Terrasini is located between Palermo and Trapani, 24 km west of Palermo, 32 meters above the sea level in the wide and evocative Gulf of Castellammare, in the past, theatre of historical events and sailed by Greek, Phoenician and Roman vessels. It is a center of tourism, with a population of about 10.000, which triples in the summer months, not only for the location of the town but also for the hospitality of it's people. Terrasini probably got it's name because of the coast filled with caverns from Latin "terraesinus".
During the 1760s the inhabitants of villages dispersed along the western coast of Sicily where often enough they run into a picturesque character, dressed as a doctor, with a dreamy air about him. It was in their nature to doff their caps as a sign of respect for "The Abbot", and they were responded to with a benevolentnod of the head as he continued his walk along the pathways of the coast or countryside.
Having found a spot conducive to his spiritual requirements - often thee vocative Grotta Perciata - the man would then stop and remain lying for hours, absorbed in the reading of writers with names un- pronounceable for the fishermen and shepherds that he encountered. Or else with lively eyes he would watch the seagulls flying, or the butterflies, the light playing on the rocks, the lizards racing, the rustling olive branches, the foambreaking on the waves.
It was thus that Giovanni Meli composed, for it is of him that we speak, his Elegies and songs of the Buccolica, inspired by the smell of the seasalt carried on the wind, the rustling of the vegetation, the thousand colours of the never-ending Sicilian nature. Among the poet’s preferred places when searching for inspiration were the countryside and, above all, the coast of Terrasini and Favarotta, two neighbouring villages founded in the 18th Century on the mouth of the wide Gulf of Castellammare.
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