Tomasi di Lampedusa and all the magical places of the “Leopard”. Seminar in Messina


By John

Places that inspire narratives and receive the added value that substantiates their soul, creating a timeless beauty. Which can become, today, the object of careful cultural policies. This is the central assumption of seminar «Tomasi di Lampedusa and the places of the Leopard»held in the Cannizzaro Hall of theUniversity of Messina to present the second edition of the book of the same name (published by Pacini) by Maria Antonietta Ferraloro, teacher, essayist and writer, former author of «“The Leopard” narrated to my daughter» (La Nuova Frontiera Junior), and among the curators of “Sicilian itineraries” (Historica). In the volume, among other things, it emerges how Tomasi di Lampedusa's three-month stay in the small Messina village of Ficarra, in the summer of 1943, represents a very specific piece in the great Leopard painting and was for the prince a sort of fundamental narrative seed. A seed that Ferraloro identifies and describes with dedication, patience, above all love, in the light of a careful historical reconstruction, as underlined by the speakers Antonio Baglio (Unime contemporary history teacher), Filippo Grasso (Unime market analysis teacher) and Letizia Pace (President of the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa Institution of Palma di Montechiaro), moderated by the journalist Anna Mallamo.
The professor. Baglio analyzed the volume, appreciating above all, as a historian, its documentary rigor and touching on the main issues concerning the novel and its elusive, elusive, highly confidential author. But beyond the undoubted historical and literary value, the book – mapping the “places of the Leopard”, from Villa Piccolo di Capo d'Orlando to Palma di Montechiaro, from Palermo to Ficarra – allows us to focus attention on the need to shared routes, of cultural policies that attract cultured and aware tourism, to discover very special Sicilian beauties.
The author follows the fundamental steps of Tomasi di Lampedusa, with meticulousness and passion, reconstructs his personal paths, and – observed Baglio – Tomasi's great ability to found a broad and coherent imagination on his places, with a charm that endures in time.
«Works like this – said Mallamo – take us by the hand to certain places: not “just” in the palace or in the square, but right inside that imaginative trigger that has become an immortal novel, a lasting heritage of Sicily and Italy» . A heritage that can and must also be expressed as cultural tourism.
But cultural tourism, according to Letizia Pace, would require a profound strategic change, uniting the many who work in this direction: spokesperson for the Institution named after the writer, underlined the commitment of the town – “founded” by the Tomasis in 1637, where the In 1955 the author found the impetus to continue and conclude his work, just before his death, and where Luchino Visconti intended to shoot his masterpiece based on the book – which every year hosts commemorative initiatives in the places portrayed in the “Leopard” (such as the Mother Church and the Benedictine Monastery) and carries on its name.
The professor's proposal is very concrete. Filippo Grasso, professor of market analysis at the University of Messina, who underlined the need to involve all subjects, from tour operators to travel agencies, in the creation of a real “network” of cultural itineraries, uniting, as in “Gattopardo”, western and eastern Sicily.
«Places where – concluded Ferraloro – genius manages, like water from magical sources, to bring back youth or eternity».