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San Gandolfo Festival
The 7th Wednesday after Easter and the 3rd week end in September
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The Most Holy Crucifix
Starts May 1st
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La Sagra delle Nocciole (The Hazelnut Festival)
Always in August usually after the 15th, a moveable date

Lo Sfoglio
Late August

Santa Lucia
December 13


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Secret Lower Doors

Posted by Suzanne on 17 Apr 2015

The main doorways of Polizzi Generosa, not unlike those of many European cities and villages, sit on the edge of the stone paved streets and most conceal a door within a door. They feel almost secret.

There are in fact often one or two tall, solid, almost ceremonial ones and then lower ones, slightly secretive and “profound.”

The lower doors speak of times when people were, as architect Christopher Alexander and his colleagues note in their inspirational book, A Pattern Language, “more sensitive to the moment of passage and made the shape of their doors convey the feeling of transition.”

That “moment of passage”, is heightened, as  they suggest, when one must stoop a little to walk through a lower door; it becomes “a deliberate thoughtful passage from one place to another.

It is, as if to bend and walk through a lower door you have been invited and ushered into a private world.

Most times when I enter the doors of Polizzi it is through the lower door.

Below, there are four lower doorways of Polizzi Generosa; many though, line the ancient streets of Polizzi.


The Side doors of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie


When I have entered the once closed Benedictine world of Polizzi’s 15th century church of Santa Maria delle Grazie it is through the worn wooden lower door in Via Carlo V. Bolted and appearing cut out of the soaring doors, it is almost hidden.

To bend down a little and step up and in from the narrow Via Carlo V into the cool, hushed interior where the black caped Madonna is housed is to feel ushered into a private world of silence.


The Angela Carini doorway in Piazza Sant'Orsola


The Angela Carini doorway; the ‘back door’ of Palazzo Notar Nicchi opens onto the small Piazza Sant’Orsola.

It is an 1860’s modification to the centuries old palazzo. And, it was the lower door within the Angela Carini doorway which was opened to welcome Signore Giuseppe when he carried a gift of the first cherries of the season to us a couple of summers ago.

He had made the 'transition' from the public piazza to our private world quickly through the lower door.

And, it was through this lower door that a small group of holidaying Australians stepped up and over the raised board to enter the piazza to visit the tiny church of Sant’Orsola one summer.


The New Sicilian green front door of Palazzo Notar Nicchi

The main high doorway to Palazzo Notar Nicchi: tall vertical planks painted in Sicilian green and inserted with a lower door is not often fully opened.

One summer’s evening though, in July 2010 the inside vertical bolts were undone and the entire door was opened wide to welcome guests for a house party to celebrate, with the people of Polizzi, the finishing of the restoration works.

That night, it became a generous and welcoming main entrance. 

And, once through this lower door the long steps to the cellar are in front and to the left, the entry hall to the house.

Most times though, we enter through the lower door. And, each time there is a sense that we have thoughtfully made what Alexander and his colleagues refer to as “passage from one place to another.”


Palazzo Galgliardo’s Lucchese green doorway


I have entered the lower door of 16th century Palazzo Galgliardo’s high green doorway once, as a guest of Signora Adele. It was a summer’s evening.

On stepping up and through a lower door into the baronial entry courtyard I felt that, as a guest I was, to state Alexander and his colleagues, “entirely a guest, in the world of the host” - Signora Adele. For a few hours we were hidden away from the world of Polizzi.




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