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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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Walking Polizzi's stone streets: Via Cardinale Rampolla and Via Roma

Posted by Suzanne on 14 Nov 2014


Whenever I exit Polizzi's Piazza Umberto 1 and enter the cobblestone and narrow Via Rampolla, towards Via Roma past Bar Orlando and low stone archways which lead to the courtyards of hidden doors, I feel transported.

Just a short distance past Bar Orlando though, the elevated façade of the Chiesa Madre, Santa Maria Maggiore, looms on the left and on the right, the imposing 16th century baronial palace Palazzo Galgliardo. (Here in front of the Chiesa Madre Via Rampolla becomes Via Roma.)

I always wander up and down these two streets slowly. Here are some of the things I have enjoyed.

Palazzo Galgliardo – a summer’s evening in the garden:

A fabulous looking mannerist renaissance building Palazzo Galgliardo is huge. It straddles four streets and the main entry is just off Via Rampolla. The garden, hidden and walled, is sometimes open during the summer for L’ estate in Polizzi festival - Polizzi in the summer.

I remember one late summer's evening sitting in the walled garden of the palazzo with the lovely Signora Adele, the owner. The Signora had positioned our chairs so that we could see the face of the Chiesa Madre up above the wall of her garden. We enjoyed an aperitivo together and watched the changing summer sky become a deep vibrant cobalt blue.

The pale stone façade of the Chiesa Madre intensified against the blue of the evening sky; we just sat and watched.

Chiesa Madre – opposite Palazzo Galgliardo:

The right hand side of the Chiesa Madre; arcaded and with a gothic portal adorned with worn faces of the Saints Peter and Paul is a spot for retreat. And, if open I like to view some of the lovely Madonie art inside: the 14th century Flemish painting, a glorious triptych of the Madonna, is not to be missed.

The immense interior soars and the 16th century silver sarcophagus, tall and flamboyant, houses the remains of the patron saint, San Gandolfo.

Palazzo Signorino, and a little bit of family history - opposite the Chiesa Madre:

Palazzo Signorino is now mainly used in the summer for one of Polizzi’s once powerful baronial families: the Signorinos. The palazzo’s main wooden entry doors are covered in a studded metal with the letters BSN above; they were the barons of San Nicola. The walled garden, treed and private runs the back boundary and a series of six or so iron balconies overlook Via Roma.

A little Signorino history - I find this interesting. The family built a monastery in 1499 for their ambitious daughter when she failed to become the mother superior of Polizzi’s Baddia Vecchia, the old abbey. They built Santa Maria delle Grazie for her on Via San Carlo- in the same street as the old abbey. She was of course the mother superior there.

It was from a descendent of this family, Signore Leonardo, that we purchased The Sicilian House’s Palazzo Notar Nicchi in 2003.

A faded Sicilian Green door:

My favourite Sicilian Green door in Polizzi is on Via Roma just up a little from the Signorino house. Three planks wide, faded and low it is fitted with more than one brass keyhole and the smooth iron door knocker sits a little off centre. Each time that I pass this door it is always closed.

I came to learn from the Sicilian architect Claudia Buccellato, that this green is a particular shade used in Sicily for doors, windows and shutters. It is actually called Sicilian Green.

It is not dark and serious like the Lucchese green but rather it is cheerful and has a clarity and freshness which is luminous in the Sicilian light.

This lovely green was chosen for the front door of The Sicilian House’s Palazzo Notar Nicchi; it welcomes our guests to Polizzi.

The White stone Balcony:

Almost opposite the faded green door the 'white balcony of Polizzi' sits above the side street Via Moschea. I like often to walk under the balcony to the arched entry of Via Moschea and look down the narrow street over the rooftops to the countryside.

(Moschea, meaning mosque in English, is a reminder of the days when Sicily was under the rule of the Arabs over 1200 years go.)

A newly painted Sicilian Green door:

And this freshly painted Sicilian Green door next to the white balcony is all that Sicilian Green conveys: luminosity.

Turning off Via Roma:

Just up from the luminous green door we often turn left at Piazza Castello to eat at Il Ristorante U Bagghiu.  (U Bagghiu is the restaurant of Andrea- the nephew of the owner of that little blue fiat seen around Polizzi- Zia Gina. I wrote about Zia Gina a few months ago.)


A Related Post: The Owner of That Little Blue Fiat


Via Roma continues on down past Piazza Castello for a little and is lined with small, storied village houses with balconies. It is often draped with washing.




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