A few readers have written to us asking how and from where they can pick up old style tablecloths, bed linen and embroidered work in Sicily.
Sicilian Linen Towns
The workmanship in this part of the island is known as 'sfilato siciliano'. It is a technique which first appeared in the 15th century and was essentially the embellishing of white linen cloths with colorful threads.
The women of the time would remove threads of the linen and replace them with colored embroidery.
It must have been an intricate job and, in fact, it did become simplified over the years and only certain decorative areas were eventually reworked.
Many of the old techniques have disappeared but the craft itself was kept alive in the islands convents and specialist 'bottegas'.
A variation which is alive and well is practised at Erice in the west of Sicily. It is called 'frazzata' and involves the use of a hand loom to replace threads with extremely colorful cotton.
The cotton is inserted to form bright, geometric patterns often inspired by floral and Middle Eastern designs. The popularity of the 'frazzata' is such that what was once a craft practised in the home is now a recognizable industry.
What is there to see at Erice, Sortino and Castiglione?
Erice - The famous Temple of Venus which was uncovered following excavations in the Norman castle; a relic from the time when the city was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 260 BC. The tortuous medieval town was called Monte S.Giuliano until 1934.
Sortino - The necropolis of Pantalica built into the chalk rocks.
Castiglione - The old fortifications which look towards the coast at Taormina and Mount Etna in the south. The nearest town of Linguaglossa takes its name from a large tongue of lava which arrived in the area in 1634 and is commemorated by a memorial stone in the town hall
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Our articles about Sicily below.
• arancini • sfinciune focaccia • sicilian orange balls • seafood fettuccine pasta • bruschetta from sicily • bread with tomato and aubergine • maccheroni alla norma pasta • cassata alla siciliana • torta povera pie dish • almond blancmange • cous cous fish recipe • pignolata messinese sweet recipe • caper sauce summer dish from lipari • sicilian christmas salad • giggi eoliani carnival biscuits • sardine and pistacchio torta
• small coffee museum in palermo • tuna fishing and the tonnara • historical sicilian cheeses • eolian islands dishes • pachino tomatoes • arab culinary influence in sicilian food • a taste of sicily • cous cous fest • sicilian cannoli • mount etna food itinerary • sfinciune or sfinge? • cheese wine of ragusa • sweet and sour palermo • catching swordfish and tuna • salame sant'angelo • sicilian blood oranges • pistacchio nuts • sicilian lemon industry
• footpaths of the madonie park • carnival of acireale • contemporary art itinerary • noto valley wine route • luigi pirandello literary park • alcamo doc wine route • romantic sicily itinerary • valley of the temples in agrigento • temples of segesta • mozia salt roads • egadi islands • pantelleria • san vito lo capo • marsala • easter week in enna • towns of enna province • arab and norman rule in sicily • nicosia • classical greek theater of siracusa • greek colonization of sicily • pantalica necropolis • lampedusa island • art realism in taormina • taormina greek theater • guide to taormina • guide to messina • province of messina • cefalu • scary easter festivals • natural reserve near siracusa • easter arches of san biagio platani • aeolian islands archaeological tour • story of the trinacria • aeolian islands • island of lipari • alicudi and filicudi • stromboli • island of salina • island of vulcano • zafferana etnea • sicilian linen towns • mount etna tour • ragusa and ibla ragusa • palermo street food