"SICILIAN CART [CARRETTO SICILIANO]" Top 5 Page for this destination Messina Favorite Tip by balhannah
Messina General: 11 reviews and 9 photos
Favorite thing: How lucky was I!
I was walking the streets of Messina, when I noticed this ornate, colorful style of horse drawn cart heading towards me. Quickly, I whipped my camera out of its bag, and managed the two photo's I have. I never expected to see one in the city, I thought they would be out in the country more!
The carts were introduced to the island by the ancient Greeks and became very popular, right up until the 1920's, when there were thousands on the Island. Since then, popularity has dwindled, with a small car taken over!
Horses were mostly used in the city and flat plains, while donkeys or mules were more often used in rough terrain for hauling heavy loads.
The Cart is two wheeled and handmade out of wood, and is used for loads of produce, wood, wine, and people. Named "Carretto del Lavoro" (cart for work,) they are used for festive occasions such as weddings and parades called "Carretto de Gara'.
The craft of making the carts is handed down from generation to generation.
I couldn't get a good look at the Cart I saw, but it did have brightly painted scenes, probably of Sicilian history and folklore. Maybe not now, but these scenes also served the purpose of conveying historical information to those who were illiterate.
I found it very pretty, and I loved the way the Horse was adorned in colourful attire!
I did see souvenir's of these for sale in Messina, and I do believe there is a Museum in Palermo on carts, not here.
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