IDEAS AND CURIOSITIES
CATANIA’S LOCAL MARKETS:
There is nothing more picturesque than a tour around Catania’s local markets. The one taking place in Carlo Alberto’s square, once supposed to be every Monday (it now takes place every day), offers the most typical and various categories of local products; its peculiarity is due to the way the peddlers advise their products, recalling all visitors’ attention. Walking around these local markets you will feel the sensation of being in a labyrinth, but you have to be aware of some of the fake products they might try to sell you. Even more folkloristic is the fish local market, the Pescheri. It is very close to Dome’s Square, under the Amenano Fountain (typical for the effect the water creates, flowing like a bed sheet). The colours, the fragrances and the sounds make it a sensational unique experience.
THE DONNAFUGATA RAGUSA’S CASTLE:
It is about 15 kms far from Ragusa. Opposing to what you might think from its name, it is not a true medieval castle, but it otherwise is an aristocratic prestigious dwelling from the 800s. The dwelling used to be over the land of the Arezzo De Spuches noble family. The castle is very sumptuous, recovering a 2500 ms area, it presents a Neo-Gothic facade, between the two side fortified towers.
Plenty of hypothesis about its name “Donnafugata”; the most valid seems to be the one relating it to a famous legendary episode. It tells us about the escape of the Queen Bianca of Navarra, King Martino I of Aragona’s widow, ruling the Sicily Realm, due to the imprisonment suffered under the Count Bernardo Cabrera, who badly aimed her hand to become the new King. Actually the Castle construction is belated compared to the legend. Others think the name comes from the Arabic term ‘Ayn as Jafat’ meaning ‘well-being source’, then transformed in the Sicilian ‘Ronnafuata’ and the final ‘Donnafugata’.