All’ombra dei platani. Palermo: il tramonto delle “good manners” e i nuovi progetti

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The reflection on own city is a difficult task, because everyday life confuses the perception of the whole and of its individual parts. Everything mixes itself with each other, when the observation has been distracted by random perspectives. Put the city into a “focus”, it needs a distance and only thanks to a correct measure, it is possible to distinguish the present figures.The urban structure can - progressively and clearer - show itself, adding views to the reading of some pages. A selection of books and panoramas is a way to dispel the fog of the routine; an action of “turning around”, as a practice to decant the daily circumstance. This reached awareness leads, in a second moment, to a real approach, transforming the removal into an immersion.In the case of Palermo, a series of volumes can be placed on the table and we can stand on some heights that, shaping a crown, limit the plain on which the city is placed. The reading and observation from above are ways to frame the theme and, at the same time, these are the premise starting a reflection.Rectring to the maximum this two practices, we can imagine ourselves being along the Scala vecchia on the Southern slope of Pellegrino mountain, that reaches until the sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, having the Gattopardo, written by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. Why Pellegrino mountain and why the Gattopardo? At a first glance, these are undoubtedly two banal and worn choices; in reality, they are still valid to stimulate possible hermeneutics. Pellegrino mountain limits the East side of the Colli plain; it’s an extraordinary geographic bastion, that indissolubly connotes the city. In the pictures about Palermo, this Mount is the alter ego of the planimetry of the ancient city nucleus, divided into four districts (Mandamenti). The cross sign, lying on the ground, corresponds in many views, the outline of the «most beautiful promontory in the world», according to the definition by Wolfgang Goethe. In order to know Palermo, Pellegrino mountain allows, from its sides, more points of view, showing the historical and the contemporary parts of the city. Overcoming the clichés and also the famous “rejection” of Elio Vittorini, the Gattopardo volume allows a different perception of the place, compared to the view from the Pellegrino mountain, and also an imaginary interpretation. Tomasi di Lampedusa writes: «Two or three days before Garibaldi has been entered Palermo I was introduced to some English naval officers, working on those ships that were in the roadstead to make aware of the events. They learned, I don’t know how, that I own a house in the marine area (Marina), facing the sea, with a terrace on the roof from which you can see the whole circle of the mountains around the city; they asked me to visit the house, to come for have a look at that panorama in which it was said that the Garibaldians wander and of which, from their ships, they had not a clear idea. In fact, Garibaldi was already arrived at the city of Gibilrossa. They visited the home, and I have accompanied them up to the top; they were naive young men, despite their reddish mops. They have been remained fascinated by the panorama, by the impetuousness of the light; they confessed, however, that the observation of the squalor, of the age, and of the filth of the access roads have been petrified them. I did not explain them that a different thing was derived from the other, as I tried to do with you. Then, one of them asked me what those Italian volunteers really were doing here in Sicily. “They are coming to teach us good manners”,
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2-6
Numero di pagine5
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019


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