Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: CINZIA RECCA

Expected Learning Outcomes

To provide the necessary tools for the in-depth study of the fundamental themes of the history of modern Sicily but also but also looking at the relationship between Sicily and travel from the 15th to the 19th century.  Therefore, the main events in the history of Sicily in the modern age are examined in depth in correlation with European history, focusing on institutional, political, cultural and socio-economic aspects. The theoretical approach of the various themes is deepened with the methodological analysis of various types of sources, travel accounts and guides, arts of travelling, maps and historical descriptions, lists and registers for the surveillance of foreigners passing through... At the crossroads of social, political and economic history, intellectual history and cultural exchanges, the history of representations and scientific knowledge, an attempt will be made to bring out a global vision of the methods and problems of an approach that aims to understand how travel and travellers in Sicily made a crucial contribution to the processes of transformation of societies.

Course Structure

The prevailing teaching method will be the lecture, alternated with moments of discussion, comparison, group work and seminar meetings; at times the lectures may be held in seminar form with scholars or specialists in the various topics through the use of interactive teaching. Some of the material available to students will be made available on Studium, which is available on the University website.

An optional in itinere test is foreseen for attending students. Each small group (or individual student) is required to present orally, and (in view of the final exam) with a short written report, an explanation and commentary on a text chosen from those listed above.

* If the course will be taught in blended or remote mode, necessary changes may be introduced with respect to what was stated previously, in order to comply with the planned  and reported program in the syllabus

Required Prerequisites

No prerequisites required except a general knowledge of early modern and contemporary history phenomena and basic language skills. Knowledge of English is highly desirable although many Italian sources will be used.

Attendance of Lessons


Detailed Course Content

The course will be divided into both lectures and in-depth seminars on the History of Sicily between the 16th and 19th centuries and the relationships triggered by travel and travellers. The phenomena of travel in Sicily will be examined in relation to the Grand Tour strategy as a way of strengthening the social and political order that prevailed in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century.

Categories of travellers and original travel practices. Another part of the course will focus on the various practices of travel, with the idea of subverting the classic Grand Tour approach based on the examination of young members of the upper classes. Beyond the nobles, pilgrims and merchants, the focus will be on two categories of travellers whose role was decisive in the process of changing the approach to territories during the modern period: namely scientists and artists. Both were increasingly in touch with nature, and led other travellers, especially in the 18th century, to realise the long history of the land and the specific beauty of an undisturbed and picturesque nature.

 It is also planned to set up working groups and hold seminars.

Textbook Information

Storia della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.

Monographic Readings

L. Scalisi. Per riparar l'incendio. Le politiche dell'emergenza dal Perù al Mediterraneo, Catania, Domenico Sanfilippo Editore, 2013

A. De Francesco, La palla al piede. Una storia del giudizio antimeridionale, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2012;

C.Recca . La ricerca del ‘Bello’. Viaggiatrici inglesi in Sicilia tra XVIII e XIX secolo. In: AA.VV. (a cura di): Elena Frasca, IL Valore e la virtù. Studi in onore di Silvana Raffaele. In: ANALECTA HUMANITATIS, vol. 37, p. 311-328, ACIREALE-ROMA, 2019 combined with R. Mazzei, Per terra e per acqua. Viaggi e viaggiatori nell’Europa moderna, Roma, Carocci, 2003.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1La Sicilia e il MediterraneoStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo
2La Sicilia vista dai viaggiatoriStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
3Il CinquecentoStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
4I BaroniStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
5L'Inquisizione SicilianaStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
6Il SeicentoStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
7La Sicilia del SettecentoStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
8Dagli Austriaci ai BorboneStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.
9Il Risorgimento in SiciliaStoria della Sicilia a cura di Benigno e Giarrizzo.

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

For frequent students there is an optional in itinere test. The test involves the writing of a project paper developed during the course on one of the monographic texts.

The assessment of the in itinere test averages in the formulation of the final grade.

Final examination: oral.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Frequently asked questions cover the topics indicated in the programme and explored in depth during the lectures.