Lexicon of Sicily, from Ventimiglia di Sicilia to Sicilian Vespers

Sicilian encyclopedia for travel and knowledge

Ventimiglia di Sicilia is a town in the Province of Palermo, located in the autonomous region of Sicily, Italy. Ventimiglia was founded in the 1620s by Don Girolamo del Carretto. The town was named after his wife, Beatrice Ventimiglia. In 1863, "di Sicilia" was added to Ventimiglia, to differentiate the city from the town of Ventimiglia in Liguria. Though "Ventimiglia di Siclia" is its official name, in Sicilian, the city is known as Calamigna. The city is neighbored by the towns Baucina, Bolognetta, Caccamo, Casteldaccia and Ciminna. The town is also home to an advanced observatory (the Osservatorio di Ventimiglia di Sicilia "Ezio Brancato", Ventimiglia di Sicilia Observatory) run by The Organizzazione Ricerche e Studi di Astronomia (Organization for the Research and Study of Astronomy) or ORSA, built in 2001.

Vita is a town and comune in inland south-western Sicily, Italy, administratively part of the province of Trapani. It is the smallest municipality area of the province of Trapani at about 8.88 square kilometres (3.43 sq mi). It is also characterized by the second highest elevation in the province, after Erice. The town was founded in the early 17th century, under the Spaniards, by a noble from Calatafimi, Vito Sicomo. The birth of the township was then ratified by King Philip III of Spain on March 11, 1607. In 1860, the town gave its full support to the Mille led by Giuseppe Garibaldi. In the early 20th century, the city reached its highest population, with c. 6,000 inhabitants. More recently, its inhabitants have slowly left the town in order to move towards Northern Italy and foreign countries, with possibly its largest emigrant community located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Vita was heavily damaged by the 1968 Belice earthquake, and rebuilt in a new urban zone, close to the old one. The derivation of the name is uncertain: it is possibly associated to the founder's name, but might either be of Arab origin (there is a town named Vita in Algeria too), or even somehow associated to the same Italian word which means life. See fotos from Vita>>

Sicilian Vespers in Italian history, name given the rebellion staged by the Sicilians against the Angevin French domination of Sicily; the rebellion broke out at Palermo at the start of Vespers on Easter Monday, Mar. 30, 1282. The revolt quickly spread over the island; nearly all the French in Sicily were massacred. Although basically a move for Sicilian independence, the insurrection was instigated as part of a widespread conspiracy against the Angevin ruler of Naples and Sicily, King Charles I , who dreamed of establishing an Angevin empire in the East. Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII financed the plot, hoping to preoccupy Charles and thus avert the Angevin's imminent invasion of the Byzantine Empire. John of Procida , a loyal supporter of the Hohenstaufen, and King Peter III of Aragòn, who claimed rule of the island as the husband of Constance, heiress of the Hohenstaufen claim there, also joined the intrigue. Peter accepted the throne offered by the Sicilians, and a 20-year war for possession of Sicily followed between the Angevin kings of Naples and the Aragonese kings of Sicily. The rising secured Sicilian independence for more than a century, with the house of Aragòn keeping Sicily and the Angevin dynasty holding the S Italian mainland kingdom of Naples. The two territories were finally reunited (1442) under Alfonso V of Aragòn.