An experience in the territories of Albanian language and culture in SicilyIn the province of Palermo there are 5 towns of Albanian origin and culture that boast a large community of more than 50,000 people. The word Arbëreshë defines the Albanian ethno-linguistic minority historically settled in southern and insular Italy. Coming from Albania and the many Albanian communities of Morea and Ciamuria, the communities settled in Italy between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries, after the death of the Albanian national hero Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg. Also, the progressive conquest of Albania and of all the territories of the Byzantine Empire by the Turks-Ottomans, lead them to emigrate. Their culture is determined by characteristic elements, which are found in language, religion, customs, traditions, iconographic art, gastronomy, jealously preserved, because of the awareness of belonging to a specific ethnic group.
On a full-day excursion, we will discover of the most representative municipality of the community, the town of Piana degli Albanesi, also famous for its "cannoli", the typical Sicilian sweets filled with ricotta cheese. The itinerary includes the visit of Monreale, famous for the cathedral with its precious gold mosaics and, then, thanks to a suggestive ride along the route of an old disused railway, the rise up to Santa Cristina Gela to reach the Lake of Piana, an area of naturalistic value entrusted to WWF Italy. After reaching the town of Piana degli Albanesi, you will have the opportunity to visit the Byzantine churches and the characteristic local craft workshops, to later begin the long, scenic descent to Palermo, where we will conclude our excursion but not before having tasted a special cannolo, filled on the spot by a master pastry chef.