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Mediterranean triangle

Mediterranean triangle

An airport "Falcone and Borselino" Wears the name of two judges who died in the fight against the goat of Nostra. So from the first minute staying on the island "Mafiosis" declares me. Sicilians tolerate can not talk about her. One in a centuries-old habit is observed by the vow of silence – Omert, others from patriotism: "Why black the good name of the island?" But many simply annoying the fact that foreigners, believing in kinoliterature cliches, are not going to delve into the essence of the problem, but they just want to talk about their nerves about talking about "horror mafia".

A taxi driver who brings you from the airport to Palermo, for nothing, which means red stele from the highway. Here, near the town of Kapachi, March 23, 1992 Giovanni Falcone was killed. Under the canvas of the super-modern highway "Specialists" Mafia laid 320 kilograms of explosives: together with the judge, the wife and three bodyguards were killed. Stela flashed and stayed behind – the thought of death seems inappropriate in the surrounding you paradise: majestic mountains, flowers, orange groves escapeing to the sea. How lucky sicily with nature! Spring, "Primaver Sichiliana", The best time of year on the island, fully captures all thoughts and feelings.

Point of departure. Palermo

Palermo comes like a threat, enter into a slightness and the sermost of urban outflows do not want. Chaos of street movement amazes even accustomed to Moscow lawlessness. Immediately understand that Sicilians live in their laws. The traffic light is not so important, as the exchange of the views of the participants of the movement: if the pedestrian realized that the car would go, he would stop, and if the pedestrian is configured to go, then the driver is better to slow down. Paradox, but with this constant "Favoro Vol" there is no feeling of aggression – in any case, the idea that if something is wrong, then you will look on the head of the moth, it does not come to this head.

Palermo is a city where, despite the straight lines, like an arrow, avenue, first of all, an exotic features are thrown into the eyes. In his heart itself – a huge market surrounded by slums. During World War II, the center of the capital of Sicily was strongly destroyed by the Anglo-American bombing, and the poor was settled in the ruins, somehow at home. In recent years, the reconstruction of historical districts has been actively underway, but "Exotics Destrol in" Still enough.

In the architecture of Palermo, all styles were mixed, reflecting the confusing and rich history of the city. This is the only place in the world where all the main civilizations of the Mediterranean were noted – from the Phoenicians and Greeks to Arabs and Normanov. And Christian churches crowned with red can be considered a business card of the city "Mauritanian" dips resembling mosques. Such is the famous San Giovanni Dei Eremati, such is San Cataldo. In Western Europe similar "Islamic dejahu" Test except in Spanish Andalusia. There is nothing to be surprised – Sicilya two centuries was Muslim.

Flashback 1. Betrayal

On June 17, 827, Emir Kairuan (modern Tunisia), standing on the shore, watched the landing of his army to land at an impregnable for Sicily Sicily. By the Byzantine ships, he was not afraid: the former fleet commander in the local waters of Euteimy invited the Island of Arabs. His rebellion against Constantinople gave Kairuan aglabid to the hardest of Byzantines in the Mediterranean Sea. Emir despised a traitor and an oath about the help of the incorrect considered a trick, pleasing allah. A year later, the Arabs stabbed a unlucky candidate for the Eastrian throne and step by step began to move into the depths of Sicily. In 831, they took Palermo and made it the capital of the island. Arabs brought Sicilians oranges, algebra, paper and much more. After 100 years, the last foci of the resistance of Christians. Palermo from 100,000 inhabitants and 300 mosques became the fourth largest city in the Mediterranean after Constantinople, Cairo and Cordoba.

It is best to understand the importance of the Sicily’s Sacliaqinsky page, sitting at the restaurant table. Local cuisine is very sharp and very sweet. Pepper and sugar – Arabic gift island. Just like snacks from eggplants, without which it is impossible to present the Sicilian feast. I especially advise you to try a konopate – Ragu from eggplants, olives and capers.

How no other city of Palermo gives an idea of ​​the mixing of cultures on the island. No wonder he is called the Sicilian New York. Looking at the faces of citizens, you see how bizarrely mixed "Aborigines" and waves of immigrants and conquerors. In the old quarter, all the names of the streets are given in Italian, Yiddish and Arabic. Completely organically, the East in the appearance of the city merges with the West, refuting the words of Kipling about the fact that they never go. On the ancient column built into the parade portico of the Gothic Cathedral on the main square, the inscription Arabic Vysuya, the famous Allah. Even with the centuries-old domination on the island of the Spanish Inquisition, it did not occur to anyone to knock her down.

However, the doubt is that Sicily now belongs to the Western Catholic Mire, no. In the svverings are the monuments of Francis to Assisi, strongly looking at the actor of Sean Connery as a monk Wilhelm from the film "Rose name". As sometime typical bronze Lenin in the USSR, such Francis-Connery is available in any Sicilian town. And in general, despite the individual Saracensky-Byzantine features, the architectural appearance of Palermo defines yet dictated in the XVII century papal Rome baroque style.

Especially good these bizarre, generously decorated with sculpture of the palaces and church at night. Skyfully highlighted against the background of a blue-black southern sky, they are reflected in polished pedestrians Palermnian bridges from volcanic lava. In such spectacular scenery, the stormy nightlife of Palermo looks organically. The statue of Our Lady on the square in front of the Church of San Domenico "Remove" Clients prostitutes, and in the market of Vuccheri fighting the entire working hours of competitors-merchants. Women cries, breeded shoes, blood: Sicilian passion beats the key.

Modern Sicilians are no less interesting than the creations of their old ancestors. Admire the Palermal Cathedral – and suddenly a knock is heard from behind "Wooden" Steps on the pavement. Some fat man runs down a meter puppet doll knight, collecting around the crowd of children. So we got acquainted with the hereditary puppeteer in the fifth generation Vincenzo Ardgento.

Sicilian Puppet Theater – a stunning example of mutual influence "Scientist" and folk culture. In the XVI century, the great Italian poet Ariosto told the history of the knight of Orlando, "overheard" they have folk singers. Three centuries after the heirs of these bards, stray Sicilian puppetes, shifted "Furious Rolanda" Ariosto to the tongue of the Pop Pattern. Roland-Orlando returned from the aristocratic living rooms to the square and became the main star Opera Dei Pupi – "Puppet Opera", peculiar "Soap opera" Dothelovision era.

"My great-grandfather told the history of Orlando for 394 views – and the audience was not tired. Father cut her ten times, and I squeezed just a half hour", – Vincenzo complains, not releaseing a puppet, which is like himself dancing at his feet. Today, Opera Dei Pupi lost the battle of modern television series and survives only due to the interest of her children and tourists. But while we are creating such people like Vincenzo, the enchanting world of this theater will not die. "I do not even remember when I started making dolls – it seems, I always did them. My children also grew up in the theater: this is our life".

The curtain opens, and the small, man by 50, the Teatrik somehow magically moves to the size of the limitless universe fairy tales. The armor of the Knights-Paladinov shine, without fear and reproaching the battle with the Saratiqins, dragons and the feature itself. Swing swords, chopped heads fall, beautiful princess rushes on the neck hero-winner of Orlando, Royal Jester Razklet Acrets. In the final, Vincenzo, his incredibly strong hands of the puppeteer picks up a boy from the first row and puts it on stage next to Orlando. In the eyes of the child, such delight and pride, which I understand how the famous Sicilian loyalty is born to traditions.

Great Greece

Traditions these go into deep antiquity. It is worth going off from Palermo by 80 kilometers to segest, as you can do not even in the Middle Ages with knights and Saracins, but in antiquity. The temple in Segesta began to build in 426 to n. NS. Athenian architects, so he is almost a peer famous Parthenon.

Flashback 2. Deception

When the temple has already erected under the roof, citizens of segests turned to powerful Athens for help not only in construction, but also in the fight against neighboring Selinunt. Both of these Sicilian cities were founded by the colonists who arrived due to the sea. Segest – Elima from Malaya Asia, who considered the descendants of the Trojans, and Selinunt and His "older" City of Syracuse – Greeks from Corinth, Ally Laid Athenians Sparta. Elima and Corinth Greeks-Migrants competed for power on the island, and Carthagen, located nearby, in Africa interfere in their struggle. In order not to get confused in this political labyrinth, the Athenians sent messengers to Sicily – to figure it out. They were met with unprecedented honors and luxury. Especially the defeat of Lo Greeks is that in every house where they came, the owners of ate on silver. Unsured in the wealth and power of the future ally, Athenian Areopag voted for a military expedition in support of segest. Athenians did not know that the cunning segosets transferred the same silver plates from the house to the house on the path of the ambassadors. Athens got involved in the Sicilian adventure, the promised support did not receive, suffered a terrible defeat under the syardacuses and have never been able to take a leading position in the Greek world. Segesta ruined the enemies, and her new temple was never completed.

Paradox of history, but this unfinished and even unnamed temple has been preserved better than glorified Ellinsky sanctuary of mainland Greece, Malaya Asia, Italy, and Sicily itself. He was never robbed and did not burn enemies, he spared the earthquake. Did not change for the millennium and the surrounding landscape. The temple towers on a canopy hill, from three sides surrounded by a rocky ravine. He is like an actor who came to the scene, the scenes of which are the mountains, the wall climbing kilometers in three behind him. Approaching it, go among agave and colors, and every step gives a new one "Misaneszen". This kaleidoscope of the species is still scrolling in the head, when you are inside the forest of columns, and in the head unauthorized blue sky. Segest stands somewhat away from the tourist trail, and although there are enough people here, you have a chance to find yourself under this ancient sky in full solitude.

But not about any loneliness do not even dream in Selinunt and Agriend. These two most advertised ancient monuments in Sicily are located on the opposite of the Palermo of the southern tip of the island. Crowds of people wand on the heat from the temple to the temple, and in Selinunte and travel on minibars that can be rented. The temples were destroyed by wars and earthquakes, for the millennium, they were forgotten, bored, and only in the last two centuries, the restorers were gradually raised the fallen columns and watershed to them. If you once walked about "Noble silence launch" these ruins, then now there is no trace.

In order not to flute from the screams of schoolchildren, I advise you to get out of the car down, on the road, and count the silhouettes of the three main sanctuary of the city at a distance. In Selinunt, it is best not to rummage together with all between the ruins, named by the alphabet letters, and sit down the stones heated by the Sun "E". From here there is a panorama for the entire Selinuntie Archaeological Park: the sea, the sky, the ancient columns and walls scattered among the Wheat-free Wheat Niv with the engines of the red poppies. This species helps to understand why Magna Greece, Great Greece – as in ancient times they called Greek colonies in Sicily and the south of Italy – was considered to be the fabulous edge of eternal idyll.

Count Oasis

The day after "Antique Flying" We were waiting for a Palermo meeting with Frank Testa d’Almer. This name is familiar on the island to everyone. Family Task D’Almerit owns vineyards, where there is a dozen of the most famous brands of wine: from cheap white to expensive "Graf red". Once at the gate of a huge park with a villa, we were amazed at how such an oasis can exist in the center of the metropolitan metropolis. However, when the hostess itself was opened to us, we were striking even more. Miniature, very mobile and energetic countess met us without ranks, home-friendly. No cosmetics, no decorations, white pants and blouse, lightweight "student" Tone conversation. And only in my head, the thought flashed about something unpatched French in the appearance and style of the interlocutor, how the Countess was mentioned that the roots of the family go to the history of dominion on the island of Bourbon.

Flashback 3. Ingratitude

The King of Naples Ferdinand IV landed with his courtyard in Sicily – the last of the possessions remaining him – in December 1805. This Bourbon, in which French blood was stirred with Spanish, fled to the island from Napoleon who captured Italy. His wife Maria-Carolina was a native sister of the Queen of Mary Antointetta executed in Paris, and the family of Naples-Sicilian Burbones did not want to repeat the fate of French relatives. Ten years spent by one of the most brilliant European courtyards on the island he considered then, a Palermo aristocratic gloss gave. New villas and palaces were built in the city and the old renovated. When, after the collapse of Napoleon, Ferdinand returned to Naples, then as a sign of appreciation renamed his state to the kingdom of both Sicily. Ironically, Sacily’s Savior, Sicily turned out to be two generations of Neapolitan Burbon’s Mogilee. In 1860, Garibaldi landed with 1,000 of his supporters, enthusiastically met by the population. Revolutionaries, dressed in red shirts, symbolized readiness to win or die, expelled the soldiers of the king. Soon the kingdom of both Sicili is one of the main opponents of the association of the country Palo. The new state appeared on the map of Europe – Italy.

Family Task D’Almerita did not go into oblivion along with Bourbon. Counts turned out to be laundering owners and managed to organize exemplary wine production. "We have in the blood in our blood, all tack must learn, and then work. Brothers and Father are engaged in wine, and I do not let go to empty our villas and palaces. Even this house, where all 99 family members are collected several times a year, sometimes it is formed for big parties". Molding to remember the Arabic fairy tales of the garden with palm trees and ponds where swans are swimming, we moved to the villa building. Under the legs of the tiles of amazing beauty, on the walls of the XVI century painting and the frescoes of the beginning of the XIX. Answering the question of how the family managed to survive in the political storms of the last century, the Countess was trying. "Immediately after the war, land reform began and the excess of land was subject to confiscation. My grandfather stated that the first stranger, who sets foot on our fields, he will shoot. The family was horrified, but no one was bold to reach. Then the priest came to her grandfather and said: "Killing a man, you will destroy your soul, but this is your choice. But killing him out of the kings, you will destroy the honor of the family, including those of her members who have not yet been born. Are you god to solve the fate of invalid babies?" And the old man postponed his gun".

The servant in white gloves brought a tray with "Red graphic", And we drank for common sense of the grandfather Task d’Almerita. Already saying goodbye at the gate, the Countess showed for ugly high-rise buildings, adjacent to the estate. "In the 1960s, it was also our land, and I went to the ride there. It was attended by one of the Bosses of Mafia: grandfather by that time was already dead, and we are too civilized to shoot a gun. But nothing, then this scoundrel was still imprisoned for murder, and we celebrated this event a grand party". In search of mafia

Unexpected replica Task D’Almerit again reminded us of Sicilian mafia. We decided to go to the Corleon town of the Corleon’s personification, in order to finally understand what the secret of her power over the islanders. Yes, and whether Mafia is still alive at all? Too many residents assured us that Sicily completely got rid of this bad, and everything in the past.

Flashback 4. Outlaw

Past mafia is also mysterious as the present. Whether she arose in the century as the detachments of self-defense against the pirates, or as partisan movement against the Spaniards in the XVI. Word itself is interpreted differently. Some believe that this is the Sicilian Cleanman’s Sicilian Church for Vyganny’s honor of his daughter before killing the offender: Ma FIA ("My daughter"). Others lead its origin from the Arabic word Mahias ("bold") who called the Muslim invaders called the Christian rebels. Third convinced that this is an abbreviation of a slogan of rebels against the French in the XIII century: Morte Alla Francia! Italia Anela! – M. A.F. I. A. ("Death of France! Sugie, Italy!"). Fourth believe that so in the secret language of the robbers was called mountain refuge. Anyway "mafia" So something coming beyond the law. Thoughtful system, she became in the XVIII century. Her support was "Gabelotto" – Managing in the estates of aristocrats, prototype of future mafia donov. On the one hand, they helped senor squeeze out of the peasants rent and gave them to the Lord’s forest and water, and on the other – limited the appetites of the landowners. Balance of mafiosi supported "extra-administrative" methods, that is, simply killing "Violators of the Convention". The most important element of the system was Omert – a patch, which did not allow any circumstances to violate the vows of silence and talk about mafia to the authorities. Gradually there was a criminal organization that her members themselves called Nostra’s goat ("Our case"). Agrarian mafia at the end of the XIX century moved its order to the city – the racket arose ("Pizzo"). With emigration, the Sicilian mafia penetrated into the United States, where the lush bloom bloom during the dry law. In the homeland, on the contrary, the goat of Nostra had to be tight in 1920-1930. Mussolini said that he would not tolerate the state in the state, and threw against "of our business" His fanatical fascists. Thousands "Business" Died, found themselves behind bars or fled to relatives in the US. New "golden age" The goat of Nostra came after disembarking in Sicily Allies in 1943. According to rumors, the FBI agreed with American dones that they will help to master the island. Be that as it may, but it is Mobiosi in the halie of the fame of fighters with a regime, coming out of the fascist prisons, became the first elected mayors in 1945. And it was them a year later, they achieved the autonomous status of Sicily in the Italian Republic, which is still useful.

Historically, Mafia originated in the west of the island in the triangle between Palermo, Agrigente and Trapani. In his middle and is the city of Korleone, translated – "Lion’s Heart". The road goes there not on the motorway, but hinges among the mountains. By the way, the roads in Sicily are good. Their gasket controlled also the goat of Nostra. True, they say that billions were stolen, but when they are going on them, I still want to say Mafia thank you.

The names of the towns are forced to remember Hollywood cinema about the Mafia: except Corleon from "Great Father" We have passed a protzi, and the film immediately surfaced "Honor of family Priji" With Jack Nicholson in the role of Killer Mafii (though, did a picture in America). Director Francis Ford Coppol Authority Korleon also did not give to shoot the city, and he was looking for nature elsewhere.

Seeing the legendary homeland of Don Korleone built up with modern houses, we laughed: what director "Great Father" was fighting for shooting in this uninteresting place? Our opinion has changed when looking at the corneone from above, from a rock crowned with a cross. Present Mining Rogue Refuge.

To the observation deck we kindly conceded Signor Chiccho. Forgetting about your affairs, he with fervor convinced journalists from Russia that Mario Puzo and Francis Coppola slandered the city and caused damage to its inhabitants. However, it was very advised to buy a strong tincture on herbs called "Don Korleone", to the production of which seemed to have a relationship. Tincture we purchased at the main square in the bar, open almost a cloud day, which you can’t tell about the Mafia Fight Center. There was neither soul, only shelves with copies of cases of crimes goat Nostra over the past half century stood in the corridor.

Leaving Corleon, I thought: if the rights of Signor Chiccho and in the town, where everyone knows each other, just there is no place of mafiosa, why it was here for several decades a boss boss boss nostra Bernardo Propentzano? He managed to arrest only in 2006. He led his criminal empire from an inconspicuous house on the outskirts of Korleone, sending "Notes-Maalya", Through faithful people. Phone and Internet Bulldozer did not trust. And if the Mafia is dead, with whom it fights in his center to combat Mafia, his founder is the former mayor of the city, in which the godfather Provenzano felt so well in the Corleon decades?

Attempt to learn the truth about mafia "Insiders" We did in the same city "Mafiosis triangle" – Menfi. Alik and Nina Dlugi live there, which were told about friends. The computer and an oncologist from Russia from Russia in the 1970s emigrated to New York, where they succeeded. But a few years ago, resting in Palermo, accidentally met in a restaurant with a person similar to the actor Robert Mitchum. Nina, who is also a good artist, sketched a pencil portrait of Giuseppe Calcano, and he invited him to himself in Menfi. Then there was a complete change of fate. Giuseppe, who his friends name Pippo, persuaded the New York residents who visited him to move to Sicily. He introduced them to the local society, helped build a house on the seashore and even convinced the authorities to hold the road to a new building.

In the fact that Pippo in Menfa can convince anyone and in any way, we assured themselves. For example, persuade peasants growing grapes from which the famous Sicilian wine makes "Planet", Deliver the harvest only to the winery belonging to him with companions. Or convince owners of a prestigious building from the city square to sell his pippo under a vintage with an eloquent name "Wine Press". Sitting with him at the table, we were transferred to the whole city.

"I was born in Menfi – Here I know me, – the owner said proudly. – My great grandfather was born here, and my grandfather, and my father, and my godfather. "

Journalists from Moscow, who came to Pippo, went to welcome the mayor of the current, and the mayor of the former. The first turned out to be a huge kids with a gold chain on the neck, and the second – an intelligent architect. Crushed with us and Captain of Carabininers in a beautiful uniform. Now and then came "Respect" some people. There was a complete feeling that the city center was located in "Wine press". After imagining a minute when we stayed alone, I asked Pippo question about mafia.

– fiction, "he answered and deliciously pulled a cigar," can, in Palermo and there, and we don’t have.
– Really I "Pizzo" No one more racketer pays?
– No!
– Well, well, and bribes officials, SanEpidemstation.
– I do not cry: I am a business man and is not used to scatter with money, – the owner smiled widely "Wine Press".

More stupid questions I did not ask a business man.

Search for mafia traces We continued on the advice of Pippo in Palermo. "If we frank the sister of the deceased prosecutor Falcon, Maria Falcon, will not give us a sister of the Nostra", – I thought, while we went to her to meet. Moved the monument to the victims of the Mafia set next to the headquarters of the Carabinierov. In the neighboring building there is an institution for the study of the deductible behavior. "Interestingly, there are trying to reveal the nature of omets?"

After the death of Brother Maria Falcon created the foundation of his memory. Judge Giovanni Falcone entered the story of the fact that he struck by the patient Mafia – cash flows, primarily on laundering money received from drug trafficking. The immigrane himself from Corleon, he managed to convince many countrywood witnesses to break the omerate. Falcon sat on the bench of the defendants from half a thousand mafia, but he, and his successor and friend Borsellino were killed in 1992, when they began to dig under the Mafia Ministers connected.

"But even the death of my brother served him. The funeral of Giovanni became a turning point in the psychological struggle with the goat of Nostra. People who previously believed that mafia with all their odiosalness still supports the order where the state is powerless, they began to consider it evil, – Mary Falcone’s voice thundered, like a real tribune, accustomed to turning to thousands of people. – because mafia is not only a special form of non-state executive or power of economic. The most dangerous thing is that it is characteristic of a special mentality. Mafia imposed Sicilians a distorted idea of ​​family, friendship, respect for seniors".

Maria Falcona concentrated its efforts to debunk mafia romance among young people. She performs at universities and schools, collects supporters all over the world. Her foundation publishes books about the goat of Nostra, primarily Giovanni Falcone, one of which (in our) she gave us. To the question how strong the mafia today, Falcone responded that in Sicily she is still alive, although he lost the power that possessed in the 1990s. "The most dangerous criminal organization is not here, but in Calabria – "Ndrangheta" (Distorted Greek andreia kai agathiau – "courage and valor"). As soon as one group is weakened, its place there and then takes another. So we can not relax anyone. Including you, our. Even Giovanni warned that on the world stage were the criminals from Russia. Yet with all the other easier to fight than with the Cosa Nostra: they do not corrupt the soul of the people".

The fact that the mafia is alive and omerta, not an empty word, we have seen the same day. Finally, a third call was able to get to the Oratory of San Lorenzo with the church of San Francesco d’Assizi, where in 1969, Cosa Nostra, in revenge for the failure of one of its operations with stolen art has stolen Caravaggio painting. Even if previous attempts to enter, we noticed in the oratorio, which is the area where the church goes, constantly on duty Carabinieri with machine guns.

Mediterranean triangle

– Really worth since 1969, so as not to have stolen the rest? – I asked the priest.
– No, – said the priest sadly, – guarding a nearby pastry shop, whose owner has violated the omerta.

In confectionery "Antica Fokachcheria" – not a soul, but in a nearby café no room to swing fall. Frightened sellers pressed his head into his shoulders as soon as I climb into the bag for the camera. Carabineer and walked sternly asked here not to shoot. My questions, neither he nor the sellers did not answer a word.

to clash "mafia-like prose of life" was the last impression of Palermo before our trip to the opposite end of the island. Well, that before to steer the motorway to the east, we have dropped to Montreal town, now virtually become a suburb of the capital. The local council returned to the festive mood, which generally pleases Sicily. It turned out that with the Byzantine art of the island was lucky, no less than with the ancient temples of Montreal mosaic – it’s the best that’s left on the ground from the art of artists who created their works from pieces of colored glass – smalt. Such a preservation, such unity of the ensemble and such an amazing maturity of skills will not meet any in Constantinople, nor in Venice, nor in Kyiv. We all obligate all this to the Norman King of Sicily Wilhelm II, inviting Masters from Tsargrad here.

Flashback 5. Audacity

This brilliant knight adventure began in 1045, when the squad just three dozen warriors sailed from the shores of Northern France to look for happiness in the south of Italy. However, her indomitable giant Robert Gwiscar, one worth the whole army. This descendant of Vikings was closely in the prevailing Normandy ancestors, and he decided to conquer glory and land in the Mediterranean. Gwiscar possessed not only the legendary strength and courage, but also the wisdom of a great man. Throughout the troops of the Pope, Byzantine and German emperors, this sixth son of the Sixless Baron turned soon to the duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily. It is the return to the power of the Cross of Sicily, dismissed by the Arabs, made Robert Gwiscara, who once devoteed by Anathema "For robbery" and the Roman dad, and the Constantinople Patriarch, the hero of the whole Christian world. In 1130, the nephew of the Great Warrior Roger II received from Dad already the royal title. With his grandson of Wilhelme II, the Kingdom of Sicily included not only the south of Italy and the island, but also modern Tunisia. Normans ruled, showing violence and taking all the best from Western Catholics, Orthodox Byzantines and Arab Muslims.

Cathedral in Montreal and conceived by King Wilhelm as a symbol of this synthesis of cultures. That is why in the Catholic Temple we see the Byzantine mosaics and the Streld Arab Arches. But even this, Norman seemed little. Stressing his ambitions for the revival of the Roman Empire, the king decorated the cathedral also with great antique columns.

After an hour and a half, when one memories remained about the sea, we got to the highest high "district center" Islands. Ann is called "Balcony of Sicily", And, standing there, at the top of the Tower of the Norman Fortress, you understand why. Circuits of blue mountains casting emerald of spring greenery, taut on the horizon in the blue sky. On the majestic cliff opposite Anna, the last stronghold of the Arabs can be seen – the city-Fortress of Calabette.

Arab-Norman confrontation remains behind, and our immersion in history continues. Surf covered with picturesque, and near the dirty town of Piazza-Armerin, find out in the ancient Roman villa Romano Del Casal. The circumstances of her finds make you remember the films about Indiana Jones. Back in the XVIII century, with a cozy valley, five kilometers from Piazza-Armerina, the peasants discovered gold coins. Numismatists determined that they belong to the III century, and several generations of archaeologists tried to understand how they were in such a coolness.

Good luck smiled by an engineer Luigi Paphalardo. In 1881, he came across part of the magnificent floor mosaic. It became clear that the house of Roman times is hidden under the ground. But then on half a century work in Piazza-Armerian was interrupted. Only in the 1930s, Mussolini, seeking to find traces of Roman greatness everywhere, organized real excavations. It was opened 3,500 square meters of stunning in their beauty and preservation Mosaic III-V centuries.

Is it wondering that Sicily is again lucky and there is nothing like that in the world?

Mosaics decorated the floors ambitious in their sizes and riches of the Roman Villa. After the invasion is ready and the vandals she was abandoned, and then he was buried under the mountain landslide.

Scientists proclaimed the owner of the Villa co-gelatian Emperor Maximian, and she received a magnificent name of the imperial. But the last finds indicate that, most likely, the owner was the biggest "producer" Ancient Roman "Shobusham" Valery Popular. He arranged gladiatorial battles and animal tricks on the order of the emperor Constantine. It is not by chance that the scenes in the circus, as well as catching animals, are most often found. But enough other plots – no wonder the villa is considered the richest "Director" According to the ancient Roman life. Mussolini, for example, was out of joy, when it was found that legionnaire clothes were decorated with swastika signs. But on the Roman ladies in bikini then no one paid attention. Only after a similar swimsuit was re-invented by French fashion designers in the 1940s, "Dancers in bikini from the Casual" They became popular. Magazine "Half" Even decorated them with the image of her cover.

Already in the 1960s, a glass roof was erected over mosaics and retained metal bears, which can walk the audience. Two scenes interested us especially: "Battle of giants giants" and "Odyssey and polyfem". And not because the cyclope polyfem is not one eye, and for some reason two normal and one more in the forehead. Interested – because they reminded the ethna volcano where we were going the next day. Greeks believed that Athena pressed this mountain of the strongest of giants – annea. When he tries to get out, the eruption begins. And according to Homer and Vergilia, it was on the slopes of Etna that there were caves of cyclops, in one of which Odyssey was blinded by a polyfem.

And here we have the biggest volcano of Europe. The farther from the last housing in the town of Nikolosi, the stronger the feeling that you got into the space of an ancient myth. The lush greens remains downstairs, and the rare initial languages ​​of the cooled lava are soon visible everywhere. Such was the Earth when our world was born, such maybe she will be when he dies. At an altitude of 1900 meters, we sit in the lift, and the cabin overlooks the crater eruptions. Etna every time pours its lava from a new hole in the earth’s tver.

At the mark of 2550 meters, we transplant to the buses and SUVs and in the black desert from volcanic dust, where the snow lies with the snow, rolling up almost to 3000. Then we are on foot lead guide Luigi. The first thing he says: if the eruption begins, then we will have time to run away – we will have a minimum of 20 minutes. Experts always follow the mountain all the time, and most importantly – a new attempt by Titan Angelade to get out the outside will give the color of smoke. Usually grayish, he first becomes milky white, then red and finally blue. Then the eruption begins. With us everything was quiet. Etna peacefully smoked gray with a haze, we walked around the slope and admired the stunning species underlying the bottom of Catania. It was even visible to the mainland Italy for the green stroke of the Messinsky Strait. Externally disappointed, but secretly delighted by the calm of the volcano, we went down, and rushed ethna the next day – May 10. Luigi did not deceive – the victims were not. We have not seen an eruption because they were already in the siracuses, but heard – the explosion thundered powerful.

Filtering

During the eruption, we were sitting in the Greek theater under the open-air in Syracuses and watched the tragedy of Eshil "Agamemenon". Despite the fact that both theater and tragedies are two and a half millennia, antiquity on stage and did not smell. The musicians played on accordions, the actors went with microphones and without any masks and cats, and Chorists are generally smoked, launching smoke rings. All this modernism is clear: troupe and director are expressing, they want to show that the theater in Syracuses is a living thing, and not a tourist attraction. But Eschil, who, by the way, was not dead in native Athens, but during "Gastrol" in Sicily, hardly it would be delighted. It’s still as if in the Bolshoi Theater Prince Igor sang under balalaiki, and the half fell off the chief. I finished the caps that all men wore all men on the scene. I could not resist and asked the neighbors, what it means. "Coppola – Mafia Symbol". What’s the director "Great Father" Francis Coppola, we did not understand the first time. "Coppil in Sicilisk is called the traditional peasant cap, which has become a symbol of rural mafios. Tragedy of Eschil Reads through the prism of Mafia Problems", – explained to us.

Realizing the depth and multi-faceted bonds of the ITALO American Coppole with the Mafia theme, we left the hospitable, but too "Zashane" And tourists hit the homeland of Archimedes – Syracuse. The last of our mini travels in Sicily became a film trip to the world "Great Father".

All the main Sicilian scenes from the film, with the exception of the ending "Great Father – 3", Deploying in the Palermo Theater Massimo, Coppola removed the island in the east, in the area of ​​the resort town of Taormina. In Taormina itself, you can only make an advertising tourist video about endless hotels and hordes of holidaymakers.

The image of the birthplace of Don Corleon director created in mountain villages lying deep from the coast. For example, in the episode where the bodyguard speaks Michael (Al Pacino): "Michele, here’s Corleon", – And we show picturesque houses and the church, arrived at the top of the mountain, – starred the village of Mott-Kamastra. By the way, all participants of this scene on the heads of the cap-caps.

But most of those episodes, where the case allegedly happens in Korleon, were played in the village of Savoka. It is still, despite the emergence of ugly modern houses, the present Sicilian mining nest. Parked the car at the legendary Bar Vitelley, where Michael asked his father and hearts from his father with his beloved Appalonia, feel a strange feeling. It seems to be able to condescendingly smile, having heard the pioneering ringtone from "Great Father" and seeing the British, taking pictures at the entrance. But you sit down exactly where Al Pacino was sitting, the old woman Mary, who hurts here half a century, brings you coffee – and the delight of personal involvement in Kinolegrand begins to penetrate into the soul. The same feeling covers in the local church of Santa Lucia, where Michael and Appolonia were crowned. I advise you to visit the Church of Our Lady in the neighboring village of Fortz-d’Aagro: it’s from her stages of killer-mafii shouting in order to give out little vito.

But the most legendary place of filming "Great Father" At Sicily – This is a villa Castello Dei Skiay on the outskirts of the town of Fumifredo, fifty kilometers from Taormina. This is a paradise, surrounded by orange gardens, belongs to Franco Platinia. Our visit began there not very well: because of the deaf fence there was a fierce bark of dogs. But barely owner learned that we are our journalists, all the doors opened. Separating: "All for Mother Russia", He led us in their possessions who "Play" in all three "Cross Father" The role of the estate of the Sicilian friend of the family of Corleon Don Tommazino. It was hiding after the flight from New York Michael (Al Pacino), here he distributed gifts to relatives of the young Don Korleon (Robert de Niro), here consistent with the old man Donomazino Vincent (Andy Garcia).

We are standing at an ancient gate, where the car exploded with Apolonia: "Just like you, I showed my villa for the first time Coppol, and he made me an offer from which I could not refuse", – Laughs Franco. Proposal It is ozit a host: to spend a couple of days in Castello Dei Skiavi became fashionable from rich movie lovers. For some time, also large corporations chose this place to negotiate A la Mafia. Already inside the house, with his unique atmosphere of the real Sicilian clan nest, we learned the cause of the owner’s love to our. A week before our arrival, Gazprom bosses invited here "Sent crossing" People from "Rurga". The apotheosis of our visit was the moment when Franco put a chair to the place in the courtyard, where Michael dies, and I fell pictures from him, playing the final scene from "Great Father".

We flew out from Sicily from Kathani, and all passengers stick to the portholes, accomplishing the eyes of a giant triangle of the island with a huge ethna. No wonder the Greeks called his trinics – "triangle" – and depicted in the form of a head with three legs. With each of the parties, Sicily is washes his sea: Ionian, Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean. The weather was perfect, and visibility, as the pilots say, – "Million per million". Otherwise, when parting with this island and could not be.

Mediterranean triangle

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