|sicilianità: noun ~ the state of being Sicilian. Being from the island or nation of Sicily. Descending from natives of Sicily. Sicilian-ness.|
|This page celebrates
the history, culture, language, and people of
Sicilia; Trinacria; Magna Graecia; Persephone's Island;
Isola di Proserpina; land of legends; fountain of
poetry; gem of the Mediterranean; 'the dawn place'; the
place where Spring is born.
I have created the page because when I proudly reveal my ancestry, I resent the smirks of non-Sicilians, including northern Italians, implying that I am what I am not. I created it because I am saddened that other Sicilian-Americans, too many of whom know nothing of Sicilian culture, choose to glorify the tiny percentage of their paisani who achieved dubious fame through torture, murder and cowardly extortion.
I created it because 'sugnu urgugliusu d'essiri sicilianu' ~ I'm proud to be Sicilian!!
|A strong Sicilian advocate, Professor Gaetano Cipolla has written a beautiful treatise on being Sicilian. Portions are excerpted or paraphrased below. For the full booklet, in paperback or on Kindle, go to http://bit.ly/SicilianWays|
What Makes a Sicilian?
. . .
do not enjoy a good reputation.
In the United States, or in any other part of the world
for that matter, when people hear the name of Sicily,
images of mayhem and violence are inevitably displayed
before their mind’s eye and knife-wielding villains with
dark hair stand ready to do mischief against law and
order. The media has portrayed Sicilians so exclusively
as belonging to the Mafia that the two nouns go together
linguistically like “bread and butter”.
Sicilians have contributed a great deal to Western civilization in every field. A great number of important tools, inventions and products were introduced into Sicily and were exported eventually into Europe. The sun dial, Arabic numbers, silk, different citrus fruits, sugar cane, cotton, rice, and ice cream, to mention a few things, found their way to Europe through Sicily.
They have excelled in poetry so much so that a
popular Sicilian saying declares to the world "Cu
voli puisia vegna in Sicilia, ca teni la bannera da
vittoria" (Whoever wants poetry, let him come to
Sicily which holds the banner of victory).
. . .
In politics and government, the Normans created the first centralized and absolute government in Europe. and Frederick II, "stupor mundi" [wonder of the world] strove to make his beloved Sicily a model for all other parts of his empire to imitate. . . .
In art, Antonello da Messina introduced oil painting to the Italian Renaissance. . .
Sicilians have been first at many things . . . the first volcanologist . . . the first solar clock . . . the first modern state . . . the first map of the world . . . ice cream . . .
the first census in history . . . the first European studies of China and the Orient . . . the first labor union . . . .
Cipolla gives many more instances, with details. He concludes:
It would be so much more rewarding, and so much closer to the truth, if instead of Sicily as a mafia-infested island, you thought of it as the place where the bougainvillea bloom the year round, where the smell of orange-blossom is an aphrodisiac, where the scent of jasmine is strong and fills the nights.
Think of it as a place that gave Europe a taste for "sanguinelli,"—the blood oranges that grow only there—a place that made things sweet when the Arabs began to cultivate on its soil, that made it possible for Europeans to wrap their bodies in the luxurious feel of silk. Think of Sicily as the place where spring is born when Pluto releases Persephone from her infernal captivity!
Think of it as the German Romantic poet Wolfgang Goethe did, who wrote in his diary: "Italy without Sicily leaves no trace upon the soul. Sicily is the key to everything."
states: The term
features, along with
the Sicilian language -
that character attributed to natives of Sicily, that is
tyypical of Sicily. Also known as
"The essence of the notion of Sicily that is at once commonplace and prosaic, but at the same time reason for unique and deep inspiration in literature and art."
Coniglio Family Origins
Alessi and Abate Origins
|Robertsdale I & II||Buffalo||
|La Bedda Sicilia|