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The second stop of the event “GALInContraDanza”took place in Borgetto on the 16th to the 18th of March 2014, during the traditional  “Mense di San Giuseppe” (Saint Joseph’s tables).

A crucial moment of the community, when the large stream of people pours into the town streetsand visits the Saint’s tables prepared in several houses.

On the 17th of Marchat 17h30 at the Public Library the book titled "ITE AD JOSEPH - Santo trastoria, fede e folklore" ("ITE AD JOSEPH –a Saint between history, faith and folklore)was presented. The book was published by the  “LAG Golfo di Castellammare” and edited by Francesca Davì. During the presentation H.E. Mons. Michele Pennisi, Archibishop of Monreale, was the speaker.

The presentation of the book was an occasion to analyze Sain Joseph’s role in the tradition in the  territories of LAG Golfo di Castellammare

The event of the day after, the 18th of March, was about the same topic. Guided tours to Saint Joseph’s tables (prepared by the Borgetto Pro Loco[1]) was organized in Borgetto at 17h00, 18h00 and  19h00 o’clock. The guided visits started from Umberto I Square.

It was an occasion to discover an ancient but still alive tradition, which continues raising a large participation of local community even now, representing a tourist attraction at the same time.

The explanation of places continued with the exploration of local and genuine tastes through the “Farmer happy hour”, organized by the Association APAS(association of the Sicilian farmers) starting from 8h00 pm (3 euros ticket).

From the exploration of places to the discovering of traditions, from the taste experience to the fascination of music and dance: at 8h30 pm an ancient Contradanza danceitinerant show was performed by the group “QuellidellaContradanza”.The festive "dancing itinerary"took place from Umberto I Square to Rome Street, engaging the whole town community




The images of the event Borgetto 17-18 March 2015


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Music, Taste and Territory in the Gulf of Castellammare




Wine and food products can be considered as a syntesis of a production process totally based on local resources directly connecting products to territory.

Concerning this, besides local row materials, also climate features, landscape, historical and cultural factors, customs, ancient professions, racesbred, vegetables cultivated, places and ways of making contribute to lend these local delights unique organoleptic characteristics, which cannot be reproduced outside their provenance.


InBorgetto the local taste refers to the intense smells of local countryside (oil, wine, citrus fruits) and to the expanse of wheat and forage, the latter used to support the cattle breeding.

Cooking tradition is highly represented by the production of loaves in several shapes, used to adorn the recious and holy tables for Saint Joseph’s celebrations.




The eighteenth century Mother Church and its Baroque bell toweris dated back to 1762. Within there are a white marble bas-relief depicting St. Mary Magdalene and  attributed to Gagini, a font in bronze, divided into four panels, set on a gray marble font,  made by Pirrone.

The shrine of the Madonna del SS. Romitello (Our Lady of the Holy Romitello) is a destination of pilgrims from all over the island.It was founded to honor the memory of Brother GiulianoMajali, hermit but also ambassador and diplomat on behalf of popes and kings. He painted the picture of the grief-stricken Virgin with her son died on her knees. The Shrine is unmissable for quality landscape and the surrounding vegetation.

e (oil, wine, citrus fruits) and to the expanse of wheat and forage, the latter used to support the cattle breeding.


Cooking tradition is highly represented by the production of loaves in several shapes, used to adorn the recious and holy tables for Saint Joseph’s celebrations.




The Mense di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph’s tables)  called also Cene di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph’s dinners)  orArtari(altars) orSan Giuseppe parati (Saint Joseph’s parades) are a very ancient feast which has been celebrated every yearfor centuries.During Saint Joseph’s feast a ritual, to which population is very devoted, is repeated.It is full part of the Sicilian Touristic itinerary.Saint Joseph’s tables celebrate the thanksgiving to the Saint as patron of  orphans, poor persons and unmarried women.The ceremony is very complex, characterized by a long preparation to which citizens, motivated by deep faith, actively and sprightly participate. It is, indeed, thanks to citizens’ participation in preparation that this celebration is particularly evocative.

The feast takes origins from a charitable purpose: donating bread to poor families. This simple basic element is then expressed in a complex realization to respect tradition: three poor children (symbolizing the Holy Family) are invited to the house meal.

Children are served lunch, while people in the house sing song and nursery rhymes in dialect.

Gratitude to the Saint Joseph for grace received, is made in the form of food supplies and everything that can be useful to the three poor children. The "table" is the result of months of preparation to allocate a room in their home or to decorate a simple wall respecting tradition: altar with breads, baskets of homemade bread to offer, a basket with the tools to work in the fields are used to recall the hard work of the Saint; white tulle and satin adorn a picture or a statue of the Saint under the altar. Other ritual elements to express citizens’ veneration to the Saint are: collection of offerings for families in need, religious performances, lighting of fires and procession, which take place at different times of the year. The visit at the tables begins on the evening of 18th of March and lasts until the day after. A huge flow of people invades the streets of the town to visit the Saint Joseph’s tables prepared in various houses.



According Andrea Salomone, the name “Borgetto”derives from the Arab term "burg" or from the Greek "burgos", i.e. tower-castle. This is supported also by the municipal crest depicting a lion and a tower.

The first written news about the town comes from a document dated on1294, where its first feudal lord’s name, Simone d'Escolo,is reported.

In 1337 the feud was acquired by Margheritad'Escolo, Federico d'AntiochiaFellone’s wife, who about 14years later, in 1351, put up the town for auction. Margherita De Blando bought and donated it to the abbot of  San Martino delle Scaleso that he had a monastery built in the area. So, in 1360, the “Monastery of Our Lady of the Ciambre” rose.

In 1410,through Andrea Guardabaxo, the monks of this monastry acquired the whole feud, but again on the condition that he funded the building of another monastry, in the Carrubellacontrada.

And indeed –three years later- the Monastry of Madonna del SS. Romitello(Our Lady of the Holy Romitello) rose.

“ITE AD JOSEPH – Santo trastoria, fede e folclore” ("ITE AD JOSEPH – a Saint between history, faith and folklore")


“ITE AD JOSEPH – Santo trastoria, fede e folclore”("ITE AD JOSEPH – a Saint between history, faith and folklore") is the title of the new book published by the LAG Golfo di Castellammare and dedicated to the feast of St. Joseph. A book written by many authors telling the traditional celebration on the 19th of  March in the towns members of the LAG consortium: from the tables prepared in Borgetto tocelebration in Alcamo,to Partinico, Balestrate, Trappeto, Cinisi and Terrasini.

Considered the patron of carpenters, of the unmarried girls, of the humble and poor people and of the orphans, Saint Joseph is a symbol of love, solidarity and charity and from these principles the events in honour of the Patriarch take their  basis.

The common element of the celebrations organized in the towns of the LAG is especially the blessed bread, a key element in the local culture. Devotion to St. Joseph is present in many towns in Sicily and therefore in the book also the customs of Capaci and Torretta (towns that are not member of the LAG -Golfo di Castellammare)are mentionedfor their peculiarities.

"ITE AD JOSEPH –a Saint between history, faith and folklore" aims to preserve the memory and traditions of the territories of the GAL and disseminate them also abroad; The book, indeed, has been translated into English for a wider dissemination.

The book was presented Tuesday, 16th of March  at 17h30, in the Public Library of Borgetto.


"Quelli della Contradanza"is a group formed by 15 pairs of dancers who dance the contradanza, often accompanied by the sound of the accordion, the guitar, the" friscalettu "and the rhythm of the tambourine.

The group performs several years respecting the popular tradition, both in the implementing rules of the dance, commanded by "bastuneri", both in the choice of the moments of the performance, that is, parties and folklore of Sicily.

"Quelli della Contradanza" dance is the Contradanza Popolare, the Contradanza Royal, dating back to the domination of Frederick II in Sicily.

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