Catania is the second largest city of Sicily after Palermo located on the east coast facing the Ionian Sea. It is the capital of the Metropolitan City of Catania, one of the ten biggest cities in Italy, the seventh largest metropolitan area in Italy; the population of the city proper is 320,000 while the population of the city's metropolitan area, Metropolitan City of Catania, stood at 1,116,168 inhabitants. Catania was destroyed by catastrophic earthquakes in 1169 and 1693, by several volcanic eruptions from the neighbouring Mount Etna, the most violent of, in 1669. Catania was founded in the 8th century BC by Chalcidians. In 1434, the first university in Sicily was founded in the city. In the 14th century and into the Renaissance period, Catania was one of Italy's most important cultural and political centres; the city is noted for its history, culture and gastronomy. Its old town, besides being one of the biggest examples of baroque architecture in Italy, is a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO.
Catania has been a native or adoptive homeland of some of Italy's most famous artists and writers, including composers Vincenzo Bellini and Giovanni Pacini, writers Giovanni Verga, Luigi Capuana, Federico De Roberto and Nino Martoglio. The city is the main industrial and commercial center of Sicily, it is the home of the largest in Southern Italy. The ancient indigenous population of the Sicels named their villages after geographical attributes of their location; the Sicilian word, means "grater, flaying knife, skinning place" or a "crude tool apt to pare". Other translations of the name are "harsh lands", "uneven ground", "sharp stones", or "rugged or rough soil"; the latter etymologies are justifiable since, for many centuries following an eruption, the city has always been rebuilt within its black-lava landscape. Around 729 BC, the ancient village of Katane became the Chalcidian colony of Katánē where the native population was Hellenized; the Naxian founders, coming from the adjacent coast used the name for their new settlement along the River Amenano.
Around 263 BC, the city was variously known as Catăna. The former has been used for its supposed assonance with catina, the Latin feminization of the name catinus. Catinus has two meanings: "a gulf, a basin or a bay" and "a bowl, a vessel or a trough", thanks to the city’s distinctive topography. Around 900, when Catania was part of the emirate of Sicily, it was known in Arabic as Balad al-fīl and Madinat al-fīl; the former means "The Village of the Elephant", while the latter means "The City of the Elephant". The Elephant is the lava sculpture over the fountain in Piazza Duomo. Most a prehistoric sculpture, reforged during the Byzantine Era, it appears to be a talisman, reputedly powerful enough to protect the city from enemies and to keep away misfortune, plagues, or natural calamities. Another Arab toponym was Qaṭāniyyah from the Arabic word for the "leguminous plants". Pulses like lentils, peas, broad beans, lupins were chiefly cultivated in the plains around the city well before the arrival of Aghlabids.
Afterwards, many Arabic agronomists developed these crops and the citrus orchards in the area around the city. The toponym Wadi Musa, or "Valley of Moses", was used. Catania is located at the foot of Mount Etna; as observed by Strabo, the location of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna has been both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, violent outbursts of the volcano throughout history have destroyed large parts of the city, whilst on the other hand the volcanic ashes yield fertile soil suited for the growth of vines. Two subterranean rivers run under the city; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa". It has one of the hottest in the whole country of Italy. Temperatures of 40 °C are surpassed every year a couple of times,Winters are mild with chilly nights. Most of precipitation is concentrated from October to March, leaving late spring and summer dry; the city receives around 500 millimetres of rain per year, although the amount can vary from year to year. During winter nights lows can go under 0 °C.
Highs under 10 °C can happen during winter. Snow, due to the presence of Etna that protects the city from the northern winds, is an uncommon occurrence, but occasional snow flurries have been seen over the recent years in the hilly districts, more substantial in the northern hinterland. More light snowfalls occurred on 9 February 2015, 6 January 2017 and 5 January 2019, but the last heavy snowfall dates back to 17 December 1988; as of January 2015, there are 315.601 people residing in Catania, of whom 47.2% are male and 52.8% are female. Minors totalled 20.50 percent of the population compared to pensioners. This compares with the Italian average of 19.94 percent. The average age of Catania residents is 41 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five
Licodia Eubea is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania, on the island of Sicily, southern Italy. It is bounded by the comuni of Caltagirone, Chiaramonte Gulfi, Grammichele, Mineo, Monterosso Almo and Vizzini, it rises over 630 metres above sea level. Situated above a hill overlooking the valley of the Dirillo river, Licodia Eubea boasts a rich production of olives, citrus fruits, excellent table grapes, that can be tasted during the annual Sagra dell'Uva held in the month of September. Cattle breeding, as well as horse and goat farms, are flourishing, not to mention the production of delicious typical Sicilian cheeses. Beautiful to visit are the Chiesa Madre dedicated to S. Margherita, erected during the 17th century, preserving the emblem of the Santapau family on its front portal, the Chiesa del Rosario of the 18th century, the Palazzo Municipale; the name Licodia derives from the Greek word'Licos' meaning wolf, why its Coat-of-Arms has a picture of a wolf. The suburb belonged to lord Riccardo Filangieri, was afterwards bestowed to nobleman Manfredi Aragona.
The name Eubea was given to the place in 1872, to identify with Chalcis, a town on Euboea, the second-largest Greek island, because it is believed to be the colony of Leontini, founded early in the 6th century BC on the same site of an unknown Sicel settlement. Vases of the First Period were found and all the tombs explored in 1898 belonged to the Fourth Period, show the gradual process of Hellenization among the Sicels. In 1392, the ancient castle was bestowed to the Santapau family, that gave it its name and owned it until the 16th century, when it passed under the dominion of lord Vincenzo Ruffo. In 1693, the town was devastated by the earthquake, experienced a slow reconstruction. In 1968, the Licodia Eubea Social Club was established in Australia. Santa Pau, Spain Euboea, island in Greece Official website This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Licodia Eubea". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16. Cambridge University Press. P. 588
Mario Scelba was an Italian Christian Democratic politician who served as the 33rd Prime Minister of Italy from February 1954 to July 1955. He was President of the European Parliament from 1969 to 1971. Scelba was born in Caltagirone, the son of a poor sharecropper on land owned by the priest Don Luigi Sturzo, one of the founders of the Italian People's Party, he graduated at the University of Rome. Scelba was Sturzo's godchild and protégé. Sturzo employed him as his private secretary; when the Fascists suppressed the PPI and forced Sturzo into exile, Scelba remained in Rome as his agent. He wrote for the underground paper Il Popolo during World War II. Arrested by the Germans, he was released within three days as a worthless catch. On the day of Rome's liberation by the Allied forces, he joined the new five-man national directorate of the Christian Democracy; the Christian Democrats started organising post-Fascist Italy in competition with, but for a time in coalition with, the parties of the centre and left.
In 1945, Scelba won a seat in the post-war Italian Constituent Assembly and entered Ferruccio Parri's anti-fascist government as Minister of Post and Telecommunications, a post he retained in the two successive governments of Alcide de Gasperi. On February 2, 1947, Scelba became Minister of the Interior in the third government of Premier Alcide de Gasperi, with some brief interludes, until July 1955; the short, plump, oddly-impressive Scelba was the most powerful man in the successive governments of De Gasperi, after the Premier himself. As Minister, his hard-fisted record earned him the nickname "Iron Sicilian" for his ruthless suppression of left-wing workers protests and strikes, as well as Neo Fascist rallies; when he first took over, the police were so shoddy that Scelba exclaimed: "If I were Communist, I'd start a revolution tomorrow." He wrote the so-called Scelba law, formally banning Fascism, but designed to restrain the activities of the Communist party. Scelba built the country's dishevelled police into a force of some 200,000 armed and equipped with armoured cars and special jeep-riding riot squads called the Reparto Celere.
He made. In doing so, Scelba made himself many enemies, including many democrats who disapproved his harsh methods, his short, stubby figure and broad eye-twinkling smile was popular with political cartoonists. Scelba had a conservative attitude toward certain issues such as scant bathing suits, public kissing and nude statues. Despite this and his single-minded concern for law and order, on socio-economic issues Scelba leaned left of centre in the Democrazia Cristiana, he favoured public works, attacking speculators for pushing up prices. "It is impossible," he once said, "to be Minister of Interior for a government that doesn't care if the people work or not." Scelba emphasized the possibility of undermining Communist strength "by determined measures of social and economic improvement – land reform of the great latifundias in south Italy, for example."Scelba was involved in setting up the Gladio network, the clandestine NATO "stay-behind" operation in Italy after World War II, intended to organise resistance after a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe.
After just three months in office as Minister of the Interior, Scelba was confronted with the Portella della Ginestra massacre. Twelve days after the left-wing election victory in the Sicilian regional elections of 1947, the May 1 labour parade in Portella della Ginestra was attacked, culminating in the killing of 11 people and the wounding of over thirty; the attack was attributed to the bandit and separatist leader Salvatore Giuliano, the aim being to punish local leftists for the recent election results. Scelba reported to Parliament the next day that so far as the police could determine, the Portella della Ginestra shooting was non-political, he claimed. However, that version was challenged by the left; the Communist deputy Girolamo Li Causi stressed the political nature of the massacre, claiming that the Mafia had perpetrated the attack, in cahoots with the large landowners and the rightist Uomo Qualunque Front. He claimed that police inspector Ettore Messana – supposed to coordinate the prosecution of the bandits – had been in league with Giuliano and denounced Scelba for allowing Messana to remain in office.
Documents would substantiate the accusation. Li Causi and Scelba would be the main opponents in the aftermath of the massacre – the subsequent killing of alleged perpetrator, Salvatore Giuliano, the trial against Giuliano's lieutenant Gaspare Pisciotta and other remaining members of Giuliano's gang; the trial of those responsible was held in the city of Viterbo, starting in the summer of 1950. During the trial, Scelba was again accused of involvement in the plot to carry out the massacre, but the accusations were contradictionary or vague. In the end, the judge concluded that no higher authority had ordered the massacre, that the Giuliano band had acted autonomously. At the trial Pisciotta said: “Again and again Scelba has gone back on his word: Mattarella and Cusumano returned to Rome to plead for total amnesty for us, but Scelba denied all his promises.” Pisciotta claimed that he had killed Salvatore Giuliano in his sleep by arrangement with Scelba. However, there was no evidence; the general elections in April 1948 were influenced by the Cold War confrontation between
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
George Maniakes was a prominent Eastern Roman general during the 11th century, he was the catepan of Italy in 1042. He is known as Gyrgir in Scandinavian sagas, he is popularly said to have been tall and well built a giant. Maniakes first became prominent during a campaign in 1030–1031, when the Eastern Roman Empire was defeated at Aleppo but went on to capture Edessa from the Arabs, his greatest achievement was the partial reconquest of Sicily from the Arabs beginning in 1038. Here, he was assisted by the Varangian Guard, at that time led by Harald Hardrada, who became king of Norway. There were Norman mercenaries with him, under William de Hauteville, who won his nickname Iron Arm by defeating the emir of Syracuse in single combat. However, he soon ostracised his admiral, whose wife was the sister of John the Eunuch, the highest ranking man at court, and, by publicly humiliating the leader of the Lombard contingent, Arduin, he caused them to desert him, with the Normans and Norsemen. In response, he was recalled by the emperor Michael IV brother-in-law of Stephen.
Although the Arabs soon took the island back, Maniakes' successes there inspired the Normans to invade Sicily themselves. Maniakes' accomplishments in Sicily were ignored by the Emperor, he revolted against Constantine IX in 1042, though he had been appointed catepan of Italy; the individual responsible for antagonizing Maniakes into revolt was one Romanus Sclerus. Sclerus, like Maniakes, was one of the immensely wealthy landowners who owned large areas of Anatolia - his estates neighboured those of Maniakes and the two were rumoured to have attacked each other during a squabble over land. Sclerus owed his influence over the emperor to his famously charming sister Sclerina, who, in most areas was a positive influence on Constantine. Finding himself in a position of power, Sclerus used it to poison Constantine against Maniakes - ransacking the latter's house and seducing his wife, using the charm his family were famed for. Maniakes' response, when faced with Sclerus demanding that he hand command of the empire's forces in Apulia over to him, was to brutally torture the latter to death, after sealing his eyes, ears and mouth with excrement.
Maniakes was proclaimed emperor by his troops and marched towards Constantinople. In 1043 his army clashed with troops loyal to Constantine near Thessalonika, though successful, Maniakes was killed during the melee after receiving a fatal wound. Constantine's extravagant punishment of the surviving rebels was to parade them in the Hippodrome, seated backwards on donkeys. With his death, the rebellion ceased. In Sicily, the town of Maniace and the Syracusan fortress of Castello Maniace are both named after him
Acireale is a coastal city and comune in the north-east of the Metropolitan City of Catania, southern Italy, at the foot of Mount Etna, on the coast facing the Ionian Sea. It is home to numerous churches, including the Neo-Gothic St. Peter's Basilica, St. Sebastian's Basilica in the Sicilian Baroque style, the 17th century Acireale Cathedral, a seminary, for the training of priests. Acireale is noted for its art and paintings: the oldest academy in Sicily, the "Accademia dei Dafnici e degli Zelanti", is located here. According to tradition, the city's origins trace back to Xiphonia, a mysterious Greek city now disappeared. In Roman times, there existed another Greek town, involved in the Punic Wars. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, there is a great love between Ā́cis, the spirit of the Ā́cis River, Galatea the sea-nymph. According to mythology, the tears of Galatea after the death of Ā́cis gave birth to the Ā́cis River, Fiume di Jaci, flowing past Acireale; the Romans called the town Acium, it was on the main road from Catana to Tauromenium.
In the Middle Ages, the town expanded around the castle, known as Jachium under the Byzantines, as Al-Yāj under the Arabs, as Aquilia. In 1169, a huge earthquake scattered the population of the mainland, divided between the numerous boroughs of Aci. Another Aquilia was founded in the late 14th century further north, creating the nucleus of the modern city; the only remains of the medieval Aquilia Nova is the Gothic-Lombard-styled portal of the church of Saint Anthony. In the 16th century, Emperor Charles V freed the city from feudal ties, creating it as a Crown commune. In the late 16th century, the town had between 7,000 inhabitants; the most ancient document mentioning the Carnival of Acireale dates to 1594. The town received numerous new edifices. Acireale was nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, which halted its economic growth. During the Expedition of the Thousand, which freed Sicily from the Kingdom of Naples, Acireale was the first town to rebel against the Bourbons. In 1941, it was bombed by the Allies.
The church of San Biagio in Acireale contains some of the relics of the Venerable Gabriele Allegra, who had entered the Franciscan seminary in 1918. Villa Belvedere and Parco delle Terme, two large public parks and "La Timpa", a beautiful natural reserve overlooking the Ionian Sea, offer great nature sights. Piazza Duomo, with its St. Peter's Basilica, is in the main square of the city. There are many beautiful historic Baroque buildings in town, such as Palazzo Pennisi and Palazzo Modò, which date from the 17th century, Palazzo Musmeci dating from the 18th century; the commercial city center is located in the streets including and adjacent to Corso Umberto and Corso Italia, which are the city's principal thoroughfares. The Fortezza del Tocco, a 16th-century fort, has been converted to a nature reserve. Acireale houses floats parades during the carnival season. Acireale is twinned with: Mar del Plata, Argentina Viareggio, Italy Nantes, France Site about Carnival of Acireale