The romantic world of the Sicilian woman of the past


Testo in italiano


The romantic world of the Sicilian woman of the past

by Agata Sandrone and Giovanni Vallone

Mrs Filippina in Agira: “The first wedding night the heart was beating very fast, they made three serenades before going to bed”


I am Agata Sandrone and I will tell you about the romantic world of the Sicilian women of a long time ago.

Many of these dresses are over a hundred years old.

Here are long johns, hand-embroidered skirts, the corset.

These are earmuffs used by our grandmothers to go to sleep.

This is the veil that was often put on to enter the church.


Abstract from “The first wedding night in Sicily” by Giovanni Vallone


Splendid: “Ma’m, how did you go to bed on your wedding night?”

The lady of Villarosa: “I had a nice nightgown”

Splendid: “No m’am, I don’t care about that. I wanted to know when you got into bed  were you Naked? “

The lady of Villarosa: “Noooooooo, but what you are saying!”

Splendid: “Good morning ma’m, how did you meet your husband”

The lady of Cassaro: “Ah! You want to know too much! They brought him home to me, we lived in the countryside. That’s what they used to do back then “.

Splendid: “And you liked him right away?”

The lady of Cassaro: “Yes, we made the fuitina and we had a  good life and we are still happy together after 53 years”

Here we have women’s accessories: fans, gloves, handkerchiefs.

They also served as tools of seduction.

Before you could not easily interact with men and therefore signals were used.

If a woman grabbed the gloves with her left hand it meant she was happy, instead if she grabbed them with her right it meant she was in a bad mood.

The fan also had a language.

Slowly agitated meant that the woman was married; quickly agitated meant she was engaged; placed on her chin was a green light, she was looking for a kiss!


Signorina Sara: “Also I fell in love many times but never engaged!”

Museo di Agira: “These are long johns of the past, how times changed!”


Here we have handbags and theater glasses.

These are parasols that distinguished the wealthy woman from the peasant women.

The whitest face, that is less sunburned, meant opulence, it meant that the woman was not forced to stay under the sun for work, and she used a parasol.

This is a late 19th century dress, the oldest I have.

These tools heated in the fire were used to make curly hair.

This is a manicure set and this is an elegant cap for special evenings.

These are wedding dresses that date from the early twentieth century to the 1970s.

And these are the inevitable hats that women never did without.

They are often filled with feathers.

So there, we took a trip into the romantic world of Sicilian women of the past.


Mrs. Filippina also makes us go around her home and shows us some photos

She: “This is the picture after 8 days”

Splendid: “What does this mean?”

She: “When you first got married for the first 8 days you didn’t go out, you stayed at home”

Splendid: “Let me see how you  wore after 8 days closed at home with Angelo. Mamma mia!”

Splendid: “Mr. Angelo I know everything”

Mr Angelo: “Not everything everything!”




Author: Agata Sandrone, Cultural Department of Splendid Sicily



Author: Giovanni Vallone, Cultural Department of Splendid Sicily


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