It is among the pearls of Sicily, facing and bathed by the sea that the Mediterranean was called “Nostrum”. A sea that in the Middle Ages was called the Sea of Barberia, when corsairs and bandits wandered long and wide.
This pearl is Sciacca.
The city has lost its origins in the mists of time. The city according to the tradition of Cocalo the king of the Sicani. The city of Mount Kronio, considered by the Greeks a sacred mountain for being a carrier of health and making you feel good thanks to the thermal bath therapies already in use in those distant past eras.
Mighty water streams came out: there were the mythical Caves of San Calogero, a place of refreshment, veneration and pilgrimage for centuries and centuries.
Ascetics, wayfarers, devotees, pilgrims, wealthy patricians in the Roman era, up to the times of the Viceroyals of Spain.
Of course Sciacca is not only remembered for its thermal baths, Sciacca is the Carnival of Sicily that gives joy and life on the streets and squares for almost two weeks with special parades of allegorical floats and wonderful carnival masks.
Sciacca is famous for ceramic art, among the most valuable in Italy and in the Mediterranean. A tradition that made a school and then went back to the Greek-Roman time when the clay was worked by hand to make amphorae, jars and pottery.
There were various sizes and capacities used for trade and storage of liquids, in particular oil and wine that were grown in the hinterland and then marketed in the Roman provinces.
Today that art remains in the processing of majolica and artistic ceramics famous all over the world.
The city preserves monuments with priceless works in churches: from the Basilica Maria SS. del Soccorso in Santa Margherita to the Church of the Collegio in San Domenico al Carmine to the Madonna of Itria, patron saint of Sicily, in Sant’Agostino.
Time has not succeeded in taking the castles away from it, including the historical one of the Perollo erected by Gilberto, the son-in-law of Ruggero king of Sicily, and that old one of the Luna, bitter enemies of the first ones who wrote terrible pages of the history of Italy in their blood.
If you wander around Sicily make a stop in Sciacca that is the city of Tommaso Fazello, the greatest Sicilian historian of the sixteenth century.
See you soon in Sciacca.
Cover Picture by Angela De Michele