If you go to Australia, in the city of Melbourne, and you ask the ancient Sicilian emigrants who left our land around 50 years ago, they are still convinced that carts are a common means of transport nowadays!
In fact, the Sicilian cart is the best-known object of popular art. And it’s one of the symbols of the Trinacria.
The tradition of Sicilian carts has ancient origins.
There are different styles and types of it: there is the Palermo style, the Catania style, the Trapani style and the Vittoria style.
The Sicilian cart is ideal for transporting wood, wine barrels, oil and agricultural products. Carpenters and carvers made all the wooden parts. A blacksmith took care of the wrought elements and the painters painted and decorated the parts of the chariot with colorful scenes and figures. Its colors are the yellow of the sun, the orange of the oranges, the blue of the sky and the sea and the red of the lava of Etna.
The history of the Sicilian cart dates back to 800. They were made with very high wheels because the roads were very difficult to navigate. Today it is not difficult to find these floats even during popular festivals and village festivals.
Particularly interesting to see is the feast of Sant’Alfio in Trecastagni, in the province of Catania. The first description of it was made by a French literate Jean Baptiste Gonzalve de Nervo. The writer stayed in Sicily for a month to write a book. This book tells of small carts painted in blue with the image of the Virgin. The cart was drawn by horses with a yellow and red plum on its head. It is the best-known symbol of our island. The writer Guy the Maupassant called it a rebus that walks for its particular decorations.
Since last year Sicilian government has asked to regard the Sicilian chart as Unesco Heritage….