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Bagli, Masserie and Dammusi

Buildings dedicated to rural activities all over Sicily witness the vitality of rural culture even in these times. Western Sicily (especially the area between Trapani and Palermo) hosts innumerable Bagli. Baglio (from latin “valium”) is an archaic rural building, belonging to the age of Mediterranean pirates'  incursions between XV and XVIII centuries. Their architecture combines the typical features of rural houses, designed to stock goods and host workers during harvest season, and those of fortresses, with their thick windowless walls made to resist to pirates' sacks. Nowadays, they have been converted into wine factories or tourist resorts, whose owners are particularly devoted to the evaluation of local products (for example, Baglio Ardigna and Baglio Oneto ). Sicilian bagli have been censused by Tesori Nascosti Association, which promotes their evaluation and renovation.

Other examples of bagli also are Baglio Anselmo in Marsala, hosting a museum with Phoenician findings, Baglio Pirrello and Maranzano in Buseto Palizzolo, which have been turned into Museums of Rural  Culture, and Baglio Rampingallo in Salemi, hosting evidences of Garibaldi's passage with his troops in 1860.

Masserias were meant for the same use, and were common in Central Sicily and the Iblean area. They consist of a group of stone buildings laying around a courtyard (called “bagghiu”) whose only access introduces to the complex's different areas. The ground floor was usually dedicated to animals and farmers, while the first floor hosted the owners' apartment. Nowadays, these buildings, mostly converted into farmhouses for lovers of rural residences, contribute to the island's suggestive atmosphere of past nostalgia.

The dammusi of Pantelleria were likewise built for farming purposes, though today are mainly used for tourists' hospitality. The dammuso is a small square-planned building, probably of roman origin, with a maximum of three barrel-vaulted rooms, characterised by thick lava-stone walls, white cupolas on top of each room to push back sunlight, very little windows to protect form heat, and a small garden protected from the wind by a low round stone enclosure. Similar rural buildings can be found in Favignana and Marettimo: they consist of simple cubes of tuff solid bricks perfectly integrated with the natural landscape of these islands.

Baglio della Luna in Agrigento

Case Sgadari

Santa Aanastaia

View from a Dammuso in Pantelleria

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