The Quattro Canti Design
The Quattro Canti is the cross roads of Palermo and divides this great city into its 'Quarters'. Built by the Bourbons and decorated with the fountains of the four seasons, the four Bourbon kings and the four Patron saints of the city, it stands majestic and 'all controlling' in it's octagonal outline.
Some time later, on another trip, I was able t get up to the Pioano Nobile level of the old Palazzo di Napoli which overlooks Quattro Canti. Once one of hte greatest Palazzi in Palermo, it is now room upon room of faded elegance. I closed my eyes and imagined the people, the parties, the dancing into the small hours until light shone once again through the windows of days gone by.
The elegant iron balconies fo the Palazzo run south and east in a continuation, weaving in and around the statues of kings. I leant over the balcony feasting on the garlanded decoration along the fountain basins and sketched the outline for the Quattro Canti earring Halos- a cornucopia of oranges, lemons, pomegranates and leaves. The Cannoli (filled with Ricotta) and my cafe that I had bought with me as sustenance for my sketching, caught my eye and in amongst those regal and gilded rooms I turned the Cannoli into a golden necklace with pearls.
The eastern balcony runs towards the Teatro Massimo where in the Royal Box I had observed charming musical decorations on the columns. Being circular they lent themselves to a design for a necklace or bracelet, and so I sketched them in my note book with my pencil, as the light faded in the afternoon at the palazzo. Now made, I have slipped these golden sections in amongst dark lava beads creating a necklace and linking Mount Etna to the capital city of the Island of Sicily
Later that evening I walked back down Via Maqueda to put my sketch book safely where I was staying before meeting friends for dinner at I Vespri- a charming restaurant in the corner of the Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi are left open and from the restaurant you can look up to the twinkiling of the chandeliers. For a few moments, if you close your eyes you can imagine another great ballroom scene of days gone by- that of The Leopard, the quintessential Sicilian novel written by Giuseppe di Lampedusa.