Time for a Baroque interlude. This is the Chiesa del Collegio, a Jesuit church "...designed by the Sicilian monk and master-builder Natale Masuccio and built between 1606 and 1638. The façade was designed by Francesco Bonamici... The high altar is decorated with a marble relief of the Immaculata by Ignazio Marabitti (1766), and the stucco work on the walls is by Bartolomeo Sanseverino." source
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 19, 2015 18:55:28 GMT
Mossie, I would say the difference in ornamentation is because the Baroque era (@1600 -- 1750) occurred after the English Protestant Reformation. According to Wikipedia, The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement. Thus, the chubby putti and overwrought saints were highly contraindicated for English churches.
As for the "ladies" and their "tails" ~ Um, I read those things not as tails, but as something that distinguishes ladies from gentlemen. Whatever they are, they also lack arms. The figure on the left seems to be serenely pleased with itself, whereas the one on the right appears to be thinking, "Wait -- this ain't right!"
And now we will visit another church. Some of you will be pleased to know that it will be the last church in this thread.
This is inside the church of the Anime Sante del Purgatorio. I had read about these tableaux, but was expecting something entirely different -- certainly not these figures, which I at first thought were contemporary examples of papier-mâché. They were actually originally created in the 17th and 18th centuries and have been augmented and renovated through the years, most recently in the late 1940s after the church in which they were kept was bombed during WWII. The statues have wooden, cork-covered armatures which are covered with canvas, glue, and paint and are further ornamented with silver halos and the like. The pieces are carried in procession by craft guilds on Good Friday.
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 19, 2015 19:14:06 GMT
Happy to be back outside after that?
If anyone has an appetite, here was my preferred place to get a sugar hit while I was in Trapani, which is a place where you'll be spoiled for choice, particularly for gelato.
Too cloying? Clear your palate with this lovely plate of antipasto ~
I already showed my hotel in the OP. Because the building across the alley was empty, I was able to sleep with the door to my 2nd floor balcony open. The hotel was originally the grand home of a wealthy family, as apparently was the building facing it ~
But not everything in Trapani was old. If you move there, you'll be able to decorate your house in the latest style ~
They say the fish is discarded, this might occur if using it to make an intense broth but the fish couscous I've eaten made by Sicilians or by Tunisians definitely included fish and sometimes other seafood.
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 19, 2015 22:06:32 GMT
Thanks, Htmb. Once I started looking at the Misteri pieces I could see the artistry in them. Certainly the faces are marvelously expressive. However, I was expecting wooden sculptures & was thrown by the bright colors. I can't say I really like them even now. Although some of the continuity is off, the details in the tableaux are great. For instance, in the one of Peter denying Christ, there is a rooster in the background.
Not to sound threatening, but I have many pictures of the salt flats.
LaGatta, I never did have any couscous. I had planned to eat my way through Sicily, but it was so hot I had little interest in eating. As for the chairs, I have to say that Italy may have written the book on molded plastic chairs. Trapani was full of outdoor cafes, and none of the chairs looked flimsy or plastic-y. I never had the pleasure of sitting in a butt chair, though.
I've gone through these photos several times now and of course like the great variety -- from the churches to the food to the street scenes to the things in the shops, sculptures, doors, swimmers -- you have a bit of everything, and that's the best way to convey the whole atmosphere of the place. I bet a lot of people just take pictures of churches and monuments, so when they show their pictures, one doesn't have the slightest idea of what the city is like.
I have to admit that one thing has consistently disappointed me in all of your Sicily threads. I want to see an eruption of Mount Etna!
Last Edit: Aug 6, 2017 23:52:42 GMT by bixaorellana: replace smiley
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 20, 2015 14:39:38 GMT
I appreciate that, Kerouac, especially since I often look at my own pictures of a place and wonder, How did I miss such&such?
As for Etna -- you jest, but that is one of my aspirations. Sicily is still geologically active, with three "regular" volcanoes plus numerous mud volcanoes and fields. Not in Sicily, but an interesting historical factoid: Hans Christian Andersen climbed Vesuvius in 1834 while it was erupting.
You won't get any hot, steamy action in this thread, but you will get flat places, very high places, and lots of water. In the meantime, let's look at more streets and architecture ~
All spruced up:
And naturally aged:
A sign in Liberty Style. There were bookstores everywhere I went in Sicily ~
These ladies gathered on this bench every afternoon ~
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 20, 2015 20:32:17 GMT
I visited the salt flats and a 300 year old salt house. Salt has been produced in this area for a good 2700 years -- since the time of the Phoenicians. In the late 1800s there .were 40 saltworks producing over 100,000 metric tons a year. Today there are some ten saltpans with two main areas of production, at Nubia and at the Stagnone lagoon.
I had a ticket to go out to the saltworks and was shocked when the mini-bus driver stopped here. We had established a rapport despite the language difficulty and he understood my "This is IT?!" reaction. He laughed and said he would take me out to the big works, but let me get out to take a picture. The photo has some charm since you can't see that the darling windmill is at the side of a highway intersection ~
We were quickly out in open land & in areas of salt production, although as you can see from this picture, still in sight of Trapani ~
So here I was at the end of a tiny road, hoping that the driver really meant it when he said he'd come back for me It was very hot and bright. Salt makes for very white dust, frosting the wild rosemary and fennel by the side of the road ~
There was little sign of salt production as I trudged toward what I hoped was my objective. This was because June was a salt harvest month, so I was visiting during a rest season. The clay roof tiles there by the fence are used in winter to cover the mounds of harvested salt ~
The salt house ~
This is zoomed and cropped for effect, but you can see how close this area is to Trapani even after all the driving to get here ~
This is very beautiful in a different kind of way from what I saw on Île de Ré in France. The colors are magnificent and you've captured the large, expansive area very nicely in your photographs. I get very excited seeing ancient industries like this, and would love to visit one day. I also feel compelled to return to Île de Ré, as well as visit an area in Britttany with an even larger production of French salt, harvested by hand and not by machines. Thank you for visiting and for braving the harsh sunlight. I'm wondering if you were tempted to sample just a little bit.
Last Edit: Aug 6, 2017 23:56:13 GMT by bixaorellana: replace smiley
Thank you so much, Htmb! I am going to include detailed information about the saltpans, as I found it a very worthwhile and enjoyable part of my stay in Trapani. I am really looking forward to more of your pictures of the French salt industry. As far as sampling, I was all ready to pay for a couple of the nice little bags which were for sale there when I remembered how many more flights I had between there and home and the fun I'd have explaining stores of white crystals to the dear TSA workers.
Having seen a car pull up to the salt house, a few of us went back & found the docent opening up. He looks quite serious here, but in fact was a most attractive, lively and fun guide. He told us solemnly of how hard the work used to be and how the workers sang to keep their spirits up. Then he sang the first line of O Sale Mio. A few kids joined the tour later and he did a wonderful job of incorporating them into the presentation. This link pretty well covers the information we got on the tour. Here, the section called Le Saline explains the extraction of the salt; and this page covers the history of the area.
Here he talks about the Archimedean screw and about the problems with anything metal in the wet, salty environment.
We were told that each full basket weighed more than 40 kilograms and that a work day was 12 hours long ~
It is amazing to think of the handwork and sweat that went into engineering and maintaining the parts that kept the windmills turning ~
Explaining about the makeup and purity of various kinds of table salt ~
And a look at this little model of the works concludes our tour ~
I go to the appointed meeting spot & stand in the noonday sun amid the weeds, awaiting my ride. This is not a b&w picture ~
The bus driver did pick me up; the snail's on the thorn -- all's right with the world!
A very interesting look at an ancient craft. I love the windmill sails, so delicate after our clumsy wooden ones. The tractor bucket well shows the corrosive effects of salt on steel, at my last asphalt plant we used a lot of sea dredged aggregate and it caused constant repairs.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
I can imagine, Mossie! I'm very surprised that tractor is allowed to set out like that. The sun alone was brutal enough to trash parts of it, and the salt could finish it off. When we were shown the Archimedean screw, the guide explained why it had to be made of wood, as the slightest lapse in maintenance would freeze a metal one & thus the windmill.
I am going to throw in the rest of my town of Trapani pictures here, all bits of architectural details showing the eroded, patinated, and weathered effects of the sea air ~
Post by Amboseli (not on my own PC) on Sept 22, 2015 6:40:39 GMT
Great pictures bixa. Apparently the workers in the saltpans weren't working while you were there (I don't see them anyway). It's such hard labour: manually piling up the salt in that heat! I really didn't know that this still existed. It was like looking at a '50s movie. And it made me appreciate the salt on my food.
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 22, 2015 17:43:18 GMT
Thank you, Amboseli! There weren't any workers or any action at all when I was there. That was @july 20 & there had been a harvest the month before, with another not due until September I think. You are right that it must be grueling work. The other thing I didn't see was any wildlife, although the area is protected & supposedly abounds with it. It may have been the time of day I was there (morning). The sunsets are supposed to be spectacular. There is even a small resort nearby -- I walked past it on my way to the saltworks. Here is some info if you're ever in that region.
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 22, 2015 18:20:19 GMT
And now to another Trapani activity which I highly recommend: the cableway to Erice.
After a rather long bus ride from the old part of Trapani I arrive at the foot of Mount Erice, where the funivia will take me to the top -- @750 meters/2,460 feet above sea level. I hop into one of the cars, heeding advice I read about facing backward for the most dramatic views ~
Death pods ~
One of the serpentine roads down the mountain ~
I enjoyed the ride, but really didn't like when the pod passed under these things with a disconcerting bump ~
This must be how people without vehicles scrambled up and down before the cableway ~
Just catching up with your photos, Bixa. It's all interesting, although I wonder whether the locals even see the Baroque details any more. I think I would enjoy it for a few days, but find it definitely over the top after a while.
I did like the procession statues though, despite some of the gruesome injuries on the Christ figure.
Did I mention the mafioso/bouncer-looking character in one of the first photos forgot his socks and his pants were too short? Or was that part of the local style?
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 23, 2015 16:37:35 GMT
Kerouac, I don't know if it was lack of heavy industry or the fact that Sicily is a small, triangular island constantly cleansed by sea breezes and wind, but the air seemed clean everywhere I was and the sea was clear even in ports and marinas.
Re: the Via Dolorosa statues -- I find the fiendish expressions on the tormentors really well executed, but has anyone noticed that one of them is also making a rude gesture?
The guy with the alternative haircut & shortened dress pants was probably in his early 20s. But hey -- he was not only in style, he was dressed appropriately. I passed several wedding parties during my time in Sicily and greatly approved that people dressed for the occasion. It was always the younger men in that newer style. In that particular picture, the two men not in suits are photographers. I can barely stand to look at those poor men in suits, as I know how beastly hot they must have been.
Sorry about stopping abruptly at the top of the mountain -- photos of Erice coming up & we'll climb even higher.
So here I am in Erice, which is very, very old. It was originally settled by the Elymians, who arrived in western Sicily @1200 BC and coexisted with the native Sicanians. The city was later under Greek domination, then conquered in turn by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs and the Normans. source
I start my wandering. This picture was taken while I was still near the cableway and you'll find that the number of people in it constitute a crowd in comparison to the rest of the time I was in Erice. It was like a weird enchantment -- hot, bright, silent, and practically unpopulated.
The entire town, even little alleyways, was paved like this ~
Erice apparently gets a fair amount of tourists, as evidenced by this shop. The guy is playing a marranzanu. That is the Sicilian word for the instrument. In Italian, it's a scacciapensieri ~
I could feel this shop pulling me like a magnet, but I womanfully resisted ~
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 24, 2015 18:37:01 GMT
The building you see in the picture just above the mayor's notice is a ruined 12th century Norman castle which was built on the site of the ancient Temple of Venus -- thus the Castello de Venere. I read an article from 2011 which indicated that it was possible to tour the castle portion, but that was closed off when I was there. No matter, because I was completely knocked out by the ruins of the temple & its walls. I am afraid my photos do not convey the wonder I felt while there. As a rule, I am unmoved, even bored by ruins, but there was something about this place that made me feel deeply content and happy. When I arrived, there was only a man and his two boys looking around, but soon I had the whole place to myself.
You can see for miles from up here ~
Site of the baths ~
View of Pepoli Castle, built by the Saracens and later used as a Norman stronghold. It remains/remained in the Pepoli family until the 2000s and was a hotel resort until closing abruptly @2010.