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Journey to AIA Italy: Carini, history, sea and industry just a stone’s throw from Palermo

7 March 2024 | Insights, News

Along the northern coast of Sicily, a few kilometers northwest of Palermo, lies the newest destination on our journey through AIA Italy: Carini.

This new stage will be an opportunity to breathe in the history and scents of one of the most beautiful regions in our country, and will also allow us to discover the other side of a place that does not live on tourism alone, but rather is becoming increasingly central to the economy of the entire region.

History and tradition: a journey into Carini’s past

The history of Carini is a fascinating journey through the eras and cultures that have shaped this northern Sicilian community. The name “Carini” originates from “Hyccara,” the first settlement presumably founded by the Sicans along the western coast of Palermo. Thucydides mentions that Hyccara prospered in the 5th century BCE, becoming an important maritime emporium frequented by the Phoenicians.

During the war between Athens and Syracuse in 415 BC, Hyccara was destroyed by the Athenians. The surviving Iccarini founded the second Hyccara, away from the sea, in 370 BC. This city flourished through agriculture and trade under Roman and then Arab rule. In 909 A.D., Emir Mulei Almoad allowed the Carinesians to rebuild the city at its present site, where a church dedicated to St. Julian arose.

With the Norman conquest in 1072, Carini became a barony, and several seigniorial dynasties followed over the centuries. In the 15th century, the area saw a period of prosperity, with the construction of numerous villas and an increase in commercial activity.

During the 19th century, Carini witnessed the end of feudalism and the transfer of ownership of the castle. The unification of Italy led to significant social and economic changes, including land splitting and industrialization in the second half of the twentieth century.

Despite the transformations, Carini retains its identity through its connection with the sea, the lemon gardens, and the magnificent gulf landscape.

Attractions and places to visit in Carini

In addition to its deep historical roots and delicious cuisine, Carini offers visitors an array of attractions and natural beauty to explore. Its beaches invite relaxation and contemplation of the crystal clear sea. In addition, Carini’s charming historic center, with its narrow cobblestone streets and charming Baroque churches, transports visitors on a journey back in time.

Attractions not to be missed include Carini Castle, a medieval fortress erected in the 16th century at the behest of Norman feudal lord Rodolfo Bonello. Featuring a series of square and round towers, the castle is an example of post-Renaissance architecture, with a mysterious atmosphere that evokes the legend of the Baroness of Carini.

Carini
Source : www.comune.carini.pa.it

 

Owned by the La Grua Talamanca family until 1812, the castle is in fact linked to the tragic story of Baroness Laura Lanza di Trabia, who was killed by her father within its walls. The mansion houses a chapel with a 17th-century wooden tabernacle and 15th-century rooms, including a frescoed room depicting Penelope and Ulysses. Today, it hosts cultural events, art exhibitions and offers breathtaking views from the top of its towers.

On the tour of Carini, a must-see is the Mother Church dedicated to Maria Assunta. This building, dating back to the 18th century, features an interior richly decorated with stucco, frescoes and artwork. The Oratory of the Company of the Blessed Sacrament, in particular, houses authentic masterpieces of decorative stucco by the school of Giacomo Serpotta, with statues and works illustrating various moments of the Eucharist.

The Church of the Agonizing, dating back to the 15th century, also boasts stucco decorations and frescoes of great artistic value.

In Villagrazia, along the coast, is the Antico baglio dei pescatori, a characteristic fishing village. Here, visitors can observe the daily life of local fishermen, admire the colorful boats and buy fresh fish.

Also in Villagrazia di Carini, it is possible to explore a vast catacomb that covers more than 3,500 square meters. This represents one of the most significant evidences of early Christianity in Sicily. It is a monumental complex with numerous galleries, decorated with pictorial cycles telling stories from the Old and New Testaments, along with scenes of everyday family life.

In addition to its architectural heritage, Carini boasts a rich culinary culture, which, with its Arab and Norman influences, reflects the very essence of regional cuisine. From fish dishes, such as the renowned “pasta with sardines,” or the many specialties of Palermo’s street food, Carini enchants visitors with its authentic and passionate gastronomy.

Exploring Carini means immersing oneself in its history, discovering its traditions and enjoying the celebrated Sicilian hospitality.

Carini’s industrial area: from sweets to packaging

Carini però non è solo un luogo di storia e bellezza naturale, ma anche un centro industriale dinamico e in crescita. L’area industriale di Carini ospita una varietà di aziende, che spaziano dalle produzioni agroalimentari alla logistica, dalla fornitura di servizi IT alla lavorazione dell’acciaio.

This diversification is evidence of an economic eclecticism that places this area among the most important production centers in the Mediterranean.

Companies in this area include Natale Giunta LAB,the new flavor factory conceived by Chef Natale Giunta. Two thousand square meters of factory in which his dishes, gourmet pastries and famous baked goods such as panettone and doves are made. LAB is currently the heart of the Chef’s business and is now also responsible for logistics, laundry, product distribution and equipment rental services for events and catering.

Another example of the weight of food and wine on the local economy is the presence in the Carini industrial area of the Dolci Carollo, a family-owned food and wine company specializing in. production of typical Italian gastronomy and pastries intended for the Ho.Re.Ca. sector, large-scale retail trade and contract manufacturing. In recent years, the company has expanded its product catalog, integrating frozen ready-to-eat meals, sweet and savory snacks and breakfast products for onboard catering into its offerings.

Tecno Box, founded in the early 1980s by Marcello Trapani and Salvatore Filingeri, instead designs and manufactures innovative solutions for food packaging destined for the large-scale retail trade and the HO.RE.CA. sector, anticipating market trends and satisfying customer needs. The guiding principles are sustainability, accessibility and inclusiveness, and each product is designed according to high quality and ethical standards. Tecno Box’s mission is to create conscious, affordable and environmentally sustainable packaging solutions.

Carini businesses: from the present to the future with ultra-broadband

Carini represents a wonderful mix of past and present, tradition and innovation. With its deep roots and vibrant industrial community, the city continues to inspire and fascinate visitors and entrepreneurs. Whether exploring its ancient streets or discovering its ever-evolving businesses, Carini is certainly a place to keep an eye on.

Thanks to the presence of a nice variety of businesses, the area’s manufacturing area continues to evolve and make an important contributionto the region’s economy.

Soon, this path will reach another important milestone: the industrial and artisanal area of Carini will finally be integrated into the global ultra-wideband network, thanks to the implementation of a modern fiber optic infrastructure built by FibreConnect, in collaboration with ISP partner Neomedia.

neomedia

This new possibility will enable businesses to express their full productive potential, freeing themselves from the limitations of a slow and unreliable connection.

Another step forward for our country’s economy toward an increasingly connected and innovative future.