The Thermal Baths in Sciacca
The use of the thermal water of Sciacca for therapeutic purpose goes back to the Greek age, making this spa the oldest ever. The healthy features of water and muds were used till the Arabic age. However, in the following centuries the practice of the thermal baths lost importance progressively.
Between the eighteenth and the nineteenth century, the first medical surveys about the thermal water vouched for its healthy features, giving a new start to the economy of the spa.
Nowadays Sciacca represents one of the greatest thermal baths of Sicily thanks to two facilities: Stabilimento delle nuove terme and Stabilimento delle stufe vaporose, where thousands of visitors find every year health and relax in sulfur water and muds.
The Carnival of Sciacca
Traditional festival since the 19th century, the Carnival of Sciacca is one of the most famous and joyful throughout Sicily. Allegoric, decked with flowers and semi-mechanic floats parade through the old town center for several days with music, confetti and sparklers.
The historic float of Peppe Nappa is every year inevitable: The tradition has it that he was a clever farmer who used the festival to joke about the political authorities of that time. At the end of Tuesday, the float gets burned by tradition, while a jury awards the finest floats.
Historical Background of Sciacca
Sciacca was founded in the seventh century B.C. by the citizen of Selinunte and it became during the Greek age an important center of the southern cost because of its position nearby Agrigento. In addition its spa was always well appreciated by the Greeks and the Arabs too. So its name hails from the Arabic: it was called as-saqah or more probably xacca, terms that mean water abundance, which was eventually changed in the current Sciacca.
During the Arabic age, the town could manage to set up important commercial relationships with North Africa and to develop a thriving agriculture, as a result of the union between the fruitful lands and the Arabic farming innovations. Afterwards the town switched between development and less flourishing times. The fourteenth century was signed by blood feuds between the two most influent families of the town, the Perollo and the Luna.
In the following centuries the discovery of a coral reef directly close to the coast raised a great clamor, which gave a new start to the economy of the town. Sciacca is now an important holiday’s resort that can be visited all year round, to spend some days of relax and culture.