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Myths and legends of Sicily: Teste di Moro

di Marco

The art of majolica was brought to Sicily by the Arabs who taught the Sicilians how to create these wonderful objects that art experts consider to be masterpieces.

There are many objects that can be made in ever-changing shapes, colors and motifs and painted on ceramics. But, without any doubt, the most popular and fascinating ceramic objects in Sicily are the “Teste di Moro”.

No, it's not a bad word! It is a work of art that originates in an ancient legend.

It is said that around 1000 AD a beautiful girl who loved the flowers on her balcony lived in Palermo.

One day, an Arab boy (it was in fact the time of the domination of the Moors in Sicily) saw her and immediately the two fell in love.

It would seem like the beginning of a fantastic love story, wouldn't it?

But no, sorry for the spoiler.

In fact, the boy had not been completely sincere: his wife and children were waiting for him in his own country, where he would have to return shortly thereafter.

The girl, having learned the truth, got very angry and she thought about how to take revenge!

When the boy fell asleep, she killed him by cutting off his head. With this she then made a pot and she placed a basil sprout inside, considered at that time a royal plant.

Then she placed the pot on her balcony.

Day after day the tears of the young girl wet the plant that grew luxuriantly.

The scent of basil was such as to reach the homes of neighbors.

This is not the only version of this story.

According to some people, the protagonist was not an "ordinary young woman". She was in fact a noble from Palermo.

This girl had fallen in love with an Arab but their relationship was against the law, so the two lovers were beheaded.

The heads of the two lovers were turned into pots and posted on a balcony, becoming a "warning" against any other possible improper passion.

What does the Hotel Piccolo Mondo in San Vito have in common with this legend?


We are Sicilians, we are in love with our land.

We love its perfumes, its colors, its history.

In our Hotel Piccolo Mondo in San Vito Lo Capo there are many details of Sicily.

We have so many images and photographs of Sicily in in the common areas and in our rooms too.

For example, in the breakfast room there are various references to “Fichi d’India”, a type of fruit very delicious and much loved.

In the rooms and in the common areas there are many photos, printed on canvas, of the most beautiful beaches and coves or wonderful images of nearby places to visit.

Even our hotel has its Teste di Moro, but not a tragic story!

You will find the Head depicting the girl on the Terrace on the second floor of the Hotel

Testa di moro terrazza hotel

and that of the Arab guy on the Terrace of the Junior Suite.

Dettaglio Testa di moro Junior Suite 20191

Come and visit us and tell me which one you prefer.

See you in San Vito Lo Capo!

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