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Souvenirs from Sicily

featured image souvenirs

A grim gift: testa di moro

Are you looking for souvenirs with a story? Then listen to the story of this nice vase. In the year 1000, in Palermo a girl is watering her plants. A handsome Moor notices her. And they do end up sleeping together.

When it turns out the Moor has wife and kids back home, things turn nasty. In a fit of anger the girl kills the man. And uses his cut of head as a vase to grow basil in. It grew so lush and scented neighbors start using similar vases. 

testa di moro, one of the most macabre souvenirs, yet beautiful and characteristic

Souvenir amongst souvenirs: il carretto

how typical do souvenirs get? A carrettino Siciliano

Once a mean of transport, now among the most popular souvenirs. The carts are characterised by the use of bright colours. Two side panels display saints, paladins and scenes from ‘Cavaleria Rusticana‘. It is not always clear what they want to express. As Guy De Maupassant said: they are a moving rebus.

They are now often used to attract tourists. And why not. Excellent for selfies indeed.

Intermezzo of Cavalleria Rusticana, video

Wrong souvenirs

Alas, there are these wrong souvenirs. Which brings us to the chicken and egg question. Are they there because tourists seek them or vice versa. Mafia related object are an insult to common sense. And to the Sicilian society. There is little to nothing heroic about these criminals. Please, avoid.

Don't buy the wrong souvenirs, let the mafia knickknacks alone

Monumental souvenirs

temple in Agrigento

Temples, buildings and landmarks. They are excellent souvenirs. Don’t forget to visit them though. Selenunte, Segesta, Argigento. Not to forget the black lava stone object from mount Etna.

Start making space on your fridge, the magnets are coming home.

Majolica tiles

Sicilian pottery and majolicas are unique. It has been influenced by many occupations. Ranging from Phoenician to Greek, from Arab to French. The mayor producing cities are few and all distinctive. Sciacca, Caltagirone, Santo Stefano, Burgio. The coloured tiles often come as magnets, hence souvenirs.

typical majolica tiles, excellent souvenirs

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Further more

man sleeping on a bench with a typical Sicilian hat

From dusk till dawn

From dusk till dawn

An arbitrary selection of the finest place to stay overnight
silhouette of a man eating, wearing a typical Sicilian Coppola

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