May 5, 2010

Off with your head!

All over Taormina we saw these beautiful ceramic heads, hanging off the porches above you, all varying in design, color, size, etc. I remember my mother brought a small one back to me a few years ago, and I have always loved it. It got me curious to what the story is behind this, afte rall we are in Italy - and there is always some incredible tale to tell :) Enjoy......

“The story takes place in the heart of the Kalsa, the Arab quarter of Palermo around the year 1000. There lived a beautiful Sicilian young girl with long silky black hair and eyes that recalled the colour of Mediterranean sea. As every honourable Sicilian girl was not allowed to walk alone in the streets, the girl spent great part of her days gardening the exotic plants and flowers of her luscious balcony. 

One day, a young wealthy Moorish merchant was passing by the girl's balcony and could not help falling in love with such unbridled beauty. With no hesitation the man decided to declare his love to the beautiful girl. Impressed by the merchant wealth and flattered by his apparently sincere love, the girl gave herself and her "virtue" away cultivating not only her plants, but a passionate, intense relationship with the Moorish. But with every passionate drama there is often a twist, the girl soon discovered an awful truth: The Moor was about to return to his country, where wife and children awaited him.

Her "virtue" had been deflowered, her honour lost forever and her heart broken. Things that to every Sicilian woman only recall one simple word : Revenge. As the two lovers spent the last night of passion together, the girl sneaked into the kitchen, took out a butcher knife and cut the Moors throat, then carried on cutting off his whole head. The morning after, the Moorish head was on display on the girl's balcony, where she planted some basil seeds. With the passing of time, that basil plant grew so beautifully and scented, raising the envy of every other woman in town, which asked their artisans to have moulded a terracotta vase just like the one of the beautiful girl... So, in brief : Never mess with a Sicilian girl!”


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