In the early 1900s, the Encyclopaedia Britannica1 observed that the shape of the island of Sicily was comparable not to a triangle, but there must exist a ‘fourth side’: an area of coast facing west stretching between the cities of Trapani and Marsala.
In 1420, Cristoforo Buondelmonti2 represented the island of Sicily with a succession of arches. Each arch, a convexity of water. Even the ‘fourth side’ of the triangle had its convexity dotted with small and large islands in the sunset, on the Laguna dello Stagnone. Our perception of places is not recorded in metrics. These ancient maps give the impression that the Earth deposited itself in the soul. The places are events, and the deep they inhabit should be marked. These signs do not correspond exactly to space and time and, at times, the sign becomes a symbol. Today, in the same place, a convexity describes a square overlooked by a small canal harbour: Mammacaura, an image of the Laguna from travellers of the past.
|1.||George Goudie Chisholm, Gatano Mosca, Thomas Ashby, ‘Sicily: note 1’, in The Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition, vol. XXV, Cambridge-New York, 1911, p. 20.|
|2.||Cristoforo Buondelmonti, ‘Sicilia latino nomine dicta de greco vocabulo Sichilia habita’, in Liber insularum Arcipelagi, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, XVI century, Fonds latin, Lat. 4823.|