Stories of the alleys of Mazara del Vallo


Jos Dielis - CC2.0

The old town of Mazara del Vallo, the Kasbah, is a maze of alleys that tell aspects of the daily life of the city.
In the ancient Arab quarter, on the sides of the houses it is easy to find ceramics with colorful paintings or that tell stories related to those places or simply prayers.
An alley is dedicated to the non-violent bandit "Sataliviti", so called for his agility of escape through the vineyards.
A staircase is known as the "scala del seraglio" or "scala dei poverelli" because on this they sat the poor of the village waiting for some fisherman to leave them a box of fish.
Then there is, as told by a large ceramic panel, "u curtigghiu di lù 'nfernu". This is what is written on the ceramic panel: "This site was inhabited by two families who were originally friends but who, over time, had passed into moments of great enmity. It all began with a woman denied marriage to the eldest son of the "friend" family .
When in another part of the city there were quarrels between opposing family factions, people used to say of a violent quarrel: 'hellyard stuff'.Every reason, even futile, was the excuse for a quarrel that involved protagonists all members of the two families. Life, every evening, in the courtyard, was hell".