PALERMO

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The Arabian domination was knocked down (1072) by the Normans, Roberto il Guiscardo and Ruggero d’Altavilla. The Normans restored a Christian character to the City of Palermo, allowing the life of the Capital to improve under every aspect, mainly after Ruggero II took up his crown as King of Sicily (1130).
The Norman Government, particularly positive during the reign of Guglielmo II (1166-1189), was subsequently preserved and consolidated by the Svevi; during the first half of the 13th Century with Federico II, Palermo not only made great economic progress, but also acquired a high cultural prestige, to which the Magna curia federiciana gave the maximum impulse. The catastrophe of the Svevi and the advent of the Angioini with Carlo I (Charles I) (1266) had negative repercussions on the City, which was ousted by Naples. An expression of this same uneasiness was shown through the revolution of the Vespri, which broke out in front of the Church of the Spirito Santo (Holy Ghost) on 31st March 1282, and took it, in contrast, with the intervention of Pietro III d’Aragona, to an Aragonese domination; Palermo returned as the seat of the King of Sicily. During the last years of Angionio domination, the City acquired the first autonomous Council, which the Aragonese accepted fully in 1330. But then a political decline followed, caused by contrasts between emergent families, who reciprocated with a progressive deterioration of the economic and cultural position of the City, who under Ferdinando I il Giusto, together with all of Sicily, was annexed to the Crown of Aragona (1412); the decline heightened during the Spanish domination. Manifestations of intolerance came about in 1647, with the common revolts, which Spain immediately stifled. In 1676, a naval fleet of Luigi 14th of France, beat the Spanish-Dutch on the waters of Palermo, but failed to effect the plans for disembarkment. At the fall of Spanish domination, the City was involved in attempts of being re-conquered by Sicily, promoted by Cardinal Alberoni in favour of Phillip V of Bourbon. The victories of Carlo of Borbone against the Austrians, which came about as an affirmation of the Bourbonic dynasty in Naples and Sicily (1734), re-ignited a separatist spirit and a desire for independence. In this final period, the politics of Ferdinando IV, with the constitution of 1812 and other initiatives, fed the autonomistic aspirations of the Palermitani. Free spirits, of independence and revenge with respect to Naples, led to the breakout of the revolts of July 1820, but the venture failed. Chronologically speaking, the revolt began in January 1848; it ended in spring of the following year, after intervention by the Napoleonic Army. Stifled before it began, led to another revolt in April 1860, the revolt of the so called Gancia (a signal was givien from the convent in the form of vigorously ringing of the bells; but a few weeks later after the embarkation of the Mille di Garibaldi (the thousand of Garibaldi) in most of the island, gave permission to the Garibaldi occupation in Palermo. The City was occupied by Garibaldi after a clever diverting manoeuvre of Corleone (27-20 May 1860) and made a Capital on 6th June. A provisional Government, presided over by Francesco Crispi was therefore installed; Palermo voted to be annexed to the Sabaudi and the following November, to the Plebiscites.

During the Second World War, it was gravely damaged by aerial bombardments and occupied by divisions of the 7th American Armed Forces on 22 July 1943.

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PALERMO
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Sicily region, Island of Italy

 

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Art Cities in Sicily
Palermo
Agrigento
Catania
Enna
Messina
Siracusa
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