Fie comes into Sicily because his famous Eros was stolen 
"by Verres from Cains Heius, the wealthy Messanian whose house is described 
by Cicero. Chambers says : " Feminine beauty and Bacchic pleasures were 
his favourite subjects ; and in his treatment of these he displayed unrivalled 
sweetness, grace, and naturalness. His gods and goddesses were not very 
divine, but they were ideal figures of the fairest earthly loveliness." Praxiteles 
made the famous image of Demeter (Ceres) with Persephone (Proserpine) in 
her arms, which furnished the usual type of the Madonna holding the infant 
Christ. See Ceres , p. 144. 



THINGS SICILIAN 263 

Prefect. Modern Sicily is divided into prefectures or provinces, whose 
headquarters are at Palermo, Messina, Catania, Syracuse, Girgenti, Caltani- 
setta, and Trapani. 

Prefettura. The offices of the Prefect (q.v.). 

Prehistoric buildings. See under Pelasgic, Oldest things in Sicily, 
p. 238, etc. 

Prickly-pears. See Pears, prickly, and Fichi d'India. 

Priests. Sicily is full of priests with dusty beaver hats and rusty black 
robes, and blue half-shaven faces. Their ignorance is generally appalling. 
They can seldom even explain the symbolism of the monuments of their own 
churches. Learning among them seems to be in the hands of the Jesuits. 
Most of the principal librarians are Jesuit abbes, 

Priests' schools. Some Sicilian towns, like Syracuse, are full of them. 
They wear robes something like the priests, and broad-brimmed beaver hats 
of black, or scarlet, or purple. 

. Printing. The first printing-press was established at Messina by Aiding 
in 1473. 

Priolo. A stat. on the Catania- Syracuse line, with a mail-vettura to 
Melilli (q.v.) in i| hours. The coach leaves Priolo at 9.45 a.m. and 
2.15 p.m., returning from Melilli at 8 a.m. and 11.45 a- 1 * 1 - Priolo is I kil. 
from the stat. ^ and Melilli 9 kil. The fare is a franc each way. From Priolo 
Thapsus with its Sikelian tombs and a tunny fishery may be visited, also the 
Torre di Marcello, a Roman building, probably a tomb and not, as it claims, 
the trophy of Marcellus to commemorate the capture of Syracuse. In the 
town is a Byzantine chapel of S. Foca, but there is not much to see in it. It 
is an easy drive from Syracuse. 

Prizzi. By mail-vettura from Lercara 7 hours (Bivio-Prizzi, 6 hours), and 
from Corleone Stat. in $1 hours. The castle of S. Giorgio, restored once 
but now in ruins, dates from William I. It is near Palazzo- Adriano. 

Procida, Giovanni da, Lord of Procida. The chief conspirator in the 
revolution of the Sicilian Vespers, which expelled the Angevins. Giovanni 
the Younger, his nephew, was the hero of the story of Boccaccio whose scene 
was laid in Palermo. See p. 407. 

Proserpine. The Latin goddess identified with the Greek Persepbone and 
Core. Called also Libera. The worship of Ceres and- her daughter 
Proserpine was the principal cult of classical Sicily. Its headquarters was at 
Enna (q.v.). It was in the fields of Enna by the Lake of Pergusa that Pluto 
carried off Proserpine. An enormous number of the terra-cotta figurines found 
in Sicily represent this goddess often carrying a pig, the symbol of fruitfulness. 
She is said to have disappeared beneath the earth at the fountain of Cyane, 
near Syracuse. Most beautiful and poetical legends are intertwined with her 
name. Cicero in his Verres says: "For they believe that these goddesses 
were born in these districts, and that corn was first discovered in this land, 
and that Libera was carried off, the same goddess whom they call Proserpine, 
from a grove in the territory of Enna, a place which, because it is situated in 
the centre of the island, is called the navel of Sicily. And when Ceres 
wished to seek her and trace her out, she is said to have lit her torches at 
those flames which burst out at the summit of ./Etna, and carrying these 
torches before her, to have wandered over the whole earth." Besides Core, 
or the maiden, the Arcadians call Proserpine the Saviour, which is interesting 
in view of the fact that the statue of the Madonna carrying the infant Saviour 
is proved by the classical statues existing at Castrogiovanni to be taken direct 



264 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

from the statue of Ceres carrying the girl-child Proserpine. Pausanias 
mentions this in his account of Megalopolis in Arcadia, the other famous seat 
of Ceres and Proserpine. They were worshipped there as the Great God 
desses. Pausanias also tells us that the Arcadians called Ceres the Mistress, 
which exactly corresponds to Madonna. After the rape of Proserpine Ceres 
hid, and all the fruits of the earth were wasting away and the race of man was 
perishing still more of hunger, when Pan, roving over Arcadia, found her and 
persuaded her to come forth. Homer says that the groves of Proserpine are 
of black poplars and willows. At Athens there was a statue of Ceres and 
Proserpine by Praxiteles. One cannot help wondering if the immortal beauty 
of a mother carrying her child by Praxiteles was the original of the Ceres and 
Proserpine statues, and therefore of the Madonna statues. 

Protestant cemeteries. Until well on in the last century Protestants were 
.denied burial in the Campo Santo, and were buried in places like the Latpmia 
dei Cappuccini at Syracuse, the Villa Landolina at Syracuse, and the private 
mausoleum of Messrs. Woodhouse at Marsala. The Campo Santo of the 
Vespers at Palermo seems to have been one of the first places where a more 
liberal feeling prevailed. 

Pseudo-Peripteral, in classical architecture, signifies having a portico in 
front, or porticoes in front and rear, but with the columns on the sides engaged 
in the walls instead of standing free, as, in the case of Greek temples, that of 
Olympian Zeus at Girgenti, or, in the cases of Roman temples, that of Fortuna 
Virilis at Rome, or of the Maison Carrel at Nimes. (Russel Sturgis.) 

Punic Wars. The First Punic War, 264 B.C. to 241 B.C., was mostly 
fought and finally decided in Sicily, being terminated by the great naval 
victory of Catulus off the yEgatian Islands. The Romans also won the 
sea-fights of Mylae, 260 B.C., and Ecnomus, 256 B.C. See also under Ercta 
and Eryx. The Second Punic War, which began in 219 B.C. and ended 
in 202 B. C. with the Battle of Zama, does not touch Sicily so much, except 
that the fact of Hannibal's not having Sicily, which had been given up to the 
Romans in the First Punic War, prevented him from conquering the world. 
The capture of Syracuse, however, by Marcellus in 212 B.C. arose ^out of 
the Syracusan king Hieronymus joining the Carthaginians, and Scipio pre 
pared his expedition at Syracuse and embarked from Lilybseum. The Third 
Punic War does not concern Sicily, beyond the fact that it was made the base 
for the invasion of Carthage. 

Pyrrhus, the King of Epirus. After Alexander, considered the greatest 
general of the Greeks. He married Lanassa, the daughter of Agathocles, 
who had dominions on the east side of the Adriatic, and gave his daughter the 
conquered island of Corcyra as a dowry. In 279, when the Syracusans were 
hard pressed by the Carthaginians, they called upon Pyrrhus for aid. He was 
in Italy at the time, helping the Tarentines against the Romans. He stayed 
two years in Sicily,, and took every city in the island except Lilybseum, held 
by the Carthaginians, and Messana, held by the Mamertines. Agrigentum 
was freed from the Carthaginian by the mere terror of his name, and he 
fulfilled the destiny of the Heraclids, where Dorieus, the king's son of Sparta, 
failed, by heading the storming party that captured Eryx. Next he took 
Ercta and Panormus. He was thus the one Greek master of Palermo. In 
276 B.C. the reaction came, and he was glad to be called back to Italy, whence 
he departed for good, a year later, after his defeat at the Battle of Beneventum. 

Pythagoras. The celebrated philosopher. Born at Samos 582 B.C. ; 
settled at Croton in Italy in 530 B.C. ; and died at Metapontum 500 B.C. In 



THINGS SICILIAN 265 

the life of Pythagoras by lamblichos he appears as the destroyer of the tyranny 
of Phalaris, with whom his name was freely connected. Freeman says no 
trustworthy witness carries him to Sicily. Those who take him to Tauro- 
menium at once consign themselves to the same fate as the forgers of the letters 
of Phalaris, and it is hardly easier to believe that Pythagoras in person com 
manded the army of Acragas in a war with Syracuse, and that, so far as any 
thing can be made out of the story, he perished by a strict observance of one 
of his own most mysterious precepts. He lost the battle and his life by 
refusing to march across a bean field. Epicharmus the comedian is said to 
have been his pupil. 



Quack dentists are a great institution in Sicily. They may always be 
seen in popular gathering-places like the Piazza S. Domenico at Palermo, 
with some device to draw the attention of passers-by, like the female fortune 
teller, who sits with her eyes blindfolded and her hands bound behind her to 
show that there is no trickery about it. 

Quails. When the quails migrate north or south (see ^Egatian Islands) 
enormous quantities of them are trapped and shot in Sicily. Messina is the 
great port for sending quails to England. The system of snaring them is 
most elaborate. 

Quartararo, Riccardo. A Sicilian painter with one picture in the Palermo 
Museum, signed Riccardo Quartararo, 1494, which has established the author 
ship of several other pictures, including the famous S. Cecilia in the cathedral, 
formerly attributed to Crescenzio. He was a kind of Sicilian Gozzoli, with a 
curious pre-Raphaelite charm. 

Quarantini equals 40 quartucci, one of the old Bourbon measures still used 
in country parts for wine. About 7i gallons. 

Quarries of Selinunte, See Kusa. Are plainly discernible, They are 
situated in the Campobello di Mazzara. 

Quarries of Syracuse. The quarries of Syracuse (see under Syracuse and 
Latomia] have been famous in all ages because the Athenian prisoners were 
confined in them. Latomia is derived from two words signifying stone and 
to cut, and is still in use for the smallest quarry. Xenophanes of Colophon 
.(born 570 B.C.) mentions that he found impressions of fishes and probably of 
seaweeds in the younger Tertiary strata of these quarries, which is perhaps 
the first mention of them. 

QuartorolL A Sicilian measure, equals the quarter cask of 23 gallons. 

Qnartuccio. A Sicilian measure, corresponding to our reputed quart. 

Quattro Aprile. A favourite name for streets in Sicily, like Vend Settembre 
in Italy : so called because on the 4th of April, 1860, the tolling of the bell 
of the Church of the Gancia at Palermo sounded the signal for revolution ; 
but the insurgents were vanquished, and some of them had marvellous 
escapes. See under Palermo, La Gancia. 



Rafoato. An Arab suburb of Salemi (q.v.). 

Racalmuto. Of Saracen origin. Stat. on Ucata-Girgenti line. Has a 
splendid fourteenth -century castle visible from the railway, founded by 
Frederick Chiaramonte, Its Saracen name was Rahalmot (village of death). 



266 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Racking. A process in the wine-industry at Marsala (q.v.) for clearing 
the wines. 

Raddusa. Stat. on Palermo-Catania line. It has mail-vetture to Rad- 
dusa (town), 2 hours; Aidone, 4! hours (q.v.); Piazza Armerina, 6 hours 
(q.v.). ^ 

Radishes. Sicily has a gigantic radish rivalling the famous daikon of 
Japan. 

Ragusa. The ancient Hybla Hersea. See below, page 457. 

Railways. The Sicilian railways are necessarily slow because only omni 
bus trains pay. The trains have sometimes, as in the portion between Modica 
and Ragusa, to climb tremendous gradients. A noticeable feature is the 
honesty of the employees. One never hears of robberies in Sicilian railways 
like those which are the reproach of Italy. The worst feature about them 
is that the facchini or porters have a guild so powerful as to hamper the 
directorate in the carrying out of its wishes for the protection of travellers. You 
never hear of an accident, and the lines run so smoothly that railway journey 
ing in Sicily is like taking a drive. The scenery is generally superb, and 
railway journeys are one of the best ways of seeing the out-of-the-way parts. 
The two beautiful handbooks of Sicilian scenery issued by the Sicilian rail 
ways, known as the Elenco and the Reclame, have done much to familiarise 
travellers with the island. The two lines which do not belong to the Sicilian 
railways, viz. the Circum-/tnean line and the Paler mo -Trapani line, are 
woefully behind them in comfort and enterprise. 

Raineri, the Sicilian, was one of the earliest Italian poets to write in the 
vernacular (fourteenth century). 

Rampolla del Tindaro, Mariano. A Sicilian born at Polizzi, i;th August, 
1843. Secretary of State to the late Pope. Educated in the Seminario 
Vaticano and Collegio Capranica. His first important appointment was 
accompanying Cardinal Simeoni, nuncio to Spain in 1875. Might have been 
elected Pope but for the veto of the Emperor of Austria. Like Cardinal 
Wolsey, the son of a butcher, who left him considerable means. 

Randazzo. One of the two most medieval towns in Sicily ; the loftiest 
town of any importance on Etna. See below, page 462. 

Realmonte. A town 2 hours by mail-vettura from Porto Empedocle on 
the Girgenti line. Realmonte is Monreale reversed, just as Montechiaro in* 
the same district is Chiaramonte reversed. 

Reaumur thermometer. (Dr. Reaumur, after whom it is named, died in 
I 757-) To reduce R. to Fahr. multiply by 2j and add 32. To reduce R. to 
Centrigrade increase the number by one quarter itself. Nine degrees Fahr. 
equal 4 degrees Reaumur. In Sicily if the thermometer is not Centigrade, 
it is far more likely to be Reaumur than Fahrenheit. 

Rearing 1 . See under Marsala. The process by which the Marsala wines 
are reinforced with the natural grape spirit. 

Reber's Library. Palermo has one of the best booksellers' shops in Italy 
Reber's Library, where the leading books in English, French, and German, as 
well as Italian, are generally to be found in stock. Signor Reber has pub 
lished in his catalogue a useful bibliography of works on Sicily, and generally 
has a copy of each. He is also agent for Alinari's photographs and similar 
lines, and has the best postcards in Palermo. He speaks English, French, 
and German fluently, and himself compiled in French and Italian a guide 
book to Palermo which is the best local guide I know of anywhere. 



THINGS SICILIAN 267 

Receptions are a favourite form of entertainment in Sicily. They are held 
in the evening, and are extremely dull, because the sexes keep severely apart 
at the opposite ends of a great salon. But they *are rather interesting for a 
foreigner to go to for a short time, because the palaces are sometimes magnifi 
cent, and usually retain the Empire furniture with which they were re 
decorated when the Court came to Sicily in the days of Maria Carolina. 

Recipient. Part of the machinery used in the manufacture of cognac at 
Marsala. 

Reeds. The donax (the Arundo donax\ the largest of European grasses, is 
equally prominent in Sicilian landscape and Sicilian economy. It is much 
grown for hedges as well as in brakes for commercial purposes, six to twelve 
feet high, and has thick, woody stalks, very much like bamboo. The Sicilian 
goatherds cut their own pipes out of the donax, just as Pan did before them. 
The word donax is from the Greek doneo, I shake, and means literally a reed 
shaken by the wind. Theocritus uses it for the goatherd's pipe. The word 
donax was in use for this plant as far back as Pliny's time. 

Regalbuto (Arab. Rahal-Buth\ built on the ruins of the ancient Sikel 
town of Ameselum. 

Reggio. The ancient Rhegium. The Italian end of the Strait of Messina. 
There is a steam ferry across. 

The Reggio-Messina route from Naples to Sicily being employed by those 
who dread the sea, in spite of its great distance, trains de luxe on stated days 
run right through from Rome to Palermo, the train being transported on a 
special ferryboat. 

Regie Poste. The Italian for post or post office. 

Registered Letters, Sicilians register everything. The entire time of the 
post office officials is taken up with registering letters and packets. When a 
Sicilian has nothing else to do, he goes to the post office and registers some 
thing. 

Reitano. Reached by mail-vettura from Leonforte in 4i hours. The re 
mains of the ancient Amestratus are near Reitano. Amestratus has perhaps 
given its name to Mistretta. Reitano is only 3 kil. from Mistretta. 

*St. Remy, Jean tie, Justiciar of the Val de Mazzara, was the French 
commander whose excesses are said to have caused the Sicilian Vespers. A 
house with a single column on the angle close to the Piazza S. Croce dei 
Vespri is pointed out as his palace at Palermo (q.v.). 

Renaissance in Sicily. In architecture the Renaissance here began most 
interestingly. The blending of the classical style with the fifteenth-century 
Gothic produced some conspicuously elegant results, such as the porch of 
S. Maria alia Catena at Palermo and the interior of SS. Annunziata. But it 
was scon weighed down by the baroque style, overloaded in every sense of the 
word. There is much elegant Renaissance woodwork to be bought in Sicily 
quite cheap, and its Renaissance jewellery is now sought eagerly by collectors. 
Church embroideries form another direction in which good work can be looked 
for. There are some exquisitely beautiful Renaissance buildings in Sicily, such 
as the fa9ade of the church of S. Lucia near the cathedral in Syracuse. In 
one department the Sicilian Renaissance is almost unequalled that of the 
magnificent flamboyant hammered ironwork which gave Syracuse her balconies 
and the chapel screens in her cathedral. 

Renaissance-Gothic. See above paragraph and Architecture. The term 
might really be applied to most of the fifteenth-century architecture, but it is 
more convenient to reserve it for examples where classical features are rntrodtteed. 



268 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Restaurants are not a Sicilian idea. There are, of course, a few restau 
rants in the chief towns, but the Sicilian when he takes his meals out, which 
he only does under compulsion, takes them at a hotel. The hotels are the 
restaurants. Cafes are what he needs. Among the lower orders the place of 
the restaurant is taken by a cookshop. The Sicilian is forced to be eco 
nomical, and the idea of going to a place where he has to gobble everything 
up or leave it shocks his economical soul. The cookshop, on the other hand, 
which charges very reasonably for cooking, saves him the expense of a fire and 
cooking apparatus and the various furnishings, such as salt, a most important 
item ; and in the poorer quarters there are many perambulating cooking stalls. 
This side of poor Sicilian life is extremely interesting to the observer and a 
treasure-trove to the kodaker. 

Restitute., the heroine of a story of Boccaccio, of which the scene is laid in 
the Cuba Palace at Palermo. See Loria. 

Resuttana. A suburb of Palermo near the Favorita. 

Resuttano. Seven kil from Alimena (q.v.). It is not important, but it is 
mentioned because it gives the prince of this name his title, and in most guide 
books is confounded with the suburb of Palermo, or ignored altogether. It is 
on the great coach-road from Palermo to the cities of the interior, Nicosia, etc. 

Rete Sicula. See Railways, Sicilian. This is the popular name, the formal 
name is *' Strade Ferrate della Sicilia." 

Reverse. The reverse of a coin is literally the upper side, that away from 
the anvil, when the coin is struck. In practice it is used for the side which 
does not bear the head. See Obverse. 

Revolutions. Sicily has always been great on revolutions. The slave wars 
of Roman history were in Sicily. The Saracens were invited as the result of a 
revolution. Ancient Syracuse had a number of them, and ever since that 
Easter Tuesday in 1282 when the Sicilian Vespers took 'place they have been 
in progress, the principal being that of Giuseppe d'Alesi in 1647, Squarcialupo 
in Palermo, the revolt of the Messenians against Spain in 1672, the revolt 
against the Bourbons after Ferdinand I. and IV. had taken away the constitu 
tion in 1820, the revolt of 1836 and the revolt of 1848. .They were uniformly 
unsuccessful. Even in 1860, a month or so before the arrival of Garibaldi, there 
was an abortive revolt which caused the martyrdoms commemorated in Palermo. 
But finally, with the aid of the "Thousand" who landed with Garibaldi at 
Marsala, Sicily revolted successfully against the Bourbons in May, 1860. 

Revolutionists of 1848 and 1860, the. Their names are commemorated 
all over Palermo. Among them were Ruggiero Settimo, Emerico Amari, 
Francesco Crispi, and others who rose to the highest positions in the state 
afterwards Crispi becoming Prime Minister, and Ruggiero Settimo President 
of the Senate. 

Rhegium is not in Sicily, but on the opposite coast of Italy. The modern 
Reggio is built on its site. It must be mentioned on account of Anaxilas 
the tyrant (see p. 359), a man whose family came from Messene in Greece 
Proper. It was he who introduced the Messenian exiles into the Sicilian 
town of Zancle, which became Messana. Rhegium enters constantly into the 
history of Syracuse. 

Ribera. By mail-vettura 1 1 hours from Girgenti and 3^ hours from Sciacca. 
Unimportant ; has two old castles of the time of the civil war between the 
Luna and Perollo. The best rice in Sicily is grown here, 

Richard Coeur de Lion, King of England. See under Messina. 



THINGS SICILIAN 269 

Riccio, Mariano (b. 1510), Antonello flourished 1576, Messinese painters 
of the school of Polidoro di Caravaggio. Mariano's works are often sold as 
his master's. 

Ricco, Mazzeo di. See under Folk-songs. 

Riso, Francesco. The leader of the revolution on the 4th of April, 1860. 
See above, Quattro Aprile. He was mortally wounded. Most of his com 
panions were taken, and the Convent of the Gancia from which the bell was 
rung for a signal was sacked. Two of the insurgents, Philip Patti and Gaspar 
Bivona, escaped by hiding in a hole under the church. Five days later they 
escaped by the hole called the Buca della Salvezza, now closed with a marble 
inscription. 

Rivers. Sicily has no navigable rivers. The Simethus near Catania is the 
best apology for one. Hardly any but it and the Anapp has even a row-boat 
on it. In dry weather they are mere brooks trickling in the middle of wide 
sandy and stony beds. In wet weather they are fierce and dangerous torrents. 
At Messina they are used for roads, the streets down from the mountain 
being called Torrenti, e.g. the Torrente Boccetta. The little river at Modica 
caused enormous destruction in 1902, flooding as high as the first floors of the 
houses, carrying away the railway bridge and killing a hundred people ; while 
the Anapo, a mere brook, turned the whole country round Syracuse into a lake. 
The best-known rivers of antiquity, the Himera Meridionalis and Himera 
Septentrionalis, which flowed south and north in the centre of the island, are 
now called the Fiume Salso and the Fiume Grande. It is of no use enumerat 
ing the rivers, for in Sicily they imply only three things irrigation, floods, and 
malaria, unless we count them as roads. 

Roads, provincial, etc. There are two or three classes of high roads in 
Sicily, the best of which are the Strade Provrnciale, used on the ^ great coach 
routes. They are often extremely good, but the byroads in Sicily are no 
better than the beds of torrents, which are occasionally used for watercourses. 
It is interesting to remember that the Athenians, in their great retreat, had 
one idea to march up the bed of a river to join their Sikel allies in the in 
terior. They tried the bed of the Anapo first, and both Demosthenes and 
Nicias were captured when they were trying to strike up river-beds. 

Roadside chapels, crosses, shrines, fountains, etc. Crosses are few, 
though there is a fine one near the Gesu, and the chapels are so infrequent that 
their presence may be considered accidental. Shrines, on the other hand, are 
extremely numerous, but vary in value according to the district. They are 
good round Marsala, and there is a beautiful and ancient one on the way to 
S. Maria di Gesu at Modica, and a very quaint one at Ragusa on the Scaia 
between the two cities. Their general form is that of the Greek ^Edicula 
tombs familiar to all who have studied the art of Athens. Roadside fountains 
are only found where there is a hill above the road and a mountain spring 
running down it. It is provided with a plaster ^facade and a basin. But 
fountains are, of course, numerous in and just outside towns. 

Roba. The ordinary Sicilian word to express the whole of a passenger's 
luggage, large and srnalL 

Robbers. There is very little robbery from the person in towns, but certain 
districts, such as that above Corleone, have a bad name for footpads, who are 
not to be confounded with brigands, the procedure of the former being to 
strip the victim and let him go, while the brigand seizes his victim for ransom. 

Robbia, Delia. There are a few fine Delia Robbias in Sicily, notably that 
in S. Maria della Scala at Messina, the SS. Annunzkta at Trapani, and in the 



270 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Palermo Museum. But these exquisitely glazed pottery reliefs, which are so 
numerous in Tuscany, are very scarce in Sicily. 

Robert, King. The so-called King Robert of Sicily that poets and 
romancers have written about, from Longfellow to Mr. Justin Huntly McCarthy, 
never reigned in Sicily at all. He was the son of Charles of Anjou, and only 
possessed the kingdom on the mainland. He invaded Sicily and tried in vain to 
capture the Castle of Termini, etc. He is the King Robert of Sicily in the 
Tales of the Wayside Inn. He, of course, never was "within Palermo's 
wall." 

" Days came and went ; and now returned again 

To Sicily the old Saturnian reign ; 

Under the Angel's governance benign 

The happy island danced with corn and wine, 

And deep within the mountain's burning breast 

Enceladus, the giant, was at rest. 

Meanwhile King Robert yielded to his fate, 

Sullen and silent and disconsolate. 

Dressed in the motley garb that Jesters wear. 

With looks bewildered and a vacant stare. 

Homeward the Angel journeyed, and again 
The land was made resplendent with his train, 
Flashing along the towns of Italy 
Unto Salerno, and from there by sea, 
And when once more within Palermo's wall, 
And, seated on the throne in his great hall, 
He heard the Angelus from, convent towers, 
As if trie better world conversed with ours, 
He beckoned to King Robert to draw nigher. 

Tales of a Wayside Inn : LONGFELLOW. 

Robert Guiscard. A famous Norman prince, who began life as one of the 
twelve sons of a knight named Tancred of Hauteville and became one of the 
most powerful monarchs of his time. 

Born near Coutance in Normandy, A.D. 1015. He concerns us chiefly as 
having hit upon Sicily as a field for the ambitions of his younger brother 
Roger, in whom he saw a rival. Together they invaded Sicily in 1061, and 
ten years afterwards by the capture of Palermo became practical masters 
of the island, which at first they divided as they divided the city. In the last 
years of his life he was occupied with trying to restore Michael VII. as 
emperor at Constantinople. In this he won his famous victory of Durazzo, 
loSi. He was on the eve of marching to Constantinople when he was recalled 
to fight the Western emperor, Henry IV., who had invaded Italy and was 
besieging the Pope in S. Angelo. Henry fled before him. This was in 1084. 
In 1085 he was on his way again to Constantinople, when he died suddenly at 
Cephallonia. He styled himself Duke of Apulia and Calabria, though he was 
more powerful than any king except his former liege, William the Conqueror 
of England. If Robert had not gone to Italy he would doubtless have played 
a leading part in the conquest of England. He succeeded to the chief com 
mand of the Normans in Italy in 1057. 

Rocca. The suburb of Palermo at the foot of the hill of Monreale, where 
the curious electric motor is attached to the tramcar. Artists will find some 
very paintable old plaster-work on the Monreale road just above it. 

Roccalumera-Mandanici. Stat., Messina-Catania line. Known for some 
remains of aqueducts and its alum mines, which give it its name. 

Roccapalumba. One of the principal junctions of Sicily between Palermo, 
Catania, and Girgenti. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



271 



Roger the Catalan. Otherwise known as Ruggiero di Loria. The admiral 
who took such a conspicuous part in the wars of Sicily, especially in the 
expulsion of the Angevins. He is the deus ex machina in the story of Boccaccio 
about Giovanni di Procida and Restituta, whose scene is laid at Palermo. 
See under Loria. 

Roger I., the Great Count. Twelfth and youngest son of Tancred d' 
Hauteville, a knight of Normandy. Born A.D. 1031. In 1058 he joined his 
brother, Robert Guiscard, in Italy, travelling down to him as a pilgrim. His 
singular beauty of person, combined with wonderful abilities and burning 
courage, soon filled Robert with misgivings, and he diverted his energies to 
driving the Saracens out of Sicily. In 1061 they invaded the island together 
after Roger had made a successful raid across the Strait to Messina. In 1064, 
with 136 knights (and their followers), he defeated 50,000 Saracens, horse and 
foot, at the Battle of Ceramio, famous for the sarcasm of Gibbon about 
St. George's part in the battle. See Ceramio. In 1071 the brothers entered 
Palermo, and Roger became Count of Sicily. In 1089 he took the title, 
singular in history which has so many Grand Dukes, of the Grand Count. 
But the other translation of his name, the Great Count, has become current. 
By 1090 he had all Sicily subdued. In 1098 the Pope gave him the title for 
himself and his successors of Legate Apostolical for Sicily; and in nor he 
died, leaving his title to his son, Count Simon. 

Roger II. Called Roger the King to distinguish him from the Great Count, 
though for the first half of his long reign of forty-nine years he remained 
Count ; was the son of the above, and succeeded his brother Simon in 1105. 
He took the title of king in 1130, and crowned himself in the ruined chapel 
of the Incoronata. Innocent II. wisely confirmed his title in 1139. He was 
a liberal patron of the arts. We owe the glorious Royal Chapel at Palermo, 
the gem of ecclesiastical architecture, to him, and the cathedral at Cefalu. 
The great geographical work of El Edrisi was compiled under his patronage. 
His power outside Sicily was immense. He founded a great Italian dominion. 
To the Apulian Duchy he added, in 1136, the Norman principality of Capua, 
and in 1138 Naples, the last dependency of the Eastern Empire in Italy, to 
which he added, in 1 140, the Abruzzi. He captured Corfu and carried off the 
silk-workers of the Peloponnesus to inaugurate the silk industry in Sicily. 
In Africa he renewed the work of Agathocles. He was a very liberal-minded 
prince : the protector of the Greeks and Saracens in his dominions. 

Rojalfabar. See under Favara, near Girgenti, near which its ruins lie, and 
which inherited its name. 

Ropewalks. In Sicily any long bare space such as the ancient walls of 
Palermo, or the caves in the Latomia del Paradise and the foreshore of the 
Marble Harbour at Syracuse, are apt to be used by the rope-spinners, so dear 
to the kodaker and the artist. 

Romans in Sicily, The intrusion of the Romans into Sicily led to the 
First Punic War, and the Marnertines of Messina were the cause of it, for 
being hard pressed by Hiero II. in 264 they appealed for help to the Romans. 
The First Punic War was mostly fought round Sicily (see Carthaginians), and 
the withdrawal of the Carthaginians, 241 B.C., after the crushing defeat of the 
^Egatian Islands, left the Romans practically in possession of Sicily with the 
exception of the dominions of their ally, Hiero II. of Syracuse, The transfer 
of his son Hieronymus to the side of Carthage brought about the conquest 
of Syracuse, 212 B.C., and the absorption of Sicily into the Roman dominions, 
of which it continued part till the days of the Lower Empire, when various 



272 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

barbarians seized it. For seven years, from 43-36 B.C., Sicily was practically 
an independent power held by Sextus Pompeius in virtue of his splendid 
fleet against the rest of the Roman world. Considering the time that they held 
it, the Romans left surprising little mark on Sicily : excepting Centuripe and 
Agira there are hardly any definitely Roman towns, and even at Syracuse, their 
provincial capital, there are only the amphitheatre and a few modifications of 
Greek buildings like the Palaestra to show, though Catania, which receives 
little attention from travellers and guide-book writers, has a good many 
Roman remains, and Taormina (q.v.), besides its Romanised Greek theatre, 
has a two-storied Roman house, the Zecca, superb Roman reservoirs, the 
Stagnone, and various Roman tombs and minor remains. Freeman considers 
the best piece of Roman architecture in the island to be the Gymnasium of 
that little visited but highly interesting and exquisitely situated Greek city, 
Tyndaris, half-way between Palermo and Messina. Solunto, the Sicilian 
Pompeii, is one of the most Roman places in the island ; its ruins are much 
more Roman than Phoenician. Palermo has a most interesting subterranean 
passage from the Royal Palace to the neighbourhood of the cathedral. On the 
whole, it might be said that the footsteps of the Romans in Sicily have not yet 
been fully investigated, the great Freeman, in his magnificent history, having 
been wholly occupied with the earlier races. The fewness of the aqueducts 
and mosaic pavements is very significant. 

The Romans never imposed their language on Sicily. To the last the 
inscriptions on the coins and most other inscriptions were Greek. There are 
a great number of Sicilian-Roman coins, but the world seems to disregard them 
and talk only about the Greek. We are in no danger of forgetting the Roman 
connection with Sicily, because Cicero's Verres is exclusively concerned with 
it ; and Cicero wrote with the fulness and picturesqueness of a modern war 
correspondent. See also Marcellus, Syracuse, siege of, Lilybseum, Scipio, 
Cicero, Virgil, Verres, Ovid, Augustus, Sextus Pompeius, Lepidus, Punic 
Wars, etc. 

Roman architecture. See under above par. 

Romeo and Juliet. The original of the story of Romeo and Juliet is to be 
found in the Greek novel about ancient Syracuse entitled The Loves of Chareas 
and Callirrhoe^ which is said to have been written by Chariton of Aphrodisias 
about 400 B.C. 

Rometta-Marea. A stat on the Palermo-Messina line. Rometta (the 
town) is 15 kil. (2^ hours by mail-vettura) from the stat. Rometta (Rametta) 
was the last place captured by the Saracens, A.D, 965, Although we do not 
know its name there was an antique town on its site, for many remains of 
buildings, vases, corns, lamps, etc., have been found there. 

Rosalia, S. The patron saint of Palermo. She was a niece of William 
the Good and daughter of Duke Sinibald, and became a hermit in a cave on 
Monte Pellegrino. Archbishop Doria, in 1624, wishing to stay a plague that 
was raging in Palermo, determined to try the effect of her bones conveniently 
discovered. They stopped the plague. A church facade was built up in front 
of her cave and a shrine of solid silver weighing more than half a ton was 
erected over her bones in the cathedral (q.v.). See Monte Pellegrino. The 
festa of S. Rosalia, Iith-I5th of July, is one of the most typical and pictur 
esque in all Italy. It is accompanied by races, regattas, illuminations, etc. ; 
and her car is as tall as the highest houses. The annual festival of the saint 
on Monte Pellegrino takes place on the night of September 3rd. 



THINGS SICILIAN 273 

Roses. The roses of Sicily are glorious. If properly watered, they bloom 
all the year round. In the Villa Malfitano at Palermo there is a wall of roses, 
and in the Parco d'Aumale an avenue of espaliered roses. I have seen a 
Gloire de Dijon rose shooting up over the top of a tall lemon tree, over which 
it was twined. The little crimson-blossomed China roses are used for hedges 
in gardens. At Syracuse, near the Camp of Marcellus, you find a very hand 
some crimson double wild rose ; but wild roses are not a feature generally. 

Rosemary. This grows wild and to a great size in Sicily. The rosemary 
hedge at the Villa I^ndolina, and the gigantic old rosemary bushes in the 
monastery garden of the Cappuccini at Syracuse are remarkable. 

Rosolini. A stat. on the Syracuse-Licata line. Claims to be the site of the 
ancient Casmenae. A primitive Christian basilica is annexed to the prince's house. 

Rotolo. One of the old Bourbon weights, more used in calculations than 
the kilogram in remote parts of Sicily. 

Rudeness. Foreign ladies have to beware of occasional rudeness from 
respectably dressed loafers in Palermo and perhaps one or two other places, 
because their own women are so carefully protected if they have any position. 
And loafers are very difficult to shake off. But in most parts of Sicily, where 
the primitive idea of vendetta and courtship prevail, men let women severely 
alone, unless they are candidates for their hands the consequences are too 
serious. In some places like Cefalu and Girgenti the rudeness is the rudeness 
of savages, not loafers. 

Rudini, Marchese di, the late Premier of Italy, is a Sicilian noble. 

Ruggerone da Palermo, a fourteenth-century Sicilian poet, one of the 
earliest writers. 

Ruggiero Settimo. See Settimo and Revolutionists. 

Rue. One of the common medicinal herbs of Sicily. It is a handsome 
shrub for its shape, its dark glossy leaves, and its pale lemon-coloured flowers. 

Rupilius, P. The Roman consul who put down the First Slave War 
in Sicily. His command was prolonged two years with a consulship. 



Sabatier, a celebrated French archaeologist, who wrote with loving 
erudition on the artistic remains of old Sicily circa 1860. 

Saffron. See Crocus saliva. Is indigenous to Sicily, and the favourite 
dye, as well as much used in food. 

Sage, flowering. In Sicily, as at Athens, one of the most conspicuous 
flowers is the sage bush (Salvia}^ which has large clusters of pale golden 
blossoms resembling in general effect the calceolaria. 

Saints of Sicily. They are in the main, of course, the same as those of Italy. 
I shall only define some of the leading saints born or resident in Sicily, such 
as S. Lucia, born and martyred at Syracuse ; S. Agata, martyred at Catania ; 
S. Marziano, martyred at Syracuse ; S. Philip the Apostle who died at Agira ; 
S. Rosalia, whose importance is almost entirely local ; S. Pancrazio, who was 
the proto-martyr of Sicily. Saints held in special reverence in Sicily or coupled 
with special attributes are the Madonna delk Lettera at Messina, recalling the 
tradition that the Madonna wrote a letter to the inhabitants of Messina ; 
St. George, the patron saint of Modica and Ragrasa ; St. Thomas a Becket, 
the patron saint of Marsala, S. Calpgero's name occurs often, but it simpiy 
signifies that a hermit has been associated with the place. 



274 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Saints' Days. The days of the most important saints, like S. Rosalia and 
S. Agata, at Palermo and Catania are kept with most elaborate ceremonies 
lasting some days. See under Ceremonies and Processions, and under tk-e 
various towns. 

Salads in Sicily are the accompaniment of poultry. Dandelion leaves are 
used a good deal. 

Salame. A pork sausage. 

Sale e Tabaochi. Salt and tobacco are sold by the Government, so the 
shops bear the Government shield. They always sell stamps, and Italians, 
if they are not going to register a parcel or book-packet, always get it weighed 
and stamped at a tobacco shop, which saves much time. See below, Salt. 

Salemi. One hour twenty minutes by mail-vettura from the S. Ninfa. 
Salemi Stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. Site of the Sikel town of Halicyae. 
Ruins of an Arabo- Byzantine castle and a suburb with Arab name of Rabato. 
The terra- cotta vases of Salemi are well known and highly esteemed. Salemi 
is a pure Arabic name. Salem means delights. 

Salinas, Prof. Antonino. Born at Palermo, 1841, took part in the campaign 
for Italian independence. Studied in Germany and Greece. Became Professor 
of Archaeology in the University of Palermo, is now the director of the Museum 
at Palermo, one of the most learned antiquaries who have written upon Sicily. 
He has a European reputation. He has made many important discoveries, and 
is noted for his fine taste in excavating and museum arrangement. The 
Palermo Museum, with its antique marbles arranged round subtropical gardens 
in Marvuglia's beautiful cloisters, and its Pompeian furniture in the rooms 
where they have Greek exhibits, is the most attractive of any museum I know, 
and the monuments he has excavated are models of how such work should be 
done. It is to him that we owe the fine Greek house at Girgenti and some of 
the Selinuntine metopes. He has also been a munificent donor to the museum. 
He speaks English perfectly. He has written some valuable monographs. 

Salita. A climbing street, such as the Salita S. Antonio behind the Corso 
at Palermo, which contains the celebrated Casa Normanna, and the cross-streets 
at Taormina. 

Sallee Rovers, or Barbary Corsairs, ravaged the coasts of Sicily till almost 
within living memory. See Corsairs. 

Salsamentaria (literally, a sausage-shop) is what we should call a provision- 
shop. 

Salomone-Marino, S. A collector of the Sicilian folk-songs, and customs, 
and history. Author of Leggende popolari Sicilians in poesia; Spigolature 
storiche siciliane dal secolo XIV. al secolo XIX., etc. 

Salt. Not a Government monopoly anywhere in Sicily, though it is in 
Italy. The town of Trapani does a large trade in salt with Norway. 

Salt-pans. On the flat coast between Marsala and Trapani and round the 
peninsula of Thapsus are salt-pans. Salt is collected into conical mounds, 
which, until they are thatched, look like the tents of an army. The best 
opportunity of seeing them is on the boat excursion from Marsala to Motya. 

Samians. Messana was partly peopled with people from Samos. Some 
early Messana coins bear the same emblems of a lion-head full-facing, and a 
calf s-head in profile (G. F. Hill). The Samians were lonians. 

Samphire (Crithmum maritimum}. A plant plentiful in Sicily which 
grows on cliffs near the sea. Formerly much used for pickles and salads. 
Shakespeare mentions the samphire-gatherer in King Lear. 



THINGS SICILIAN 



275 



Sambuca Zabut A town on the ruins of the Saracen Rahal Zabuth, famous 
for its pottery ; 9^ hours by mail-vettura from Corleone Stat. 

Sandron's Library. After Reber's this is the principal bookshop of 
Palermo, a branch, I believe, of the celebrated Milanese house. 

Sandys, George. A traveller who published in 1627 "A Relation of a 
journey begun An. Dora, 1610; Foure Bookes; Containing a description of the 
Turkish Empire, of ./Egypt, of the Holy Land, of the Remote Parts of Italy 
and Hands adioyning." It contains some most interesting matter about Sicily. 



V; ; /i / r /"'', '/" "" ', "''''fvAVv? 




THE ENVIRONS OF SAMBDCA ZABDT 



Sainfoin. In spring the hills in the interior of Sicily are a blaze or crimson 
with the flowers of the sainfoin (Qnobrychis sativa}. Its name, according to 
Chambers, is derived from sanumfenum, wholesome hay, not sanctum fenum^ 
holy hay, as used to be thought. 

Saracens in Sicily. The Saracens plundered Sicily more than t>nce in the 
seventh century A.D. Their conquest of Sicily began 827, and by 965 the 
last city, Rometta, had fallen. In the thirty years between 1060 and 1090, 
the Normans drove them out again. Very few buildings dating from the 
period of Saracen rule have been discovered in Sicily, or at any rate registered 
in guide-books. In Palermo the lower part of the tower of the Archbishop's 
Palace is said to be the only piece. But the Norman kings showed them much 
favour, and it was for them and their successors that Saracenic workmen 
enriched Sicily with its lovely Arabo- Norman architecture. The Saracenic 
water - towers covered with maidenhair ; the Saracenic domes of churches, 
like the Eremiti, S. Cataldo, and the Martorana ; the Saracenic chasing on 
the exterior of the cathedral ; the great Saracenic palaces like the Zisa, the 
Cuba, and the Favara ; the Saracenic brass coffee-pots, and water-jars of 
unbaked clay all combine to give Palermo an Oriental touch. The small 
Saracenic cities of the south-west are practically unknown to travellers. 
They may very likely yield good discoveries in the matter of Saracenic 
architecture. The Saracenic type is very marked in some parts. 



276 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Saracenic architecture. See above par. 

Sarcophagus is defined by Chambers as ** any stone receptacle for a dead 
body." The name originated in the property assigned to a stone found at 
Assos in the Troad, used in early times for consuming the whole body with the 
exception of the teeth within forty days, which is better than cremation ! The 
carved stone sarcophagi of Sicily are mostly of Roman date. There are some 
beautiful terra-cotta Greek sarcophagi in the Museum at Syracuse (q.v.) of the 
fifth century B. c. 

Savoca, called The Two-Faced. A small mountain town near. Taormina 
with a couple of Gothic churches and a few palazzetti in the Lombard style. 
Its view over the Fiumara towards Etna is one of the wildest and finest in 
Sicily. It has a ruined castle of great extent, and the cistus grows here 
better than anywhere else in Sicily. It can be reached by carriage from 
Taormina or by walking a few miles from the S. Alessio Stat. on the 
Messina-Catania line. Apart from its Gothic remains and its glorious scenery 
it is worth a visit as a primitive little mountain town, and the noble Norman 
abbey of S. Pietro and S. Paolo at Fiume d'Agro can be done in the same 
drive. 

Saxo, Tommaso di. A fourteenth-century Sicilian poet, one of the earliest 
writers in Italian. 

Scalambri, Cape, on the south coast of Sicily, is a little south-east of the 
ruins of ancient Camerina. 

Scalea, Prince. A well-known antiquary of Palermo, now a Senator in the 
Italian Parliament. His eldest son is a Deputy. 

Scaletta (Scaletta Zanclea). A stat. on the Messina- Catania line. Has a 
picturesque castle. The celebrated heroine Macalda, who took so prominent 
a part in the Sicilian Vespers, was the sister of Matteo II. She married for 
her second husband Alaimo Lentini, and died a prisoner of the Aragonese. 

Scalia, Alfonso. One of Garibaldi's lieutenants, who afterwards became a 
lieutenant-general in the Italian army and commanded the troops in Palermo. 
He occupied the house belonging to his son-in-law, Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker, 
which is now the museum containing the unique collection of North African 
birds formed by Mr. Whitaker, said to be the finest in existence. 

Scenery. See Chap. V., p. 40. It can be summed up thus: "You are 
never out of sight of mountains, and, except in almond-blossom time, the 
prevailing note of the foliage is greyish, from the number of olives, agaves, 
prickly-pears, and artichokes. 

Schools. Sicily must have good schools for the poor, because all the 
children can speak Italian, and are intelligent. It has many kindergartens, 
called gicurdini d* infanzia^ and many priests' schools who dress like young 
priests. Palermo, Messina, and Catania have all their universities attended 
by numerous students. The queerest thing about a Sicilian school is that they 
have their strikes (scioperz). 

Schoolboys. Sicilian schoolboys make excellent guides. If they have 
time, they will show a visitor anything, and if of at all a superior class, invari 
ably refuse any kind of present, even chocolates. They can generally point 
out any monument in the neighbourhood, and are nice little chaps, very 
bright and polite. 

Sciacca. See below, p. 469. 



THINGS SICILIAN 277 

Scicli. A stat. on the Syracuse -Licata line. Ancient Sicola. Founded in 
1350. Has the remains of two castles Castelluccio and Maggiore. Tombs, 
vases, lamps, etc. , are found here. Carob trees are very fine in all this district. 

Scina Domenico, 1763-1837. An eminent scientist and mathematician. 
He wrote some important books on Sicily. 

Scioperio, a strike. It means literally laziness or loss of time. 

Scipio. "Both the Scipios who took the surname Africanus were connected 
with Sicily. The elder, who captured Carthage after the Battle of Zama, 
prepared his expedition for many months at Syracuse, and there stamped out 
with characteristic resoluteness the disaffection of the small people who were 
jealous of him and wrote to complain about him at Rome. He set sail from 
Lilybseum. From Lilybseum also the younger Africanus sailed to the de 
struction of Carthage in 149 B.C., and when he came back in 146 restored to 
various Sicilian cities the trophies carried off from them by the Carthaginians. 
To Agrigentum, for instance, he gave back the reputed brazen bull of Phalaris, 
and to Segesta the great brazen image of Diana which occasioned such lamen 
tations when it was carried off again by Verres. 

Scissors. The native scissors in Sicily are very picturesque. The long 
sharp-pointed blades when closed resemble a dagger. The scissors ornamented 
with fine metalwork, Madonnas, birds, etc., come from Brescia or Germany. 

Sclafani, 70 kil. from Palermo on the coach-road, and two more by mule- 
path. Founded by the Greeks or Saracens, and taken by Roger I. Its 
powerful counts were created by Frederick II. in 1330. The place is worth 
mentioning because Matteo Sclafani, Count of Adern6 in the fourteenth 
century, who built the splendid Sclafani Palace in Palermo (q.v.), was one of 
the native aspirants to the crown of Sicily. Not to be confused with Chiusa 
Sclafani (q.v.). 

Sclafani, Matteo. See preceding par. 

Scoglitti. A small seaport on the south of Sicily about 10 hours from 
Syracuse, and 2^ hours from Terranova. The port of Vittoria, and is the 
nearest point to the ruins of Camerina (q.v.). Mail-vettnra from Vittoria 
Stat. on the Syracuse-Licata line, leaving at 8.25 a.m. and arriving at 10.55. 
The return journey leaves Scoglitti at 4 p.m. and arrives at 6.30. Distance 
12 kils. Fare 50 cent, each way. 

Scordia which gave his title to a prince illustrious in Sicilian history a 
stat, on the Caltagirone line. Was built by the prince in 1698. It has a 
mail-vettura to Palagonia (q.v.) 2 hours ; Ramacca (unimportant) 4 hours. 

Sculpture. For Sicily's share in sculpture, see under the Selinuntine 
metopes, Gagini, and Serpotta. Antonio Gagini was equal to almost any 
Italian sculptor, except Michael Angelo. The Florentine Montorspli did a 
good deal of work in Sicily, especially in Messina. Syracuse contains a few 
gems of ancient sculpture such as the Landolina Venus. See also under 
Terra-cotta figurines. 

Scylla. A lofty rock on the Italian side of the Straits of Messina, sur 
mounted by a beautiful old city. The ancients peopled it with a monster, and 
imagined it so close to the whirlpool of Charybdis, that if you got out of 
Scylla you got into Charybdis, The best description of it is in Odyssey > xiL 
{Lang's translation) : " The rock is smooth, and sheer, as it were polished. 
And in the midst of the cliff is a dim cave turned to Erebus, towards the place 
of darkness, whereby ye shall steer your hollow ship, noble Odysseus. Not 
with an arrow from a bow might a man in his strength reach from his hollow 
ship into that deep cave. And therein dwelleth Scylla, yelping terribly. Her 



278 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

voice, indeed, is no greater than the voice of a new-born whelp, but a dreadful 
monster is she, nor would any look on her gladly, not if it were a god that 
met her. Verily she hath twelve feet all dangling down, and six necks ex 
ceeding long, and on each a hideous head, and therein three rows of teeth set 
thick and close, full of black death. Up to her middle is she sunk far down 
in the hollow cave, but forth she holds her heads from the dreadful gulf, 
and there she fishes, swooping round the rock, for dolphins or sea-dogs, or 
whatso greater beast she may anywhere take, whereof the deep-voiced 
Amphitrite feeds countless flocks. Thereby no sailors boast that they have 
fared scatheless ever with their ship, for with each head she carries off a man, 
whom she hath snatched from out the dark-prowed ship. But that other cliff, 
Odysseus, thou shalt note, hard by the first. Thou couldst send an arrow across." 

Sea-urchins. The sea-urchin (Echinus} is a favourite delicacy in Sicily. 
It has a spiny shell shaped something like an acorn cup, and when out of it is 
a disgusting-looking reddish-yellow object. Called in Italian Eckino. 

Seals, use of. From the number of engraved gems and crystals found, it 
is clear that the ancient Sicilians used seals a great deal. We know from 
Cicero that they sealed their letters with clay instead of wax. Even the 
ancients must have used them extensively, though they had no sealing-wax, 
from the number of engraved gems and crystals which are found. As 
registered letters and parcel-post packages can only be sent when they are 
bespattered by numerous seals, there are many seal-engravers' shops. Initials 
of two letters are always kept in stock cut in brass ; handle and all for a franc. 
But it is safer to have your crest cut, which costs three francs, as anyone can 
buy your initials as easily as you can. In Italy it is advisable to seal luggage 
whenever you leave it in the cloakroom for any length of time. In Sicily it is 
not so necessary. 

Segesta, the ancient Egesta. See below, p. 472. Famous for its very 
perfect Greek temple, theatre, etc. 

"Segesta, Selinunte, and the West of Sicily." Title of Mr. Sladen's 
book published by Sands and Co., 1903, price 10/6 net. 

Selinunte. The Sicilian Babylon, the ancient Selinus. See below, p. 479. 
Has more Greek ruins than any place in Sicily. 

Selinuntinae, Aquae. The modern Sciacca (q.v.). 

Selinuntine metopes. The most famous of all Dorian works of this nature, 
the best after those of the Parthenon and Olympia, are in the Palermo Museum. 

Sepolcri. See Ceremonies, etc. The Gardens of Gethsemane made with 
coloured sand and pot-plants in the churches on Holy Thursday to receive the 
body of Christ taken down from the crucifix. 

Serenading. In Sicily a man may pay his addresses to a girl, to whose 
family he is a stranger, by such distant methods as hanging about under her 
window with or without music. If she signifies her acceptance of his 
addresses, he goes, or sends a go-between, to her family to ask for her hand and 
show his ability to support her. See under Courtship. 

Serpotta, Giacomo. Born 1656 ; died 1732. An early eighteenth-century 
sculptor, who worked in fine hard stucco, which has remained undamaged. 
In spite of his faults of taste he did many exquisite figures of women and boys. 
The beauty of their faces is quite remarkable. There is a Serpotta room in 
the Palermo Museum with some very beautiful specimens of his work, but 
several of the churches in Palermo are regular museums of Serpotta, such as 
*S. Agostino, the Oratorio of S. Caterina all' Glivella, **the Oratorio del 
Rosario di S. Cita, the Oratorio del Rosario di S. Domenico, the Oratorio 



THINGS SICILIAN 



279 



di S. Lorenzo, S. Matteo, S. Francesco d'Assisi, and the Ospedale del Sacer- 
doti. Besides Palermo there are Serpottas at Alcamo, S. Chiara ; Alcamo 
Badia Nuova ; Girgenti, S. Spirito ; Mazzara, S. Venera (school). * 

_ Serra-Alongi. Reached by mail-vettura from Canicatti Stat. (the Licata- 
Girgenti line) in 2 hours 20 minutes. The highly interesting town of Naro 
(q.v.) is only 10 minutes by mail-vettura from Serra-Alongi. 




COAST BETWEEN SELINUNTE AND PORTO PALO 



Serradifalco. A stat. on the Girgenti-Catania line. Has a mail-vettura 
to Montedoro, 2 hours. The baronial palace of Tommaso Moncada, the first 
count, created 1493, is fine. Domenico Lo Faso e Pietra Santa, the late Duke 
of Serradifalco, who died in 1863, was one of the most eminent of Sicilian 
antiquaries. Author of Antichita delta. Sicilia zsposte ed illustrate, 5 vols, 
folio (Palermo, 1834-1842), which fetches 500 francs. 



2 8o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Servants, Sicilian. Are very like Japanese. They are cheerful, willing, 
industrious Sancho Panzas, who will potter along in their own way, one man 
doing the entire work of a house, but would drive a conventional housekeeper 
mad, their motto being ' ' to muddle through. " Men servants are used to an 
extent undreamed of in England, because wherever there are men in the 
household women servants find some mischief for Satan to do if their hands 
are idle five minutes, the sex question being so predominant. 

Sextus Pompeius. See under Pompeius. 

Sferracavallo. A stat. on the Palermo-Trapani line. Called from its 
sharp stones "unshoe-a-horse." 

Shawls, Paisley. Two kinds of shawls are ordinary in unspoilt Sicily 
the black shawl, called a manto, in which women cover their heads as well as 
their shoulders, much used for going to church, even in Palermo, and almost 
universal in some towns like Monte S. Giuliano. The other kind resembles 
the Paisley and Cashmere shawls in its intricate spiral patterns and multitude 
of colours, the best being on a white ground. Genuine examples are quite 
valuable, and are becoming increasingly rare, because they are being 
bought up by collectors. Printed shawls of the same pattern take their 
place. Small shawls of the same kind were used for headkerchiefs, but nowa 
days any cheap saffron-dyed headkerchief serves. 

Sheep. There are a good many sheep in Sicily, though the Sicilian would 
as soon think of eating goat as sheep, and regards lamb as much the same 
as kid. A little sheep's-milk butter is used, looking and tasting rather like 
Devonshire cream; and there are, I believe, sheep's-milk cheeses. In the 
south they weave the wool with the grease still in it into the admirable 
Sicilian frieze. 

Shoeblacks. The shoeblack is quite a feature of the Palermo streets, 
and he generally knows his English name. The picturesque feature is the 
scarlet paste with which he cleans brown boots. 

Shops. Sicily is not great in shops. In Palermo the Via Macqueda and 
Corso and certain streets in Messina and Catania have a few European shops 
with proper counters and windows and doors. Messina has surprisingly good 
shops for the size of the town, but elsewhere the native Sicilian shop reigns, 
which is only a basso, not greatly differing from the Japanese shop, in which 
the floor is the counter, relieved by irregular shelves. Apart from curiosities 
and books and photographs there are not many things to tempt the foreigner 
in Sicilian shops, though ladies are eloquent about the cheapness and good 
taste of Sicilian hats and parasols, and most large towns have bootmakers 
who can imitate a thing admirably at very low prices. Foreigners who don't 
go to Sicily to buy clothes should be delighted at the tenacity with which the 
interesting characteristic native shop maintains its ground. Take for example 
the drapers of Palermo in their quarter between the Fonderia and the Corso. 
In their open-fronted little bassi shops can be bought the fine black manto 
shawls, the" gorgeous native dyed headkerchiefs, charming printed cottons, 
and the birettas worn by the peasants. Bootmakers are very numerous 
because, as the Sicilians say, they wear cheap boots and many. The same 
applies to hatters. Jewellers are numerous and interesting, because Sicilian 
Monts de Piete allow a fixed rate of advance on all jewellery of a certain 
fineness. The peasants consequently possess an immense quantity of gold 
jewellery. The shops where they sell cooked provisions, corresponding to our 
cheesemongers, are excellent and beautifully clean. See also Cafe's and 
Restaurants. Hairdressers are very numerous, and quite bad. The pastry 
cooks are excellent. Sicilian cakes are famous ; but none of these are so 



THINGS SICILIAN 281 

typical as the greengrocers, who turn their shops into veritable parterres with 
gorgeous-coloured vegetables and fruits. They are more picturesque than any 
in Italy. Their rivals are the mule and donkey harness shops, with their 
gorgeous plumes and saddles, embroidered girths, and brazen-studded leathers. 
But they are mostly in one quarter. In most Sicilian towns like Palermo 
each trade, except food and drink purveyors, has its own quarter. In 
Palermo, for instance, there is the street of coppersmiths, the street of silver- 
workers, the street of turners, a pottery street, a street where they make 
wooden boxes, and so on. Very quaint shops are those to be found near 
popular churches, where they sell wax legs and arms and other offerings of the 
faithful, such as silver hearts, rosaries, images of the saints ; as are the generi 
diversi (general dealers) shops in the humbler quarters, where they indicate 
the nature of their stock by hanging samples on a string across the doorway, 
such as a piece of charcoal, a bottle of oil, a potato, some dried tomatoes, or 
a piece of bread. See also under Curio-shops, etc. 

Shooting 1 . Ridiculously poor people have guns and shoot in Sicily. They 
are supposed to have a licence costing twelve francs. Except in gardens, they 
can shoot in most places, and the supply of birds never runs short because 
Sicily is on the great migration route. At certain times of the year there 
are swarms of quail. Hares are numerous round Girgenti. But Sicily is 
not a sportsman's country. 

Showerbath fountains. When the Court was at Palermo horseplay and 
buffooneries of all sorts were highly popular with the nobles. A favourite 
device was to have a number of hidden fountain jets which could be started 
on the passer-by with springs worked at a distance. These still exist in the 
Serradifalco garden. 

Shrines are innumerable in Sicily. They are let into the wall of almost 
every street. They occupy niches in the gates, they rise by the roadside : all 
with their lamps or rows of sockets for tapers. In festa times their number 
is greatly increased. In streets they are generally paintings ; by country 
roads they are plaster sedicula, gables with square panels sunk in them like 
the tombs of Athens. Good examples may be found against S. Domenico at 
Palermo, and on the Scala between the two towns at Ragusa, 

Shroud of Our Lord. The burial shroud of Our Lord (sudario santo] with 
the impress of His body on it, is shown at S. Giuseppe in Palermo, as it is 
in Turin and elsewhere. It is not convincing, because the impression is not 
the shape it would be if taken from a body. There is a simple explanation 
for it: the early Christians liked to paint the image of our Lord on the 
shrouds in which they buried their dead, which is the explanation now 
generally given. 

Sicanians. One of the three races which we find in Sicily in the earliest 
historic times. Little is really known of them, though their pottery is said 
to be distinguishable from that of the Sikelians. The idea is gaining ground 
that they may be identical with the Pelasgians and Lsestrygonians, and that 
the Etruscans may be another branch of the same aboriginal people. If so 
the megalithic work at Cefalu, etc., would belong to them. The presumption 
seems strong in favour of their being an Italo-Hellenk race before the Italian 
and Greek types differentiated. 

Sicily. The name is obviously derived from Siculus Sikulos, the Latin 
and Greek for the chkf of the three races which we find in Sicily in the 
earliest historic times. The name Sikelia occurs in Herodotus, Pindar, etc. 
But Thucydides uses Sicania. Strabo calls the Ionian Sea, which runs up to 
the Strait of Messina, the Sea of Sicily, and so does Theocritus, 



282 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Sicily, geographical and other statistics. The largest, most fertile, 
and most populous island in the Mediterranean. Area, 9,828 square miles; 
population, 3,285,472. The north side of the island is 200 miles long; the 
east, 135 ; the west, 175. Cape Passaro is only 56 miles from Malta, Cape 
Boeo, near Marsala, 80 miles from the African coast, and the Faro of Messina 
2 miles from the Calabrian coast of Italy. Etna is, according to Baedeker, 
10,742 feet high, and the next highest mountain is the Pizzo D' Antenna in 
the Madonian Mountains on the north coast. The largest lake, that of 
Lentini, is only 4^ square miles. The four principal rivers are the Simeto 
(Simethus), Salso (Himera Meridionalis), the Platani (Halycus), the Belice 
(Hypsas). The climate is very equable. According to Chambers, the mean 
temperature in the years 1871-86 ranged from 45 degrees Fah. in winter to 
79 in summer ; during the same period the extremes recorded were 25 degrees 
(Caltanisetta) and 118 degrees (Palermo), but only for brief periods does the 
dry parching sirocco (q.v.), chiefly in the spring and early autumn, drive the 
thermometer up to over 100 degrees. 

Sicilian cakes. Famous all over Sicily. See under Pasticceria. 

Sicilian Vespers. On Easter Monday, 1282, took place the massacre 
known as the Sicilian Vespers, which began the revolution that expelled the 
Angevin dynasty, in consequence of the oppressions of the justiciar St. Remy 
(q.v.), whose palace is still shown. The vesper bell of S. Spirito, now known 
as the Church of the Vespers, gave the signal to the crowd assembled at the 
fair in the vicinity. With one accord every Sicilian set upon the nearest 
Frenchman. The only survivors were the little force to which Sperlinga 
opened her gates (q.v.). According to tradition, most of the French were 
buried in the Piazza S. Croce dei Vespri at Palermo (q.v.). Dante s Paradiso 
viii., 67-76, alludes to the Sicilian Vespers. See note on Canto ix. in 
Temple Classics, Dante. " . . . and fair Trinacria which darkeneth between 
Pachynus and Pelorus, o'er the gulf tormented most Eurus,-(not for Typheus, 
but for sulphur that ariseth there) I would yet have looked to have its kings 
sprung through me from Charles and Rudolf, had not ill lordship, which doth 
ever cut the heart of subject peoples, moved Palermo to shriek out Die 1 
die!" 

Sicilian. The name of an old-fashioned dance. Something like a polka 
with figures. 

Sicilianp. According to Webster a musical term : a composition in | or f 
performed in a slow and graceful manner. 

Sicola. The ancient name of the town of Scicli (q.v.). 

Sikel, or Sikelian. By common assent this is considered the latest of the 
three races whom we find in Sicily in the earliest historical times. It is also 
agreed that they were of Italian origin. Everything is in favour of the first 
theory, especially the fact that the Sicanians and Elymians, the other two 
races, are found where they naturally would be left by the incursions of a 
stronger race in the mountain fortresses of the extreme west and other 
impregnable places. The Sikels come freely. We have also documentary 
evidence as far back as Pausanias, who says, "Sicily is inhabited by the 
following races : Sicanians, Sikels, and Phrygians, of whom the first two 
crossed into it from Italy. The Sikels took more or less part in the history 
of the island far into historic times. Ducetius, in the middle of the fifth 
century B. c. , endeavoured to form a league of Sikel towns to protect the race 
from the overwhelming power of Syracuse. But eventually the Syracusans, 
in league with the Acragantines, crushed him. They spared his life and 



THINGS SICILIAN 283 

exiled him to Corinth., but he returned and entered into a fresh alliance with 
Archonides I. , Prince of Herbita, who joined with him in founding Calacte 
(q.v.). Archonides II. of Herbita, 403 B.C., founded the city of Halsesa. 
The Sikels did not forget what they had suffered from Syracuse, and at 
the commencement of the Athenian invasion joined the Athenians. If Alci- 
biades a born ambassador as well as a daring commander had not been 
deprived of his command by the infatuated democracy of Athens, Syracuse 
would have been in a hopeless case. With their own force the Athenians 
could have stormed the city in the beginning, and with the Sikels at their 
back, they could permanently have destroyed the Dorian power in Sicily. 
But as the war went on, the Sikels, who supplied the Athenians with cavalry, 
seemed to have recognised that, with Nicias commanding the Athenians, 
it could only have one ending, so they listened to Gylippus and joined his 
standard. A little later we find Agyris, a Sikel king, the most powerful 
tyrant of the island after Dionysius I. , in the league against Carthage. When 
Dionysius deported the inhabitants of Naxos, the oldest Greek city in the 
island, he replaced them with Sikels, it being part of his policy to work 
in with them. The walls they built at Naxos and at Taormina when the 
inhabitants transferred their city to a safer position on the hill still survive, 
and show us their style of building, with small well-dressed polygonal stones. 
The Sikels possessed considerable culture, as evinced by the numerous 
examples of their pottery in the museums. We also get considerable glimpses 
of their mythology, for Hadranus (q.v.) and Hybla (q.v.] were certainly Sikel 
gods, even if the Dii Palici (q.v.) were inherited from an older race. It 
is customary to attribute to the Sikelians the magnificent cave sepulchres with 
which many parts of Sicily are crowded : perfect beehives inside, with low 
entrances about two feet square finished off with great beauty. But these, 
I believe myself, to have been the work, or at any rate the invention, of the 
Sicanians, though perhaps the Sikelians adopted the idea, for these cave 
sepulchres are obviously the work of cave-dwellers, and are often found in 
conjunction with cave-dwellings. The Sikels were found in Italy too. There 
are Sikel tombs in the Forum at Rome like those in the Palermo Museum. 

Sikeliot A Sicilian Greek, just as an Italiot is an Italian Greek. 

Siculae Dapes. Sicilian luxury (literally, Sicilian banquets). Horace uses 
the phrase in allusion to the Sword of Damocles (q.v.). 

Siculus Pirata. Sextus Pompeius, so called by Lucan in his Pharsalia. 

Sicilian. It is not clear at what epoch the meaning of this changed from 
Sikelian to Sicilian in our sense. 

Siculiana. Reached by mail-vettura from Girgenti, $J hours. One of the 
numerous places which claim to be on the site of the Sicanian city of Camicus. 
Restored 1310 by Frederick Chiaramonte, who built the medieval fortress. 

Sieges. Sicily is a land of strong fortresses, and has had many famous 
sieges. The siege of Syracuse by the Athenians, 415-413 B.C. ended in the 
capture of the invaders. The siege of Motya by Dionysius in 397 B.C. is 
famous as the first in which the artillery of the ancients was used. Eryx was 
besieged in vain by Dorieus, the king's son, of Sparta. Lilybseum, the virgin 
fortress, defied first Pyrhhus, 276 B.C., and the Romans who besieged it for 
ten years in vain, 250-241 B.C. Hamilcar Barea defended himself in Ercta, 
on Monte Pellegrino. against the Romans for three years. Syracuse was 
taken by the Romans under Marcellus after a siege of two years, 214-212 B.C., 
in which Archimedes showed marvellous mechanical resources, unexcelled till 
modern times and the invention of gunpowder. During the Saracen conquest 



284 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

many towns maintained themselves for years. Roger, the Great Count, and 
his girl wife and a handful of knights held out for months in the fortress 
of Troina. Palermo has suffered some notable sieges, such as that in which 
it was captured by Beiisarius from the Goths, and by Robert and Roger from 
the Saracens. 

Siesta, the, or rest in the middle of the day after the noontide colazwne, is 
very general in Sicily. The churches in the poorer quarters begin foeir siesta 
at eight a.m., and sometimes never open again. That popular institution, the 
post office, always has a two or three hours' siesta in out-of-the-way places. 

Silk hangings. Palermo was famous for its medieval silk hangings, the 
Norman kings having deported the silk-workers from Greece. They are 
hardly to be bought now, though Mr. Robert Whitaker, the Conte Mazzarino, 
and the Palermo Museum have specimens. 

Silius Italicus. A Roman poet who lived from A.D. 25-101. In his epic 
poem, The Punica, of 17 books and 14,000 lines, he mentions a good many 
places in Sicily. 

Silver, old Sicilian. One of the great objects sought by collectors in 
Sicily. Mr. H. von Pernull, Cook's correspondent in the Corso, near the 
Piazza Marina, is an authority to consult. There is a great deal of it about, 
both in the form of plate and filigree and small jewels for carrying relics. 

Silver map of the world, the, was prepared by the Arab geographer, 
El Edrisi (q.v.), for King Roger. 

Simethus. The antique name of the river Simeto (q. v. ). 

Simeto. The Simethus of antiquity, which gives its name to a little town, 
is one of the principal rivers of Sicily. It rises on Etna near the Castle of 
Maniace ; and as the valley expands near Paternfc, it is of superb beauty. It 
flows into the sea between Bicocca and Lentini, though its short course after 
receiving the waters of the Gurnalunga is called the Giarretta. The necropolis 
of the ancient town of Simethus has been discovered. 

Simomdes of Ceos. One of the most celebrated lyric poets of Greece ; 
born 556 B.C. Pausanias tells us (I. ii. 3) that he went with ^Eschylus to the 
court of Hiero I. He is said to have reconciled Hiero I. and Theron of 
Acragas. He died at Syracuse 467 B.C., and his poems contain references to 
Sicily. 

Sirocco. A sailor's corruption of Scilocco, the south-east wind ; a wind 
much dreaded in Sicily. Originally the term was confined to a wind blowing 
from one particular quarter, but now it is applied loosely to all hot winds, 
damp or dry ; and they suffer from both in Sicily, the dry being accompanied 
with whirlwinds of dust generally finishing in a storm, like the hot winds of 
Australia. These dry hot winds are very violent, they frequently blow the 
windows in. The Sicilians dread the soft, damp, oppressive sirocco much more. 
If a servant is slack over his work he puts it down to the sirocco. 

Slave wars. The First Slave War took place 134 B.C. to 131 B.C., breaking 
out over the oppression of their slaves by Damophilus and Megallis of Enna. 
See under Eunus, Cleon, Damophilus. The Second Slave War was from 
102 B. c. to 99 B. c. , while the Romans were engaged in crushing the Cimbri 
and Teutones. There was a so-called slave war in the time of Sextus 
Pompeius. The third great Slave War was A.r>. 260-268, in the reign of 
Gallienus. 

Smalti. Sicily is a great place for baying little old enamels, which they 
call smaltL They are mostly from religious subjects, and some of them are 
centuries old. 



THINGS SICILIAN 285 

Smith, Sir W. In studying ancient Sicily one can hardly move without 
consulting the works of Sir William Smith, especially his valuable Dictionary 
of Greek and Roman Mythology and Biography and his Dictionary of Greek and 
Roman Geography. His Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities is also 
invaluable, but it suffers more from the competition of recent and highly illus 
trated rivals. They are all published by Mr. Murray. 

Snakes, Sicily has a good many snakes, though there are not many varieties. 
They are none of them very venomous, but one large black harmless snake 
looks very revolting. Tourists hardly ever see them because they are hiber 
nating during the tourist season. 

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) grows wild in Sicily, particularly in the walls 
of buildings, though it is also found in rocks. The commonest wild variety 
has beautiful flesh-coloured flowers, though you also see red ones, The wild 
antirrhinum, known as toadflax in England, is much commoner in Sicily than 
the snapdragon. 

Societies, Secret. The Sicilians are very fond of secret societies ; the 
power and extent of the celebrated Mafia is enormous. In the year 1896 
there was considerable danger of a revolution in Sicily. The large garrison 
of ^ 60,000 men had less to do with its avoidance than the fact that the Prime 
Minister, Crispi, had, in his own revolutionary days, worked against the 
Bourbons with the secret societies, and was much more familiar with them 
than the not very capable men who were at the head of the disaffection of 1896. 

Solera System, the, pursued at Marsala has for its chief feature the filling 
up of a cask of old wine with the next oldest wine when any is drawn off. 

Solfatara. According to Chambers, the Italian name for such volcanoes as 
having ceased to be violently active, emit from crevices gases, steam, and 
chemical vapours, chiefly of sulphurous origin. They are numerous in Sicily 
in the volcanic districts. 

Solanto, the modern town near the ruins of ancient Solous, which are 
called Solunto. It has a castle belonging to Prince Gangi, and is reached 
from S. Flavia Stat. They are a little over two miles apart. 

Solunto, the Sicilian Pompeii. The ancient Solous. See below, page 488. 

Sophron of Syracuse, the son of Agathocles and Damnasyllis, was the 
inventor of the compositions known as "Mimes," one of the principal varieties 
of Dorian comedy. According to Sir W. Smith, flourished probably 460-420 B.C. 
He wrote in the old Doric with Sicilian peculiarities. 

Soprano, Cape. Near Terranova, the ancient Gela. The Greek necropolis 
here, of the fifth century B.C., is one of the most interesting and fruitful which 
has been discovered. It was here that the magnificent terra-cotta sarcophagi 
of this period, now in the Syracuse Museum, were discovered in recent years. 
By carriage from the Terranova Stat. on the Syracuse-Licata line. 

Sortino. A little town on the Hybkean hills, the nearest inhabited point 
to the prehistoric city of the dead at Pantalica. It was founded on the ruins 
of the ancient Pentarga, destroyed by the great earthquake in 1693, of which 
the only remains are one tower and some ruins. In the neighbourhood are 
many caves cut in the rock. The territory was called Xuthius (q.v.). There 
is a mail-vettura from Syracuse, touching at Priolo, Melilli, and proceeding to 
Ferla and Cassaro. It leaves Syracuse at 3.30 and takes about six hours. 
The fare is two francs fifteen centimes each way, with aa extra fifty centimes 
for the coachman. 



286 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Spaccaforno. A city with a stat. on the Syracuse- Licata line. Eastern 
entrance of the Val D'Ispica (Ispicse Furnus is the derivation of the name). 
The present town was built after the great earthquake in 1693, but there are 
remains of the ancient fortress and the baronial palace of the earlier town. 

Spadafora-S. Martino. Reached from Venetico-Spadafora Stat. on the 
Palermo- Messina line. It was founded by the Prince of Maletto and 
Venetico in 1737. 

Spaniards in Sicily. Sicily was under Spanish dynasties from Peter of 
Aragon, 1282, to the fall of the Bourbons in 1860. The nobles are mostly 
of Spanish creation/ See below, under Spanish. 

Spanish balconies of Sicily (especially Syracuse) are famous for their 
glorious Renaissance ironwork. See Hammered Iron, Balconies, etc. 




VALLEY OF THE ANAPO, BETWEEN SOLARINO AND SORTING 



Spanish building's. The Spanish element is a conspicuous feature in Sicily. 

Spanish Baroque, Coats-of-Arms. Sicily (especially Syracuse) is re 
markable for the beautiful Spanish coats-of-arms, generally in white marble, 
affixed to its buildings, e.g. the Convent of S. Lucia or the Castle of Maniace 
at Syracuse. An interesting and beautiful book might be written on the subject. 

Spanish tiles. The so-called Spanish tiles are a great feature of Sicily. 
They are mostly blue and orange or green and orange on a white ground, and 
have such large patterns that many tiles go to form a single pattern. The 
roof of the Porta Nuova, and various domes in Palermo, are covered with 
them, and they form a brilliant and charming feature, used in this way. 
The design on the Porta Nuova is a huge eagle. At Castrogiovanni tile- 
pictures are a chief feature of church floors ; one church has a picture of 
St. Michael and the Devil, and another a picture of one of the first steamers 
on its floor. They are much used in palaces for the floors of state apartments. 
In the old market near S. Antonio at Palermo, there are two butchers' shops 



THINGS SICILIAN 



287 



with some ^ tile-pictures. But the best is a much-ruined sixteenth- century 
sacred subject, quite Botticelli-like, in the cortile of the Palazzo Arezzo 
between the Via Roma and the Piazza Nuova at Palermo. 

Spanish viceroys. Sicily had a long succession of Spanish viceroys, whose 
portraits hang round the first room you enter when you go into the Royal 
Palace at Palermo. It was customary for them on landing to go and stay at 
the Palazzo di Gregorio on ^ the Mole, until they had sufficiently recovered 
from the voyage to make an imposing state entry. 

Speciale, Niccolo. A fourteenth-century Sicilian historian, born at Noto ; 
wrote a history, in eight books, of the period 1282-1337, from the Sicilian 
Vespers to the death of Frederick of Aragon. 

Sperlinga (Sperlenga, or Sperlunga). One and a half hours by mail- 
vettura from Nicosia, which is 5! hours from Leonforte, a station on the 
Palermo -Catania line. Sperlinga covered itself with undying glory by protect 
ing the French refugees at the time of the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers, 
commemorated in the line "Quod Siculis placuit, sola Sperlinga negavit," 
which, put in Sicilian, is "Sol negossi Sperlinga al sican guiro." Has a 
castle dating from 1 132. Freeman identifies it with the ancient Herbita (q.v.). 




THE ANCIENT CITY OF SPERLINGA 



Sperlinga. The villa of Joshua Whitaker, Esq. See under Palermo. 

Spinning 1 . Sicilian women spin, and weave, and card for themselves 
except in the large towns. An immense amount of linen and frieze is 
home-spun and home-woven. Even in Taormina, the housewife with a 
distaff is one of the commonest sights. 

Sport. Beyond lawn-tennis, card-playing, and lotteries, and a little racing, 
the native Sicilian has not much sport, though nearly everybody has a gun and 
murders quail when they are migrating. But golf is being introduced, and in 
Palermo Mrs. Joshua Whitaker, Signora Florio, and others, have frequent 
tennis days, and some Sicilians play tennis very well. There is an annual 
tennis-tournament in the Sports Club at Palermo. 



288 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Spurges. Sicily is a land of gorgeous spurges (Euphorbia}. ^All contain 
a resinous milky juice which in most is very active. The varieties which 
grow a couple of feet high in England, grow as much as ten feet high ^on the 
mountains iti Sicily, with woody stems as thick as a man's arm. The Sicilians 
always call out that the juice is dangerous to the eyes when they see you pick it. 
The flowers are mostly of a bright golden colour. A very golden variety, 
handsomely marked with red, is one of the first flowers that springs from lava 
streams on Etna when the soil begins to form on them. It is so bright that 
yon can see it at a great distance towering out of the jet-like lava. See 
under Euphorbia. 

Squid, or Octopus. Called in Sicily the calamaw^ from the inky juice they 
squirt, etc. Is a favourite article of food. See Octopus. 




TROGLODYTE DWELLINGS AT SPEELINGA 



Stagnpne. An antique reservoir. The Roman Stagnoni at Taormina 
with their vaulted aisles are among the finest Roman buildings in the 

island. 

Staircases. There are some very fine staircases in Sicily. The proces 
sional staircases rising from a cortile to the piano nobih on the first floor 
are gradually disappearing, but there are still some noble examples at 
Taormiaa, Syracuse, and Castrogiovanni See Outside staircases under these 
headings. There are beautiful double stairway approaches to palaces at the 
Palazzo S. Elia outside Bagheria, and the Monte di Pieta at Messina. The 
stairways mounting from the street to the three great churches of Modica are 
extremely fine and lofty. Fine, broad marble staircases are often an interior 
feature of palaces, as, for example, at the Royal Palace, the Trabia Palace, 
and especially at Mr. Joshua Whitaker's new palace in the Via Cavour at 
Palermo, 



THINGS SICILIAN 



289 



Stalls, like hawkers, are a great feature of Sicily. There are second 
hand bookstalls, newspaper and postcard stalls, knife and knick-knack stalls, 
on the ledges formed by the outsides of the churches; flower-stalls are 
distinguished by tall plumes of dried grasses, and some of the basket-stalls 
are very ornamental. These may be found at any time and place, and there 
are extraordinarily cheap rubbish, and haberdashery, and tinkery, and turnery 
stalls at the markets and fairs. The most picturesque stalls of all are those 
outside the doors of popular churches where they sell rosaries, and images of 
saints, and wax-counterfeits of diseased limbs for the grateful faithful to offer. 

Stamps. Sicily no longer has separate stamps, as she did under Bourbon 
kings. Remember, if you do not wish to waste your time, to buy your stamps 
at the tobacconist, not the post office. 




ENVIRONS OF SPERLINGA 

Stanley, Dean, went to Sicily, and there is a capital story of him going out 
with his nightshirt over his clothes, because it was the only extra wrap he had. 

Steamers (of the Florio-Rubattino-yNavigazione Generale Italiana line) 
between Naples and Palermo are superior to any steamers between England 
and France. They are like little Atlantic liners, with their elaborately 
decorated music-rooms, etc. The steamers that come down from Genoa and 
go round the island are much more homely ; but, if anything, I prefer them, 
though they are extremely slow. There is more room, and the servants are 
more attentive. The food is about the same as hotel food. There are 
also steamers now coming direct from America to Sicily, or, at any rate, 
Naples, and the large German steamers occasionally touch Sicily, besides the 
"millionaire's yachting trips" on the great Hamburg- American liners. 
Steamers run from Palermo to Naples, Marseilles, Genoa, Tunis, and round 
the island, and occasionally to America for emigrants. Steamers from 
Messina go also to India, Egypt, Athens, the Greek Islands, Constantinople, 
and the Black Sea, and from Syracuse to Malta and Tripoli. 



29 o SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

S. Stefano-Quisquina. Seven and a quarter hours from Lercara Stat 
(Girgenti- Palermo line), and 12 hours from Girgenti. On the cliff of the 
Monte Quisquina, founded in the thirteenth century. Its principal church 
was built by Frederick Chiaramonte in the fourteenth century. The place 
belonged originally to Duke Sinibald, the father of S. Rosalia. 

S. Stefano di Camastra di Mistretta. A stat. on the Palermo-Messina 
line. Was founded by a migration of inhabitants from the ancient Mistretta. 
Stendardi. The Venetian masts used in the procession of Corpus Domini. 
See under Marsala. 

Stesichorus. The greatest of all Doric lyric poets. Born at Himera 
(Termini) 630 B.C.; died at Catania 556. Dealt mostly with epic subjects, 
and was struck blind for slandering Helen. Only thirty short_ fragments^ of 
his poems remain. In Catania most things are named after Stesichorus which 
are not called after Bellini, including the main street. 

Stiela. A name of a city which occupied the site of Megara Iblea. For 
Mr. G. F. Hill's remarks on its charming little coins, see under Megara Iblea. 
Stylobate. An architectural term. Sturgis defines it as " In Greek 
architecture that part of the stereobate upon which the peristyle stands ; by 
extension, any continuous base, plinth, or pedestal upon which a row of 
columns are set" 

Stocks. The stocks of Sicily are superb. The bushes grow very large, 
and the flowers, mostly of a rich crimson colour, are as big as crown- pieces, 
and their delicious scent will suffuse a whole garden. The wild stocks are 
also very ine in Sicily, though their flowers are not so large. They grow, 
like their kimsfolc, tfee wallflowers, in oU walls. There was a magnificent one- 
growing out of a church facade at Syracuse, and the ancient walls of Girgenti 
glow with them. A dwarf puce-coloured variety grows along the railway line 
in the interior. 

Stooecrop (S#bun)> is naturally abundant in Sicily, where there is hardly a 
yard wxthovt a stone. See also under Orpine. 
Street stuiaes. See under Shrines. 

Story-tellers are a great feature in Sicily. I do not refer to a national habit 
of lying, but to the professional story-teller, who, either from memory or a 
penny book, may be seen regaling large circles of workpeople unable to read, 
at Catania and elsewhere, 

Stoves. Sicily is picturesque in the matter of stoves. The ordinary 
cooking-stove is a tiled sarcophagus with a number of birds' nests sunk in the 
top, which are filled with charcoal embers as required and blown up with a 
palm-leaf fen. Not content with this, the Sicilian has stoves which fit into 
baskets for peripatetic cooks. Scaldini are not very frequent. You can keep 
the fingers warm in Sicily without them. 

Stromboli Oae of the Lipari Islands (q.v.J, which has a continually 
active tt unmalick>us volcano. It is always in eruption, but has a good 
jitnafoec of inhabitants, who in case of a serious eruption would be literally 
between tbe deril and the deep sea, for the island consists of nothing but the 
^ofcaiKj, which Mes pcetty close to the track of steamers between Messina and 
Naples. Its classical name was Strongyle. For steamers to it, see under 
Lipari Islands. 

Stucco plays a great part in Sicily, not so much in the houses as in garden 
walls, tibotigh at Syracuse you can see houses being built of it like those of the 
aacieat city which have goae back to the elements, and left nothing but the 



THINGS SICILIAN 



291 



foundations cut in. the .rock and a harvest of little boulders which must have 
been used, then, as they are now, for loose-built walls, made even with stucco. 
The most interesting Sicilian stucco is the hard kind, which doubtless caused 
enamels and cement to be designated by the same word stnalto. It was 
used on all the temples to give the stone a white, marble-like surface, which 
was picked out with brilliant colours ; both at Girgenti and Selinunte this 
coloured cement may be seen on still-standing portions of temples, and in the 
Palermo Museum there are some most interesting specimens of it. 

Students. Sicily has three universities and a number of seminaries and 
schools for youths. In large numbers they can be objectionable young 
bounders, but singly, or in two and threes, when appealed to by strangers, 
they are generally extremely polite and obliging. They are fond of acting as 
ciceroni. A peculiarity of the Palermo student is that he knows how to 
organise a strike. See Scioperi 




STROliBOLI, THE VOLCANO IN THE LIPARI ISLANDS 

Suabia, the three blasts of, the name given by Dante (Paradise, Canto 
iii. 1 8) to the Emperors Frederick Barbarossa, Henry VI., and Frederick II. 

Suisse. There are two kinds of Suisse prevalent in Sicily the cathedral 
Suisse and the Pension Suisse. The Pension Suisse is a name that implies 
cheapness in a boarding-house. The cathedral Suisse is a person in gorgeous 
rose-coloured silk robes who acts as maceman in ecclesiastical processions. 

Sulphur. As Sicily is so volcanic, sulphur is naturally a leading export 
The principal sulphur ports are at Catania, Porto Empedocle (Girgenti), and 
Licata. The railway in the interior between Catania, Palermo, and Girgenti, 
lies mostly in the sulphur-mining country. The stations are piled up with the 
pale-yellow or iron-grey ingots. The conditions under which the mines are 
worked are said to take one back to the barbarous ages. The sulphur miners 
are the worst of the population. Hie criminal class is principally recruited 



292 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

from them. The Anglo- Sicilian Sulphur Company, in which Sig. Florio is 
interested, has immense operations. 

One of the best accounts of sulphur-mining in Sicily is given by Mr. James 
Baker in the Leisure Hour of August, 1903, from which the following descrip 
tion of a mine near S. Cataldo is taken : 

K The mines we were bound for employed some 600 workpeople ; the depth 
below the surface was some 500 to 600 feet through the formation of sulphur 
and chalk. 

" On our arrival the fumes of the burning sulphur were terrible ; the air was 
filled with it unless we got to windward of the furnaces ; and the nearly nude 
figures of the men swarming about the pit's mouth gave a vivid realisation of 
the old idea of Hades. 

** There was no cage wherewith to descend into the lower regions, but a flat 
board on which we stood, and slowly, very slowly, we sank down into the 
darkness, a scent of sulphur pervading the shaft ; but we soon left the thick 
fumes of the furnaces above us, and seemed to sink into purer air. 

tt At last we halted and stepped out into a great vault, from whence led 
narrow, dark, grooved passages. From these issued gleams of light, thin 
smoke, dull booms of explosions, and low groans as of men in agony. 

" It was curiously weird, but we went on through a low tunnel and came out 
into a vaulted chamber, where were groups of nude figures lit by nickering 
candles and little lamp. They were round a line of little trucks filled with 
the ore, one piece I picked off a truck being almost pure rock sulphur of a 
light gold hue. 

** A little furtter we penetrated into this strange scene, the scent and sounds 
and sights of which were as the Inferno, save no flames issued around us, and 
tip little passages in the rock above us we saw men boring and blasting. And 
now we knew wtieosce came the sad groans, for as they bored and drove home 
the borers, they groaned as though in agony of spirit. 

** The Httk boys also who bear the sulphur to the trucks as they creep along 
groa% and this gives the strange effect of misery and anguish that so adds to 
the effect of the scene. 

* A kw lias been passed to prevent boys of tender years working in these 
mines, bt the people evade the law, and this custom of making these sad 
moaning noises adds to the idea of the terror of the work. 

** The faces of the men as we saw them there, lit up by the dim glimmer, 
seemed full of sadness, but intelligent. One man had a red handkerchief 
bound turban fashion round his head, another wore a brilliant red cap, others 
grey Piirygian caps above their brown, nude, lithe bodies. 

* The heat was tremendous, save where an air-shaft brought down rushes of 
cool air. The men carry plaids to wrap round them when they ascend to the 
surface. 

** A frequent coaghing gave one an idea of chest complaint, but that we were 
told was tfce sulphur, and that these mines were not so unhealthy as coal 



"Tfoe wofk is dome in eight-hour shifts, six days a week, and the men earn 
about three francs a day, and the boys about one-fourth (say, zs. & and &/. ) 

* It was a relief to rise once again to the surface of the earth, and we gave 
op too close an inspection of the furnaces ; we had inhaled enough sulphur 
already, and oar clothes were covered with sulphurous spots and the silver in 
oar pockets had turned Hack, 

* We got a photograph of the men before leaving, but they hastily clad them 
selves, one or two only reaaaiaing in their semi-nude working attire.'* 



THINGS SICILIAN 



293 



Superstitions. Sicilians are very superstitious. The use of amulets, such 
as coral hands with an outstretched finger, and phalli, against the evil eye, is 
attested by their prevalence in jewellers 7 shops. 

Suter. A Saracen name preserved in the name of the city Sntera. Suter is 
in its turn a corruption of the Greek soter, a saviour, because the city had a 
castle so impregnable as to be the saviour of its citizens. On the mountain 
may be seen the ruins of the castle. See below, Sutera. 




SUTERA 
MONTE S. PAOLINO 



Sutera. Stat. on the Girgenti-Roccapalumba line. See above. It has a 
pilgrimage chapel of S. Paolino. The situation of the town is wonderfully 
picturesque with its truncated cone. The castle, according to Murray, was 
the prison of Philip, Prince of Taranto, son of Charles the Lame, who was 
captured at the Battle of Falconaria and detained here till 1302. 

Sweets. Sicilians are very fond of sweets, including candied fruits and the 
Sicilian cakes mentioned above (q. v. ). 

Swordfish (Pesce spada}. Harpooning this handsome fish, whose flesh is 
esteemed as much as tunny, is one of the most picturesque features of the 
Strait of Messina (q.v.). 

Syracuse. The greatest city of ancient Greece* In its heyday the largest 
in the world. It has never been destroyed, though it now only occupies one 
of its five ancient quarters, and has only 20,000 or 30,000 inhabitants. See 
below, p. 490. Owing to its excellent daily steam service with Malta, Syracuse 
is now a favourite stopping-place with Anglo-Indians anxious to break the 
climatic shock on their way to and from England. 

Sylvia. A Syracusan heiress, mother of Pope Gregory the Great He 
founded six monasteries on the estates she left him, among them S. Giovanni 
degli Eremiti at Palermo and the great monastery of S. Martino above 
Monreale. 



294 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

T 

Taglia. Our English word "tally." Much used still in out-of-the-way 
parts of Sicily, At Marsala, for instance, the dealings between the baglj and 
the farmers are mostly done by tallies. The sticks are sawn irregularly 
down the middle, and the numbers are then filed on it in Roman figures the 
tens being crossed, the fives not crossed, and the units vertical, 

Tamarisks, with their graceful light-green, plumy foliage and pinkish 
blossoms, grow wild along Sicilian rivers. 

Tanagra figurines. Very few Tanagra figurines are dug up in Sicily : the 
terra-cotta figurines are nearly always of native construction and belonging to 
an earlier century than those of Tanagra. 




BETWEEN SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS. HARPOONING SWORDPISH IN THE 
STRAIT OF MESSINA 

Tattered, Roger, the Great Count, was the son of a Norman knight called 
Tancred of Hauteville. Tancred's grandson, Roger the King, conferred the 
name on his illegitimate son, who was King of Sicily from 1189-1194. 

Taormina, The ancient Tauromenium. A historical town, whose beauty 
of architecture and position has made it a proverb all over Europe. See 
below, page 544. 

Tapestry. There is a fair amount of tapestry not earlier than the sixteenth 
century in Sicily. Earlier than that it is very rare. See also Silk Hangings. 

TapsOj Thapsus. The Greek Thapsos* A peninsula near Syracuse, 
famous for its tunny fishery and its prehistoric sepulchres. The Athenians 
used both sides of it as harbours. See under Syracuse. 

Tares. The Sicilian tares are bright blue and white, and among the most 
striking of the wild flowers. 

Targia, Barone. One of the principal inhabitants of Syracuse. See 
under Syracuse. 

Tari The name of certain coins under the Bourbons, still used in reckon 
ings in out-of-the-way parts of Sicily, though the coins are no longer prevalent. 

A tari = 42 centesimi. See Coinage. 



THINGS SICILIAN 295 

Tarsia. There is a good deal of fine tarsia work in Sicily. Sturgis defines 
tarsia as "the Italian inlaying of wood, usually light upon dark, common in 
the fifteenth century." 

Tauromenium. The antique city which is now Taormina (q.v.), page 545. 
Founded 396 B.C. It was founded by Sikels, with the aid of the Carthaginian 
Himilcon, against Dionysius. Dionysius suffered one of his few defeats there 
394 B. c. , but took it 392 B. c. Timoleon landed here 344 B. c. Andromachus, 
the father of the historian Timaeus, tyrant of Tauromenium, was the only 
tyrant not deposed by Timoleon. It was taken by Agathocles. Tyndarion, 
tyrant of Tauromenium, invited Pyrrhus to land there 278 B.C. Under their 
treaty with Hiero II. the Romans became possessors of Tauromenium. 
Augustus landed at Taormina in his campaign which crushed Sextus Pompeius. 
It^ resisted the Saracens till 902. Mr. G. F. Hill says that the little gold coins 
with the head of Athena and her owl, or the head of Apollo and his lyre, 
may belong here and not to Panormus. The head of Apoilo Archagetas on 
the obverse, and the taurus or bull on the reverse, are natural types to 
Taormina. The name of the people stands in the Doric genitive Tauro- 
menitan. This head of Apollo Taormina received, like her inhabitants, from 
Naxos, the oldest Greek settlement in Sicily, which was destroyed by 
Dionysius in 403 (q.v.). Another favourite design on Taormina coins, as on 
those of Naxos, is a bunch of grapes with a lion and a tripod. 

Tavola is applied to a plank across a stream as well as* a table. 

Telegraph. In sending a telegram in Sicily be sure to spend the extra 
soldo and take a receipt, or it may not be sent at all. By paying a triple rate 
a telegram may be sent "urgente," *.<?. taking precedence of all other telegrams, 
but it is not worth it. The tariff is a franc for fifteen words or less, and a 
soldo for every extra word to anywhere in the kingdom of Italy. To England 
telegrams are between threepence and fburpence a word. 

Telepyliis. According to Samuel Butler in his The Authoress of tk& 
Odyssey^ Telepylus, the city of the Lrestrygonians, is Cefalu {q.v., page 335, 
and under Portazza). 

Telamo-n. An architectural term corresponding to the female caryatis or 
caryatid. Sturgis says: "A male statue serving to support an entablature, 
impost, corbel, or the like, and forming an important part of an architectural 
design." There is a fine specimen lying on the ground at the temple of the 
Olympian Jove at Girgenti, of which there is a plaster cast in the Palermo 
Museum (q.v.). 

Temenos. Literally a piece of land cut off, used at first for the sport of 
kings, afterwards for the sport of the gods (Sir W. Smith). The use of the 
word in Sicily, where it is applied to the hill of the temples at Girgenti, etc., 
supports Sturgis's definition: u In Greek antiquity a piece of groartd specially 
reserved and enclosed, as for sacred purposes, correspoodiiag nearly to the 
Latin ttmplum in its original signification. w 

Temenites. The quarter of Syracuse containing the temenos of Apollo, 
See tinder Syracuse, page 540. 

Temples. There are about forty ancient temples in Sicily, most of them 
ruined. The best of them are the splendidly situated temple of Diana at 
Segesta, the temples of Omcordia and Juno at Girgemti, and the glorious 
temple of Minerva embodied in the cathedra! at Syracuse. The following 
list is not cojsafjlete, b*it will serve as a basis : (i) Messina, temple of Nep 
tune, built into the back of SS. Annunziata dei Catalami; (2) Taormina, 



296 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

temple of Apollo, of which the cella forms the church of S. Pancrazio ; (3) 
Taormina, stylobate of a small temple above the theatre ; (4) Aderno, remains 
of the temple of Hadranus (the temple of the Thousand Dogs) ; (5) Syracuse, 
temple of Minerva embodied in the cathedral ; (6) Syracuse, temple of Diana 
in the Via Diana ; (7) Syracuse, Olympeium, near the Anapo ; (8) Syracuse, 
temple of Apollo, nothing left but foundations, above the Greek theatre ; (9) 
Syracuse, T. of Bacchus, recently excavated near the catacombs of S. Giovan 
ni; (10) the Adytum (q.v.), Syracuse, near the Scala Greca; (ii) Syracuse, T. of 
Ceres and Proserpine, near the Campo Santo (but this is probably part of the 
fortifications of Dionysius); (12) Terranova (the ancient Gela), a temple which 
Baedeker says is identified erroneously with the famous temple of Apollo ; (13) 
remains of ancient temples at Giarratana, the ancient Ceretanum ; (14) 
Girgenti, temple of Juno ; (15) Girgenti, temple of Concordia ; (16) Girgenti, 
temple of Hercules; (17) Girgenti, temple of the Olympian Jove; (18) 
Girgenti, temple of Castor and Pollux, the exquisite fragment whose three 
columns figure in so many pictures ; (19) Girgenti, temple of Vulcan, a little 
beyond Castor and Pollux ; (20) Girgenti, temple of JEsculapius in the field 
below the other temples ; (21) Girgenti, the Temple of the Sun, called also the 
Oratory of Phalaris, a beautiful little building nearly perfect ; (22) Girgenti, 
the temple of Ceres on the Rupe Atenea, whose entire cella forms the church 
of S, Biagio ; (23) Girgenti, the temple of Jupiter Polias under the church of 
S. Maria dei Greci. Of the temple of Minerva on the site of the cathedral 
there are no remains visible ; (24) Selinunte, temple G. (Olympian Jove or 
Apollo) ; (25) Selimrnte, temple F. (Minerva) ; (26) Selinunte, temple E. 
(Juno), all three of them near Sig. Hone's baglio ; (27) Selinunte 
Acropolis, temple C. (Hercules) ; (28) Selinunte Acropolis, temple B., still 
coloured ; (29) Selinunte Acropolis, temple A. ; (30) Selinunte Acropolis, 
temple D. ; (31) Selinunte on the further hill the temple of Hecate, which 
has a propylsea, the only one in Sicily ; (32) Segesta, the temple of Diana ; 

(33) the temple of Venus at Eryx (Monte S. Giuliano), hardly anything left ; 

(34) the tempje of Ceres at Enna (Castrogiovanni), nothing left but the noble 
rock foundations ; of the temple of Proserpine nothing is known except the 
s ^ e 5 (35) the beautiful temple-like building at Solunto is said not to be a 
temple ; (36) ruins of Greek'temple at Buonfornello, near Termini, the ancient 
Himera ; (37) the temple of Diana on the castle rock at Cefalu is not a temple 
bet a superb prehistoric house ; (38) there are some slight remains of a temple 
below the convent of the Madonna del Tindaro at Tyndaris ; (39) remains of 
a small Roman temple at Centuripe ; (40) ta these may be added the Tempio 
Ferale or Heroum, at Palazzolo, a sort of rock shrine with a number of 
niches and inscriptions. 

S. Teresa di Riva. Stat. on Messina-Catania line. The stat for Savoca 
(q.v.), and the magnificent Norman minster of S. Pietro e S. Paolo on the 
banks of the Fiume d'Agro (kil. 7). 

Tenfrfm. The ancient Himera, stat oil Palermo-Messina and Palermo- 
Catania liiaes, one of the most important in Sicily. See below, page 563. 

Terra, the earth, or land, soil. Also much used in Sicily, like patse, to 
Baeaa a town, 

Terra-cotta pkys a great part in Sicily, being the principal material for 
antique vases and lamps as well as the terra-cotta figurines described above under 
earthenware {q.v.). The Greeks used it for sarcophagi and grave-lids (lastra). 

Terranova. An important city on the Syracuse-Licata line, the ancient 
Gela. See page 184. 



THINGS SICILIAN 297 

Tetradrachms. A coin worth four drachma, one of the most ordinary 
denominations in ancient Sicily. They were made of silver. See under 
Coins, Syracuse, etc. 

Teutonic Knights, like the Templars and Hospitallers and Knights of 
Alcantara, were one of the great medieval military religious orders of knight 
hood. Founded in 1191 by Duke Frederick of Suabia for nursing; seven 
years later it was converted into a military order with a grand master, etc. 
It was established at Acre, at first under the title of the Hospital St. Mary 
of the Germans in Jerusalem. Its interest to the world is that the kingdom 
of Prussia and the new empire of Germany were in a way evolved out of it. 
It was they who conquered the heathen Prussians whose name the modern 
kingdom has taken. When Duke Frederick's brother the Emperor Henry VI. 
l^ecame monarch of Sicily, he gave the Teutonic knights the church now 
known as the Magione at Palmero, where their effigies may be seen carved on 
slabs like the Templars in London. Wherever the name Magione, i.e. man 
sion, occurs, it signifies an establishment of the Teutonic knights. See 
Magione under Palermo. 

Thapsus. See Tapso above and under Syracuse. A peninsula almost in 
a line with Priolo, between Syracuse and Megara Iblea. 

Theatres, Greek and Graeco-Roman. There are a fair number of Greek 
and Graeco-Roman theatres in Sicily, (i) The finest Greek theatre is at 
Syracuse. (2) There is also a noble Roman amphitheatre at Syracuse. 
(3) At Catania there is a Greek theatre mostly still covered, but parts of 
which you can visit underground. (4) There are the remains of a Roman 
amphitheatre at Catania. (5) The great Grseco- Roman theatre at Taormina 
is one of the finest of its time. (6) There is a small Greek theatre at Taormina 
on the Corso Umberto, opposite the entrance of the Palazzo Corvaja. 
(7) There are the remains of an odeon at Catania, (8) There is a beautiful 
Greek theatre more perfect in respect of its stage than any other Greek theatre 
in Sicily, at Palazzolo Acreide, near Syracuse. (9) There are also the remains 
of a pretty little odeon, tolerably perfect, at Palazzolo. (10) There is a large 
Greek theatre at Tyndaris. (i i) The best theatre in the island after Syracuse, 
as regards the auditorium, is that of Segesta, (12) There are slight remains 
of an amphitheatre at Girgenti. (13) The amphitheatre at Enna (Castro- 
giovanni) is close to the Temple of Ceres the remains are much overgrown. 

Theatres, Modern. Most of the large Sicilian towns are well off for 
theatres. Palermo has several, one of which, the Teatro Massimo, is the 
largest opera-house in the world, and another, the Politeama, gives an excellent 
idea of a Grseco-Pompeian coloured building. The best theatre at Catania is 
the fine Teatro Bellini. Messina has a beautiful theatre opposite the Municipio. 
Taormina has a theatre converted out of the chapel of the Badk Nuova. 
Castelvetrano has quite a noble building recently erected in the ancient Greek 
style, including the awning instead of the root There is a remarkable number 
of opera performances. 

Theocritus of Syracuse. One of the greatest poets of antiquity. Wrote 
bucolic eclogues in Dorian Greek, He was bom at Syracuse about 315, went 
to Alexandria about 284, and returned to Syracuse about 270 at the court of 
Hiero II. See under Syracuse. 

Theodosans. A monk of Syracuse, whose letters to the Archdeacon Leo 
about the capture of Syracuse by the Saracens gives us oer principal know 
ledge of the subject. (See Marion Crawford's Rulers of tke SMtk t voL ii, 
who quotes his account) 



298 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Thermae (Himerince). The baths of ancient Himera, which after its 
destruction by the Carthaginians became the main city, which has developed 
into the modern Termini. 

Thermae Segestanae. On the way between Segesta and Castellammare, 
the ancient port of Segesta. There are considerable remains of them. 

Thermae Selinuntinae. The modern Sciacca, round which there are a 
great number of remains of classical buildings. See under Sciacca. The 
baths are still used and held in the highest repute, therapeutically. 

Theron. There were two Therons. The best-known was tyrant of Acragas, 
488-472 B.C. He joined his forces with those of Gelo of Syracuse to march 
to the relief of Himera, where they won a glorious victory over the 
Carthaginians on the day of Salamis. The tomb of Theron now shown at 
Girgenti is Roman, belonging to a much later date, because we know that 
his tomb was destroyed when the Carthaginians captured Girgenti, 406 B.C. 
The Carthaginians were about to destroy it to avenge Himera, when a thunder 
bolt fell and shook it down, as we learn from Diodorus. 

Theron, the son of Miltiades, was tyrant of Selinus. He seized the tyranny 
by the aid of 300 slaves granted to him to go out and bury the dead after a 
battle. This was after the affair of Pentathlus, 579 B.C. 

Thistles in Sicily. There is a beautiful silver thistle found round Syra 
cuse, etc. Goethe mentions an estate quite overrun with large thistles. 
While seriously " meditating an agricultural campaign against them, we saw 
two Sicilian noblemen standing before a patch of these thistles, and with 
their pocket-knives cutting off the tops of the tall shoots. Then holding 
their prickly booty by the tips of their fingers, they peeled off the rind, and 
devoured the inner part with great satisfaction. In this way they occupied 
themselves a considerable time, while we were refreshing ourselves with wine 
(this time it was unmixed) and bread. The vetturino prepared for us some 
of this marrow of thistle stalks, and assured us that it was a wholesome, 
cooling food ; it suited our taste, however, as little as the raw cabbage at 
Segeste." One wonders if they were prickly-pears, which give "figs of 
thistles," to use the biblical phrase. 

Thscyclides. One of the most famous historians of antiquity. An 
Athenian who devoted a large part of his history of the Peloponnesian War 
to the Athenian expedition to Sicily. He was born about 471 B.C., and was 
a relative of Miltiades and Cimon. He has always been regarded as the 
most accurate of ancient historians, and his Greek as a model of correct 
composition. The title of his book was Concerning the Peloponnesian- War. 
Thursday, Holy, in Sicily. See under Sepolcri, and Gethsemane, Gardens 
o 

Tiles, armorial {mattoni stagnati}. See under ArmorkL 
Timspns. One of the best historians of Sicily. He was the son of the 
tyrant Andromachus of Tauromenium, and was bom about 352 B.C. In 310, 
before proceeding to Africa, Agathocles banished him with other opposition 
leaders from Sicily. " Timseus seems to have taken his exile quite cheerfully ; 
fee went to Athens and lived there more than fifty years, dying at the age of 
ninety-six. He spent most of that time in writing his huge history of Sicily 
from the earliest times to 264 B.C. The thirty -eighth volume is mentioned, 
but there were probably many more, though all except a few fragments 
perished. He wrote also other voluminous works. Polybius, according 
to Sir William Smith, maintains that Timseus was totally deficient in the 
first qualities of an historian, as he possessed no practical knowledge of 



THINGS SICILIAN 299 

war or politics, and never attempted to obtain by travelling a personal 
acquaintance with the places and countries he described ; that he had so little 
power of observation, and that he was unable to give a correct account even 
of what he had seen. But now the opinion prevails that the loss of his 
history is irreparable, because he narrated myths and legends exactly as they 
were current, instead of attempting to rationalize them." (In Sicily.} 

Timoleon. A Corinthian. Despatched by his city with a forlorn hope of 
ten triremes to assist the Syracusans against the tyrannies of Dionysius II. , 
344 B.C. He freed the whole of Sicily from its tyrants and won important 
victories against the Carthaginians, He became blind, and lay down his 
office, but to the day of his death, in 336 B.C., he continued the idol of the 
Syracusans. See under Syracuse. 

Tini. Large tubs, in which the grapes are brought on the carts to the 
baglj at Marsala and at Campobello. Each tub has enough grapes to make 
a pipe of fresh mosto (pipe = 93 gallons). 

Tisander. Son of Cleocritus, the famous boxer. Mentioned by Pausanias, 
who says (VI. xiii. 8): " Naxus was founded in Sicily by the Chalcidians 
who dwell on the Euripus. Not a vestige of the city is now left, and that its 
name has survived to after ages is chiefly due to Tisander, son of Cleocritus. 
For Tisander four times vanquished his competitors in the men's boxing- 
match at Olympia, and he won as many victories at Pytho." Seventeen 
intervening centuries have redressed this anomaly. The great Sikelian wall 
at Naxos has been re-exhumed, while Tisander lies buried in Pausanias. 

Tisias, of Syracuse, was one of the first teachers of rhetoric. 

Toledo, the former name of the Corso (Vittorio Emrnanuele) at Palermo. 
So called, like the Toledo, now the Via Roma at Naples, after the Viceroy, 
Don Pedro of Toledo, in the middle of the sixteenth century. 

Tombs. Sicily has alitiost as many tombs as houses, but apart from the 
modern Camp Santi with t&eir tall monuments and mortuary chapels, they 
are not conspicuous. Ttiey go back to the very earliest times. There are 
vast prehistoric cemeteries with splendid tombs cut in the living rock at 
Pantalica, the Val d' Ispica, Monte Cassibile, Palazzolo, etc. Tombs cut 
into a regular beehive inside with beautifully cut doorways about two feet 
square, are generally attributed to the Sikels, though they seem to belong 
in reality to an earlier troglodyte race. In some places, cave - dwellings 
are mixed up with tombs. The Greeks seem to have preferred tombs cut 
in the surface of the rock the shape of a coffin, often a number of them 
massed together into a sort of honeycomb divided by thin partitions of 
rock. These were covered with stone or terra-ootta slabs* Tfeey also used 
sarcophagi of terra-cotta and more preGaons materials* There are Greek terra 
cotta sarcopliagi of tfee fifth century B.C. <rake perfect, showing tfeeir wonder 
ful command of this material. During me Roman period caves and cata 
combs were greatly favoured, the bodies being disposed in honeycombs on 
the floor in the Greek style, or similar receptacles cut in tiers on a catacomb 
wall, or in arcosali (q.v.), and smaller niches cut round caves. Their sarco 
phagi have generally been found on rock daises, but in the centre of cave 
sepulchres. The lower Empire tombs are rather on the principle of the 
Celtic cromlech, loose altar tombs made of slabs. The Saracen tombs are 
coffin -shaped receptacles cut in the rock, but opening on the short side instead 
of tfee long. Of the Norman tombs we possess only those of royal personages, 
nobles* aad prelates, who all inclined to the sarcophagus, the few n<m-rojal 
toaabs we possess beisg mostly in ancient sarcophagi used agaia. The kings 



300 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

are buried in superb porphyry sarcophagi under marble canopies representing 
the pavilions they used in the field. There are a few Gothic tombs, mostly of 
prelates, but a good many very elegant Renaissance tombs, while of massive 
baroquetries there is no end. Gagini executed a few exquisite tombs, such as 
that with the sculpture of S. Jerome in S. Cita at Palermo. The walls of 
Girgenti are simply honeycombed with ancient tombs, and there is quite a 




TOMB O'F ARCHBISHOP BELLORADO (1513) IN THE CATHEDRAL OF MESSINA 



catacomb leading out of the cistern turned into a tomb, called the Grotta ot 
Fragapane. Syracuse (q.v.) has the finest catacombs in the world, and there 
are very extensive catacombs at Palermo, Marsala, Girgenti, etc. At Palaz- 
zolo,. and in the Val d 3 Ispica, there are magnificent tomb chambers of the 
third century A.D., with noble architectural features, arches, cancelle, 
etc., cut out of the living rock. Two or three of the cave sepulchres of 
Syracuse have decorations of the Corinthian order carved round their 



THINGS SICILIAN 



301 



entrances. The tomb of Theron at Girgenti and several tombs along the 
Messina road outside Taormina, are tombs of the ordinary Roman monu 
mental character, lofty, square buildings of brick or stone. (See under Syra 
cuse and other towns, Catacombs, Cemeteries, Tombs, Cave-sepulchres, Pre 
historic tombs, etc.) 

Tomb-dwellers. The dwellings of prehistoric troglodytes are found at 
Pantalica, the Cava d' Ispica, Palazzolo, Girgenti, etc. The custom of living 
in tombs has always obtained in Sicily. The troglodytes very likely lived in 



$/' ' , * '< ,'< ' /v%v ""' c ' ** '' 




TOMB OF ARCHBISHOP GU1DOTTO DB TABIATIS IN THE CATHEDRAL OF 
MESSINA, BY GREGORIO Dl GEEGORIO (1303) 

the tombs before they used them. At Marsala and Syracuse, and the Val 
d* Ispica, we know that the Christians lived in the catacombs on the tombs 
during the persecutions. And the tombs outside Syracuse are numbers of 
them inhabited to this day. 

Tordbio Genovese. A very old-fashioned but highly effective wooden 
press used for wine-making in Sicily. 

Torrenti. Sicily, from the mountainous nature of its interior, is a land of 
torrents. In dry weather they are like so many bad roads, and are often used 
as such, especially at Messina, where half the streets are called Torrenti, 



302 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Torrente Boccetta, etc. In wet weather they become dangerous floods. See 
under Rivers and Messina. 

Tortoiseshell. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries articles covered 
with tortoiseshell veneer, such as caskets, cabinets, crucifixes, and picture 
frames, were in great vogue, and good specimens are now much sought by 
collectors. There is a whole chapel panelled with tortoiseshell in the Palermo 
Museum. 

Totila, a king of the Goths who invaded Sicily in A.D. 549-550. He could 
not take any of the chief towns, but ravaged the islands, and left garrisons in 
four places which are not named. (Freeman.) 

Trabia. A town in Sicily on the Palermo-Messina line. Has a castle, 
founded in 1633. It has a tonnara, and lives by selling fish. 

Trabia- Butera, the Prince of. The chief noble in Sicily. He is a 
member of the Italian Parliament, and an accomplished man with a very 
fine library collected by himself in which English books figure largely. The 
Trabia-Butera Palace at Palermo is one of the finest. It is on the Marina, 
and the Hotel Trinacria is situated in one part of it. See under Palermo, 
Trabia Palace. 

Trajanopolis, According to Ulpkn, was the ancient city on the site of 
Troina. Cluverius thinks that Imacara occupied the same site earlier. See 
under Troina below. 

Tramways are creeping into Sicily, which has adopted the word. All 
the trams in Palermo are electric now, and Messina has steam tramways to 
the Faro and Barcellona like the secondary railways of North Italy ; but only 
about three or four towns have them. 

TrapanL The ancient Dreparmm. A large and flourishing seaport in the 
north-west corner of Sicily. Eryx (Monte S. Giuliano} is visited from here. 
Trapani has important saltworks and makes much Marsala wine. It is the 
terminus of the Palermo-Trapani line. It has steamers going to Africa as 
well as round Sicily, and it is the scene of much in Homer and Virgil. See 
below, page 568. 

Trattoria, A public-house. Restaurants not being a Sicilian idea, food is 
almost a more important part in its business than drink. 

Travel in Sicily. See chapter on this subject, p. 13. 

TrentinL Small barrels containing thirty quartueci (5J imperial gallons) 
used by the fanners for bringing their wine into the baglj of Marsala. 

TrifogEo. Called also the Sicilian weed. It is a trefoil with a musk-like 
flower (Oxalu}. Allied to our wood-sorreL Introduced into Sicily from 
America. Most lemon groves are carpeted with it, and some landowners 
have tried in vain to exterminate it. as animals are not very fond of it for 
pasture. But a reaction has set in in its favour in America, where its strong 
chemical qualities (cf. Oxalic Acid) are now considered to make it a valuable 
manure for citrous trees. 

Triaacia (not to be confused with Trinacria). Freeman mentions a town 
Trimkia, or Tymkia, on the site of the modern Aidone (q.v.), destroyed by 
Syracuse. 

Trinacria. The ancient name of Sicily. According to some really derived 
from the three capes of the three-cornered island, viz. Cape Lilyteeum on the 
west, Cape Pelorus on the north-east, and Cape Pachynus on the south-east 
Freeman, however, gives a different account : "When, therefore, they began 
to find sites for ail the stories in the Odyssey, the little island of Thrinakie 



THINGS SICILIAN 303 

spoken of there was ruled to be Sicily, and its name was improved into 
Trinakria, to give in Greek the meaning of three promontories. After 
all, Sicily is really not far from being a triangle, and it is its triangular shape 
which makes it so compact." Homer places Thrinakie near Scylla and 
Chary bdis. "That, in his conception of it, it was clearly a small island, 
inhabited only by the daughters and the cattle of Helios, is perfectly clear. 
But, being near Skylla and Charybdis, it must be Sicily or some part of 
Sicily" (Freeman). Thucydides, at the beginning of Book VI., says, "The 
island was at that time called Sicania, having previously been called Trin 
acria." Strabo, at the beginning of Book VL, chapter ii., says, "Sicily 
is triangular in form, and on this account was at first called Trinacria, but 
afterwards the name was softened, and it was changed into Thrinacria." 
Virgil and Ovid constantly use the word Trinacria. 

Trinacria (2). The Trinacria, Triquetra, or Triskeles, the well-known 
arms of Sicily, was defined thus by Prof. Salinas, Director of the Palermo 
Museum, for In Sidly. "The Trinacria, or Triquetra, has represented 
Sicily officially since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Up to that 
time Sicily was represented, heraldically, by the arms of Sicily-Aragon, 
the pali of Aragon_ quartered in the Cross of St. Andrew with the Swabian 
Eagle. In the ancient coins of Panormus of the Roman period one finds the 
Trinacria with the Greek legend Panormitan. Marabitti, in the well-known 
'Trinacria' of the Villa Giulia, copied the design from these coins. The 
arms of the city of Palermo were never the Trinacria, but the gold eagle on a 
red field, or a figure holding a snake." Mr. G. F. Hill has pointed out that 
the Trinacria was definitely used for the arms of Sicily by the officers of 
Julius Caesar himself. His partisan, Aulus Allienus, issued in 48 B.C. a 
denarius with the head of Venus on the obverse as the ancestor of lulus, the 
founder of the Julian race, and on the reverse the youthful figure of Trinacrus, 
the son of Neptune, invented to account for the name Trinacria, "standing 
with his right foot on a prow, his left arm wrapped in his mantle, and the 
triskeles as the symbol of Sicily in his hand." It had been used on a denarius 
of the year before. The triskeles had been used as far back as 317 B.a Mr. 
Hill says it may have been used as an emblem of Syracusan domination, over 
the whole island or may have been the private signet of Agathocles. It also 
occurs on the gold coin of Agathocles' first period, imitating the Philippus of 
Macedon. The head of the Gorgon is added in a later coin of Agathocles 
a drachma which has the whole reverse given up to the triskeles, At that 
time Mr. Hill thinks it cannot have typified the three-cornered island. There 
is an interesting note on it in Freeman s Sicily, voL i., pp. 470-471. 

Triquetra. See above. 

Triocala. An ancient city whose ruins are near tfee modern Caltabelotta 
(cj.v.). Famous for its siege in the Second Slave War. Between the ancient 
city and the modern is a great cave and a church dedkated to S. Pelkgrino ; 
5 kil away is the dmrch of S. Giorgio di Triocak, founded by Roger the 
Great Count in memory of the victory gained there over the Saracens. 

Triskeles. See above, Trinacria. 

Trogilas. A little harbour on the open-sea side of Epipols^ used by the 
Athenians. See Syracuse. 

Troiua, Reached by mail-vettnra from Leonforte Stat. on the Palernao- 
Cataaia Hue in 6 boms. Highest city in Sicily (3,650 feet). Church of the 
Asstmta was fetmdied i>y Roger 1078, on nuns of ancient fortress where he had 
been besieged by S&EsceBS. Sifee of the ancient Trajanapoiis, and probably 



304 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

of the Sikelian town of Imachara. Often mentioned by Cicero. See the 
Fountain of Arapina, the remains of the ancient Pantheon, and the Cave 
of the Winds. The mountain on the east is called Moana, and the mountain 
on the west Cuculo. Troina claims to go back to Greek times. Murray says, 
p. 339 : *' Troina was one of the first places that fell into the power of Count 
Roger de Hauteville on his first expedition to Sicily in 1063. In the following 
year he and his bride Eremberga were besieged four months in the citadel by 
the revolted Sarcens who held the town, and here they had to undergo such 
hardships that during an unusually severe winter they had but one cloak between 
them. After he had regained possession of the place Roger left his young 
countess in command during his absence in Calabria, when she used to make 
the round of the walls every night to see that the sentinels were on the alert. 
Here, in 1078, he built a church, still retaining some traces of Norman 
architecture, and established the first Catholic see in the island, which, how 
ever, was in 1087 transferred to Messina." 

Tryphon. The title adopted by the slave Salvius when he was elected king 
in the Second Slave War. He worked on the superstitious by his reputation 
as a soothsayer. He established his capital and court at Triocala, See 
above. 

Tunny. The tunny fishery is one of the most important industries of 
Sicily. At every point where the tunny shoals pass there is a tonnara or 
fishing establishment. The fish are driven into corrals of strong net. They 
have been caught up to a thousand pounds in weight. Packed in tins like 
salmon (but with oil), they form an article of commerce. Their great value as 
an article of food consists in the fact that their close red flesh does not go bad 
in the hot weather with the rapidity of other fish ; and the shoals arrive 
at the beginning of summer. The principal tunny fishery is in the ^Egatian 
Islands, which belong to Sig. Florio. But there are many tonnare (Baedeker 
says there are twenty-seven) round the coast. The vaso of a tonnara is a huge 
cube with rectangular sections, in which the upper corners consist of great 
ropes of hemp or cocoanut fibre or sparto kept floating with corks and secured 
by means of moorings in every direction to preserve the rectangular form. 
From these cords descend vertically to the bottom of the net, forming the 
walls of the vaso. In the face towards the land is left an aperture which 
varies from forty to seventy yards, This ibrms the mouth of the tonnara. 
The entire vaso is divided into a number of chambers by means of vertical 
nets perpendicular to the grand axis of the vaso. In each of these divisional 
walls there is a door which is closed by drawing it up, and opened by letting 
it fall to the bottom. These doors have the object of allowing the tunny 
to pass from one chamber to another until they find their way into the chamber 
of death (camera della morte}. This is the largest of all. It is formed of 
a network alley, which begins with a large mesh and ends with a net 
of stout hemp with a very close mesh. 

It is not easy to give a sketch to show at a glance the operations which 
precede the mattenw. There is the drawing up of the net, which is done by 
a large barge in which the sailors haul it up with a chantey, producing 
a movement ending in the entire exposure of the camera. When the tunny 
are shut int the camera della morte, the mattanza commences. Only an 
eye-witness can describe a mattanza. A writer in La Sidlia Industrials 
C&mmeraak e Agricala describes it as follows : ** This, then, was a mattanza. 
One heard various cries and a great clapping of hands. This was the signal 
that the mattaaza was going to begin, because the tunny were entangled 
in the first chamber. They were like sheep. When the first entered the 



THINGS SICILIAN 305 

enclosure, all the rest followed. Then commenced doleful notes, for the 
poor fish understand that the barrier is down and there is no escape. 
The Charon from the centre of the barge gives the signal for hauling in.' 
This is a long operation, heavy and difficult. A hundred hands stretched 
out, and a hundred bodies bent over the fatal meshes. A hundred hands 
and a hundred bodies with a successive movement backward hauled in ; the 
chantey began. At every movement the barge drew in a few inches. ' But 
this perpetual movement never interrupted, accompanied by the measured 
cadences strange and characteristic of the chantey continually brought the 
barge nearer. Charon, if not satisfied with the exertions of his devils, 
sprinkled them with salt water, and they, as if touched with a scourge, 
redoubled their energies. The song became metrical ; the clapping grew 
restrained ; and there was a sort of excited and continuous rowing. The 
bottom of the net was raised ; the shoal of tunnies breathed heavily and 
became a confused mass. Their muzzles protruded from the foaming water ; 
the backs and tails began to show. A swordfish which seemed mad twisted 
frantically in the restricted space. He was the first landed into Charon's 
barge. There were the fish, out of water, shut in, imprisoned, suffocated in 
the camera delta morte. The moment for butchery had arrived. The chantey 
stopped. Every eye was turned on the fatal space ; everybody was bent and 
eager. The space was so restricted that it seemed insufficient for all. The 
supreme moment had arrived. The harpoons descended ; the vigorous arms 
of the harpooners drew them up. One, two, five twenty tons at one haul 
fell into the hold of the barge. The powerful blows of the tails made a cloud 
of bloody water, which^went all over the faces and persons of the nearest 
spectators. They, surprised by the improvised shower-bath, retreated. There 
was wave after wave of spray. The circle widened, and those who stood 
behind, pushed by the front row, gripped on to the shoulders and arms of their 
neighbours, so as not to be flung over on the other side. The spectacle was 
imposing ; the scene was indescribable, I tried to count the fish as they were 
hauled up. I counted a hundred, a hundred and fifty, and then lost count. 
They poured over the sides without stopping, with an increasing pandemonium 
of cries, and band-dappings, and exclamations, which made a loud and in 
distinguishable ciioras. The bodies weighing from 250 to 500 Ibs. were 
drawn up by strong arms with fierce grapplings. They were horribly 
gashed, and the blood poured out in torrents. The bottom of the barge was 
covered with a huge confused mass of tunnies, and a sailor, armed with a very 
sharp lance, was giving them the coup de grace. In dodging the blows 
of the tails to which the fishermen were exposed, each one took his fish 
in the flank, but never full on, and they made the most comical movements, 
which elicited roars of laughter from the spectators. This deviltry lasted for 
a good half-hour, and was followed by a quieter process, bat not less interest 
ing. _ There were no more fish in the net. A sailor near me, who was 
dripping with blood and sweat, informed me that eight or nine htindred had 
been taken. After the mattanza came &e stabeccw, meaning the operations 
which serve to prepare the tunny for commerce. It was one of the finest 
spectacles* possible, 

Tnsa. A town with a stat on the Palermo-Messina line near the site of 
the ancient Halsesa (q.v. ), a Sikel city founded by Archonides (q.v.j, King of 
Herbita, There are extensive ruins of Halsesa. 
Tydie, One of the five quarters of ancient Syracuse (q.v.) 
Tyapansm. Aa architectural term for the sunken panel in a pediment 
In temples it was generally triangular, and often, as in the case of the 
X 



306 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Parthenon, richly adorned with sculpture. The term is also used for a device 
much employed in Sicilian architecture, especially modern the filling up of 
an arch-head so as to admit of a square window or door being used. 

Tyndarion. Tyrant of Tauromenium in the first half of the third century 
B.c. It was he who invited Pyrrhus, the King of Epirus, to Sicily, who 
landed at Taormina, 278 B.C. 

Tyndaris. The great treasure-trove to intelligent visitors to Sicily, because 
it has splendid Greek and Roman ruins which hardly any stranger sees, ^ It 
was founded 395 B.C. by Dionysius I. of Syracuse for the remnant of the exiles 
from Messene in the Peloponnesus. See below, p. 571* 

Types. The types in Sicily often betray the origin of the people in the 
district. In certain districts, for instance, especially in mountain towns, the 
ancient Greek type is very strong. In certain others, in the west of Sicily, the 
Arabic type is strong. Round Modica you can see a Berber element. The 
type of the province of Messina is considered the most beautiful. There are 
several settlements of Albanian and Epirot Greeks who came to Sicily in the 
fifteenth century to escape the Turks, They keep not only their type, but 
their costume, their customs, and their language. The dialect is as unchang 
ing as the type. The French element has survived at Sperlinga since the 
massacre of the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 ; and Lombard in several places 
since the time of King Roger. See Chap. IV. 

Typhoid is sometimes rather troublesome in Sicily in the summer, and you 
do not wonder at it when you see the sanitary condition of places like Patti. 
But you hear nothing of it in the winter and spring. 

Tyrada. Perhaps identical with Trinacia (q.v.), the modern Aidone. 

U 

Umberto Primo, after whom most Sicilian towns have named a street, is 
the late King of Italy. 

Umbilicus Sicilian (Enna, or Castrogiovanni). Cicero (Verr^ll, v. 48) 
says : " Qui locus, quod in media est insula situs, umbilicus Sicilise nomin- 
atur." A stone at Castrogiovanni near the site of the Temple of Proserpine 
marking the exact centre of the island, is called the umbilicus, but it is riot 
really the centre. 

Uniforms. Sicily is a land of uniforms. Not only the soldiers, but the 
custom-house officers, police, custodes, scavengers, etc., have uniforms, and 
doul>tless consider themselves part of the civil service. ^ A hat with a glazed 
peak and a coloured band round it is still more widely distributed. 

Universities. There are three universities in Sicily those of Palermo, 
whose date of foundation is uncertain, though its charter is known to have 
been confirmed by Philip V., 1637 ; that of Messina, mentioned in a decree of 
King Alfonso in 1596; and that of Catania, which has been on its present site 
since 1684, and claims to go back to Greek and Roman times. 

Urbino drag-jars. See under Messina, which has an entire set, made in 
Jfoe sixteenth century for its hospital, now preserved in the museum. 

Ustica. A volcanic island four hours distant from Palermo, with steamer 
cotnmunicatioii twice a week. Used as a penal settlement, freeman says : 
"Some writers add to the Aiolian group the solitary volcanic island, far to 
the west, Ustica or Oste6des, the Isle of Bones, so called, men said, from a 
frightful tale of a body of rebellious mercenaries whom Carthaginian policy 
left there to perish. The name Ustica is old enough to be mentioned in Pliny 
ajad Ptolemy. 



THINGS SICILIAN 307 

V 

Val. Arabic Vali, a province. Sicily was formerly divided into three the 
Val di Mazzara, comprising all the island west of a line drawn from Cefalu 
to Licata ; the Valdemone, the eastern part north of Catania ; the Val di 
Noto, the eastern part south of Catania. 

Val d* Ispica. See under Ispica, p. 204. A valley of troglodyte dwell 
ings and tombs, stretching most of the way from Modica to Spaccaforno. 

Valguarnera. The name of a famous old Sicilian family whose beautiful 
villa at Bagheria is the show place there. The town from which they took 
their name has a stat on the Palermo- Catania line. The town is 3 hours 
from the Assaro-Valguarnera Stat. 

Valledolmo, or Valle d* Olmo. Stat. on the Palermo-Catania line, 10 kil. 
from the town, which was formerly a Norman fortress called Castello Nor- 
manno. It gets its name from the great elm tree near the church where II 
Cutelli is buried. 

Vallelunga. A stat. on the Palermo-Catania line. Called also Pratameno, 
and mentioned in history as far back as Frederick II. 

Valsavoia. A junction where the Caltagirone line leaves the main line 
from Catania to Syracuse. The stat. for the Lake of Lentini (q.v.). 

Vandals in Sicily. Syracuse was sacked by a body of Vandals, who had 
been settled by the Emperor Probus (A.D. 276-282) on the Euxine, and seized 
some ships to make their way to their home on the borders of Northern 
Germany and Northern Gaul. Gaiseric, King of the Vandals, who had 
established a Teutonic kingdom in North Africa in 439 and made Carthage 
his capital, restored it to something like its old position. He invaded and 
plundered Sicily many times. Theodoric gave Lilybseum as the dowry to his 
daughter when she married the Vandal king Thrasimund. In 533 Belisarius 
made Sicily his base for his expedition against the Vandals, 

Vandyck in Sicily. There are a good many Vandycks in Sicily in various 
private collections, and not a few churches in Palermo have pictures by him on 
religious subjects, notably S. Catarina, which has a beautiful work, and the 
Oratorio del Rosario, next to S. Domenico, which has the famous altar-piece, 
painted by Vandyck at twenty-five, representing the Virgin with S. Domenic, 
etc. Murray says : "The incongruous incident of the boy holding his nose 
and running away from a skull, which startled him as he was picking flowers, 
illustrates the fate of the artist himself, who was driven from Sicily by the 
plague, and obliged to finish his picture at Genoa. There is a Vandyck in 
the Viilafranca Palace. 

Van Eyck. The iamous Van Eyck in the Palermo Museum, one of the finest 
of medieval cabinet pictures, is now generally attributed to Jan Mabose. If 
he was, as alleged, the master of Antonello da Messina, and taught him the 
use of oil-painting, which Antonello introduced into Italy and Sicily, he is 
the father of Sicilian painting. 

Vegetable hawkers are a great feature in Sicily, especially the sellers of 
artichokes, fennel, broad beans, and broccoli. The artichoke hawkers fre 
quently sell them cooked. They have wonderful cries, broccoli sellers in 
particular. Sicily is the land of musical costermongers. 

Vegetable shops of Sicily. The most picturesque in Italy. They make 
wonderful parterres of the brilliant-hoed vegetables and fruit, sloping up from 
the floor in front to the ceiling at the back. 

Vegetation. The vegetation of Sicily has always been famous. The 
ancients were duly acquainted with its extreme floweriness and well- 



308 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

woodedness. The latter is not so conspicuous now. The pine woods mentioned 
by Theocritus have practically vanished, and the forests are relegated to the 
higher mountains, the Sicilian wishing to give all his ground to fruit trees, or 
sown crops, or pasture. But, on the other hand, a new element has crept into 
the scenery with the grey American aloe and the grey prickly- pears of the West 
Indies. These, with the grey olive and bluish -grey artichoke and silvery 
vermouth, give a charming grisaille effect to the landscape, which is most 
un-European. The luxuriance of the wild flowers is marvellous ; and finally, 
as there is no tide there is no waste shore. The richness of the vegetation 
goes right down to the sea. See Chap. V. 

Velasquez, the Sicilian. The name Velasquez in a Sicilian gallery generally 
means Giuseppe Velasquez of Monreale (1646-92), who painted so many 
of the pictures in the Royal Palace at Palermo, but there is a real Velasquez 
in the Palermo Museum. 

Vendetta. The vendetta is a thoroughly Sicilian institution. It does not, 
of course, flourish in its original luxuriance, It has rather taken the shape 
of a single murder over a dispute or jilting a woman or stealing a mistress. 
Murders are very numerous, and murderers get off very lightly. Foreigners 
hardly ever suffer. 

Venera, S., is not Venus, though the populace always confuses them. 
Things which belong to Venus, like the Latomia at Syracuse, get attached to 
S. Venera. 

Venere. The Italian name for Venus (q.v.). 

Venetico. Venetico-Spadafora is a stat. on the Paler mo- Messina line, the 
stat. for Spadafora (q.v.). 

Vend Settembre. The numerous streets of this name in Sicily are called 
after the soth September, 1870, the day on which the Italians entered Rome. 

Ventini. Small barrels used by the farmers to bring in new wine to Marsala. 
They contain twenty quartucci (3f imperial gallons). See Quartucci. 

Venus, The Roman goddess of love and beauty identified with the Greek 
Aphrodite and the Phoenician Ashtaroth, or Astarte. The latter having been 
a popular goddess in Sicily, the worship of Venus was firmly impressed on the 
Sicilians, and one of her principal temples in the ancient world, which gave her 
her title of Erycina Ridens, was situated upon Mount Eryx, near Trapani, 
now Monte S. Giuliano (q.v.). See Aphrodite. Though no other important 
temples of Venus have been recorded, we come across her name constantly in 
the peasants' names of things, showing how deeply impressed she was upon 
ancient Sicily. See below, Venus Anadyomene. 

Venus Anadyomene, or Landolina Venus. So called from having been 
discovered in the Villa Landolina, is one of the most beautiful of the antique 
statues of the goddess. Its back is considered the best of all. It is preserved 
in the Syracuse Museum. 

Verga, Giovanni* A Sicilian novelist. Bora in Catania, 1840. Chambers 
says : * c Of his numerous novels and tales, some of which illustrate the humours 
aiid passions of country life (as La Vita dei Campi^ 1880, and Nowelle -Ritsticane, 
1883, from which comes the story of Mascagni's opera, Cavalleria Ru$ticana\ 
the first to be translated was The House by the Medlar Tree (New York, 1890). 

Vermouth, The silvery, velvety foliage of the vermouth bush marks a 
species of wormwood, closely resembling the English Smtfhern Wood or 
Lad's Love (Artemisia abrotatw}. The common English wormwood (Arte 
misia a&stnthia}, from which absinthe is made, is likewise found in Sicily. 



THINGS SICILIAN 309 

Verres. A prcetor of Sicily, whose extortions have l>ecome proverbial, 
owing to the magnificent oration of Cicero which secured his conviction. 
Cicero's rerres is one of our great storehouses of information. Verres 
became prcetor in 73 B.C., and stayed in the island for three years. To 
use the words of Freeman, he cared nothing for the privileges of the town or 
the rights of particular men ; he plundered everywhere ; he practised every 
kind of extortion in collecting the tithe and buying the public corn which was 
needed to be sent to Rome. He committed every kind of excess ; he im 
prisoned and slew men wrongfully. " There is reason to think that the extor 
tions of Verres really tended to the lasting impoverishment of the island. But 
the most striking thing at the time was his plunder of the choicest and most 
sacred works of art He professed to be a man of taste, and in that character 
he robbed cities, temples, and private men. And ail this while he neglected 
the common defence of the province, and let pirates sail freely into Sicilian 
havens." Cicero secured his condemnation, but he escaped the consequences 
by voluntary exile to Massilia. He was finally put to death by Mark Antony 
in his proscription. See under Syracuse, Segesta, Messina, Tyndaris, 
Termini, etc. 

Vespers, Sicilian, the Massacre of. The massacre of the French on 
Easter Monday, A.D. 1282. See under Sicilian Vespers. 

Vetches. The Sicilian vetches are as beautiful as they are numerous. You 
find them like crimson velvet, white, lemon-coloured, puce and white, pink and 
white, pink and puce, red and puce. They are as variegated as sweet peas ; 
but they do not grow large though they cover so much ground. 

Viceroys, Spanish. Sicily was governed by Spanish Viceroys from the 
fifteenth century to the year 1734. Their portraits are preserved in the Royal 
Palace in the first room. See Spanish Viceroys. 

Victor Emmanuel II. became King of Sicily in 1861. ^ All the Victor 
Emmanuel streets are named after him. The rooms fee occupied in the Royal 
Palace at Palermo are kept exactly as he left them. 

Victor Emmanuel III. The present king. As Prince of Naples he 
visited Palermo two or three times. As is well known, the king^ is an 
expert antiquary, taking a particular interest in ancient coins, in which his 
island kingdom excels all countries, ancient and modern. ^Pictures of the 
king and queen, as well as that of the Madonna, are found in almost every 
poor Sicilian house. 

VigiEa, Tommaso di. A charming fifteenth-century Sicilian artist. Died 
in 1497. There are some delightful frescoes by him in the Palermo Museum 
with much of the charm of Lo Spagna's. Besides the frescoes in the Museum 
there are paintings by him in the Carmine and SS. Anmraziata at Palermo. 

VigiBns, Pope, 537 A.D. to 555 A.D. Appointed by the influence of 
Belisarios ; is chiefly concerned with Sicily as having driven BeKsarius into 
sending the expedition commanded by Liberius and afterwards by Artaban for 
the relief of Italy and Sicily. He died at Syracuse A.t>. 555. He purchased 
his Papacy by paying two hundred pounds of gold. (Gibbon. ) 

Vigo, L. An author whose R&ccoUa amplissima di fawti popolari Siciliani 
(1870-74) alone contains six thousand songs, with besides a good bibliography 
of books in the Sicilian dialect (Chambers.) 

Villa. In Sicily villa means garden, It may or may not have a house on 
it, The Sicilian word corresponding to oar vilk is casina or wllin@ 

Vilialraraca, Prince of. A well-known Sicilian reformer. His principality 
is now held by the Principe d' Uccria. Garibaldi on entering Palermo went 
to the huge Villafranca Palace on the Piazza Bologni, facing the post office. 



310 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Villafranca-Sicula. Nine hours by mail-vettura from Corleone Stat. 
Founded in the fifteenth century. Rich in marbles and agates. Unimportant. 

Villages. There are hardly any villages in Sicily except on the outskirts of 
great towns squalid suburbs full of washing and filth. The country Sicilian 
lives in cities on the mountain-tops for good air and security, and rides down 
to his work on an ass or a mule. 

Villareale. A Sicilian sculptor. 

Vincenzo da Pavia, or Vincenzo il Romano, a sixteenth-century Palermo 
painter. His real name was Ainemolo (q.v.). 

Vines. There are immense quantities in Sicily. In recent years the 
Government has been laying out Viticole nurseries for the introduction of 
American vines which are unaffected by the phylloxera. Other grapes can 
be grafted on to the American stock. 

Vineyards. In Sicilian vineyards the gooseberry-bush way of growing 
vines is popular. See under Wines. 

Virgil. The Third /Eneid, lines 684 adjinem, is devoted to an itinerary of 
the Sicilian coast from Messina round the south and up the west to Drepanum 
(Trapani). 

"On the other hand, the commands of Helenus warn them not to continue 
their course between Scylla and Charybdis, a path which borders on death on 
either hand ; our resolution therefore is to sail backward. And, lo, the north 
wind, commissioned from the narrow seat of Pelorus, comes to our aid. I am 
wafted beyond the month of Pantagia, fringed with living rock, the bay of 
Megara, and low-lying Tapsos, These Achsemenides, the associate of accursed 
Ulysses, pointed out to us, as backward he cruised along the coasts that were 
the scene of his former wanderings. Before the Sicilian bay outstretched lies 
an island opposite to rough Pieramyrium ; the ancients called its name Ortygia. 
It is said that Alpheus, a river of Elis, hath hither worked a secret channel 
under the sea, which river, disemboguing by thy mouth, O Arethusa, is now 
blended with the Sicilian waves. We venerate the great divinities of the 
place, as commanded, and thence I pass the too luxuriant soil of the overflowing 
Helonis. Hence we skim along the high cliffs and prominent rocks of 
Pachynns, and at a distance appears the Lake Camarina, by fate forbidden 
to be ever removed ; the Geloian plains also appear, and huge Gela, called by 
tlie name of the river. Next towering Acragas shows from far its stately 
walls, once the breeder of generous steeds. And thee, Selinus, fruitful in 
palms, I leave, by means of the given winds ; and I trace my way through 
the shadows of Lilybseum, rendered dangerous by many latent rocks. Hence 
tfee port and unjoyous coast of Drepanum receive me. Here, alas ! after 
being tossed by so many storms at sea, I lose my sire Anchises, my solace in 
every care and suffering. Here thou, best of fathers, who in vain, alas ! I 
saved from so great dangers, here thou forsakest me spent with toils. Neither 
prophetic Helenus, when he gave me many dreadful intimations, nor execrable 
Celieno, predicted this mournful stroke. This was my finishing disaster, this 
the termination of my long tedious voyage. Parting hence, a god directed 
me to your coasts. Thus father ^Eneas, while all sat attentive, he, the only 
speaker, recounted the destiny allotted to him by the gods, and gave a history 
of his voyage. He ceased at length, and, having here finished his relation, 
retired to rest." 

Nearly the whole of the Fifth ^Eneid is devoted to Drepanum and Mount 
Eryx, apropos of the funeral games of Anchises. See under Trapani and 
Eryx, Cyclops, Etna, etc. 



THINGS SICILIAN 311 

Virgin. The virgin plays a great part in Sicily, which, like other Greek 
countries, had a preference for virgin patrons. The patron of the Dorian 
race was Diana. But the Madonna is chiefly identified with Ceres. 

Visiting-cards. A good supply of these is necessary. When anyone too 
well off to take a tip does you a service, the courtesy which he most appreciates 
is your visiting-card. You cannot get cards well printed in Sicily. The 
Sicilians used visiting-cards or their paper equivalents, often with an illustra 
tion, in the eighteenth century. 

Vittoria, A leading city in the south of Sicily with a stat. on the 
Syracuse-Licata line, with mail-vettura to Biscari in I hour 50 minutes. It 
is 8 miles from the ruins of Camarina (q.v.). Though only founded in the 
seventeenth century, it is recognised as a town of the second class in Sicily. 

Vizzini. One hour by mail-vettura from the Vizzini-Lkodia Stat. on the 
Caltagirone line. From Vizzini - Licodia Stat. there are uiail-vetture to 
Licodia-Eubea, i| hours ; Buccheri, 3! hours ; Feria, 4 hours ; Monterosso- 
Almo, 3 hours. Vizzini is perhaps the ancient Bidis. There are a Gagini 
and some good pictures in its churches. Very beautiful agates are found in 
the river which encircles it. 

Vomitories. The vomitories are the entrances into the auditorium of a 
Greek or Roman theatre. They come up from below and divide the cavea 
into several blocks. 

W 

" Walls. Sicily is a land of ancient walls. They go back to the earliest 
ages, (i) The so-called Cyclopean walls, built of immense polygonal stones 
by Sicanians, Lsestrygonians, Peiasgians, and Phoenicians, or what not 
Examples of these megalithic walls are to be found at Cefalu, Eryx, Palermo, 
Via Candelai, etc, (2) Sikeliaa walls, also built of polygonal stones, but 
smaller and well finished. Splendid examples at Naxos, half an hour from 
Giardiai Stat, and at Taormina below the road outside the Messina Gate. 
(3) Greek. Built with fine squared masonry without any mortar; fine 
examples at Syracuse, the Castle of Euryalus and Walls of Dionysius and 
Temple of Ceres. The stones of the temple cellse are as a rule small, but 
beautifully even, and were largely imitated by fifteenth -century masons, as 
anyone can see by comparing the church of S. Pancrazio and the Pal. Corvaja 
at Taormina, Extensive Greek city walls are to be found at Selinunte and 
Tyndaris. (4) Eryx (Monte S. Giuliano) is singularly interesting as still 
being surrounded by its Phoenician wall, which was only retopped by Roman 
and medieval fortifiers. (5) The ordinary Roman wall of small bricks 
strengthened with courses of tile is not common in Sicily, though there are a 
fair number of Roman stone walls, as in the amphitheatres at Syracuse and 
the Ginnasb at Tyndaris. (6) Medieval. There are quantities of medieval 
walls in Sicily. The Arab masons of the Nonjaaes built splendidly like the 
naasons of antiquity. The medieval walls of Sicily are poor masonry as a 
rule, their age being chiefly recognisable by the arches of their gates. As 
all Sicilians can build, and the island is a mass of building-stone, walls were 
pel up in a great hurry in iBomeufcs of great danger. Taormina has 
picturesque medieval walls with bearatifal pointed gateways. (7) Spanish 
period. The best walls in Sicily were built by the Spaniards, who were 
mighty fortiiefs. The portions of tfee walls at Palermo between the Teatro 
Massioao and the Royal Palace are an example of the treiaendoias bastions of 
the Spaniards. But evea they are nothing to the walls of the Rocca Geellcmia 



3i2 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

at Messina, which look in places about a hundred feet high. (8) The house 
walls of the Greek and the modern walls appear to have been built in the 
same way. A wall is built very rapidly of small unhewn stones without any 
mortar, which is then stuccoed. This would account for the total disappear 
ance of the dwelling-houses at Achradina, at 'Syracuse, where there has been 
no subsequent building to conceal the ruins. In the course of ages the stucco 
dissolved and blew away, and the stones fell on the ground, where they lie by 
the ton a few inches apart. 

Walter of the Mill. The English Archbishop of Palermo in the twelfth 
century. See under Offamilia. 

Washerwomen. It is always washing-day in Sicily. If you have no soap 
and only one or two sets of garments and plenty of running water in the 
ditches, not to say aqueducts, this is the simplest way. Wherever there is 
any water handy you see rows of Sicilian women washing. They carry the 
linen to and from their houses in great bundles on their heads, and generally 
dry their clothes on the prickly-pears. At Madame Politi's they use the 
rosemary and lavender hedges. 

Water. The water in Sicily, except at Palermo, the Villa Politi, Syracuse, 
and a few other places, is not safe to drink, though Messina will have a 
splendid supply open about May. Everybody uses syphons, or if they mis 
trust them also as being made from the local water, the celebrated Nocera 
water or foreign mineral waters, though there are excellent mineral waters in 
Sicily if they were sufficiently known. In a few years' time all Europe may 
be drinking them. Almost the whole of Sicily is a spa. 

Some cities still use the ancient Roman aqueducts. Sicily is full of springs 
fenruginotts, sulphureous, acid, etc. There must be thousands of mineral 
springs. The water in Sicily flows in springs, not rivers. There are a good 
many bathing establishments with medicinal springs highly valuable for 
cutaneous and rheumatic diseases. Some of them, like the baths at Sciacca, 
the baths of ancient Selinus, and at Termini, the baths of ancient Himera, 
etc., have been in use since the times of the ancient Greeks continuously. 
See Rivers, Baths, etc. 

Water-carriers. The acquajwU (q.v.) is a great institution in Sicily. 
In Palermo (q.v.) he takes about a beautiful table with brass fittings and a 
water-jar of old Greek shape. In Syracuse he has funny little barrels on a 
low truck _ drawn by a minute Sardinian ass. At Girgenti and Palazzolo 
the water is carried in panniers on asses in huge vases of the old Greek shape. 
These people sell water, bnt the poor send their women to draw water at the 
public fountains, which make one of the most picturesque features in Sicily. 
At Taormina women carry jars holding several gallons of water on their heads. 
At Caktafimi they carry them on the shoulder. In some places they carry 
them on the hip. 

Water-towers. The Saracenic water-towers of Palermo are wonderfully 
pictEresqtie, They are collections of pipes in a sort of stone obelisk which 
tafces beauHfol shapes and colours with antiquity and is covered with maiden 
hair. See under Palermo and under Saracens. 

Welgfifcs and Measures. In out-of-the-way parts, from the Castle of 
Maamce to the wine baglj of Marsala, the natives persist in using the old 
Boarboa weights and measures, though those of the decimal system are kept 
at large establishments for the enjoyment of the Government Inspector. The 
qimrtaccio takes the place of the litre, and even money is often reckoned in 
oaze and tari. 



THINGS SICILIAN 313 

Wells, Sicily is naturally full of wells to supply the great gebbic, or 
plastered stone tanks, used in irrigation. At certain places, like Girgenti and 
Cefalii, you see an immense number of bottle-shaped cisterns for collecting 
rain-water. They have wells in the cities, too, which cause typhoid, as the 
Sicilians are not very careful about such matters. They still use the methods 
invented by Archimedes for filling their gebbie. 

Wheels hung with bells are still used in the service of many Sicilian 
churches, notably the cathedral at Syracuse. An easily examined one hangs 
in S. Giovanni dei Lebbrosi just outside Palermo, and at S. Maria di Gesii, 
the Campo Santo of the nobles. 

Whitakers of Sicily. The principal foreign family in the island ; con 
nected with it for a century. The great wine business of Ingham, Whitaker 
and Co., Marsala and Palermo, belongs to them. Three of the brothers 
reside in Palermo. Commendatore Joshua Whitaker, head of the firm, Vice- 
President of the Bene Economico (q.v.), is owner of the fine Venetian palace 
in the Via Cavour. Commendatore J. J. S. Whitaker, F.Z.S., chief supporter 
of the Palermo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the well- 
known ornithologist, author of The Birds of Tunisia (Porter, 1905), lives at 
Malfitano (pp. 276 and 434) and owns Motya (p. 237). Commendatore R. 
Whitaker lives at Villa Sofia (q.v.). 

White surplices, or robes resembling them, are used in most religious and 
funeral processions by the laymen who take part in them. 

Wild flowers. See Chapter V. and under Vegetation. 

William I. of Sicily (the Bad). Son of King Roger, reigned from 1 154- 
ii 66. His reign was marked by domestic rebellions and loss of Roger's 
African conquests. He built the Zisa, 

William II. (the Good), Ms son, reigned from 1165 to 1189. ' He made 
conquests in the East and was a great builder. The Cuba and tks Cathedral 
of Monreale were built by him, an4 it was his English archbishop, Offa- 
milia, who built the Cathedral and Church of the Vespers. William married 
Joanna, daughter of Henry II. of England. 

William III., son of King Roger's illegitimate son King Tancred, only 
reigned a short time before the Emperor Henry VI. dethroned, captured, 
blinded, and mutilated him. Dante puts him in Paradise (Canto xx. 61) 

("And him thou seest on the down-sloping arch was William, whom that 
land deplorest which weepeth for that Charles and Frederick live" (Dent's 
Temple Classics, trans.). 

William II., the German Emperor. Visited Sicily in 1896 in his yacht, 
the Hoksnzollern^ but only attended a performance of one of his musical com 
positions in the Politeama and paid a visit to Mal&taaa He paid a lengthy 
visit to Sicily in 1904. 

Winds. The most noticeable are the worst the rough and bitter east wind 
called Levante (q.v.); the fierce north-west wind, called Maestrale (q.v.); 
aad the oppressive south-east wind known as Sirocco (q.v.). 

Wines. There is an immense quantity of wines produced in Sicily, 
besides the famous Marsala wine of commerce. Some of them, such as the 
white Mascali wines, and the red Terreforti wines (q.v.), are exported a good 
deal Many of them are very agreeable. The Vin rdm&ire included in 
pensions and hotels is generally drinkable to people sufScieatiy unlastidioas 
to go to hotels where they give peaskm. Wine is, of course, cheap. 

Wine-maklag. See tawler Marsala. 



314 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Wine-jars and jugs. As in the times of the Greeks and Romans, the poor 
use common earthenware wine-jars of old Greek shapes. The wine-jugs of 
Sicily are perfectly charming, and old ones are much sought by collectors. 
They are almost the shape of a coffee-pot and made of a blue-and-white 
majolica of beautiful forms and colours and patterns. Some of them are 
centuries old. 

Wine-shops. The bush is used in Sicily as elsewhere for the sign of a wine 
shop, notably at Castrogiovanni. At Modica they use the red flag. Sicilian 
wine-shops nearly always sell bread and other kinds of food patronised by the 
poor. At Palermo and elsewhere they whiten the ends of the barrels and 
then paint saints on them. Wine-shops often sell forage. You hardly ever 
see any over-drinking or rowdiness going on. 

Wolves are still found in the Madonian Mountains and other sufficiently 
wild places, the only formidable wild animals of Sicily. 

Women. Most of the carrying in Sicily is done by women, who carry 
everything on their heads. 

Wood-carving. There is some fairly good wood-carving in Sicily, but it is 
mostly effective rather than fine, as, for example, the carvings in the church 
of S. Domenico at Taormina. But the room devoted to this in the Museum 
at Palermo is not very encouraging. The choir-stalls of the cathedral at 
Catania are among the best examples in the island. 

Wormwood. The wormwood (Artemisia absinthia] grows freely in Sicily. 
See Vermouth. 



Xiphonia. Augusta stands on the site of the ancient Xiphonia, There are 
no vestiges left. 

Xuthia, Founded by Xuthus, son of Jiolus. Remains of it are found near 
the ancient Lentini. 



Yuccas. The palm-like yucca grows most luxuriantly in Sicily. There are 
splendid specimens in Palermo in the Orto Botanico and gardens of the 
Messrs. Whitaker, Sig. Florio, and Count Tasca. Several of them grow 
from one stem. 



Zabbara, the Agave. In certain parts of Sicily, as in Mexico, they make 
a strong cord of it, which they use for seating chairs, etc. 

Zambuca. See Sambuca. 

Zasele, The original name of Messana, the modern Messina, founded 
732 B.C. See under Messina. So called from the sickle shape of the harbour, 
Zancle meaning a sickle. 

Zapylon. A corruption of Hexapylon. See under Syracuse. 

Zeuxis of Heraclea. The greatest painter of antiquity. The Sicilians 
claim Heraclea- Minoa to be the city of his birth, but most scholars think he 
was born at the Italian Heraclea. His masterpiece, the Alcmena, was painted 
for the Temple of Hercules at Girgenti. 



THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI 315 

Zisa. An exquisite Saracenic palace at Palermo, erected by William the 
Bad. See under Palermo. 

Ziyadet Allah, the Aghlabite, Prince of Kalrawan, was invited by Euphe- 

nnus of Syracuse, who aspired to the empire, to invade Sicily. The Saracen 
invasion of 827 A. a, which resulted in the conquest of Sicily, was the 

consequence. * } 

A stat. on the 







ZAKCLE, THE SICKLE-SHAPED HARBOUR OF MESSINA 



THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI 

CASTROGIOVANNI should be visited as late as possible, being one of the 
highest towns in Sicily, 3,270 feet above the sea. It is two miles from the 
stat. on the Paiermo-Girgenti and Catania- Girgenti lines. The coach service 
from the stat. and the hotel used to be equally bad, but Mr. Von Pernull 
Cook s correspondent in Palermo, has an idea of opening a hotel here with a 
motor servxce to the railway station, meaning to make it a summer station 
a thing much needed in Sicily. 

Castrogiovanni Is the ancient Enna, a Sikel or Sican town founded in pre 
historic times, which was seized by the Syracusans in 403 B.C. 

It joined the league under Acragas against Agathoeles. It 'was captured by 
? e < irtha g mians a the First Punic War, 258 B.C., and then by treachery by 
the Romans. In 214 B.C. L. Pinarius, the Roman commander at Enna, 
learning that they meant to revolt and betray the garrison to Carthage, 
assembled the inhabitants together In the theatre and massacred them. In 
134 B.C. Enna once more became famous as the headquarters of the revellers 
m the First Slave War, and remained in their hands for two years. In 837 A.D. 



3i6 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

the Saracens, aided by Euphemius, the Syracusan who invited them to invade 
Sicily, tried to take Enna unsuccessfully. But twenty-two years afterwards, 
in 859, it was betrayed to their commander, Abbas-ibn-Fah'dl. In 1080 the 
Normans took it. Frederick II. of Aragon, King of Sicily, was much here in 
his wars against the Angevins. He built the great keep called the Rocca in 
1300. Goethe was here in 1787 ; and Newman for six weeks, during which he 
almost died of fever, in 1833. The name Castrogiovanni is a corruption of 
the Saracen Casr-Janni, the fortress of Enna, and must therefore have become 
attached to it in Saracen times, though the exact date is not known. As the 
rock is of immense height and only accessible in a few places and extremely 
well supplied with water, it was one of the strongest natural fortresses imagin 
able before modern artillery. But until Saracen times it does not seem to have 
stood any great sieges. 

When the Saracens landed in Sicily, the imperial troops took refuge in 
Castrum Johannis. Roger only took the city by the treachery of 'its governor, 
Hamud. The site of it and its sister city, Calascibetta, is the finest imagin 
able. They tower up from the fields of Enna and the sacred Lake of Pergusa, 
and are surrounded by a sea of wild hills dominated by Etna, aad sheeted 
with almond-blossom in spring. 

Amphitheatre, Stood in front of the castle of Manfred ; part of the en 
closure remains, surrounded by a red wall. Here in 214 B.C. the Prefect 
L. Pinarius slaughtered nearly ail the citizens, having learnt their intention to 
betray his small Roman force to the Carthaginians. 

Anmraciatiae of the Virgin Mary said to have taken place in the church 
of S. Spirito (<J.Y.)- 

Appstks, tiie twelve. The cave where they used to meet. Also in 
S. Spirito (q.v.). 

Calascibetta is the twin town on the opposite hill. A favourite summer 
residence of Peter II. of Aragon, who died there in 1342. 

Carthaginians, the. Enna was captured by them in the First Punic War, 

259B.C. 

Cathedral. Properly only the Chiesa Matrice. Dates mostly from the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The exterior of the apse is Sicilian-Gothic. 
It has a richly carved ceiling, but not interesting. The best thing is the marble 
pulpit, standing on a pedestal with six sculptured faces which support six rather 
fine angels who form the brackets on which the pulpit stands. The carving 
and inlaying of the marble pulpit are good. The sacristy has good carved oak 
cupboards of 1735, 

Ceres (with whom is identified the Greek Demeter), the Goddess of .Corn, 
mother of Proserpine, had the chief seat of her worship of Enna. There was 
a famous image of her in brass which Verres carried off. Pilgrims came from 
all parts of the ancient world to the shrine of Ceres at Enna. 

Ceres, Temple of. There are no remains on the site, which is admitted to 
be the great white rock with the level top across a little ravine from King 
Manfred's castle. Bat there are stefjs cut to the top of the rock, which is 
levelled for the founcbiioes. Two columns are preserved in the church of 
S. Biagio, which embodies some of the building of the tribunal used by Cicero 
in the process agaksst Verres. 

Ceres., linages of. There is in the museum an ancient Roman image of 
Ceres holding Proserpine, which until recent years was used for Our Lady and 
the Infant Christ, and furnished the model for the pose of the Madonna most 
im tsse b Italy to this day said to have been invented by Praxiteles. 



THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI 317 

Churches (thirty-six in number) 

The Anima Santa. Next to S. Tommaso. 

S. Benedetto. In the main street going up to Manfred'^ castle. 

S. Biagio. Contains two columns of the Temple of Ceres. The Prospetto 
of the sacristy is formed of the antique apophyge, well preserved, and the 
tribunal in which Cicero collected the charges against Vcrres and promised the 
Sicilians, especially the men of Enna, that he would do his best for them. 

S, Chiara. In the same street. Franciscan nuns' church, with light, lofty 
Renaissance front. Large tile pictures on the floor of a mosque struck by 
lightning, and one of the first steamers. Fine crucifix, second chapel on the 
left. Handsome grills to the nuns 7 galleries. 

S. Giovanni* In a by-street. Rich Sicilian-Gothic tower. 

S. Maria del Popolo. Half-way down the hill beyond Frederick IL's castle. 
The people's church ; has a great fair on September I3th and I4th. Rock 
tombs abound on the mountain slopes round it. It has a picturesque court 
yard and a Roman arcade built to cover a sacred spot where a fresco of the 
Crucifixion was discovered in the Middle Ages ; but it is medieval, not antique. 
Quantities of wax arms and legs and other offerings. Church well worth a 
visit. Washing pools just below. 

S. Michele. Quaint little oval church with fine old Spanish arabesqued tiles 
on the floor. In the centre S. Michael threatening the devil with a staff. 
Rather a pretty interior. 

6*. Spirito. This church has an inscription : " R. hie domus dei est et porta 
coeli A.D. 1817. ^Edificata est domus domini supra verticem montium et 
venient ad earn omnes gentes.- 1817." The date does not prevent the hermit 
who shows you over the church pointing out the spot where Our Lady 
received the Annunciation and the stove at which she was cooking, and the 
nine green tiles on which she was standing. You are also shown the crown 
of thorns. None of them have any pretence to antiquity. At the back of 
the church is a vault in the rock where he shows you the niches in which the 
twelve apostles sat ', though it is doubtful if the vault goes back to Roman 
times. It is a dear little church with a queer little avenue and campanile ; 
terribly poverty-stricken, but well worth a visit in spite of its absurd pretensions. 

S. Tommaso^ next to the Anima Santa ; has a fine Gothic tower and elegant 
loggia. 

Cicero at Enna. For his tribunal, see under Churches, S. Biagio. See 
also under Umbilicus. He called it the navel of Sicily. In his Mures, 
Bonn's translation, he says' : 

"It is an old opinion, O judges, which can be proved from the most 
ancient records and monuments of the Greeks, that the whole island of 
Sicily was consecrated to Ceres and Libera. Not only did all other nations 
think so, but the Sicilians themselves were so convinced of it that it appeared 
a deeply rooted and innate belief in their minds. For they believe that these 
goddesses were born in these districts, and that corn was first discovered in 
this land, and that Libera was carried off, the same goddess whom they call 
Proserpine, from a grove in the territory of Enna, a place which, because it 
is situated in the centre of the island, is called the navel of Sicily. ^ And 
when Ceres wished to see her and trace her out, she is said to have lit her 
torches at those flames which burst out at the summit of /Et#a, and carrying 
these torches before her, to have wandered over the whole earth. But Enna, 
where those things I am speaking of are said to have been done, is in a high 
and lofty situation, on the top of which is a large level plain and springs of 



3 i8 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

water which are never dry. And the whole of the plain is cut off and 
separated, so as to be difficult of approach. Around it are many lakes and 
groves, and beautiful flowers at every season of the year, so that the place 
itself seems to testify to that abduction of the virgin which we have heard of 
from our boyhood. Near it is a cave turned towards the north, of unfathom 
able depth, where they say that Father Pluto suddenly rose out of the earth 
in his chariot and carried off the virgin from that spot, and that on a sudden, 
at no great distance from Syracuse, he went down beneath the earth, and 
that immediately a lake 1 sprang up in that place ; and there to this day the 
Syracusans celebrate anniversary festivals with a most numerous assemblage 
of both sexes. . . . 

" For thoughts of that temple, of that place, of that holy religion come 
into my mind. Everything seemed present before my eyes, the day on 
which, when I had arrived at Enna, the priests of Ceres came to meet me 
with garlands of vervain and with fillets ; the concourse of citizens, among 
whom, while I was addressing them, there was such weeping and groaning 
that the most bitter grief seemed to have taken possession of the whole. 
They did not complain of the absolute way in which the tenths were -levied, 
nor of the plunder of property, nor of the iniquity of tribunals, nor of that 
man's unhallowed lusts, nor of his violence, nor of the insults by which they 
had been oppressed and overwhelmed. It was the divinity of Ceres, the 
antiquity of their sacred observances, the holy veneration due to their 
temple, which they wished should have atonement made to them by the 
punishment of that most atrocious and audacious man. They said that they 
could endure anything else ; that to everything else they were indifferent. 
This indignation of theirs was so great that you might suppose that Verres, 
like another king of hell, had come to Enna, and had carried off, not 
Proserpine, but Ceres herself. And, in truth, that city does not appear to 
be a city, but a shrine of Ceres. The people of Enna think that Ceres 
dwells among tbern, so that they appear to me not to be citizens of that city, 
but to be all priests, to be all ministers and officers of Ceres." 

Coins. The coins of Enna are not important. Most, if not all, have 
a female figure bearing a torch, as might have been expected. 

Crown of thorns. Said to be kept at S. Spirito. See under Churches. 

Damophilus. A wealthy slave-owner at Enna. The cruelties of him and 
his wife brought about the First Slave War (q.v.). 

Bemeter. See Ceres. 

Diodorus Siculus. See below, Fields of Enna. 

Krma. Called by Freeman, Henna, The ancient city of Sikel origin, 
whose site is occupied by the modern Castrogiovanni. It and its great 
Temple of Ceres come into Cicero, Diodorus, Virgil, Ovid, etc. The date of 
its origin is unknown. Of classical Enna we have nothing but the sites of 
the Temples of Ceres and Proserpine, and the theatre, a couple of columns 
of the Temple of Ceres, and some of the tribunal of Cicero (q.v. ) in S. Biagio, 
and a few Roman remains near the church of S. Maria del Popolo. See 
tmder Cicero, and History. 

Enna, tbe Fields of. The plain round the Lake of Pergusa, where Pluto 
is said to have carried off Proserpine. See under Pergusa. Both Ovid and 
Qaudian make Plutarch carry off Proserpine here. The exact spot assigned 
by local tradition as the scene of the event was a small lake surrounded by 
lofty and precipitous hills about five miles from Enna, the meadows on the 
banks of which abounded in flowers, while a cavern or grotto hard by was 
1 The Fountain of Cyane. 



THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI 319 

shown as that from which the infernal king suddenly emerged. This lake is 
called Fergus by Ovid and Claudian, but it is remarkable that neither Cicero 
nor Diodorus speaks of any lake in particular as the scene of the occurrence. 
The former, however, says that around Etna were *' lakes, and numerous 
groves, and a wealth of flowers at all times of the year." Diodorus, on the 
contrary, describes the spot from which Proserpine was carried off as a 
meadow abounding in flowers, especially odoriferous ones, to such a degree 
that it was impossible for hounds to follow their prey by the scent across 
this tract. He speaks of it as enclosed on all sides by steep cliffs, 
and having groves and marshes in the neighbourhood, but makes no 
mention of a lake. The cavern, however, is alluded to by him as well 
as by Cicero, and would seem to point to a definite locality. At the 
present day there still remain the small lake in a basin-shaped hollow 
surrounded by great hills, and a cavern near it is still pointed out as that 
described by Cicero and Diodorus. But the flowers have in great measure 
disappeared, as well as the groves and woods which formerly surrounded the 
spot, and the scene is described by modern travellers as bare and desolate 
(Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography}. 

" In the first place, I would advise them never to venture abroad in the 
Fields, but in the Company of a Parent, a Guardian, or some other sober, 
discreet Person. I have before shewn how apt they are to trip in a flow'ry 
Meadow, and shall further observe to them that Proserpine was out a Maying, 
when she met with that fatal Adventure, to which Milton alludes, when he 
mentions * ... that fair Field 

Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering Flow'rs, 

Herself, a fairer Flow'r, by gloomy Dis 

Was gatber'd,'" 

(Addison, in the Spectator, on the dangers to the Fair Sex of Maying.) 

Etna, view of. There is a splendid view of Etna from the site of the 
Temple of Ceres. 

Eumis. A slave of Antigenes of Enna, who headed the revolt known as 
the First Slave War. He raised 6,000 men. He was a prophet and a 
juggler, which gave him great influence, so that Cleon, a Cilician, who had 
raised an army in the south, and was a good general, willingly became his 
lieutenant. He took the title of King Antiochus, but he had the sense to 
take the counsel of a wise Greek slave named Achaus, and he left the 
fighting to Cleon, who defeated several Roman armies. They kept up the 
war from 134-131 B.C., but Cleon was killed in a sally from Tauromenium in 
132, and Eunus, who escaped from the city when it was betrayed, was 
captured and died of disease in prison. 

Eupfcemins of Syracuse, "the Emperor'* (see under Syracuse), was 
killed in an assault on Eaaa. 

Frederick II. of Aragou, Kmg of Sicily. Built tbe great keep called 
the Rocca or Torre di Federigo in 1300. He was often feere ie his war 
against the Angevins. 

Fticoiare <Mfa Vergine, The store at wkicfe fee Virgin Mary was 
cooking when sfee received ike Annmodatk^i. Preserved at S- Spirito. It is 
in tfae style of ttie early nineteentli century A.D. 

Goet&e. Was at Castrogiovaiiiii on Smuiay, Afsrii 29th, 1787. He made 
apparently BO attempt to trace any f tlie ancient sites. He only talks about 
the geology and the vegetation, and, above all, of the accommodation. 
** Hie ancient Enna received as most inhospitably a room with a paved 
floor, with shutters aad no window, so that we must either sit in darkness or 



320 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

be again exposed to the beating rain, from which we had thought to escape 
by putting up here. Some relics of our travelling provisions were greedily 
devoured, and the night passed most miserably. We made a solemn vow 
never again to direct our course towards never so mythological a name.'* 

Gothic architecture. Castrogiovanni is rather rich in Gothic remains, 
notably the apse of the cathedral, the castles of Frederick II. and Manfred ; 
the lovely old palace with a high-walled courtyard and a processional stair 
case leading up to its piano nobile^ on the main street almost opposite 
S. Chiara. ; a palace near the Piazza Lincoln ; the church of S. Giovanni ; 
and the church of S. Tommaso. S. Tommaso and the Anima Santa make a 
lovely artist's bit, as does the old palace near S. Chiara. 

Greek Settlement, the first, was probably under Gelo, tyrant of Syracuse. 
It fell into the pow r er of Syracuse 397 B.C. 

Henna. See Enna. 

Hotels. Up to this Castrogiovanni has had the worst hotel of any place 
visited by strangers in Sicily except Patti. But Mr. H. von Pernull, Cook's 
correspondent in Sicily, has examined a fine palace with a view of turning it 
into a first-class hotel with a motor service from the railway station. The 
building is interesting ; it was an old palace which had been a convent. 

Kore (Core). The Maiden, or the Child, A favourite Greek name for 
Proserpine, who was also called the Mistress and the Saviour. 

Libera. A name for Proserpine (q.v.). 

Madonian Hills. A range on the north coast of Sicily, containing the 
highest peaks after Etna, visible from Castrogiovanni. 

Malaria. Only at Pergusa (q.v.). 

Manfred's Castle, King. The medieval castle with an area of about 
30,000 square yards, close to the Rocca di Cerere. It is much older than 
Manfred's time, but it was refortified by him. It has a ring of medieval 
towers and is now the town prison. It has a splendid site and is strikingly 
picturesque. An artist's bit 




THE CASTLE OF KING MANFRED 



THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI 321 

S. Marco, the Convent of. A convent with a picturesque Renaissance 
facade where rooms are let to strangers. An artist's bit. 

Megallis, the wife of Damophilus. See General Index. Their cruelties 
caused the outbreak of the First Slave War. 

Minorite Friars, the Monastery of. The site of the Temple of Proserpine 
is in the grounds of the Minorite Friars, who will not allow ladies to see it, 
It is otherwise of no importance. Gentlemen should not waste time in seeing 
the convent, 

Montesi. The people here and in other mountain towns call themselves 
MontesL The men are among the finest in Sicily. See General Index. 

Monte Salvo. In the garden of the Minorite Friars (q, v. ). Hie site of the 
principal temple of Proserpine is here in a vineyard. There are no traces 
except the levelling of the top. 

Museum. Castrogiovanni has an interesting museum, in which besides the 
great silver front which belongs to the high altar of the cathedral, they show 
you a statue of Ceres holding the child Proserpine in her arms, belonging to 
the Roman era, which was used for centuries as the Madonna and the Child 
Jesus, in spite of the child being a girl. It is not the only statue of the two 
goddesses used in Castrogiovanni in this way. And it is of enormous interest 
as being clearly the source from which the favourite Italian type of the 
Madonna holding the Child Jesus was taken. When we remember the fact 
that Proserpine was called the Saviour by the continental Greeks and that she 
had a resurrection, this extraordinary historical fact is emphasised. The 
masculine form Soter was often used as the feminine noun. It contains 
some other classical remains. 

Navel, Castrogiovanni the navel of Sicily. See Umbilicus. 
Newman, Cardinal In 1833, John Henry Newman, afterwards Cardinal, 
spent six weeks at Castrogiovanni ax*d almost died there. He was attended 
only by his faithfol Neapolitan servant, GenBaro. The story of his illness 
there is told at considerable length in the letters and correspondence edited by 
his sister, Mrs. Mozley (Longmans, I $93.) He rode there from Catania on a 
mule. 

Perhaps the most striking episode in his whole stay there was while he was 
recovering from the fever, when he put his head under the clothes to escape 
the church bells, and the people regarded the heretic, who afterwards became 
a cardinal of their own church, as a devil tormented by the sounds of Chris 
tian worship. (Sladen's In Sicily.} 

Normans at CastrogiovannL Roger the Great Count took Castro 
giovanni in 1087, by the treachery or conversion of Hamud, the governor. 
He allowed himself to be led into an ambush. His men were spared and he 
was given an estate in Calabria. (Marion Crawford.) 

Ovid at CastrogiovannL Ovid, who was in Sicily lor a year 25 B.C., has 
left us a description of the Lake of Pergusa. See below. 

OmbeBeo di Skilta. Cicero { Vents, 548) says: " Qui locos, quod in media 
est insula situs, umbilicus Sicilise nominator." The real centre of Sicily is the 
Monte Arsenale, 2,645 feet > Dear Castrogiovanni. A stone at Castrogiovanni 
near the site of the Temple of Proserpine, supposed to mark the exact centre 
of the island, is called the umbilicus. 

Pack-mules. As the coach-road from the stat to the city is very winding, 
much of the carriage up to it is done on pack-mules, which come up the 
ancient road, almost concealed in the rocks, dating back to Greek if not 
Sikelian times. Their harness is gorgeous with crimson and brass. 



322 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Palaces. Castrogiovanni has a number of palaces, but seemingly only one 
Gothic one of any importance. See Gothic. 

Pergusa. The sacred lake in the fields of Enna, on whose banks Pluto 
carried off Proserpine. Its banks are now quite bare, and being employed for 
flax-steeping, very malarious. But the lake is full of fish and at certain seasons 
of waterfowl. Ovid in his Metamorphoses (Bohn's trans. ), Book V. , 385 et sqq. , 
says : **Not far from the walls of Henna there is a lake of deep water, Pergus 
by name ; Cayster does not hear more songs of swans, in his running streams, 
than that. A wood skirts the lake, surrounding it on every side, and with its 
foliage, as though with an awning, keeps out the rays of the sun. The boughs 
produce a coolness, the moist ground flowers of Tyrian hue. There the spring 
is perpetual. In this grove, while Proserpina is amusing herself, and is pluck 
ing either violets or white lilies, and while, with child-like eagerness, she is 
filling her baskets and her bosom, and is striving to outdo her companions of 
the same age in gathering, almost at the same instant she is beheld, beloved, 
and seized by Pluto ; in such great haste is love." 

Piazzas. The principal square of the town is the Piazza Lincoln. As 
Sicily was freed by Garibaldi at the time that the American War commenced, 
the Sicilians are fond of naming things after Lincoln, 

Pinarins, L. The Roman general who, in 214 B.C. , hearing that the citizens 
intended to betray the city to Carthage, lured them into the theatre and 
massacred them. 

Pluto and Prosperine. Pluto is said to have issued from a cavern in the 
earth near the Lake of Pergusa and to have engaged the attention of Proser 
pine with a hundred-headed narcissus. See Fields of Enna and Fountain 
of Cyane, under Syracuse. 

Proserpine, Temple. On Monte Salvo (q.v.) ; no remains except the 
levelled site. 

Rocca, La. The great octagonal tower built in 130x3 by ^ Frederick 
of Aragon, who was much here during his war with the Angevins. Kept 
locked to prevent robbers from lying in wait in it 

Rocca di Cerere. An isolated white rock at the end of the city beyond the 
castle of Manfred. On it stood the far-famed Temple of Ceres. The 
cutting of the rock to receive the te'mple is distinctly visible, though there are 
no architectural remains. Probably the Christians took care to remove every 
stone of the Temples of Ceres and Proserpine to eradicate their worship. This 
great white hewn rock standing out against a background of lordly mountains 
is, however, one of the most splendid and romantic objects in Sicily. 

Romans at Enna. Enna was captured by the Romans by treachery in the 
First Punic War. . See under History. It was of much importance under 
them, and played a conspicuous part in the Slave Wars. There are a few 
Roman remains in the church of S. Biagio and an arcade, etc., near the 
church of S. Maria del Popolo. 

Saracens. Enna, then known as Castrum Johannis, defied the Saracens for 
thirty years, Euphemius of Syracuse, who had invited them over, was killed 
beneath the walk. In 837 the Saracens made a vain attempt to storm it. 
In 859 it was betrayed into the hands of Abbas-Ibn-Fahdl. It remained 
in their possession till 1087. When the Saracens landed in Sicily the imperial 
troops took refuge in Castrum Johannis. 

Stcanians. Sicilian authorities consider Enna to have been a Sicanian 
town, but Freeman disagrees. As the Sikelians displaced the Sicanians, it is 
quite likely that both were correct. 



THINGS OF CASTROGIOVANNI 



323 



Sicilian-Gothic architecture. See under Gothic. 

Sikels .and Sikel gods. Freeman considers Enna to have been a Sikel 
town, and imagines Ceres and Proserpine to have had Sikel prototypes. But 
he says that their Sikel character has been quite lost in the process. The 
Sikels maintained their independence till 403, when the city was betrayed 
to Dionysius I. 

Slave Wars, Enna was the focus of two slave wars that under Eunns, 
134-131 B.C., and that of 102-99. See General Index. 

Sulphur. ^Castrogiovanni is the centre of a sulphur country. The 
sulphur workings make the mountains round look pink, 

Syracuse. Enna became an outpost of Syracuse from 403 B, c. 




THE ROCCA DI CERERE, ON WHICH THE TEMPLE OF CERES STOOD 

Theatre, site of. In front of the castle was an amphitheatre, of which 

part of the area surrounded by a low wall remains. In this enclosed area 
to-day foil of briars and nettles the Prefect L, Pinarius massacred the 
citizens, 214 B.C. The most natural site for the theatre was at the other end 
of the town under Monte Salvo, overlooking the holy Lake of Pergusa. 

Tiled pictures in churches. Enormous pictures on the floors of the 
churches made up of numerous tiles are a feature of Castrogiovanni. At 
S. Chiara there is a tiled picture of a mosque struck by lightning and an 
old-fashioned steamer. At S. Michele (q.v.) there is a tiled picture of S. 
Michael and the Devil. 

Torre Pisano, the, is a tower of the castle of Manfred on the site of the 
defeat of the Consul L. Piso by the slaves in the First Slave War. 

Verres, Enna was one of the towns that suffered most by his depredations. 
Here Cicero received the charges against him. See above, Cicero, and ia 
General Index under Cicero and Verres and S. Biagio. 

Virgin Mary and Ceres, See above, under Ceres, Museum, etc. , and in 
General Index under Ceres. 



3 2 4 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Washing-pools. Castrogiovanni has picturesque washing-pools down 
below the church of S. Maria del Popolo. 

Wine-bush. A bush is the sign of a wineshop in Castrogiovanni. 

Women are not much seen in the streets in Castrogiovanni. This is 
marked. 

THINGS OF CATANIA 

CATANIA may be visited almost any time. The temperature is about 80 
degrees in July and August. The best time to visit it is at the beginning of 
February. February 5th is S. Agatha's Day. On it and a few days pre 
viously there are splendid processions and ceremonies. S. Agatha is the 
patron saint. Catania was originally Catana. Hiero of Syracuse when he 
took it in 476 changed its name to ^Etna, but it resumed its old name. It is 
a large, bright modern city with very interesting antiquities partly subter 
ranean, which take some finding. Foreigners never stay ^ there long, but 
might do so with advantage, for besides its own antiquities it has many 
famous ruins within easy reach. Short railway journeys take you to the 
stations of Centuripe (q.v.), Agira (q.v.), Pateroo (q.v.), Misterbianco (q.v.), 
Adernb (q.v.), Acireale (q.v.), etc. And it is the best starting-place for 
expeditions to the sacred Lake of Palici (q.v, } and Caltagirone (q.v.). It is, 
of course, the town par excellence for Etna. Cabs are very cheap. 

HISTORY. Catana, founded 730 B.C. from the Sicilian Naxos. A Chal- 
cidian city. 
B.C. 

476 Taken by Hiero I. of Syracuse, and its inhabitants departed to Leontim. 
Name changed to ./Etna. Laws of Charondas repealed. Repeopled 
with jOjOOO Peloponnesians. 

461 Ducetius drove out Hiero's colonists and restored the original in 
habitants. 

415-413 Catana headquarters of the Athenians in Sicily. 
403 Taken by Dionysius, inhabitants sold as slaves, city given to his 

Campanian mercenaries. 

396 On approach of great Carthaginian armament under Himilco and Mago f 

the Campanians founded a new town of jEtna, perhaps on site of the 

Sikel Inessa. Mago defeated Leptines, the brother of Dionysius, in 

a great sea-fight off Catana, which he captured. 

339 Tirjptoleon expels the tyrant Mamercus. First town to open its gates 

to Pyrrhus. 

263 One of the earliest towns to submit to the Romans in the First Punic War. 
133 Concerned in the Slave War. 
121 Terrible eruption of Etna. 

21 Suffered severely from ravages of Sextus Pompeius. Augustus settles a 
A.D. colony of veterans there. 

44 S. Beriilo, sent by St. Paul, converts Catana to Christianity. 
238 S. Agatha was born here. 
253 Martyrdom of S. Agatha. Vandals take Catania. The Herulians 

take Catania. The Ostro- Goths take Catania. 
498 Letter of Cassiodorus mentions the decree of Theodoric to restore the 

amphitheatre and the decaying walls. 
534 Catania taken by Belisarins from the Goths. 
874 Taken by the Saracens. 



THINGS OF CATANIA ?2< 

A.D. D 

902. Sacked by the Saracens. 
About 1060. Ben al^ Themanh, Emir of Catania, quarrelled with his wife, 

sister of Ali ben Maurnh, lord of Castrogiovanni, Girgenti, and 

Castronuovo. Being routed in the war, to avenge himself he called 

in the Normans. Roger, the Great Count, came with Adamo 

Sismondp, to whom he gave the dominion and castle of Aci with 

wide jurisdiction. 
1091. Roger built the cathedral of Catania, and under him took place the 

transporting of the ashes of S. Agatha from Constantinople, where 

they had been taken by the Greek general, Maniace. 
1169. On the Vigil of S. Agatha, February 4th, a terrific earthquake 

almost destroyed Catania. Fifteen thousand killed. Catania the 

centre ^ of resistance to the Emperor Henry VI., whose marshal, 

Valladin, took it by treachery and burnt it. 
1232. Emperor Frederick having restored the city, built the Castello Ursino. 

Catania takes the part of Manfred and Conrad against Charles of Anjou. 
1282. The Sicilian Vespers. 
1287. At & sort of _ Parliament held at Catania, Peter of Aragon declared 

King of Sicily. Catania was the capital of the Aragonese kings. 

James of Aragon ceded Sicily to Robert, King of Naples. 
1296. The Parliament of Sicily at Catania elected Frederick III. of Aragon 

King of Sicily. Catania taken by treachery and sacked by the 

Angevins. 

1302. Restored to the Aragonese. 
I 33^ Frederick III. died and buried at Catania. 
1423. The plague devastated Catania. 

1438. Alfonso the Magnanimous of Aragon built a harbour for the city. 
1444. Alfonso founded the University. 
1551. Almost sacked by the Turks, 
1669 (March). Awful eruption of Etna, which filled the Lake of Nocito, 

covered the ruins of the Naamachia, the Circus, and the Gymnasium, 

and_buried mach of the fortifications, but ran all round the Castello 

Ursino without touching it. 
1693. An earthquake destroyed it with sixty other cities of the Val di Noto. 

Eighteen thousand of the 60,000 killed were Catanians. Nothing 

remained but part of the cathedral and the Castello Ursino, but in 

twenty years the city was rebuilt 
1837. Syracuse and Catania took up arms against the oppression of the 

Bourbons. 

1848. They took up arms again. 
1849 (April 6). Bourbon troops reconquered Catania with many massacres 

and ravages, 
1860. Freed from the 



S. Agata. Patron saint Was martyred at Catania under Decius in 251. 
She was a noble Sicilian lady of great beauty, who rejected the love of the 
Prefect Quinctilianus, (Chambers.) Her festa is on February 5th and the 
preceding days, and is one of the best in Sicily splendid processions, 
dresses, and ceremonies. See Catiiedrai Her ashes were brought back to 
Cataiiia from CoijstaBtiBople under Roger. They had been taken to Con 
stantinople by Maniaces, 

Alpine Ctafx Catania lias an Alpiae Qub whose secretary may be con 
sulted about the ascent of Etoa, 



326 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Araphinomus and Anapias. The two brothers known as the Pious Folk 
of Catania (q.v.). 

Amphitheatre, the. In the Piazza Stesicoro. Mostly covered up by the 
modern city. It was nearly 400 feet long, and accommodated 15,000 
spectators. To-day there is only visible part of the corridor on the west. 

Antiquities still covered. Catania is known to have various antiquities 
of Greek and Roman periods which are partly destroyed and partly still under 
the lava, such as the Ninfeo, Naumachia, Forum, the Curia, the Gymnasium, 
the Circus, and the Arch of Marcellus. 

Baroque palaces. Catania is a city of baroque palaces often in the worst 
taste. They are large and built of stone, but their ornamentations are 
extravagant and vulgar. 

Basilica, The Roman colonnade in the Piazza Mazzini (q.v.) is supposed 
to be part of a basilica. 

Baths, Roman. To the left of the principal entrance of the cathedral 
there is a narrow stair of twenty-one steps, which leads to some ancient baths. 
They are now underground, partly under the cathedral, and partly under the 
cemetery. At the foot of the staircase is a corridor fifty feet long and 
seven feet wide which leads to a vast chamber, vaulted and supported by four 
great piers. The vault is covered with stucco, adorned with figures in bas- 
relief. The wall is prolonged to the east, and seems to follow an aqueduct 
right to the sea. Other similar constructions have been found in excavations 
in various parts of the city. See also the Church of the Indirizzo, and 
S. Maria della Rotonda, for baths. 

Belisarius. See above, Historical Introduction. 

Bellini, monuments. In the Piazza Mazzini and in the cathedral. 

Bellini's monument in the cathedral of Catania is beautiful and 
touching. 

Bellini, Villa. The much overrated principal garden of Catania. It has 
some fair semitropical vegetation and charming views of Etna and the 
suburban residences of the rich Catanians. It contains a velodrome and 
other conveniences for popular amusements, and is really thoroughly vulgar. 

Bellini, Vincenzo, was born at Catania November 3rd, 1802. Son of an 
organist. At twenty-five he was commissioned to write an opera for La Scala 
at Milan. He produced La Sonnambula when he was twenty-nine, and 
Norma before he was thirty. He was thirty-two when he wrote / Puritani, 
and died before his thirty-third birthday. 

Ben al Themanh, Emir of Catania. See Historical Introduction above. 

Benedettini, the Convent of (or S. Nicolo), contains the Museum of Cat 
ania, the library of 60,000 volumes, the observatory, and various university 
and other educational departments. It has the finest organ in all Europe, by 
Doaato del Piano, with five keyboards, seventy-two stops, and nearly 
3,000 pipes. It is one of the largest monasteries, and commands a splendid 
view. The Cakbrian priest, who built the organ in twelve years, lies buried 
at its foot 

Bread, municipal. Bread in Catania is the monopoly of the municipality, 
whicii has made it much cheaper as well as better. 

Catana and the Classics. Mentioned by Thucydides, Strabo,' Diodorus, 
Pindar, Plutarch, Cicero, Livy, Pausanias, Silius, Claudian, etc. Cicero, in the 
Verres, speaks of " the fields of the Catanians, a most wealthy people and most 
friendly to us, ravaged by Apronius," Silius calls it '* Catana too near the 



THINGS OF 'CATANIA 



327 



glowing Typhceus, and most celebrated as having produced in ancient times 
the Pious Brothers. See Cicero. 

Carcere, S. The portal, a mixture of Greek and Norman architecture, 
which 'formed part of the original cathedral, is very beautiful. It gets its 
name from being built over the cell in which S. Agatha was confined and 
martyred. Behind the Piazza Stesicoro. 




THE PORT A OF S. CARCERE 

Castello Ursino, the. Constructed with extraordinary solidity by the 
Emperor Frederick II, in 1232, it stood the earthquake of 1693, and preserves 
almost its original form. To-day it is used as barracks. The lava stream of 
1669 divided and ran on each side of it, making it five hundred yards further 
from the sea. It is quite close to the harbour, between the Via Garibaldi and 
Via Plebiscite. 

Ceres. See Temple of Ceres. 

Charondas. A lawgiver of ancient Catana whose laws were accepted in the 
Chalcidian cities of Zancle, Naxos, Leontini, Mybs, and HImera. We know 
that his laws were abolished in 494 B.C. by Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegium, 
who settled Messana. Bentley has proved that the laws mentioned in 
Diodorus were not the real Charondic code. 

Churches. Cat&edraL Founded by Roger the Great Count in 1091. The 
earthquake of 1 169 destroyed the roof, that of 1693 spared nothing except the 
apses, the outer walls, and the chapels of the Crucifix and the Immacolata. 
King Roger's work can be seen plainly on the exterior of the apse. The choir- 
stalls, which date from 1590, are finely carved with the story of S, Agatha. 
Above the choir-stalls are the tombs of Frederick II, of Aragon, 1337 ; Prince 
John* his son; King Louis, 1355; Frederick III., 1377; his son-in-law 
Martin I. and his queen, Mary. On the left, Constance, the daughter of 



3 28 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Peter IV. of Aragon, 1363. The chapel of S. Agatha contains the relics of 
the saint, her veil, and the crown adorned with precious stones presented by 
Richard Cceur de Lion. The white marble with which the cathedral is adorned 
came from the theatre. There is a doorway with bas-reliefs by Gagini. The 
bet thing in the cathedral is, however, the delightful Renaissance monument 
of the Viceroy d' Acunha, one of the most beautiful of the fifteenth century. 
The monument of Bellini by Tassara of Florence is inscribed with this passage 

from his Sonnambula , . .. 

All ! non credea miracu 
Si presto estinto fiori ..." 

There are documents of Count Roger and the Emperor Henry VI. in the 
archives. At the back of the cathedral, near the port, are some ecclesiastical 
buildings with florid but extremely elegant Renaissance decorations, ptttti, 
etc. Under the cathedral (apply to the sacristan) are the famous Roman 
baths (q.v.). 

S. Canere (q.v.). 

S. Giricwnidt? Fltri (S. Giovanuzza). Fourteenth-century portal 

S. Maria di Gesu has a statue by Gagini. Important Roman tombs near 
S. Maria di Gesu. 

S. Maria Rotonda is the octagonal hall of a magnificent Roman bath. It 
rests on eight arches. There have been some excavations behind the church, 
in which was discovered the Greek sarcophagus supposed to contain the 
remains of S. Agatha. 

S. Maria della Grotta contains a subterranean cavern scooped in the rock, 
where the Christians met during the persecutions. 

Ck. del Indirizzo has near it some important Roman baths nearly complete. 
Baedeker says : " This consists of an undressing-room (apodyterium\ a tepid 
bath (tepidarium}> a steam bath (caldarium}^ a warm- water bath (balneum], 
and the heating apparatus (hypocaustum}. In the neighbourhood the custodian 
points out an interesting fragment of the ancient town wall, now partly 
covered by a stream of lava. Below it bubbles up a^ copious spring, probably 
issuing from the subterranean river Amenanus, mentioned by Pindar, "which 
comes to light just before it falls into the harbour." 

Cker o. Cicero ( Verres, 443), says : " You shall be told of the fields of 
the Catanians, a most wealthy people and most friendly to us, ravaged by 
Apronins. " At Catana Verres ordered Dionysiarchus the proagorus to collect 
ail the silver plate in the city and bring it to him ; and in Book V. 45 (Bonn's 
trans.) there is a whole chapter about Verres's slave stealing for him an 
extremely ancient statue of Ceres out of a very holy and secret shrine of that 
goddess. There was an outcry, and false witnesses were suborned to lay the 
blame on another slave, whom the Senate acquitted, as the real authors of 
tlie outrage were clearly proved by the priestesses. See Temple of Ceres. 

Cimitero. Catania, being a wealthy city, has a typical Campo Santo. 

Climate. Catania only has forty-five wet days in the year, and over two 
birodred perfectly fine days. Being laid put in the French style, it is very 
open to wind and dust and glare. According to the Lancet Report it has one 
of the best winter climates in Sicily. Mean annual temperature, 64-4 ; mean 
temperature, February, 51*67 ; March, 54-52 ; April, 5871 ; July is the hottest 
month, 797 ; August, 79*30; September, 76*30. The climate is dry and bright, 
and the vegetation very fine. 

Circam-^Etnea Railway. Runs round Etna from Catania to Giarre- 
Riposto, It has three stations in Catania, one of them close to the central stat. 



THINGS OF CATANIA 3 2 9 

It is only a species of steam-tram. The accommodation is rather limited. But 
it takes you to most interesting places and splendid scenery. Vide Mister- 
bianco, Belpasso, Paterno, S. Maria di Licodia, Biancavilla, Aderno, Bronte, 
Miletto, Maniace, Randazzo, Malvagna, Castiglione, Mascali, etc. The 
vegetation for some stations after Catania is an inconceivably rich tangle of 
fruit trees and wild flowers, one of the best districts in Sicily. Paterno, 
Aderno, and Randazzo are medieval cities ; Malvagna has the only perfect 
Byzantine building in Sicily, and the various lava streams which the railway- 
crosses are astonishing pictures of desolation. Glorious views of Etna. It is 
best to sleep at the Hotel d' Italia at Randazzo (q.v.). 

Curio-dealers. Catania is a great place for curio- dealers. They scour the 
minor towns of Sicily for genuine old things, and it is the headquarters for the 
forgery of old coins in Sicily. Some of the silver imitations of pieces like the 
Syracusan decadrachrns of Eusenetus are works of high art, well known in 
museums, which fetch from 25 to 50 francs as imitations. See Coins. 

Coins. Among the types of Catania coins are 

The bull with a human head and a bird above ; winged Victory on the reverse. 

A youthful, girlish Apollo with a biga on the reverse. 

The most remarkable types of Catanian coins are the heads of Apollo with 
masses of curling hair by Heraclidas and Chcerion, which have galloping four- 
horse chariots upon their reverses, and the Roman coins with the two Pious 
Brothers who saved their parent from an eruption, two pick-a-back figures. 
(See Eruption.) 

D'Acnnha, Viceroy, fifteenth-century tomb of. See Cathedral. 

Elefante <H Menelik, Fonte del. In the Piazza del Duoiao. Made up of 
ancient pieces of much interest. The elephant of lava is very ancient, and 
supports an Egyptian obelisk found in tfae circos or hippodrome. On the 
base are symbolic figures representing the rivers Simetus and Aroeaanos. 

^^ ions -} See General ImJex. 

Etna and tiie Pious Folk at Catana. Pausanias, translated by Frazer, 
says (Book X. xxviii. 2} : " The men of old set the greatest store by their 
parents, as we may judge by the example, among others, of the so-called Pious 
Folk at Catana, who, when the stream of fire poured down from_ ^Etna on 
Catana, recked nothing of gold and silver, but picked up, this one his 
mother, that one his father, and fled. As they toiled onwards the flames 
came scudding along and overtook them. But even then they did not drop 
their parents ; so the stream of lava, it is said, parted in two, and the fire 
passed on without scathing either the young raen or tbeir parents. Hence 
these pious folk are still worshipped at the) present day by the Cataaians." 
Their names were Amphinomus and Anapias. They are used on the coins, 
aot only of Catania, for Sezttts Pompeius used them on his silver deaarii 

Forum, remains of Roman. Under the Casa Stella. 

Gemillaro, Ifario. A famous Catanian voicanologist of extraordinary 
ciaring in his crater descents. One of the new craters, Monte Gemillaro, was 
named in his honour. He was born 1786 ; died 1866, Was interviewed^ 
Newman (Cardinal) on April 27th, 1833. Newman mentions his collection 
of medals (z>. coins), and calls him Froude's friend. 

GiorouBzza, S. Called also S. Giovanni de' Fieri. See under Churches, 

Goethe at Cataoia. Goethe was at Catania, May 1st to 6&, 1787. 
He visited the Maseo Biscari, climbed Monte Rosso, and interviewed the 



330 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

volcanologist Gioeni. See University. He saw remains of the Naumachia, 
eta, and did not enjoy it See Goethe's Travels in Italy (Bonn's trans.), 
p. 277, etc, He stayed at the " Golden Lion." 

Harbour. The Porto was commenced in 1601, destroyed by the sea, and 
recommenced with immense sacrifices in 1634 ; again destroyed. The actual 
port was begun in 1782, but in 1784, during a furious tempest, the sea carried 
it all away. Then the architect Giuseppe Zahara, of Malta, tried a new 
plan with masses of concrete and iron clamps. It was only finished in 1842, 
but the result is a most flourishing port. Virgil, in the Third ^Eneid, v. 570, 
speaks of an ample port undisturbed by the access of the winds. Near it 
Etna ' * thunders with horrible ruins, and sometimes sends forth to the skies a 
black cloud, ascending in a pitchy whirlwind of smoke and embers ; throws 
up globes of flame, and kisses the stars ; sometimes, belching, flings on high 
the ribs and shattered bowels of the mountain, and with a rumbling noise in 
wreathy heaps convolves in air molten rocks, and boils up from the lowest 
bottom." But the Portus Ulixis is supposed to refer to the Bay of Ognina, 
since rilled by a lava stream. (Baedeker.) 

Henry VI. See above, Historical Introduction. 

Lava streams. Lava is omnipresent in Catania. A good lava stream 
runs through the town near the Castello Ursino, and one of the principal 
streets, the Via Lincoln, is cut through the lava visibly. 

Library, the City. See BenedettinL The University has also two fine 
libraries, "the University" and "the Ventimiliana." 

Mail-coaches from Catania. See p. 593. They run to Barriera del 
Bosco, I hour ; S. Giovanni-Punta. 2 hours ; Ognina, 25 minutes ; Cibali, 
30 minutes ; S. Giovanni -Galermo, i| hours ; Gravina-di-Catania, if hours ; 
Mascalucia, 2" hours ; Misterbianco, i J hours ; Motta-S. Anastasia, 2j hours 
(q.v.). 

Market. Artists will find the fish and vegetable market full of picturesque 
bits and colour. The fish are as brillant as flowers. Queer trades and queer 
people jostle each other. It is close to the cathedral 

Museo Biscari Founded by the Prince of Biscari in 1758. This museum 
is most important for the study of antiquities. Fragments of antique columns, 
statues, busts, inscriptions, carved stones, mosaics, reliefs, vases, weapons, 
coins of great importance, objects of silver and bronze. Permission must be 
obtained from the present Prince of Biscari. Visited by Goethe May 2nd, 1787. 

Museum. See Benedettini. 

Newman, Cardinal. At Catania April, 1833, April 27th he visited 
Gemillaro. April 3Oth he felt the fever coming on, of which he almost died 
at Castrogiovanni. He stayed at the Corona d j Oro. 

S. Nicola, See Benedettini. 

Observatory. At the Benedettini {q.v.}. It is in direct communication 
with the observatory on Etna. 

Ocbon. A Roman building near the Greek theatre. A fine staircase con- 
them. It lies between the Via Teatro Greco and the Corso V. Em- 
iDttojiele, a short way from the University. The remains consist of a few arches 
like fee outside of a ruined amphitheatre. 

Orto Botanico. Catania has its botanical gardens, 

Padni, Villa. A pretty little garden near the harbour with shady trees, 
traversed by the two streams of the ancient Amenanus. There is a monument 
kere to the musician Giovanni Pacijai, who was born 796. 



THINGS OF CATANIA 



331 



Piazzas. Catania is rich in piazzas. There are the Piazza del Duomo, 
in front of the cathedral, with the celebrated elephant fountain ; the Piazza 
Mazzini, which has a colonnade of thirty-two ancient columns, supposed 
to have been the ancient Basilica of Catania ; the Piazza del!' Universita, in 
front of the University at the end of the Via Stesicoro-Jstnea, once the 
market-place ; the Piazza Stesicoro on the same street, which has S. Carcere 
and the Amphitheatre just beside it, and very fine modem buildings round It. 
The monument to Bellini is here. The Piazza Cavour, also on the Via 
Stesicoro- ^Etnea ; the Piazza Castello, in front of the Castello Ursino ; the 
Piazza Dante, formerly Benedettini, in front of the Museum ; the Piazza 
Bellini,, formerly Nuova Luce, in front of the Teatro Bellini, just off the Via 
Lincoln ; the Piazza Carlo UmbertG, formerly Carmine, containing the Teatro 
Castagnola, just off the Piazza Stesicoro ; the Piazza Martiri, Via Martlri, is 
near the harbour station. 

Plain of Catania. The principal plain of the Island. Very few people 
live on it, though it is highly cultivated, because It Is so malarious. It can be 
seen from the train on the ; ourney from Catania to Syracuse or Palermo. 




ETNA FROM THE PLAIN OF CATANIA (B!COCCA> 

Renaissance architecture. Notice the elegant reliefs on the ecclesiastical 
buildings at the back of the cathedral,, seen from the road going towards the 
harbour. 

Roger, the Great Count. See Historical Introduction, Cathedral, and 
S, Agata. 

Stestchonis. One of the nine chief lyric poets recognised by the ancients, 
rivalling Alcmseon as the best Doric poet He was born at Himera, and 
brought up and died at 'Catania, where he had a splendid tomb by the 
Steslchorean Lake. Cicero extolled him. A nightingale is said to have sat 
upon his lips at Ms birth and sung a sweet strain. Said to have been bom 

362 B.C. 



332 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Streets 

Via Garibaldj,. Leads from the Duomo to the Piazza Palestra. The 
Piazza Mazzini is on it and S.M. del Indirizzo just off it. 

Corse Vittorio Emmanude. Parallel with the above. Runs from the 
Piazza del Martiri to the Via Purgatorio. Just off it are the Duomo and the 
Municipio. 

Via Teatro Greco. Parallel to the above. Between the two lie the 
Teatro Greco and the Odeon, and on the other side of it lies the Benedettini 
(q.v.), between it and the Via Lincoln. It runs from the Piazza del Universita 
to the Via del Purgatorio. 

Via Lincoln. Parallel to the above, runs from the sea to the Benedettini. 
The Teatro Bellini is just off it in the Piazza of the same name, and between 
it and the Via Teatro Greco lies S. Maria Rotonda. 

Via Stesicoro-ALtnea is the principal cross-street. It runs from the Piazza 
del Universita to the foot of Etna. The University, the Post Office, the 
Prefecture, the Amphitheatre, S. Carcere, the Piazza Stesicoro, the Villa 
Bellini, and the Orto Botanico, all lie just on it or off it. 

These are the principal streets for shopping and promenading. 

Stufi al Indirizzo. See Ch. del Indirizzo. 

Sulphur. Catania is the chief sulphur port of Sicily. 

Teatro Bellini is a majestic building situated on the Piazza of the same 
name. Catania has other handsome theatres, 

Temple of Ceres. Piale's Guide to Naples and Sicily \ 1847, mentions a 
ternple of Ceres, apparently near the church of the Minori Riformati : * ' The 
ruins consist of a wall that supports a flight of steps ; the remains of founda 
tions under the bastion and those of an aqueduct are supposed to have 
belonged to this temple. . . . On the fragment of a lava cornice of the Doric 
order is an inscription interpreted as follows : * Catanse Cereri sacrum.' " 

Tombs, Roman. See S. Maria di Gesu. 

University. In the Via Stesjcoro-^tnea, near the Duomo. It was founded 
in 1445 by Alfonso of Aragon. It has two libraries, the University and the 
Ventimiliana, and next to it is the Accademia Gioenia. It was founded in 
memory of Giuseppe Gioeni, a distiBgnistied naturalist (b. 1720; d. 1788), 
chiefly to study the phenomena in connection with Etna. Goethe inter 
viewed him May 4th, 1787. 

Vegetation outside. The vegetation on the lower slopes of Etna is 
wonderful. The soil is so exuberantly fertile, the climate so even. It is 
best seen by a trip on the Circum-^taean Railway. 



THINGS OF CEFALU 

csp be visited in the day from Palermo, Mid can be visited at any 
t&me. Hiere is no necessity to take a cab, as the town is near the station and 
tiie cafeiaem are troublesome. The origin of the name is much disputed. 
Some say it is Phoenician Cefalud, meaning a rock in that language, others 
say k is from the Greek Cephalos, a head Others that it is from the little 
fisfe called Cefali which abound in the sea here and form the arms of the city. 
Whatever its origin, its name was Cephalcedium. It seems as if it must have 
something to do with head, for the ancient town stood on the noble rock 
which is the rival of Monte Pellegrino and Gibraltar. The Sike 



THINGS OF CEFALU 



333 



and the Saracen city were certainly on the hill which is now crowned by the 
castle. The Albergo d 5 Italia is a possible inn. It is on the Cathedral Square. 
Cefalu is one of the worst towns in Sicily for boys worrying strangers. They 
are not all beggars, for the town is very prosperous. 

HISTORY 

396. It was probably as a dependency of Hiznera that Himilco the 
Carthaginian made a treaty with the inhabitants, and Dionysius 
' captured it by treachery. 
307. Taken by Agathocles. 

254. In the First Punic War captared by a Roman fleet, again by 

treachery. 
Mentioned by Cicero in Ms indictment of Verres. 

A.D. 

837. The Saracens besieged it. 
858. The Saracens captured it. ... 
1129. Roger the King founded the cathedral and transferred the city to the 

seashore. 
1145-1148. The mosaics in the cathedral executed. Charter granted to the 

cathedral. 

King Roger, coming from Naples in 1129, was caught in a great storm, and 
vowed to raise a church on the first piece of land he set foot on to Christ and 
his apostles. This was at Cefalu, and he founded a church, but dedicated it 
to St. George. It fell into decay, and the citizens rebuilt it ^ Two years 
afterwards, according to Murray, Roger determined to fulfil his vow, and 
kid the foundations of the present cathedral, by far the largest and most 
magnificent temple in Sicily at that time. 

Agaves. A wild agave with leaves of a beautiful pinkish brown and a 
bright yellow flower about two feet high grows on the rock of Cefalu wherever 
the boys cannot get at it 




CEFALU S THE CITY AND THE KOCK 



334 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

SS. Annunziata. Near the Palazzo Geraci. Mentioned by Murray as 
having an early tower. 

Butler, the late Mr. Samuel, in his The Authoress of the Odyssey -, published 
by Longmans, has much about Cefalu. He identifies Cefalu with the Telepylus 
of the Odyssey. See Portazza, below. Prehistoric house. Prehistoric wall by 
the shore. 

Casa di Ruggero. An old Norman palace said to have been built by 
King Roger. (Murray.) 

Castello. The whole of the rock above the town is encircled with a battle- 
mented wall, largely Saracenic. It is all called the Castello. Except at the 
entrance, where there is a pointed arch, the walls are very feeble, being on 
the edge of precipices. It is full of remains of all ages, the most important 
being the famous prehistoric house, locally known as the Temple of Diana 
a marvellous building. See Prehistoric House. 

Cathedral. See History. It is not large, only 74 .metres by 30 ; but its 
west front is about the finest in Sicily. From a kind of stylobate supposed to 
have belonged to an ancient temple it rises with an arcaded porch of the four 
teenth century between two magnificent four-storied Norman towers which 
terminate in quaint little steeples. Its colour is very beautiful. The mosaics 
executed between 1 145 and 1 148 have the merit of being unrestored, and are 
therefore the most interesting in Sicily. Notice especially the glorious Christ 
which fills the end of the central apse, one of the three great Christs of 
Sicily, which should be compared with those of the Royal Chapel of Palermo 
and Monreale, and a similar Christ, not so large, in St. Mark's at Venice. 
They all represent the same Byzantine type, and might have been copied one 
from the other. The church is divided into three naves by sixteen ancient 
columns, one cipollino, the rest granite. Notice the fine Norman arcading 
under the roof of the transept and the splendid Norman capitals of the choir 
arch ; the curious woodwork roof something like our open roofs with some of 
its ancient colouring on it ; the font ; King Roger's throne and the angels, 
like the figures of six crossed wings in S. Sofia at Constantinople. There is 
an antique ciborium of the epoch of Roger made of white marble mellowed 
by age, very quaint. The back of the cathedral resembles the backs of the 
cathedrals at Monreale and Palermo, but is much more venerable. It is 
delicately laced with arcadings of lava. There are some fine tombs in the 
cathedral, notably that of a Marquis of Geraci, dating back to 1 200, and a 
Princess of Aragon buried in a Greek Christian sarcophagus. The sacristy 
contains some fine sixteenth-century silk panels for altar fronts. There is a 
beautiful little cloister rather in the Monreale style with pointed arches resting 
on pairs of columns adorned with sculptures and various arabesques an 
important example of Sicilian-Norman art. The archive room is also im 
portant, because all the charters have been preserved. 

Cephaloeditim. See Introduction to Cefalk 

dirist, mosaic of. See Cathedral 

Cisterns. The castle rock abounds in tb a^ii^l5tei^-sia|)ai c^terns so 
common at Girgenti. The best kbowa is ife 1 Bijg^o ;il Dikasa^ i^blcli looks 
like one of the favafojz, or ancient pelbiie ;wasfe^-p|a^^ allacied to many 
Sicilian and Italian cities. Tills gigaalc ceiaeaslei cislera is full of a huge 
kind of maidenhair. 

Cloister. See CatliedraL 

Coins, The Ras l&efkart coin, hitherto assigned to Heraclea Minoa, is, per 
haps, according to Holm aad Mr. G, F. Hill, to be attributed to Cefalu. On 



THINGS OF CEFALU 335 

the one side they have a bearded head of the Phoenician Hercules, or a 
female head with dolphins (or are they the Cefali ?) ; on the other Is a gallop 
ing four-horse chariot. The Roman coins are inscribed in Greek **Kepha- 
loidiou," and nearly all are connected with Hercules's head, lion-skin, club, 
and bow and quiver. (G. F. Hill. ) 

Diana. At Cefalu, as in many parts of Sicily, it is a custom to name very 
old things after Diana, probably because Diana or Artemis was the tutelary 
goddess of the Dorian race ; and the Dorians of Syracuse swamped Greek 
Sicily. 

Diana, Bagno di. See Castle. 

Diana, Tempio di. See Prehistoric house. 

Gibelmanna. The new summer station in delightful scenery near the famous 
monastery, is on a mountain alx>ve Cefalu. 

Gothic architecture. Scattered about the town are various examples of 
Gothic with slender shafted windows. 

Himera. Cefalu is said to have been a dependency of Hirnera, See 
History. 

Hotels. See Accommodation above. 

Osteri Magno. A medieval edifice mentioned by Sig. Luigi Mauceri. 

Palazzo Geraci. Opposite the Casa di Ruggero ; has the prominent billet 
moulding of Saracenic origin. (Murray.) 

Porta Gindecca. A Norman gate. 

Portazza. The local name for Cefalu. Butler, in his Authoress of the 
Odyssey ', declares Portazza, z>. Portacci% or wide gate, to be too like a cor 
rupt mistranslation of Telepylus of Horaer to allow of his passing over. 

Laestryg'omans, Butler thinks that this aaiae, which lie translates workers 
in stones, may have bee applied to the Sicaas of Telep^Ies or Cefelu, as well 
as the Cyclops, 

Photograph Tfeere is a fjljotograpfer wiso itfes at Ce&&. Any boy 
will take visitors to JMm, Imt foe is a small man working in his bedroom. 
Ineorpcca of Palermo afld AHnari, whose photographs are sold at Reber's 
library, have both taken excellent photographs of the principal monuments 
at Cefalu. 

Prehistoric house. This prehistoric house in the castle at Cefalu is one 
of the finest monuments of its period anywhere, and is much the oldest monu 
ment in Sicily. There are people who ascribe it to the Homeric Age. It is 
locally known as the Temple of Diana, See Diana, Butler calls it "a 
building on a hill behind the town, in part polygonal and very rude, and part 
much later and singularly exquisite work, the later work being generally held 
to be of the Mycenaean Age." Freeman considers the remains to be Sikelian. 
" A building yet stands on the slope of the hill in whose walls we see the work 
of the primeval Sikel, the paling of vast irregular stones, to which those who 
love to burn their fingers with doubtful theories rejoice to give the name 
Pelasgian. We see, too, the work of the Sikel brought under Hellenic influ 
ences, his more regular rectangular -masonry and the cut stones of his door 
ways. We long for some piece of evidence which might enable us to connect 
the building with the name of Docetras or of either Archonides. The only 
part of the building which keeps a roof is covered with a brick vault, while 
over all rise the ruins of a small early apsidal church," 

Com. Luigi Maixfcri, Vice-Director of the Sicilian Railways, who has made 
a special study of the prehistoric buildings of Sicily, uses the term Pelasgic. 



336 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

It was built of a sort of marble. The rock on which it and the castle stand 
is of the marble called lumachella. 

Murray says, u a building about fifty feet in length, with doors and passages 
of polygonal masonry very neatly fitted together, remarkable as the only 
specimen of the so-called Pelasgic style in Sicily." Rising as it does to the 
height of a room, and having several feet of masonry on the top of its singu 
larly perfect doorway, it is, of course, more perfect than any known Greek 
house of the historic age. And its position is one of exquisite beauty, standing 
as it does high up on the Pellegrino-like mountain with a view bounded by 
Capo dl Gallo on the west and Capo Orlando eastward, while a walk of a 
t few yards takes you to the embattled edge of the rock from which you can 
look down on King Roger's noble cathedral. 




THE PREHISTORIC HOUSE ON THE ACROPOLIS 

Prehistoric wall. Down by the sea near a fountain is a very fine piece of 

polygonal wall, showing that the builders of the prehistoric house had a haven. 
Freeman says : '* Two primeval walls on the two sides of the present town, one 
leading down to the sea, the other rising above the sea, served to join the city 
on the hill to the waters below. Those who reared them had clearly made a 
great advance on the condition of the mere dwellers on the hilltops. They had 
learned better to know the sea ; they had learned that, if it might be a. source 
of danger, it might also be a source of well-being. The long walls of Cepha- 
Icedimm were no unworthy forerunners of the long walls of Athens." 

Marble. The shell-marble, or lumachella, of Cefalu is equal to that of 
Siberia. 

Medieval houses, etc. Near the cathedral. Just above the Albergo 
d s Italia there is a medieval house with a charming little arcade at the side of 
its door. See Gothic. 

Mosaics. Chiesi savs: "The mosaics which adorn the principal apse of 
the cathedral at Cefalu are, in the opinion of all experts, the finest which 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 337 

remain in Sicily. They are the most perfect for their style, expression, tone, 
and the religious character of -the time. They are the only mosaics which can 
compare with the paintings of the celebrated convent of Mount Athos, the 
hearth of that Christian art on which the Byzantines formed their style, who 
passed into Italy, gave birth in Florence to Cimabue and Giotto, and in 
Palermo^ to II Camulio, starting in this branch our artistic Renaissance." 

Sabatier, the celebrated French archaeologist, who wrote with loving 
erudition on the artistic remains of old Sicily, visiting more than thirty years 
ago the cathedral of Cefalu, while the celebrated Mosaicist, Rosario Riolo of 
the Museum school of Palermo, was restoring these mosaics, judged those of 
the cathedral^ at Cefalu the most wonderful of their kind, and ranked them - 
as the immediate and exclusive work of those Calogeri, the most expert and 
unsurpassed artists in this kind of work. The superb and colossal half-length 
figure of Christ, one of the finest in existence, fills the upper part of the 
principal apse as it were to dominate the church and strike veneration in the 
crowd of believers. With His right hand He is in the act of blessing ; with 
His left He holds the Gospels open. Figures of Apostles, Saints, and Angels 
surround this majestic figure, all of them executed with the finest art of the 
time. Among the notable figures are those of St. Basilius, St. Chrysostom, 




description hi Greek so different from the others, are the indisputable proof of 
their purely Calogerene workmanship of the mosaics. They were finished in 
1148, and were fortunate enough in this restoration to escape the disfigurement 
which the Cappella Reale and Martorana mosaics suffered. 

Roger the Second, called Roger the King, of Sicily, not Roger I., the 
Great Count, was the founder of tfae cathedral of Cefalfc. See History. 

Teiepylns. Is Cefalii the Telepylus of Homer ? See above, P&rtazza. 

View. See Castle and Prehistoric bouse. 

THINGS OF GIRGENTI 

GIRGENTI is a good way from its railway station, from which it has train 
communication with Palermo, Catania, and Porto Empedocle. Omnibuses 
from the hotels meet the train. The best hotel in the town is the Belvedere, 
whose proprietor, Sig. G. O. De Angelis., is a person of much consideration 
in the community, the best person for a stranger to go to if he wants any 
assistance or information. The cooking is first-rate at this hotel, and the 
view from its terrace superb. The Hotel des Temples, the most expensive 
hotel, frequented by Americans and the wealthier English, is a good way from 
the town half-way between it and the temples. All foreigners, except 
Germans, go to one of these hotels. 

The best time to visit Girgenti is the winter and spring, as it is a warm 
place, and the parts outside the town are malarious at bad times. The great 
saint here is S. Gerlandus, the first Norman bishop. Girgenti is one of the 
most beautiful places in Sicily. It stands on a lofty rifted hill overlooking 
the sea, with the cathedral at its highest point. It is surrounded on the south 
by a medieval wall, from which you get a superb view of the rich plain of 
Acragas, between the mountains and the African Sea, with two rivers 
meandering across it like silver ribbons, and rising between them a kg 
acropolis, crowned by two of the noblest temples bequeathed to us by the 



338 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

ancients. Their columns are of bright golden stone, and every spring the 
temples and their rock are swathed in clouds of almond blossom which rival 
the cherry-groves round the temples of Tokio. The ancients revelled in its 
beauty. Pindar calls it the fairest of mortal cities and * ' splendour-loving," 
and in its day the rock of the temples, with half a dozen great temples rising 
out of the quarter of the nobles, must have been amazingly beautiful and 
impressive. 

Acragas, the Roman Agrigentum, the modern Girgenti, was founded by 
colonists from Gela in 592 B.C. Phalaris became its tyrant in 570, and made 
it one of the most powerful cities of Sicily with a considerable empire in the 
island. Its next great ruler was Theron, who became its tyrant in 488 B.C. 
By the expulsion of Terillus from Himera he gained possession of that city, 
and aided by Gelo of Syracuse, who marched to his rescue with 50,000 horse 
and foot, destroyed Hamilcar's army of 300,000 men at the Battle of Himera 
(q.v.), 480 B.C. He brought vast numbers of Carthaginian prisoners back 
with him, who constructed the marvellous aqueducts and other public build 
ings of ancient Acragas. He died 472 B.C., and his son Thrasydseus was 
quickly expelled by Empedocles. It was Empedocles who said that the 
Acragantines built their houses as if they were to live for ever, but gave 
themselves up to luxuries as if they were to die on the morrow. Diodorus 
says that Acragas had 20,000 citizens and a total population of 200,000 at its 
zenith. About 450 B.C, Syracuse and Acragas united against Ducetius, 
After his defeat they fought with each other, and any question of rivalry 
between the two cities was settled for ever by the crushing defeat of the 
Acragantines on the Southern Himera, 446 B.C. During the Athenian 
Expedition, 414-413 B.C., Acragas remained strictly neutral. In 406 B.C. they 
stood a siege of eight months against the huge Carthaginian hosts under 
Himilcon ; but notwithstanding the help of some mercenaries under the 
Spartan Dexippus and a Syracusan army under Daphnseus, they deserted 
their city and fled to Gela. Those who could not go were massacred and the 
wealth of the city plundered by the Carthaginians. By the truce between 
Dionysias and the Carthaginians, the exiles were permitted to return on con 
dition of not fortifying. But a few years later they were able to shake off the 
yoke of Carthage and attach themselves to Dionysius, and by the peace of 383 
they were left free. Timoleon, after his victory over the Carthaginians at the 
Crimesus, 340 B.C., finding the city very depressed, recolonised it with 
citizens from Velia in Italy. Acragas once more became the rival of Syracuse, 
regarding Timoleon as its second founder. In 314 B.C. its citizens were 
forced to acknowledge the hegemony of Syracuse. But in 309 B.C. they 
formed a league with the hegemony for themselves against Agathocles, who 
was absent in Africa. But they were twice severely defeated, and on the 
return of Agathocles compelled to sue for peace. After the death of Agatho 
cles Phintias made himself king of Acragas, They submitted to Pyrrhus 
wfeen he landed. At the commencement of the First Punic War they admitted 
a Carthaginian garrison, but, 262 B.C., after a long siege, the city was taken 
by the two consuls after Hanno, who had advanced with a large army to relieve 
it, had been defeated. From this time it is known as Agrigentum. The 
Carthaginian garrison fled, leaving the city to its fate, and the Romans 
reduced 25,000 of its inhabitants to slavery. The Romans lost 30,000 men 
in the siege. In 255 B.C. the Romans, having been weakened by a series of 
losses at sea, the Carthaginian general, Carthalo, once more recovered the 
city with little difficulty, and once more reduced the city to ashes, and 
destroyed its fortifications. It was ceded to the Romans with the rest of 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 339 

Sicily at the end of the war. In the Second Punic War the Carthaginians 
took it before Marcellus could arrive to save it, and it became the chief 
stronghold of the Carthaginians in Sicily, holding out against the Romans 
long after the rest of the island had submitted. But in 210 B.C. Mutines, the 
Numidian, who had taken the leading part in the defence, was offended by 
the Carthaginian commander, and betrayed the city. The leading citizens 
were put to death, and the rest sold as slaves. The Romans favoured the 
city greatly. Cicero mentions it as one of the most wealthy and populous 
cities of Sicily. It never seems to have been a Roman colony, though it was 
still one of the leading cities of Sicily under the Eastern Empire. It was one 
of the first places taken by the Saracens in A.D. 827, and was not taken by 
the Normans till 1086. Abridged from Sir W. Smith in the Dictionary of 
Greek and Roman Geography. (Murray). 

Girgenti owed its prosperity to its trade with Carthage, which it supplied 
with wine and oil. It is a very prosperous town to-day, having a large trade 
in sulphur. It has a population of 25,000 inhabitants. The Saracens 
colonised it with Berbers, which is always considered to account for the 
brutality of its lower orders. There is a proverb, " Girgenti mala genie" 

^Esculapius. See under Temples. 

Agora. Surrounded with colonnades, mentioned by Polybius, has perished 
except a tiled pavement forming an angle at the edge of the road from Bona- 
Murone to S. Nicola. 

Almond trees. Girgenti is famous for its almond -blossom. When that is 
at its height the view of the temples rising out of it equals any cherry-blossom 
effect in Japan. 

AngeBs, Sig. Giovanni Oreste de 1 . Proprietor of the Hotel Belve 
dere. Speaks French well and is much tbe most helpftil man to strangers at 
GirgentL Scholars always go to his hotel 

Aqueducts. The Greek aqueducts at Girgenti, though almost unnoticed 
by foreign antiquaries, are among the most astonishing works of antiquity. 
They are said to have been made by the Carthaginian prisoners taken at the 
Battle of Himera, 480 B.C., and are tunnels cut for vast distances through the 
rock high enough and wide enough for a man to walk through them. The 
brothers Caltagirone can point them out. How the men who made them got 
air and got rid of the rubbish one cannot understand. 

" Many of the barbarians, when their army was routed, fled up into the 
midland and borders of Agrigentum, who, being all taken alive, filled the city 
with prisoners. The greatest portion were set apart for the public service, 
and appointed to cut and hew stone, of which they not only built the greatest 
of their temples, but made watercourses or sinks underground to convey 
water from the city, so great and wide that, though the work itself was con 
temptible, yet when done and seen was worthy of admiration. The overseer 
and master of the work was one Pheax, an excellent artificer, from whom 
these conduits were called Pheaces." (Booth's translation of Diodorus Siculus, 
Book XI.) 

Arabic remains. A neglected subject There are many traces of them in 
the towns round Girgenti, and in the nomenclature especially, such as 
Rabato, Macalubi, Favara. 

Avria, Villa. An artist's bit ; built in 1860, with many charming features^ 
but at the expense of the Temple of Hercules. 



340 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Bakery, medieval. There is at least one medieval bakery with curious 
old furnaces in one of the streets which climb to the cathedral. 

Biblioteca Lucchesiana. Founded by Bishop Lucchesi 150 years ago. 
One of the most famous libraries in Sicily. In the Carabinieri Barracks near 
the cathedral. 

Bridge of the Dead, or the Greek Bridge. See Ponte dei Morti. 

Carlo Quinto, The hand of the Emperor Charles V. was heavy on Girgenti. 
He used the stone of the Temple of Jupiter Olympius, etc., to build the mole 
of Porto Empedocle. 

Carthaginians. They played a large part in the story of Girgenti. It 
owed its wealth to commerce with Carthage, to which it exported wine and 
oil. It owed its destruction to the Carthaginians, 406 B.C. It belonged to 
them for a long period. The Carthaginian camp lay between the sea and the 
Greek necropolis and the Temple of Vulcan in the angle of the river Hypsas. 
They had another force on the hill beyond the Rupe Atenea. 

Castor and Pollux. See under Temples. 

Catacombs. The easiest to explore are those which open out of the Grotta 
di Fragapane, near the Temple of Concordia. There is a catacomb or secret 
passage leading from the Chiesa del Purgatorio to some point on the hill of 
the temples. It has never been fully explored, and is now kept closed. 

Cathedral. Dates from the fourteenth century. The windows in its tower 
are some of the most exquisite work of that period. The interior is baroque. 
The roof is rich, and the choir should be examined as an example of baroque 
run wild, with its sea-nymphs, and water made of iron. Some of the fourteenth- 
century work is preserved under the baroque. They show you a piece with an 
ancient fresco. See the sacristy with the glorious Roman sarcophagus of Phsedra 
and Hippolytus till recently used for the altar ; its splendid ancient pewter 
vessels ; its Greek vase, and its superb view of the mountains behind the city. 
On the way into the sacristy is a charming little late Gothic chapel, the Cappella 
Marina, with a fine tomb. See also the picture by Guido and the silver image 
of S. Gerlandus, the first bishop. The beautiful sixteenth-century ironwork 
of the choir has been removed within the last few years. There are some 
handsome gilt baroque fittings. 

Cave-dwellings. Hardly any visitors to Girgenti are aware of the many 
dwellings and tombs of the troglodytes, probably Sicanians, which He between 
the city and the Ponte dei Morti in the fennel gardens. There are some 
fine examples. The Caltagirone brothers know them, and they are easily 
photographable. 

Cell, Prof. An able and obliging antiquary, who is director of the local 
museum (q.v.). 

Ceres, See under Temples, 

Churches. Girgenti is far richer in interesting churches than visitors 
suppose. 

Ad&rata. The Adorata has a fine dog-tooth Gothic arch, like S. Giorgio, 
btt not so good. Behind it is a medieval cistern. The church came down 
when making the Via Garibaldi. 

S. Ant&nw. Contains some charming artists' bits. On the first floor it has 
three lovely fourteenth-century windows almost as rich as the cathedral tower, 
and another window round the corner filled up. Notice the picturesque 
bevelled angle and Gothic doorways on the ground floor. In the Via 
S. Antonio. 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 341 

S. Biagio. On the Rupe Atenea. Formed out of the cella of the Temples 
of Ceres and Proserpine, Small Gothic windows. 

Carmine. At the west front of the Carmine are four Moresque carvings of 
the Arti, or trade guilds shoemakers, shepherds, wine-sellers, etc. They are 
on sunken square panels. To the right is another shepherd panel. 

S. Domenico. On the way down to the Hotel Belvedere and the museum. 
Has a staircase copied from the Temple of Concordia and good organ-lofts. 
In the street to the left are some Arabo-Norman windows, one with its shafts 
still entire. 

Duomo. See above, under Cathedral 

S. Francesco d* Assist. Near the entrance of the main street as you come 
from the station. Full of charming artists' bits. It has remains of a cloister 
with three rich and lovely Gothic doors with ruined rose-windows above them 
in the golden stone which makes Girgenti so lovely. The sacristy is a Gothic 
chantrey. It contains a superb Renaissance tomb, with a lunette and a Pieta 
above and a rich sarcophagus with a baronial effigy l>elow. There are two 
churches underneath the present church, the upper one restored. The lower 
one, in which the original Gothic is undisturbed, is for some reason bricked 
up. The cloister is in the grounds of a school (25 cent, to porter). 

S. Francesco di Paolo has an effective terra-cotta lunette over its gateway. 

S. Giorgio^ A ruined chapel under the vast Chiaramonte Palace, which is 
now the Seminario. Its gateway is one of the richest pieces of Arabo- Norman 
decoration in Sicily, and the Gothic interior is full of white rabbits. Charming 
artists' bit 

S, Maria del Grsci. Near the cathedral. A picturesque old Gothic church 
with an atrium. Used by the very poor. There is a charming little antique 
reliquary. In the crypt there is a splendid piece of stylobate with the bases 
of ^ six columns variously attributed to Jupiter Poilias, Jupiter Atabyrius, and 
M inerva the only classical remains within the town. It was formerly the 
cathedral, and when people talk of a temple of Minerva on the site of the 
cathedral they refer to this church, not to the pr esent cathedral. 

S. Nicola. One of the most charming convents in Sicily, containing an old 
Graco-Norman church with a stately doorway and very ancient oak doors. 
Under ^its curious barrel roof is a Greek cornice, which makes some people 
maintain that it was the cella of a temple. But the ruined choir, shut off 
from the present church and used for keeping rabbits and peacocks, which also 
has a Greek cornice, looks more like this if there ever was a cella. The 
architecture of the interior of the church is not good, though some of it is 
early medieval. The convent itself has a cloister with a few remains of 
Gothic arches and a delightful terrace, adorned with a marble cornice of some 
old Greek building and with three views equally delightful, that of the golden 
temples below, that of the yellow city towering behind the stone-pines to the 
top of a rifted hill, and that of the medieval garden with its many-columned 
pergola, its Temple of the Sun, and its glorious stone-pines. It is now private 
property, but visitors are welcomed by the Madonna-like caretaker. There is 
no better spot in Sicily for artists. The scene of Miss Nonna Larimer's 
novel, Jesiatfs ffgfc, is laid in this delightful convent. The Temple of the Sun 
is called also the Oratory of Phalaris (q.v.). Notice the enormous gebbia, 

Purgaterio, Ckiesa del In the centre of the town. Has the catacombs 
referred to above, 

S. Spirito (Colkgio}. Another charming artist's bit The church has a 
noble Gothk door with a perished rose-window above it, aad is said to have 



342 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

a beautiful south front, which is not shown. The inside has a good old ceiling 
in squares and graceful door-screen. Notice Madonna (school of Gagini) 
with a good carved predella, three old silver crowns, stucco panels by Serpotta, 
the incomparable stucco sculptor (see under Palermo), which are perfectly 
charming, and magnificent fifteenth-century font, school of Gagini. The 
piazza in front of the church is quite an artist's bit. 

Cisterns, Greek, There are quantities of the little bottle-shaped cisterns 
cut in the rock at Girgenti. There is one near the Temple of Juno, and the 
Grotta of Fragapane (q.v.) is cut out of another. The best place to see 
them is to walk down the railway Ime 3 which cuts through any amount of 
cisterns and tombs. 

Classical fragments. See at the museum and in the garden of S. Nicola. 
The Caltagirone brothers will show numerous remains of Greek houses, Greek 
tombs, etc. 

Concordia. See under Temples. 

Coins. The coins of Acragas are very easily recognisable by their eagles 
and crabs. The commonest type has an eagle one side and a crab the other. 
There is a splendid decradrachm at Munich with an eagle holding a hare on 
one side and a four-horse chariot under an eagle on the other. The crab was 
a fresh-water crab found in the river of Acragas. There is also a beautiful 
bronze coin with a fine head on one side and the Pegasus on the other belong 
ing to Acragas. 

Costumes, Girgenti is not a good place for costumes, though the women, 
who do not go about much, make a picturesque feature in the churches with 
their black mantos or shawls. 

Curios. Girgenti is a capital place to buy curios. Fresh Greek tombs are 
constantly being opened, and you can buy a few pieces of old lace, fans, etc. 
The Greek curios consist of terra-cotta figurines, vases, lamps, articles of 
toilet ; bronze ditto, not so numerous ; bronze candelabra, mirrors, bells, 
needles, weights, rings, bracelets, etc. ; stray pieces of antique gold and 
silver and innumerable coins. There are three brothers named Caltagirone, 
who are licensed to dig for antiquities on condition of submitting their finds 
to the museum. They are perfectly honest and by no means expensive. 
Sig. de Angelis of the Hotel Belvedere sends for them. 

Curio-shops. In the main street. The most reasonable is kept by a barber. 
But the jewellers all deal in curios. 

Einpeclocles was a native of Girgenti. Was flourishing 444 B.C. Refused 
the tyranny when he had driven out Thrasydseus, son of Theron. He freed 
Girgenti from malaria by making the cleft between the city and the Rupe 
Atenea. See General Index. 

Empedode, Porto. One of the principal sulphur ports of Sicily. The 
port of Girgenti. Owes its existence chiefly to the mole built by Charles V. 
oat of the Temple of Jupiter. 

Favara. A city a few miles from Girgenti, containing a splendid old castle 
of Ifee Qtiaraim>nte. See General Index. 

Garibaldi, Villa. The public garden of Girgenti, situated on the Rupe 
Atenea at the entrance to the town. 

Gates. The Porta Aurea was situated between the Temple of Hercules and 
the Temple of Jupiter. The P&rta Gela was situated between the Temple of 
JMIO and the Rupe Aten-ea. The Porta Bracka by which the Carthaginians 
entered was near the Greek bridge. The modern gates are not important 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 343 

Gateways, medieval. There are at least two medieval gateways of the 
narrow acute-arched Arabo-Norman pattern In the wall which runs along the 
south side of the town. - 

Gebbia. One of the largest gebbias or water-cisterns in Sicily is at the 

Convent of S. Nicola. 

Gellias. The rich citizen of Acragas who burnt himself in the Temple of 
Juno (Minerva), where the traces of the fire can still be seen, on the night that 
the Carthaginians took Acragas, 406 B.C. For Diodorus's stories about him, 
see General Index. 




THE TEMPLE OF JUNO (MINERVA), WHERE GELLIAS BCRNED HIMSELF 

Gerlando, S. The Norman bishop appointed to Girgenti by Count Roger. 

He was canonised, and is the popular saint of Girgenti. See Cathedral. 

Giardino Pubbllco. See Villa Garibaldi. 

GIgantL The giants which form the device of Girgenti are a pun on the 
name, helped out by the fallen giant in the Temple of Jupiter Olympius. 

Goethe was at Girgenti in 1787, from the 23rd to the 28th of April, He 
saw the coast of Africa one day, and thought the Phaedra and Hippolytus 
sarcophagus the best he had ever seen. 

Golden Gate. See Gates, Porta Aurea. 

GrBeco-Normao architecture. The Greek influence on the Norman style 
of architecture is distinctly visible at the Convent of S. Nicola. 

S, Gregotio delle Rape (i.e. of the turnips). The church in which the 
Temple of Concord was embodied and preserved for so many centuries. 
^ Grotta di Fragapane. A very elegant catacomb extended from a Greek 
cistern which had "teen used as a tomb, near the Temple of Concordia. 
Baedeker assigns it to the second century A.D. 

Guides. Girgenti has a good guide, one of the brothers Caltagirone, who 
sell antickita at the hotels. He can point out the houses of the cave-dwellers, 
the Greek aqueducts, the various Greek tombs, the remains of Greek houses, 
etc., as well as all the Gothic bits in the city. 

Gmdo Reni There is a Guido in the cathedral. 



344 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Hercules. See under Temples. 

Hanno L, The Carthaginian general whose failure to relieve Agrigentum 
brought about its capture by the Romans in the First Punic War, 262 B.C. 

Hanno II., the Carthaginian general who maintained himself at Agrigen 
tum two years after Marcellus had captured Syracuse. 

Hollow Way, the. An ancient Greek road from the present city down to 
the temenos in which the temples stand. It looks like the bed of a torrent. 
The expression only means a sunken road. 

Hotels. The principal hotel in the town in Girgenti is the "Belvedere," on 
the south wall, commanding a glorious view of the temples and the sea. The 
Hotel des Temples is about half-way between the temples and the city. The 
cooking at the "Belvedere" is very good, and the landlord, who speaks 
excellent French, is the most useful man in the town to strangers. 

Houses, Greek. There is a very fine Greek house at Girgenti on the 
property opposite S. Nicola as you go down to the temples. It was excavated 
by Prof. Salinas, and is of great size. It has a courtyard with twenty-eight 
columns, the bases of which are all in situ, and the walls of the rooms, some 
of which have mosaiced floors, are several feet high. There are remains 
of numerous other Greek houses in the fields near the railway, which the 
Caltagirone brothers can point out. There is hardly anything left of them, 
except bits of foundations, and tiled or mosaiced or cemented floors. The 
leading characteristics of a Greek house were : a small front door on the 
street leading through a little hall into the courtyard of the anckronitis* Le. the 
men's part. From this, which was surrounded by the sleeping-cells of the 
unmarried men of the family and the slaves, the mesaulus^ or the half-way 
hall, conducted one into the gyn&cmitis or women's part of the house, 
surrounded by the chambers of the women and the head of the house. There 
was often a garden at the back. One need not enter into details, and the 
plan was not rigidly adhered to. 

Ipogeo, or Laberinto. The secret passage alluded to above. See Catacombs. 

Jewels, Greek. Little ornaments of gold and silver are constantly found 
in the tombs, especially rings and earrings, though larger pieces have been 
discovered. 

"Josiah's Wife." A novel by Miss Nonna Lorimer, with its scene laid 
at Girgenti, chiefly at S. Nicola. (Methuen, 6^.) 

Jono Lactnia. See Temples. 

Jupiter. See Temples. 

Laberinto. See Ipogeo. 

Laevinus. The Roman consul to whom Mutines betrayed Agrigentum in 
the Second Punic War, 210 B.C. 

Latomia, i.e. literally a stone quarry. Like those at Syracuse. The 
large hollow called the Piscina, which was a reservoir or fish-pond in Roman 
times, was really a latomia with the end blocked up. 

^ * IB those former times, likewise, there was a pond out of the walls of the 
city, cut by art, seven furlongs in compass, and twenty cubits in depth ; into 
this, with wonderful art, were drawn currents of water, by which they were 
abundantly supplied with all sorts of fish ready for their use at all public 
entertainments. Upon this pond, likewise, fell multitudes of swans and 
other fowl, which entertained the spectators with great delight." (Diodoras 
Siculus, Book XIIL, chap, xii.) 

"The Agrigentines, likewise, sunk a fish-pond at great cost and expense 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 345 

seven furlongs in compass, and twenty cubits in depth. Into this water 
was brought both from fountains and rivers, and by that means it was 
sufficiently supplied with fish of all sorts, both for food and pleasure. And 
upon this pond there fell and rested a great multitude of swans, which gave a 
most pleasant and delightful prospect to the eye ; but by the neglect of suc 
ceeding ages, it grew up with mud, and at last, through length of time, 
became entirely dry ground. But the soil there being very fat and rich, 
they have planted it with vines and replenished it with all sorts of trees, 
which yields to those of Agrigentum a very great revenue." (Diod. Sic., 
Book XL) 

Lorimer, Miss Norma. Sezjosm&'s Wijt. 

Malaria. Empedpcles is said to have driven away malaria by cutting the 
valley between the city and the Rupe Atenea. 

Mamilius, Q, One of the two Roman consuls who captured Agrigentum 
after a seven-months' siege in the First Punic War, 262 B.C. 

Minerva, See Temples. 

Monserrato. The long hill between Girgenti and Porto Empedocle across 
the river valley from the Greek necropolis. The Carthaginians occupied 
this, as well as the valley between called the Sita. It is covered with tombs. 

Museum. There is a small museum at Girgenti under the direction of the 
amiable and able Prof. Celi. It is a few doors from the Hotel Belvedere. 
It has a splendid collection of Greek vases and, of course, a number of terra 
cotta figurines, and the various bronzes and terra-cottas which are generally 
found in tombs. It has also some interesting sarcophagi in its rather quaint 
little cortile. Among the vases is the splendid specimen dug out while the 
German Emperor was at Girgenti and presented to him. He refused to 
deprive the town of it, and desired it to be kept in the museum with his name 
attached. 

Mnttnes. The courageous and skiifiil Namidsean who defended Agrigeotuci 
so long against the Romans in the Second Punic War. Having been offended 
by the Carthaginian general, Hanno, he betrayed the city to the Consul 
C. Lsevinus, 210 B.C. 

Necropolis. Few people who go to Girgenti trouble about either the Greek 
or the Roman necropolis, though they comment a good deal on the picturesque 
Roman-Christian tombs of the Grotta di Fragapane and those with which the 
ancient city wall are honeycombed. But there is a Roman necropolis outside 
the Porta Aurea which has one rather majestic tomb miscalled the Tomb 
of Theron (q.v.) 9 and there is an enormous Greek necropolis stretching from 
just beneath the city wall across the valley of the Hypsas aad over the brow 
of Monserrato. The tombs in it mostly are cut in the surface of the rock in 
a coffin shape covered with lids of stone or terra-cotta, aad undisturbed 
tombs are constantly being opened aad yielding up their treasures. There is 
a high causeway whose walls are built of these tomb-covers set on end. The 
remains of the Ponte dei Morti (q-v.), by which the bodies were carried 
across the river to the necropolis, exist There is also a prehistoric necro 
polis intermixed with the houses of the cave-dwellers in the rocks under 
the town. 

Nicola, Convent of S. See under Churches. 

Olive trees. Some of the olive trees round Girgenti are said to be two 
thousand years old. There are some very old ones round the Temple of 
Juno. 



346 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Palaces. Girgenti has practically no palaces of any pretension going back 
to Gothic times. The Palazzo Granito is considered the finest. The interest 
ing feature is the introduction of Greek features copied direct from the 
city's own monuments in its modern classical architecture. There is a temple 
colonnade in the main street, which often deceives visitors, though it has 
no great merit. 

Phaeaces. The aqueducts (q.v.). 

Phaedra and Hippolytus. The subject of a superb Greek sarcophagus 
preserved in the cathedral, and until recently used as the altar. Goethe, 
in his Letters from Sicily, says: "In it there is an ancient sarcophagus in 
good preservation. The fact of its being used for the altar has rescued from 
destruction the sculptures on it : Hippolytus, attended by his hunting 
companions and horses, has just been stopped by Phaedra's nurse, who 
wishes to deliver him a letter. As in this piece the principal object was 
to exhibit beautiful youthful forms, the old woman, as a mere subordinate 
personage, is represented very little and almost dwarfish, in order not to 
disturb the intended effect Of all the alto-relievoes I have seen, I do not, 
I think, remember one more glorious and at the same time so well preserved 
as this. Until I meet with a better, it must pass with me as a specimen 
of the most graceful period of Grecian art." (Bohn's trans.) 

Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum, began his reign 570 B.C. He is remem 
bered equally for his brazen bull and the forged letters which rehabilitated his 
character. He is said to have kept the boll at Ecnomras, the hill above 
Licata, Diodoras trounces Timsetis for not believing in it, and certainly 
Scipkv, when he conquered Carthage, brought back the brazen bull, which the 
Carthaginians had taken from Agrigentum as that of Phalaris. See General 
Index, The legend was that he roasted people alive in it (like the Moloch 
worshippers), beginning with the artist who had constructed- it for him, 
so that their cries should come out from the open mouth. The so-called 
Oratory of Phalaris in the convent garden of S. Nicola belongs to a later 
date. Dante (Canto xxvii. 4-9} alludes to the brazen bull and the story 
of Perillus being the first victim. 

" Come il bue Cicilian, che muggfaift prima 

Col pianto di colui (e ci& fa dntto) 

Che I' avea temperate con sua lima 

Muggbiva con la voce dell' afflito 

Si cbe con tutto eh' ei fosse di rame 

Pure e' pareva dal dolor traffito." 

* { As the Sicilian bull (which bellowed first with the lament of him and 
that was right who had turned it with his file) kept bellowing with the 
sufferer's voice ; so that, although it was of brass, it seemed transfixed with 
pain," 

Phtntias. Tyrant of Agrigentum 289 B.C. (according to Sir W. Smith). 
He established an empire large enough to include Agyrium. He is best 
known from having founded the new city of PMntias, the modern Licata, and 
translemng to it the inhabitants of Gela. See Phintias, General Index. 

Pfiotograpiis. There is a small photographer at Girgenti difficult to fin'd. 
Sig. de Angelis at the Hotel Belvedere has the largest selection of both 
photographs and postcards. 

Pindar (see General Index) was employed by Theron of Agrigentum to 
write odes about his triumphs. It was he who gave Girgenti its name of 
"Splendour-loving Acragas," " splendour -loving noble city of all the most 
beautiful." 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 347 

Piscina. See above, under Latomia. Mentioned by Diodorus. 

Politi, RafTaelle. One of the best artists of his time. He wrote a guide 
book to Girgenti, which is now very valuable and seldom to be bought, 
entitled, // Viaggiatore in Girgenti e il cicerone dz piazza, owero guida agli 
avanzi cPAgrigento" (Girg., 1826). He belonged to the same family as 
Salvatore and Vincenzo Politi, the authorities on the antiquities of Syracuse. 
Some of the forty plates of his book are very beautiful and interesting. The 
best are reproduced in Mr. Sladen's In Sicily^ including the reconstructed 
Temple of Jupiter. 

Ponte dei Morti. The Bridge of the Dead. One of the few Greek 
bridges in existence. Leads across the Hypsas from the ancient city to the 
Greek necropolis, It is one of the most important examples of Greek bridge- 
building in existence. 

Porta, Aurea. Gela, Eraclea (Heraclea). See under Gates. 

Porto Empedocle. See under Empedocle. 

Postumius, L. One of the two Roman consuls who captured Agrigentum 
after a seven-months' siege in the First Punic War, 262 B. c. 

Pottery. Girgenti is the only place in Sicily where you can buy genuine 
ancient Greek pottery at moderate prices. It is found so often there. The 
Girgenti people make very pretty modern pottery of the ancient shapes. 

Public gardens. See under Villa Garibaldi. 

Roger, the Great Count, captured Girgenti in 1086. The bishopric has 
been one of the principal bishoprics of Sicily ever since it was founded. 

Rupe Atenea. Girgenti stands upon a rifted hill, half of which, known 
as the Rupe Atenea, is almost bare, containing the ViBa Garibaldi, the 
Campo Santo (q.v.J, the old church of S. Biagie*, whkfe was the Temple of 
Ceres (q.v.jt, and a few modern buildings on the tofx Ret it was enclosed in 
the ancient walls, of wliieti, indeed, there are remains near the Poria Gela, 
Freeman thinks it never liad many buildings, wtiicti is easily intelligible ; as 
Greek cities lived ip a state of siege, they were compelled to enclose large 
bare tracts for growing food and forage. It bore the sanae aatne in the time 
of Diodorus, and as it has a rocky ledge, artificially planed to receive a 
building, it has been assumed that some building sacred to Athene (Minerva) 
stood here. But if, as has been with more reason conjectured, the Temple 
of Athena (Minerva), in which Gellias burnt himself and his family, is the 
so-called Temple of Juno, its contiguity to the Rape Atenea might have been 
sufficient to give the rock its name, 

Sarcophagi. See Cathedral, Museum, Phaedra, aai HippolytHS. 

Seminary. Chiaramonte Palace. Tbe seminary sta<is on trie site of an 
ancient palace of the Quaramonti, called like tfaeir great palace in Palermo 
Lo Steri. The foundations were laid by Bishop Marallo in 1574, and in 
1610 Gilberto Isfare Cprilles, Baron of Siculiana, who had succeeded to the 
possessions of the Chiaramonti, gave the palace to Bishop Bonincontro to 
build the seminary, which was completed in 1611. 

Sicilian -Gothic. The Sicilian-Gothic and Arabo-Norman buildings in 
Girgenti are the cathedral tower (q.v.), S. Maria dei Greci (q.v.), the Adorata 
(q.v.), S. Antonio (q.v.), S. Giorgio (q.v.), S. Nicola (q.v.} 5 S. Spirito (q.v.), 
S. Francesco d'Assisi (q.v.), a building opposite S. Domeriko, S. Biagio 
(q.-v.), the decorations of the Carmine (q.v.), a Renaissance-Gothic <ioor- 
way in the Via Piana Barone, with high spandrils and a rich border. In the 
Via ObMigato there is a very late square-headed Gothic gateway with an old 



34 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

peacock door-knocker. At No. 39, Via Garibaldi, is a window with columns 
sculptured by Gagini, with more sculptures inside on the staircase, which 
belongs rather to the Renaissance, 

Sirocco. The marks of the sirocco are distinctly seen on the temples. 
One side of the Temple of Juno, which stands on a very lofty rock, is quite 
eaten away by it. The stucco seems to resist better than the stone. The 
ancient wail between the Temple of Juno and Concordia has been eaten 
away by the sirocco till large portions of it have dropped out, and the re 
mainder looks like crumbling coral. 

Sulphur. All round Girgenti one sees traces of the great sulphur industry, 
for which Porto Empedocle is one of the principal shipping ports. One of 
the light tramways used for shipping the ore may be seen right under the 
temples. Pack-mules are also used, each carrying two great ingots. See 
under Sulphur, General Index, 

Teiamon. A male statue used in supporting an entablature, etc. See 
General Index. There is a perfect example lying on the ground in the Temple 
of the Olympian Jove. It measures 25 feet. It was put together by the artist 
RaffaelelPoliti. 




THE FALLEN TELAMQN IN THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER OLYMPIUS 



Temenos. A piece of land cut off from the public lands for the support of 
rulers or temples. See General Index. At Girgenti no less than six temples 
stood together within the temenos. 

Temples. At Girgenti there are remains of at least ten temples Juno, 
Concordia, Hercules, Jupiter Olympius, Castor and Pollux, and Vulcan 
together in the temenos; Jisculapius down in the plain below the other 
temples ; the Sun (Oratory of Phakris) in the garden of S. Nicola ; Ceres on 
the Rupe Atenea ; Jupiter Polias, or Atabyrius (called also Minerva), under 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 



349 



S. Maria del Greci ; and possibly a shrine of Athene (Minerva) OB the 
levelled space on the top of the Rupe Atenea. 

Tempio di Giunone Lacinia (Temple of Jano Lacinia or Lucina), really of 
Athene (Minerva;. A hexastyle peripteral temple of 34 columns. Nearly 
41 ^metres long, 19! wide, and has columns 3 metres high. Notice the 
ancient wall cut out of the living rock and honeycombed with early Christian 
tombs, often eaten through by the sirocco between the Temples of Concordia 
and Juno, and notice the bottle-shaped cistern in front of the Temple of Juno. 
The local guide-book says it has been known also as the Temple of Venus, 
but Diodorusjs doubtless right ia ascribing it to Athena (Minerva). At the 
Porta Gela it joins the Rope Atenea, and nothing would have teen more natural 
than to call the bare hillside adjoining the temple the Rock of Athene after 
the Temple of Athene, This must be the origin of the name Rupe Atenea. 

The Temple of Juno stands on a rock 390 feet high. It was built about 
500 years before Christ, and still has a large platform in front of it, called 
locally the Ara. It is very fairly perfect and sublimely beautiful and majestic. 
The marks of fire on it are said to have been caused by Gellias burning him 
self and his treasures and his family in it on the night that the Carthaginians 
took_ Acragas in 406 B. c. See Gellias, and in General Index, There are 
considerable remains of the cella. Its name, Juno Lacinia, does not rest on 
any good authority. It is one of the finest Greek temples in existence, though 
a little inferior in preservation to the best. 

The Temple of Concordia is the next in order. It is wonderfully perfect, 
also vaguely named. The only authority for the name is that of Fazello on 
the strength of an inscription recording a Concordia between the Communes 
of Agrigentum and Lilybeeum in Roman times. (Freeman.) 




THE TEMPLE OF CONCORDIA 



It is the most complete Doric temple in existence except the^Theseum at 
Athens. Possibly the Temple of Minerva at Syracuse might run it hard if 
the cathedral which embodies it were stripped. It is very beautiful, aEd 
like that of Jnno T the stone is of a beautiful golden colour. It was preserved 
by having been converted into the church of S, Gregorio della Rape. See 



3So SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

above. " Perfect staircases lead to the roof, which no longer exists. It is won 
derfully perfect, and the fact of its not having a roof is of no particular con 
sequence, because it is not certain whether a Greek temple of the very best 
kind ought to have a roof or be hypsethral. There is a window at each end 
of the cella, and arches have been chipped out of its wall. Having been a 
stuccoed temple, it had no grand metopes." (Sladen's In Sicily.'] A Latin 
inscription found in the eighteenth century which could not belong to it gave 
it its name. It is 42 metres long, 19 wide, and 10 high. It is a hexastyle 
peripteral temple of 34 columns. 

The Temple of Hercules was a hexastyle peripteral temple of 38 columns. 
It is 73 metres long and 19 metres wide. It contained the masterpiece of 
Zeuxis, the Alcmena, and the famous bronze Hercules which Verres tried to 
steal. Most of its cella went to build the mole of Porto Empedocle and the 
Villa Avria, the latter less than half a century ago. The columns were about 
ii metres high. 




RUINS OF THE TEMPLE. OF HESCOLES 



" The inner part of the cella is divided into three chambers, the central one 

being prefaced by a vestibule, an arrangement never found elsewhere in Greek 
temples, and probably a Roman interpolation, as the masonry appears to 
indicate. In the central chamber are remains of the pedestal for the statue 
of the diety to whom the temple was dedicated." (Murray.) 

Tempio di Giove Olimpico (Temple of the Olympian Zeus). It is 
separated from the Temple of Hercules by the gap of the Porta Aurea. It 
is the largest temple in Sicily and one of the largest in the world, and is of 
unique interest as being the original from which the Christians took the idea 
of a church. Being so immense, to strengthen it the spaces between the 
columns of the peristyle were walled and pierced with windows. In the 
interior the roof, or the entablature if there was no roof, was supported 
by huge telamons, 25 feet high, one of which, put together by RafFaele Politi, 
lies among the ruins. These are locally called / gigayiti. The natives think 



THINGS OF GIRGENTI 351 

Girgenti is a corruption of giganft. They appear on the city arms. It was 
3$o feet long and 200 feet wide. It was begun in the year of Theron's 
great victory over the Carthaginians at Himera, and was destroyed by the 
Carthaginians before it was finished, when they annihilated Girgenti, 406 B.C. 
It is a pseudo-peripteros of 38 half columns with flutings deep enough to 
take in a man. Most of its ruins went to build Charles V.'s mole on Porto 
Empedocle. 

Tempio di Castors e Polluce (Temples of Castor and Pollux). Really 
two temples whose foundations are perfectly distinct. An angle of one of 
them was restored by Pro Cavallari out of four Doric columns and a 
piece of the pediment, richly coloured and adorned. One of the most 
beautiful things in the kingdom of Italy. Just below it is the Piscina, and a 
little way beyond, built into a private house, is the Temple of Vulcan. 

Tempio di Vulcano (Temple of Vulcan). Consists of two columns built 
into a private house. It stands above the valley of the Hypsas, which contains 
the Greek necropolis and the camp of the Carthaginians. Near it, on the 
edge of the cliff, are some fragments of the ancient wall, and there are other 
antique bits near. 

Tempio di Esculapio (Temple of /EscuJapius). In a field between the 
Rock of the temples and the sea. Only a fragment incorporated in a farm 
building. 

Tempio di Cerere e Peru/one (the Temple of Ceres and Proserpine). 
Transformed into the church of S. Biagio by cutting Sicilian-Gothic door and 
windows in the cella. The peristyle has disappeared. 

Tempio del Sole, or Cappella di Falaride. In the garden of the convent of 
S. Nicola. Its stylobate is only 10-84 metres long by 7-22 metres wide. It 
was altered into a chapel in Norman times, bat the alterations have all perished, 
except an arch and some vaulting. Its connection with Phalaris has no 
foundation. The temple belongs to a much later epoch than his. It is a 
beautiful artist's bit. 

Tempio di Giow Pdieo o Atabirio (Temple of Zeus Polias or Atabirius). 
Not Minerva. That idea is founded on a misunderstanding of Diodorus, 
There are very considerable remains in the crypt of S. Maria dei Greci (q.v.). 
Part of the celia remains and a fine piece of the stylobate, with the bases of 
six columns. 

Terra cotta figures, Girgenti is the best place to buy these. They are 
nearly all archaic, most of the tombs opened belonging to the period before 
the destruction of the city in 406 B.C, See General Index, under Earthenware. 

Theatre. Was near the church of S. Nicola. Fazeilo saw remains of it. 

TTieron was the tyrant of Acragas, who commanded the forces of the city 
in the great defeat of the Carthaginians at Himera. He reigned from 488 B.C. 
to 472 B.C. His tomb must have stood near the Porta Heraclea, because the 
Carthaginians were about to use it in throwing up the mound with which they 
captured the city at this point, when it was struck by a thunderbolt. Diodorus 
says : " Bat then a sudden pang of religion seized upon the army ; for Theron's 
monument (a large and stately structure) was beaten down by a thsnderbolt, 
which, by the advice of the soothsayers then present, pat a stop to the perfect 
ing the design ; and forthwith the plague broke oat in the army, by which 
many were destroyed in a short time, and not a few seized with tonneatiBg 
and Baiserafole pains, among whom Hannibal himself perished." Disturbing 
the graves in the bed of a river was sufficient to cause a Jea*!ly fever witiioat 



352 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

any intervention from the gods. Theron began the splendid series of temples 
which have made Girgenti famous. He was the patron of Pindar and 
Simonides, and his niece married Hiero I. of Syracuse. Under him Acragas 
was at the zenith of its power. 

Theron, the tomb of. Near the Porta Aurea (q.v.). A Roman edifice. 
For the tomb of the great tyrant Theron, see the preceding par. 




THE TOMB OF THERON (SO CALLED) 

Toilet utensils, Greek. Jewel-boxes, unguent-jars, etc., of terra-cotta, 
mirrors, etc , in bronze, can best be bought at Girgenti, where they are 
constantly found in tombs. 

Tombs. Like most places in Sicily, Girgenti is remarkable for its tombs. 

Between the present city and the Greek necropolis are some splendid pre 
historic tombs, probably Sicanian. See Cave-dwellings, etc. A vast Greek 
necropolis (q.v.) stretched from the Ponte del Morti over the valley of the 
Hypsas and the hill of Monserrato. There was a Roman necropolis, to which 
the so-called tomb of Theron belongs, outside the Porta Aurea. There is a 
fine catacomb of the second century A.D., known as the Grotta di Fraga- 
pane ; and the city wall between the temples of Concordia and Juno is full of 
early Christian tombs. In the city the only really fine tomb is in the sacristy 
of the church of S. Francesco d'Assisi. 

Towers of city wall. There are several medieval towers on the city wall 
along the south syie. 

Type. You sometimes see very beautiful boys of the pure Greek type at 
Girgenti, but the sulphur district round has brutalised the bulk of the 
inhabitants. 

Utensils, Greek. See above, Toilet utensils. 



THINGS OF MARSALA 353 

Views. Girgenti has glorious views, the best being from the terrace of the 
Hotel Belvedere on the south wall, which commands a view of all the temples 
and the country enclosed between them and the sea and Porto Empedocle, as 
well as the view of the mountains that bound the horizon and the hog-backed 
hill of Monserrato. A closer view of the temples, with a very beautiful view 
of the lofty yellow city through the stone-pines, is obtained from the terrace 
of the convent of S. Nicola, There are glorious views of the wild mountains 
at the back from the cathedral and the Rupe Atenea. 

Vito, S, 

Vulcan, Temple of. See under Temples. 

Walls. The ancient walls of Girgenti included the whole of the present 
city and the Rupe Atenea, The position of the west wall, which ran down 
from the present city to the Rock of the Temples, is less certain in some parts, 
though we know that the valley of the Hypsas lay outside it, and the Greek 
necropolis. The Ponte dei Morti must have been on the line of the wall, and 
the tributary of the Hypsas which it crosses and the waters of the Hypsas from 
below the junction to the Temple of Vulcan must have marked -its line, for 
there are remains of it on their lofty east banks. From this point onwards its 
course is clear. There are remains of it some built, some cut out of the 
virgin stone all along the southern face of the Rock of the Temples, and 
from the Temple of Juno right round the Rupe Atenea and the back of the 
present city the cliffs are precipitous except in two places in the gap of 
the Porta Gela and the gap between the Rupe Atenea and modern Girgenti. 
Remains of a built wall may be seen on the Rupe Atenea near the Porta 
Gela. The wall cut out of the virgin stone between the Temples of Juno and 
Concordia^is very curious. The Christians of the fifth century cut their tombs 
in it, leaving such a thin layer of rock that the sirocco has in many places 
eaten it through. 

In addition to these walls, there is the medieval wall along the south face of 
the present city, which has several towers and at least two fine pointed Arabo- 
Norman gateways. 

Water. The water of Girgenti is said to be good, but it is better not 
to trust it. 

Zeuxis* The most celebrated painter of antiquity. His Alcmena adorned 
the cella of the Temple of Hercules. 

THINGS OF MARSALA 

THE best time to visit Marsak is in winter or spring for the climate, and at 
vintage time to see the wine industry. Its people are rather addicted to festas, 
especially the Corpus Domini, Good Friday, Holy Thursday, and the Immacu 
late Conception. The patron saint of its Duomo is St. Thomas a Becket of 
Canterbury a curious coincidence in a town which lives on industries founded 
by Englishmen. Marsak, the Marsa-AJlah, the " Harbour of God" of the 
Saracens, stands on the site of the ancient lilybaeum, of which there are 
considerable remains. It was fonnded by Phoenicians or Carthaginians after 
Dkmysius had annihilated Motya on the island opposite in 397 B.C. It was 
never captured. It stood a ten-years 7 siege in the First Punic War, and 
passed to the Romans with the general cession of the island. In 276 B.C. it 
successfully repelled Pyrrhus, King of Epiras. Cicero was Qusestor of IHy- 
beenm, the capital of one of the two quaestorshlps into which the island was 



354 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

divided. Both Scipios sailed from Lilybseum to their conquests of Carthage 
in the Second and Third Punic Wars. Roger, the Great Count, found it ruined, 
and restored it. Its present prosperity dates from the year 1794, when 
Messrs. Woodhouse founded their wine establishment there, and still more 
from the establishment of the great Ingham-Whitaker business, which dates 
from 1804. Signer Florio established a third wine business in 1831. The 
Marsala wines are known as well as sherries now, and have a higher name for 
purity. Garibaldi landed here with his Thousand in 1860, and commenced his 
freeing of Italy. See Garibaldi Marsala is a stat. on the Palermo-Trapani 
line. 

^igatian Islands, the scene of the Roman victory which terminated the 
First Punic War, lie off Trapani and Marsala. See General Index. 

Archylus of Thurii was the leader of the forlorn hope which stormed 
Motya for Dionysius I. See General Index, and below under Motya. 

Baglio (plural, baglj ; Low Latin, ballium; English, bailey), a walled en 
closure. The name applied to the great wine establishments, such as the 
Baglio Ingham. 

Birgi, near Marsala, has a fine Phoenician necropolis, now being excavated. 
See General Index. The ancient Acithius. 

Carthaginians at Marsala. See Motya and Lilybseum below. 

Causeway, the submarine. From the mainland to the island of S. 
Pantaleo. This was constructed by the Carthaginians, and is still used by carts. 

Churches, Carmine. Containing a sarcophagus of Antonio Grignano, 
1474. 

Chiesa Maggiore (often called the Cathedral}." Sixteenth-century tapestries 
and the celebrated ancient Greek Marsala, vase, made of delicately carved 
white marble. 

S, Giovanni a Baeo^ which contains the well of the Cumsean Sibyl (see 
Sibyl) and Byzantine frescoes in the crypt, and the best Gagini's St. John in 
Sicily. 

S. Salvatorf. Fourteenth-century church, much spoiled. 

City, the subterranean. Marsala has a subterranean city of very large 
extent, formed in the times of the Saracen raids and persecutions, begun as a 
quarry. Very like catacombs ; but at Marsala the dead were of secondary 
consideration. 

Columns, fragments of ancient, are preserved in various places. 

Coins. No coins of Lilybseum are known prior to the Roman period. The 
Roman coins of Lilybseum have *'LILYB," "LILYBIT," or " LILYBAITAN," if 
the lettering is Greek. 

Dionysius at Marsala. Dionysius I. of Syracuse destroyed Motya (q.v.), 
the original Phoenician settlement, in 397 B.C. The following year the 
Carthaghiiaiis founded Lilybseum, which he found too strong for him on his 
next expedition. 

GaginL There are three small reliefs by Gagini in the Chiesa Maggiore, 
and a splendid St. John out at S. Giovanni a Boeo. 

Garibaldi landed at Marsala with Ms Thousand on the nth May, 1860. 
See General Index. 

Grotta of the Sibyl, the. In the crypt of S. Giovanni a Boeo is the spring 
of the Sibyl, the ancient spring of Lilyba, round which Himilcon founded his 
town of Lilybsenm. The Romans, who were great at rinding resemblances in 
names, chose to identify Lilyba with Sibyl. It is now the well of St John. 



THINGS OF MARSALA 355 

Harbour, The harbour of Lilybseum was one of the great harbours 
of antiquity. It was on the opposite side of Cape Boeo from the present 
harbour of Marsala, and was filled up in the sixteenth century (1532) because 
it was easier to destroy it than to keep the Barbary corsairs out of it. The 
present harbour was only constructed in the last century. 

Himilcon. A Carthaginian admiral who, with a hundred triremes, at 
tempted to save Motya, and was driven off by the artillery of Dionysius. The 
next year he founded Lilybaeum, and by building out a mole from the cape 
towards the island made the harbour of Lilybaeum one of the best harbours 
of the ancients. This was on the other side of the cape from the present 
harbour. 

Immacolata, procession of. One of the great festas at Marsala, Decem 
ber 8th. 

Isola Lunga. An island in the Stagnoni, or lagoons, outside Marsala. 

Lilyba, the Sacred Spring of. See above under Grotta of the Sibyl. 

Lilybaeum. The ancient city on whose site Marsala is founded. See 
History above, and General Index under Lilybaeum. 

Lilybaeum, Cape. One of the three capes which gave Sicily its name of 
Trinacria, now called Cape Boeo. Just outside Marsala, whose harbour 
is partly formed by it. 

Lombardo, the. The name of one of the two Rubattino steamers lent to 
Garibaldi to transport his Thousand to Marsala. See General Index. 

Mille of Garibaldi, the. He invaded Sicily with a thousand picked men, 
who gave their name to the Corso dei Mille at Palermo, etc. 

S. Maria, Island of. One of the small islands in the lagoon outside 
Marsala. 

Medieval fortifications. There are some noble remains of medieval 
fortifications at Marsala, which you see as you drive into the town. 

Motya. An island in the lagoons now called S. Pantaleo. Connected 
with the shore by a submarine causeway (q.v.). This was the first settlement 
of the Phoenicians in Sicily, and was stormed and razed to the ground by 
Dionysius in 397. The story of the siege of Motya is one of the finest 
passages in Diodorus, the Sicilian Froissart, in the stately old English transla 
tion of Booth. There are remains of walls, a fine gateway, etc., aboveground, 
and probably many underground, which the proprietor, Mr. J. J. S. Whitaker, 
intends to have excavated when he has come to terms with the Government 
about the disposition of the objects found. See Motya I., in General Index. 

Necropolis, The Phoenicians of Motya had their necropolis on the 
opposite mainland at Birgi ; the best which has yet been discovered. See 
under Birgi, General Index. 

Nelson at Marsala. Nelson was off Marittimo, one of the ^Egatian Islands, 
with his fieet for some time in 1799, waiting to intercept the French. While 
there he sent an order to Woodhouse's baglio for some Marsala wine. " The 
wine to be delivered as expeditiously as possible, and all to be delivered within 
the space of five weeks from this date. A convoy will be wanted for the 
vessel from Marsala, bat all risks are run by Mr. Woodhouse. Bronte and 
Nelson." The facsimile of his autograph is kept framed in Woodhouse's office. 

PalazzettL Marsala abounds with medieval palazzetti of the lesser nobles. 
Now occupied by the poor. See General Index. They are splendid artists* 
bits with their terraced courtyards. Good examples are to be forad in the 
Strada S. Calogero. 



356 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

S. Pantaleo. The island in the lagoons off Marsala which was anciently 
Motya (q.v.). 

Pantelleria. An island seven hours by steamer from Marsala. An Italian 
colony, an island with a volcano 1,800 feet high. It has a special dialect. 
It was the Phoenician colony Kossoura. Has low round prehistoric towers 
called Sesi. The large riding-asses used in Sicily are from Pantelleria. See 
General Index. 

Piemonte. One of the steamers lent by Raffaelle Rubattino to Garibaldi 
to convey the { Mille" to Sicily. See General Index. 

Processions. See Festas in introductory paragraph. 

Punic Wars. Lilybseum, the classical city out of which Marsala has 
grown, played a great part in the Punic Wars. In the First Punic War it 
stood a siege of ten years successfully, and only passed to the Romans by the 
cession of Sicily. In the Second Punic War it formed the naval basis from 
which Scipio Africanus invaded Carthage, and in the Third Punic War it was 
the naval base from which the young Africanus invaded Carthage. Without 
it Rome could not have taken Carthage, and with Sicily as a base Hannibal 
would have conquered Rome. It was the Battle of the -^Egatian Islands 
which settled that the world should be Roman instead of Carthaginian. See 
under General Index under Lilybseum and Punic. 

Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, Besieged Lilybseum unsuccessfully. See 
General Index. 

Rubattino, Raffaelle. The Genoese steamship owner who lent Garibaldi 
the Lombardo and the Piemonte to transport his Thousand to Marsala for the in 
vasion of Sicily. See Garibaldi, etc., and Florio- Rubattino in General Index. 

Saracens, The Saracens founded Marsala on the ruins of Lilybseum and gave 
it its name of Marsa- Allah, "Port of God," on account of its splendid harbour. 

Salt-pans. The lagoons between Marsala and Trapani are full of salt-pans. 
Sicily does not come into the Government monopoly of salt. They are very 
picturesque with their white pyramids looking like the tents of an army, and 
their windmills, and their still pools. They are seen well on the excursion to 
Motya. 

Scipio Africanus. Both Scipio Africanus the Elder and Scipio Africanus 
the Younger sailed from Lilybeeum to conquer Carthage. 

Shrines, wayside. The wayside shrines outside Marsala are among the 
best in Sicily, They take the form of the sedicula, the favourite form of 
tomb of the Athenians, consisting of a gable with a sunken panel in it, 
decorated with reliefs. 

Stagnoni, or lagoons. Between Marsala and Trapani are a number of 
lagoons with three small islands and about fifty salt works. 

Tombs, ancient. The best ancient tombs round Marsala are in the 
Phoenician necropolis at Birgi {q.v., General Index). In the Woodhouse 
baglio are some tombs of English people more than a hundred years old, the 
right of Qmstian burial being refused to Protestants in those days ; the earliest 
is that of John Christian, 1793. 

Vase, the Marsala, A noble white marbk Greek vase. See under 
Cathedral 

Villas. Marsala is surrounded with the villas of her rich tradesmen and 
merchants. 

Vineyards. There are not a great number of vineyards round Marsala 
itself, though the industry absorbs nearly all the grapes of Western Sicily, 
collected at places like Balestrate, Partenico, Castelvetrano, and Campobello. 



THINGS OF MAZZARA 357 

Walls. There are some remains of ancient Lilybseum near the Porta di 
Trapani and near Cape Boeo. 

Whitakers. The principal foreign family in Sicily. See General Index. 

Wine. The Marsala wines of the firm of Ingham, Whitaker and Co,, 
known as Marsala, are among the most celebrated in the world. The 
Woodhouse establishment was founded a little earlier, and the Florio is on 
an extensive scale, with the finest modern appliances. But to most people in 
the English-speaking world, Marsala means Ingham Marsala, 

THINGS OF MAZZARA 

MAZZARA, called Mazzara del Vallo, to distinguish it from Mazzarra S. 
Andrea, is a beautiful old city on the Palermo-Trapani line. It is a good- 
sized town, and in the Middle Ages was much more important than Marsala 
or Trapani, as is shown by the fact that the west gate of Palermo is called 
the Porta di Mazzara, and that one of the three divisions of Sicily was called 
the Val di Mazzara, though it included Palermo. It is quite neglected by 
foreigners, who would not know of its existence except for the superb Mazzara 
Vase, thegem^of Hispano-Moresco pottery, preserved in the Palermo Museum. 
Its nickname is Inclita, the famous. It was a colony of Selinunte, destroyed 
by Hannibal, the son of Cisco, 409 B.C. Some people derive its name from 
Magar, a Phoenician word meaning boundary, as being the boundary between 
the Greeks and Carthaginians. It was here that the Saracen conquest 
commenced, A.D. 827. It was captured by Count Roger, who furnished it 
m the year 1080 with the walls and fortress of which the ruins still remain. 
It can be visited in the day from Trapani, which has a fair hotel, or better, 
from Marsala, if the hotel is good enough there. 

Burgio, Conte, the mansion of the, at the west corner of the Piazza del 
Duomo, contains large Arabic majolica vases. Other vases from Mazzara are 
in the museum at Naples. (Baedeker. ) 

Castle, remains of an ancient medieval, in the Piazza Mokarta. Built in 
1073 by Count Roger, Mazzara was used by him as his capital, while Robert 
Guiscard retained his half of Sicily. 

Churches. Cathedral Founded by Count Roger, has a fine campanile of 
1654, a group by Gagini the Transfiguration, three antique sarcophagi, and 
medieval sarcophagi. In the Bishop's Palace opposite there is said to be some 
magnificent faience. It has three classical sarcophagi, two of the Lower Empire, 
representing the Rape of Proserpine and a Boar Hunt, and one of a better 
period representing the battle of the Greeks and Amazons. It has the sar 
cophagus of the Bishop Tostinus, 1180, and the sarcophagus of the Bishop 
Monteaperto, 1485. Notice painted crucifix. 

S. Egidius. A sixteenth-century church- According to Murray it has 
traces of early architecture in its aisle. 



S. Maria-di-Ges&i &ear Mazzara del Vallo. Fifteenth century. Portal 
sixteenth-century sculpture. 

S. Maria del AU&> aear Mazzara del Vallo. Fourteenth century. Has a 
Madoena. 

S. Mfckefe. According to Murray has some Roman inscriptions and a tomb 
of the family of Albmias, It has stucco reliefs (school of Serpotta). 

S. Nicoti Lo Re&k. A Norman church. Called S. NicoUcdo. 

S. Vener^ Ghiesa <Je! Moaastero di. Sttxcoes of the scHool of Serpotta. 



358 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Gagini. There is a fine 
Gagini in. the cathedral 
(q.v.). 

Vase, Mazzara. A 

grand Hispano-Moresco 
vase of lustre faience, 
three or four feet high, 
now in the Palermo Mu 
seum. It was formerly 
at the cathedral of Maz 
zara. Baedeker points 
out that there are other 
vases of this kind from 
Mazzara at Naples. See 
Burgio. 

Walls, Saracenic - 
Norman, of Mazzara, 
are very lofty. "The 
town forms a quadrangle 
about a mile in circuit, 
enclosed by walls thirty- 
five feet high with square 
towers at intervals of 
thirty yards, Saracenic 
or Norman in construc 
tion." 

THINGS OF 
MESSINA 

MESSINA is the town most 
neglected by foreigners 
where there are dis 
coveries to be made. The 
neglect is evidenced by 
the absence of photo 
graphers. 

Messina may be visited 
at all times. Its patron 
saint Is the Madonna 
della Lettera. The chief 
festa is on the third of 
June, The name Messina 
is a corruption of Mes- 
sana, so called for its 
connection with the Mes- 
senians of the Pelopon 
nesus. Its older name 
was Zancle (Sickle), from 
the shape of the harbour. 
Messina is approached 
by train from Palermo or 




THINGS OF MESSINA 359 

Catania, by steam tramway from Barcelona and the Faro, and by the Florio- 
Rubattino steamers from all parts of the Mediterranean. The facchini, 
unless a bargain is made, are unusually troublesome and exorbitant. Besides 
the large hotels, there Is a pleasant and characteristic Sicilian hotel, the 
Belvedere, looking out on the cathedral, next door to La Cattolica. 

HISTORY. Zancle was founded by pirates from Cumse in 732 B.C. In 493 
Anaxilas of Rhegium captured it, and peopled it with Messenians from the Pelo 
ponnesus. Destroyed by the Carthaginians in 396. Rebuilt by Dionysxus. The 
Mamertine mercenaries of Agathocles acquired it in 288. Their appeal to Rome 
for help against the Carthaginians led to the First Punic War. From 241 
h belonged to the Romans. After Caesar's death, Sextus Pompeius established 
himself here. In 35 B. c. it was sacked by Octavian ; captured by the Saracens, 
831 ; and by the Normans, their first possession, in 1061. In 1190 Richard 
Cceur de Lion and his Crusaders spent six months here ; 1194, acquired by 
Emjpror Henry VI. Besieged by Charles of Anjou unsuccessfully after the 
Sicilian Vespers, 1282 ; ^i 282 to 1713 Messina had Spanish masters ; 1571, 
Don John of Austria sailed from Messina to his victory of Lepanto; 1675, 
Messina drove out its Spanish garrison; 1678, the Spanish returned ; 1743, forty 
thousand people died of the plague ; 1783, it was almost destroyed by earth 
quakes; 1848, in the Revolution, Messina bombarded for five days; 1854, 
fifteen thousand people died from cholera ; 1860, Messina, the last city in 
Sicily, taken by Garibaldi, Great men of Messina, according to Encyclopedia 
Britannica, are Dioearchus, the historian, drc. 322 B.C. ; Aristocles, the 
peripatetic ; Euhemerus, the rationalist, drc. 316 B.C. ; Stefano Protonotario, 
Mazzeo di Ricco, Tommaso di Sasso, poets of the court of Frederick II. ; 
Antonello da Messina, painter, 1414-1499. Constantine Lascaris taught here 
in fifteenth century and forged the famous letter from the Virgin. Bessarion 
was archimandrite here, 

Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium, hailed from the Peloponnesian Messene. Before 
493, with some Samian and other refugees, he seized Zancle; and before 
his death, in 4763 he drove them out, repeopled It, and changed its name to 
Messana. 

Abbadiazza, or Badiazza. A Benedictine monastery endowed by William II. 
The church, which dates from the twelfth century, is one of the most pictur- 




THE BADIAZZA EXTERIOR 



360 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

esque Norman buildings in Sicily. Splendidly situated at the top of the 
Fiuxnara S. Francesco di Paolo, about an hour's walk from Messina. The 
ruins are half buried by the torrent. You walk up the bed of the torrent 
through charming scenery and endless lemon groves. 




THE BADIAZZA INTERIOR 



-dSEscnlapms and Hygieia were the patrons o* ancient Greek Messina. 
There are fonts inscribed with their names in the church of La Cattolica and 
the cathedral. 

Amalflltama, Via. Old name of Via Primo Settembre (q.v.). 

Antonello da Messina. The best of the Sicilian painters, born 1414. 
Seeing at Naples an oil-painting by Jan Van Eyck, belonging to Alfonso of 
Aragon, he went to the Netherlands to learn the process. He returned with 
his secret about 1465. He came of a family of painters. Died 1493. A very 
fine example of his work is in the Museum at Messina, one of the few undis 
puted examples. 

Austria, Don John of. Assembled at Messina the fleet with which he 
defeated the Turks in 1571. His statue, erected 1572 in the Piazza dell' 
Annunziata on the Corso Cavour, is one of the sights of Messina. 

Austria, Strada dl Former name of the Via Primo Settembre (q.v.). 

Antennamare. Monte Antennamare. Four hours* ascent gives splendid 
views of Etna and Monte Nebrodi. 

Badiazza. See Abbadiazza. 

Banks. The Banca di Messina, off the Via Garibaldi, changes English 
circular notes, etc. 

Baroque. Messina has a very effective, almost beautiful, baroque style of 
its own, of which the church of S. Gregorio is the most striking example. 

Beggars are persistent at Messina, They do not belong to the city, but 
have a tariff of ten centimes each way to bring them over from Calabria, 
where they reside in order to defy the Sindaco's progressive regime. 



THINGS OF MESSINA 



361 



^ Cab tariff. From the stat. to the city, or vice versa , one horse clay, 50 c. ; 
night, i fr. Two-horseday, i fir. ; mght, 1.50 fr. Course in the city, the 
same price. 

Calabria, The coast of Calabria Is within rowing distance of Messina. 
There is a steam-ferry to S. Giovanni and Reggio. The nearest point is only 
two miles from Messina. 

Campo Santo. Is outside the city on the Catania road. One of the most 
ambitious in Sicily. 

Campo Inglese. 

Cappuccinl, Monte de'. Half an hour from the Via Garibaldi by the Via 

Placida. Now a prison for women. Admirable view. 

Cardiaes, Via. Intersects the Via Primo Settembre at the Four Fountains, 
one of the Boldest streets. The Giudecca was in this street, and so was the 
Zecca or mint. There were many Jews in Messina. In or just off it are the 
Anime del Purgatorio Church, the remains of the Temple of Neptune in the 
Church of the SS. Anrmnziata dei Catalani, the Oscan inscription, the Zecca, 
and the University. 

Castles. See Castellaccio, 
Forte Gonzaga, Rocca Guel- 
fonia, Cittadella. 

Castellaccio, Fort. Half- 
hour's climb up the Torrente 
Portalegni from the Ospedale 
CivicG. It contains an ancient 
cistern. It is not now a fortress. 
Splendid view of the city, the 
Strait, and the Calabrian 
Mountains. 

Cathedral. See Churches. 

CattoEca, La. SeeChnrches. 

Cemetery, Protestant 
Near the Citadel. 

Charybdis. A whirlpool 
close to the Faro in the Strait 
of Messina. It still requires 
careful navigation. Cola Pesce 
twice brought up the golden 
cup King Frederick threw into 
Charybdis. The third time he 
was drowned. This is the 
subject of Schiller's poem Der 
Taucksr. 

u Once when the Messenians 
who dwell on the Strait were 
sending to Rhegium, in accord 
ance with an ancient custom, 
a chorus of five-and-thirty boys, 
along with a teacher and a 
flute-player, to take part in a 
local festival of Rhegium, a 




DETAIL OF THE PRINCIPAL GATEWAY OF THE 
CATHEDKAL OF MESSINA 



THINGS OF MESSINA 



363 



calamity befell them : none of those thus sent returned home, for the ship 
which carried the boys went down with them. In truth, the sea at this 
strait is the stormiest of seas, for it is lashed by the winds, which cause a 
swell from both sides, from the Adriatic and from the Tyrrhenian Sea ; and 
even when the winds are still, the strait is of itself in violent agitation, and 
back-currents run strong. It also swarms so thickly with monsters that the 
air stinks of them, so that the shipwrecked mariner has no hope of escaping 
from the strait. If it was here that the ship of Ulysses was wrecked, it would 
be incredible that he swam safe to Italy, were it not that the favour of the 
gods makes everything easy. So the Messenians mourned for the loss of the 
boys, and among other means devised to do them honour, they dedicated 
bronze statues of them in Olympia, together with statues of the teacher of the 
chorus and the flute-player. The ancient inscription declared that they were 
offerings of the Messenians who dwell at the strait." (Pausanias. ) 

Churches. The Cathedral Begun in 900, but not dedicated till 1197. 
Damaged by fire at the obsequies of the Emperor Conrad IV., 1254. The 
frieze of the campanile struck by lightning, 1559. The campanile thrown 
down in the earthquake of 1783. The facade is fourteenth century. The 
two towers and the choir were rebuilt in 1865. The facade has three Gothic 
portals, the central very rich, decorated with slender columns, graceful 
arabesques, bas-reliefs, and statuettes. The bas-reliefs are very curious, 
representing agriculture, etc. The nave has twenty-six antique granite 




PULPIT OF THE CATHEDRAL OF MESSINA 



364 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

capitals from the Temple of Neptune at the Faro. There are several rich 
Gothic tombs. The south facade of the cathedral contains a number of Gothic 
windows in ^ the German style. The back has been recently rebuilt. The 
high altar is a mass of precious stones, one of the earliest and richest 
specimens of Florentine inlaying agates, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, jasper, 
etc. 

Under the Baldachin is the antique picture of the Madonna of the Letter 
attributed to S. Luke. There is a copy of the letter given by the Virgin with 
her own hands to the citizens of Messina. The original has been burnt. It 
is a translation by Constantine Lascaris from the Greek translation of the 
Hebrew made by St. Paul. There are fourteenth-century mosaics in the 
apses. Underneath the cathedral is a fine crypt with pointed Sicilian-Norman 
arches. The choir stalls are intarsia work. There are tombs of various 
monarchs, including the Emperor Conrad IV. , whose lofty catafalque caught 
fire at his funeral, resulting in one of the most disastrous conflagrations of the 
cathedral. In the north aisle is the celebrated carving by Gagini of the 
Cristo Risbrto, and beside it is the S. Jerome, a coloured bas-relief in 
marble. By them stands a piece of a Roman column with a Latin inscrip- 
tioiL Notice the beautiful Gothic door of the sacristy ; the ciborio of S. 
Maria, with its exquisite carvings of angels ; the tombs of Bellorato, De 
Tabiatis, of the archbishops, etc. There is some fine gold and silver work 
here, notably the mantles of the Madonna and the paliotto of the altar. 

The treasury is very rich in gold and silver work. Notice antique painted 
Saracenesque roof and gracious little staircase tower, with eight fourteenth- 
century arches in north-west corner of the 
nave. The Gagini S. John is rather gracious 
also, but very modern in feeling. The 
pulpit is a good work of the last century, 
standing on the heads of eminent heretics 
like Calvin. The font is of the fifteenth 
century, ornamented with Alexandrian 
work. There is the usual meridian. The 
roof, which replaces that burnt at the 
funeral of the Emperor Conrad IV., in 
1254, has a rich and mellow effect, though 
its work is not good. It is one of the 
sights of Sicily. The whole of the choir 
has mosaics beneath the plaster, which are 
gradually being laid bare. Notice lovely 
intarsia choir-stalls, 1540. The holy water 
stoup has an inscription dedicating it to 
ysculapius and Hygieia. 

5. Agostino* A Gothic church, which 
now belongs to the Guild of Musicians, 
built in 1385, with a charming Gothic 
portal, and the famous and beautiful 
Madonna del Popolo of Antonio Gagini, 
and a curious picture of S. Cecilia by 
Quagliata. In the Via dei Monasteri. It 
has a cloister with a separate entrance, 
used by the Confraternita delle Anime di 
Purgatorio, who have a bas-relief of the 
Roman wolf by Montorsoli. The painter, Barbalunga, Is buried here. 




GOTHIC DOOR IK THE CHURCH OF 
S. AGOSTINO 



THINGS OF MESSINA 



365 



S. Anna. Pictures attributed to 
Antoneilo da Messina. In the Via 
dei Monasteri. 

SS. Annunziata dei Catalani. 
Built on the site of a temple of 
Neptune, the remains of which can 
be seen at its back on the exterior 
of the apse. The beautiful interior, 
which has lately been stripped of 
its plaster, is a charming piece of 
twelfth-century work, In which the 
Norman, the Lombard, the Arabic, 
and the Byzantine styles are blended. 
The columns are Roman. In the 
Museo Civico are the Arabic in 
scriptions which used to adorn the 
principal portal, and belonged ori 
ginally to the Royal Palace. Near 
the church is a gate with a late 
five -centred Gothic arch, the en 
trance to the ancient Ospizio dei 
Trovatelli. Its style is character 
istic of Messina, and this is one of 
the best specimens. In the Piazza 
dei Catalani off the Via Prirao 
Settembre. 

551 Annunziaia. Church with 
imposing baroque front, facing 
monument of Don John of Austria. 
Frescoes by Paladino, Suppa, 
Fihppo Tancredi, and Giovanni 
*Fulco. 

5. Caferina di Valmrde. Built 
on the site of a temjrie of Venus, 
according to an inscription over a 
side door. The church has a door 
with a pointed arch. 

La Cattolica* In the Via Primo 
Settembre at the corner of the Piazza 
Duorno. Called also the Chiesa di 
Nostra Donna del Graffeo. It has 
a narrow Gothic front between two 
houses. A Grseco-Latin service is 
held here under the direction of 
the Proto-Papa. There is a four 
teenth-century holy -water stoup. 
The church gets its name from the 
Catholika, or baptistery^ The bap 
tismal font is inscribed in Greek to 
JEsculapius and Hygieia,thetutelary 
guardians of the city. Most interest 
ing and historical old pictures by 
good masters. 




INTERIOR OF SS. ANNUNZIATA DEI CATALANI 




OSPIZIO DEI TKQVATELLI, NEAR SS. ANNUNZIATA 
DEI CATALAXI 



366 SIC1EY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

S. Francesco d 9 Assist. Commenced in 1254. Burnt in 1884, but restored 
in its original Sicilian-Norman style. An extremely fine church, with a vast 
nave and numerous chapels like S. Croce 
at Florence. The arches are ogival. This 
church has the best cloister in Messina, 
and many interesting monuments, includ 
ing a Gagini of the Virgin and Child, a 
beautiful silver image of the Virgin, the 
fine Renaissance monument of Angelo 
Balsamo, and a picture representing the 
stigmatisation of S. Francis, by Salvatore 
d' Antonio, father of the celebrated Anto- 
nello da Messina. There is a beautiful 
Gothic doorway under the sixteenth-century 
cloister. In the apse is one of the finest 
of Roman bas-reliefs, representing the 
Rape of Proserpine. There is a good deal 
of old Gothic work in the exterior. It is 
in the Torrente Boccetta, just above S. 
Maria della Scala. 

S. Francesco dei Mercanti. In this other 
S. Francesco there are some fine pictures. 

S. Giovanni di Malta. By the public 
garden. The principal front dates from 
1588. This is a very historical site. rrn 




The 



GOTHIC DOORWAY OF S. FRANCESCO 
0' ASSISI 



first church was built by S. Placidus, and destroyed by the Saracens in 541. 
The historian Francesco Maurolyco (see General Index) is buried there in a 
beautiful sixteenth-century tomb. The pictures are nearly all by Paladino. 
An inside staircase behind the altar conducts to the sanctuary of S. Placidus. 
Under the church is the crypt of S. Placidus, where the saint's remains were 
found in 1588. It has a well whose \vaters are drunk on the 4th of August, 
when they are miraculous. 

S. Gregarw. Built on the site of a temple of Jove from a design by 
Andrea Calarnech. One of the most striking baroque churches in Sicily. Its 
spiral tower is one of the landmarks of Messina. It has some very good 
pictures by Guercino, Barbalunga, etc. , and the thirteenth-century mosaic, 
known as the Madonna della Ciambretta, which is, of itself, worth a visit. 
The Madonna has such a beautiful face. The marble inlaying is very 



ROMAN RELIEF IN S. FRANCESCO D ASSISI THE RAPE OF PROSERPINE 



THINGS OF MESSINA 



367 



rich. The adjoining monastery has many Gothic features. In one of the 
neighbouring convents is another ancient mosaic, the S. Michael, but 
visitors have great difficulty in seeing it Just behind S. Gregorio is the 
museum (q.v.). 




S. GREGORIO 



S. Maria degH AhmannL This church and the adjoining hospital are 
among the numerous traces of the medieval Germans in Messina. The church 
of the Teutonic knights. It is ruinous, but its pointed Gothic architecture is 
very elegant. The key is kept at the Municipio. It was struck by lightning 
in 1612, and much damaged by the earthquake in 1783. The apse and walls 
are chiefly of the Norman epoch, 1189-94. The flat arch of the smaller arch 
on the right belongs to 1350. The fourteenth-century portions of the building 
are very rick The original of the Neptune of Montorsoli is kept here. The 
statue now standing in the Corso is a copy. Adjoining the church is a Gothic 
arch belonging to the Ospedale Teutonico. 

5. Maria, ddla Sdla. Founded 1347 by the nuns of the Badiazza, who 
brought the statue of the Madonna della Scala to stop the pestilence which 
was devastating the city. The front of the church is gingerbread Gothic, but 

rather striking, and embodies two beautiful fourteenth-century doors. It was 
destroyed in the earthquake of 1793, and completely rebuilt in 1856. One 



368 SICILY THE NEW ^WINTER RESORT 

door was taken from the Chiesa di Castellammare in 1456. This church is 
famous for its exquisite Luca della Robbia. It is in the Via Torrente Boccetta. 




THK DELLA RGBBIA IN S. MARIA DELLA SCALA 

Chiesa della Pace. In the Via dei Monasterl. Contains frescoes by Paladino 
and a picture by Riccio. It adjoins the Palazzo Grano. 

There are other churches of Messina worth visiting for their picturesque 
sites, or their pictures, or their monuments, such as the Madonna di Montalto, 
SS. Cosmo and Damiano, S. Rocco. Messina is full of churches and monas 
teries, which, though of little architectural value, are very picturesque and full 
of paintings, and have been almost totally neglected by foreigners. Such 
names as Cardillo, Paladino, Rodriquez, Alibrande, Resaliba, Michael Angelo 
da Caravaggio, Antonello da Riccio, are known fairly generally, and Antonello 
da M essina has a world-wide fame, but there are many other Messina painters 
of considerable merit whose names are totally unknown to the average 
foreigner. See Paintings, Pinacoteca. 

Cloisters. See S. Agostino and S. Francesco d'Assisi. 
Citadel Built by the German engineer, Carl Nuremberg, about 1680. 
Near the harbour and railway station. Now dismantled. 
Coins. The leaping dolphin, with the dorsal fin in the air, 

The leaping hare, with an eagle and serpent underneath it, 

The hare, with a dolphin underneath it, 

The figure of Neptune, with a thunderbolt in his right hand and 

an altar in front of him, 

A lion's head facing beside a calf's head in profile (cf. coins of 
Samos), 

are among the types on the coins of ancient Messina. Some of them have 
the Messina inscriptions, and some the Dancle, or Danklaion. 



THINGS OF MESSINA 



369 



Colonna, Antonio. The Spanish viceroy who started the Palazzata, called, 
then the Via Colonna. 

Colonna, Via, See above. 

Confraternita. Messina is full of confraternita, or guilds. The minor 

churches and chapels are apt to be attached to one or other of them. . It was 
the confraternita of the Azzurrini who founded the Monte di Pieta, in the 
sixteenth century. 




THE CHURCH OF S. MARIA BELLA SCALA 



Corso Cavonr. One of the main streets containing some of the best 

shops, the monument of Bon John of Austria, etc., and runs from the 

Torrente Portalegni to the Villa Mazzinl. The highest but one of the great 
streets running parallel with the harbour. Principato's Library, the centre of 
information about Messina, is in this street. 



370 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. Called also the Palazzata; is one of the 
finest streets in Europe as regards architecture, for it consists of a uniform row 
of palaces from end to end. They were begun before the earthquake, but in 
spite of its fine architecture it is a squalid street, full of the humble but 
interesting life of the port which bounds one side of it. It contains the 
famous Neptune fountain of Montorsoli (q.v. ), a branch of the custom-house 
near the landing-stage, a modern market (q.v.), and the offices of all the 
steamship lines. 

Curio-shops. Messina is very deficient in these. There are a few, 
including a branch of Ciccio, round the Piazza del Duomo. 

Faro, the, or lighthouse, stands on narrowest part of the Strait, on the Cape 
Pelorus of the ancients, one of the three great capes of Sicily. Charybdis is 
just beside it, a whirlpool in the Strait, and Scylla is opposite a rock with a 
lofty city on it. From here is visible the Fata Morgana (q.v.). Swordfish 
harpooning is the industry of the place, and the boats with their tall 
harpooning stages are very picturesque. Near the Faro are various traces 
of the English occupation, and the two charming little lakes into which they 
cut a canal. A great temple of Neptune stood here. The poor little village 
sprang up in the entrenchments made by the English in Nelson's time to pre 
vent the French crossing. The ancient city is supposed to have been much 
nearer the Faro, which is now 7^ miles from Messina, reached by steam tram. 
The name Faro is derived from Pharos, the Greek for a lighthouse. At the 
fishing village of Pace, on the way, the church of SS. delia Grotta stands 
on the site of a temple of Diana. The road to the Faro is known as the 
Via Pompeia, doubtless from Sextus Pompeius, who long maintained himself 
in Sicily. The story about Pelorus being the pilot of Hannibal is nonsense. 
The Greeks knew the place as Peloras centuries earlier than his time. 

Engffisfo occupation. Richard Cceur de Lion stayed here six months in 
1189. Messina was held by English troops while Ferdinand and Maria 
Carolina were at Palermo. 

Excursions. Messina is an interesting place for excursions. It is easy to 
get to Scylla and Reggio, where there are some Roman remains. The Lipari 
Islands and Tyndaris are more easily approached from Milazzo, which is well 
worth a visit There are charming walks to the mountains at the back of the 
city, among which there are some interesting ruins, such as the Badiazza. 
The Benedictine monastery of S. Placid us is near Giampilieri Stat. (2 miles). 

Fata Morgana. So called after the Fata or Fairy Morgan, the Fay of the 
Arthurian romances. Chambers calls it "the Italian name for a striking kind 
of mirage observed in the Strait of Messina." A spectator on the shore sees 
images of men, houses, ships, etc. , sometimes in the water, sometimes in the 
air, the same object having often two images, one inverted. 

Fonte Nettuno. In the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, near the sea face of 
the Palazzo Municipale. It is the work of Montorsoli, unveiled in 1557. It 
is very fin and majestic. The statue is a copy, the original is kept at 
S. Maria degli Alemanni, because it was in danger of perishing. The people 
call it the Gigante or Giant. The inscriptions were written by the celebrated 
Maurolycus. One of the most striking fountains in Europe. 

Fonte Orione. Also by Montorsoli. Stands beside the cathedral in the 
Piazza del Duomo. Its sculptures are exquisitely beautiful. It is perhaps the 
most beautiful Renaissance fountain in Italy. It was built by Montorsoli 
between 1547 and 1551. 



372 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Forts. Cast&llacrio (q.v.). Cittadella (q.v.). Gomaga (q.V.)* 
Rocca, Guelfonia (q.v.). 

None of these are kept up as fortresses, but there are new fortifications 
connected by the Strada Militaria. 

Gagini, works by, at Cathedral S. 
Agostino and S. Francesco d'AssisI. 
Vide paragraph on the Gagini family in 
the General Index. Antonello da Gagini 
was the most famous, and one of the 
finest sculptors of the fifteenth century. 

Giardino a Mare. A beautiful little 
garden on the seashore on the road to 
the Faro. Best public garden in Messina. 

Goethe at Messina. Arrived May 
loth, 1787, and found it still a ruined 
city from the earthquake of 1783. The 
Palazzata, or Corso, which had been 
four stories high, was left of all elevations 
(it is now two stories high). He visited 
the Jesuit church, which had a very rich 
high altar, and pronounced the lapis 
lazuli to be only Calcara. He does not 
seem to have visited the cathedral. He 
found a number of the inhabitants living 
in huts, on account of a shock of earth 
quake, just outside the city. 

Garibaldi, Via, Runs from the Via 
Cardines to the Torrente S. Francisco di 
Paolo. Contains a rather dark palm 
garden, known as the Villa Mazzini (q.v.), 
the Municipio, the Palace of the Prefect, 
the Teatro Vittorio Emmanuele, the 
church of S. Giovanni di Malta (q.v.), 
and S. Mcolo dei Greci, where there are 
some Byzantine pictures, including the 
Madonna dell* Idria. 

Gonzaga, Forte. Erected by the 
Viceroy Gonzaga in 1540. Not open to 
the public, but affords a fine view. This, 
or the Mons Chalcidicus between it and 
the town, was the camp of Hiero II. of 
Syracuse and of Charles of Anjou. It is 
on the height above the Ospedale Civico. 

Gothic details. Messina has been so 
often destroyed that it has hardly any 
perfect Gothic details, but it has numerous 
charming fragments. Besides the Duomo 
the visitor should study S. Maria degli 
Alemanni, SS. Annunziata dei Catalani, 
the Ospedale Teutonico, La Cattolica, 
S. Francesco d'Assisi, S. Maria della 
Scala, the Badiazza, the ruins behind 





THE FOUNTAIN OF OfclON 



374 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

S. Gregorio. The Via del Monasteri has quite a number of Gothic arches, 
mostly late, but interesting to compare with those of Taormina. S. Agostino 
is a fine Gothic church. At No. 69, Via dei Monasteri, there is an ogee arch ; 
at No. 65 a rich square-headed doorway, but the student of architecture 
should examine the whole of this street very carefully. It is full of picturesque 
old bits. The Ospizio Trovatelli is an interesting example. Zecca (q.v.). 




MADONNA DEL GRAFFEO, IN THE CHIESA BELLA CATTQLICA 

Graffeo, S. Maria del. Another name of the church known as La Catto- 
lica (q.v.). The Graffeo is the famous letter written by the Virgin to the 
inhabitants of Messina. The ancient picture of this name is kept at La Catto- 
lica. Another very ancient picture of this Madonna, attributed to S. Luke, 
is under the baldachin of the cathedral. 

Grano, Palazzo. A fine Renaissance palace. Next to the Pace Church in 
the Via Monasteri, 



THINGS OF MESSINA 375 

Greek community. Messina has a colony of Greeks who fled from 
Turkish oppression like the Albanians of Piana dei Greci, but much later, in 
1533. The churches of La Cattolica and S. Nicolo dei Greci have modified 
Greek ritual. 

Germans at Messina. In the Middle Ages the Germans were much at 
Messina. The church of the Alemanni and the Ospedaie Teutonico belonged 
to the Teutonic knights, and the Z^ecca, or Mint, in the Via Cardines (q.v.) 
was theirs. The Emperor Henry VI. died at Nizza, near Messina. The 
Cittadella was built by a German architect. The Emperor Charles V. did 
a great deal here ; he had the whole town refortified. 

Harbour. The harbour of Messina has always been famous. Its sickle 
shape gave the town its ancient name of Zancle. 

Hems, Cains. A rich Messanian, conspicuous in Cicero's Indictment of 
Verres* He owned the Eros (Cupid) of Praxiteles, the Hercules of Myron, 
the Canephorse by Polycleitus, and Attalic tapestry, the most valuable of the 
ancient world. There is a great deal about him in the l r erres. His house, 
which Cicero describes, was in the neighbourhood of the Archbishop's Palace 
and the Four Fountains {Verres^ V. iii., first par.). 

" But to return to that private chapel : there was this statue, which I am speak 
ing of, of Cupid, made of marble. On the other side there was a Hercules, 
beautifully made of brass; that was said to be the work of Myron, as I 
believe, and it undoubtedly was so. Also before these gods there were little 
altars, which might indicate to anyone the holiness of the chapel. There were 
besides two brazen statues, of no very great size, but of marvellous beauty, 
in the dress and robes of virgins, which, with uplifted hands, were supporting 
some sacred vessels which were placed on their heads, after the fashion of 
the Athenian virgins. They were called the Canephorse, but their maker 
was . . .{who? who -was he? thank you, you are quite right) they called him 
Polycletus. Whenever any one of our citizens went to Messana, he used to 
go and see these statues. They were open every day for people to go to see 
them. The house was not more an ornament to its master than it was to 
the city." 

Hygeia, the Goddess of Health. One of the two guardian deities of 
Greek Messina. The beauty of the air of Messina is proverbial. 

" Isabella and the Pot of Basil." Keats's poem. The scene of the poem, 
founded on a story in Boccaccio's Decameron^ is laid at Messina. 

Lascaris, Constantine, A famous Greek scholar, who, after the fall ot 
Constantinople in 1453, took refuge with the Duke of Milan, Francesco 
Sforza, and became Greek tutor to his dattgnter Hippolyta, wfeo married 
Alfonso, King of Naples. Eventually he was invited by the inhabitants 
to settle in Messina, and taught Greek publicly there till he died in ^ 1493. 
He was one of the revivers of Greek learning in Italy, but wrote nothing of 
any importance except a translation of the forged Greek translation said to 
have been made by St. Paul of a letter written by the Virgin Mary to the 
inhabitants of Messina. This is the letter which gives her name to the 
Madonna della Lettera (di Graffeo), the patron saint of the cathedral and city. 

LeontJseas. A wrestler of Messana, mentioned by Pausanias twice. Once 
lor his styk of wrestling ; instead of throwing his adversaries he vanquished 
tkero by bending their fingers; the otber time as belonging to the old 
Zaadean stock, when he is mentioning that during their long exile from fee 
Pelopoenese, no mpo of Messenian stock ever won a prize at the gaaaes. 

Letfcera. 



376 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Letterio. A favourite name in Messina, derived from the letter of the 
Virgin Mary. See Madonna della Lettera. 

Libraries. Principato, in the Corso Cavour, who also has a shop at Taor- 
mina, has an excellent assortment of books, including the Tauchnitz Library 
and many other English books. Those who wish to apply for permission at 
the Municipio should consult Sig. Principato. Messina has, of course, fine 
public libraries, such as that of the University. 

Malvizzi, the, were the democratic party in the civil disturbances which 
led up to the driving out of the Spanish garrison in 1675. 

Mamertines. Messina is the city par excellence of the Mamertines. The 
Italian mercenaries of Agathacoles, King of Syracuse, who called themselves 
the sons of Mamers, or Mars, seized the city and retained it. It was their 
appeal for help to the Romans which led to the First Punic War. The Mamer- 
tine citadel was the Villa Rocca Guelfonia (q.v.). 

Marina, the. See Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. 

Matagriffone. The ancient Mamertine citadel See Villa Rocca Guel 
fonia. 

Maurolyco, Francesco. One of the most famous natives of Messina, 
a mathematician, a historian, an astrologer, most esteemed by his contempo 
raries as the last, for he foretold Don John of Austria's immortal victory over 
the Turks. He was a man of extraordinary attainments, much quoted still 
(b. 1494; d. 1575). He brought out a Euclid (Eudydis Phenomena, 1591). 
He is buried in S. Giovanni di Malta at Messina. His tomb has one of the 
best busts in Sicily. He was the author of the Compendia dette Cose di Sicilia. 

Mazzini, the Villa, the public garden, with fine subtropical foliage, but 
gloomy in winter. It was an ancient Roman necropolis. Many and^ notable 
remains have been found there. It is an English garden, laid out in 1832, 
since embellished by Berceau. A band plays here. In S. Giovanni di Malta, 
the church on the Piazza, the pirate Mamuka killed S. Placidus. There are 
memorials of Mazzini. 

Merll. The aristocratic party in the civil disturbances which preceded the 
rebellion against Spain in 1675. 

Messana. It must be remembered that the Dorians wrote Messene 
Messana. The ancient name of Messina was Zancle, till it was changed by 
Anaxilas of Rhegium, who conquered it with the aid of Messenian exiles 
driven out by Sparta at the conclusion of the second Messenian war. But 
according to Pausanias (Book VI., iv. 2), the Zanclean stock continued distinct. 
See Leontiscus, History, and Zancle. At the end of the second Messenian 
war, the Messenians at Cyllene under Gorgus and Manticlus deliberated as to 
where they should settle. Pausanias, translated by J. G. Frazer, gives the 
following account (IV. xxiii. 5-10) : 

" Gorgus was of opinion that they should seize Zacynthus, the island off the 
coast of Cephallenia, and exchanging their continental for an island home, 
make expeditions to the coasts of Laconia, and ravage the country. Manticlus 
advised them to forget Messene and their hatred of the Lacedaemonians, and 
sailing to Sardinia take possession of that greatest and wealthiest of islands, 
Meantime, Anaxilas sent to the Messenians, inviting them to Italy. When 
they came, he told them that the people of Zancle, who were at feud with him, 
possessed a fertile country and a city finely situated in Sicily, and that if the 
Messenians would help him to conquer Zancle, he would give them the city 
and its territory. They accepted the proposal, and Anaxilas transported them 
to Sicily. The site on which Zancle stands was originally seized by corsairs ; 



THINGS OF MESSINA 



377 



the land was uninhabited, and they built a stronghold about the harbour, and 
used it as their headquarters whence they scoured sea and land. So Zancle 
was besieged on the land side by the Messenians, and blockaded on the side 
of the sea by the people of Rhegium ; and when the walls fell into the hands 
of the enemy, the inhabitants fled for refuge to the altars and sanctuaries of 
the gods. Anaxilas exhorted the Messenians to kill these refugees and enslave 
the rest of the men together with the women and children. But Gorgus and 
Manticlus begged Anaxilas not to compel them to retaliate upon Greeks the 
cruelties which they had themselves suffered at the hands of kinsmen. Then 
they raised the Zancleans from the altars, and after exchanging oaths both 
peoples dwelt together ; but they altered the name of the city from Zancle to 
Messene (Messana). These events happened in the twenty-ninth Olympiad, 
in which Chionis the Laconian gained his second victory, when Miltiades was 
archon at Athens. Manticlus also founded the sanctuary of Hercules at 
Messene. It is outside the wall, and the god is called Hercules Manticlus, 
just as Bel in Babylon is named after an Egyptian man, Belus, son of Libya, 
and as Ammon in Libya is named after the shepherd who founded^ the 
sanctuary. Thus the banished Messenians ceased from their wanderings. 7 ' 

Monasteri, Via dei. See Sicilian-Gothic. The highest of the streets 
parallel with the harbour, and the most interesting street in Messina. Runs 
from the Torrente Boccetta to the junction of the Corso Cavour and the Via 
Porta Reale. The most interesting and picturesque buildings in Messina are 
in this street. There are few such interesting streets in Sicily. 

Monte della Pleta. Public pawning establishment. It is a magnificent 
building. Formerly N.D. della Pieta, built in 1541. The splendid double 
staircase of marble leading up to the front from the enclosed courtyard was 
added in 1741, from the designs of Antonio Basile and Placido Campolo. 
This facade and staircase form one of the most beautiful examples of the 




THE MONTE DI PIETA 



378 SICILY THE NEW WINTER RESORT 

Renaissance in Sicily. The Monte dei Pegni, or Monte dei Prestamenti, was 
founded by the Confratemita degli Azzurri in 1580 to save poor citizens from 
usury. 

Monte Vergine. This has rich marbles and gilding and beautiful frescoes 
by the Messinese Letterio Paladino in 1736. In the convent there is a nice 
little cloister, from which you can see the rich Gothic exterior of the apse of 
a little church. 

Montorsoli, Fra Giovanni Angelo