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Scultura di Santa Rosalia



Palermo extends into the short plain called Conca d'Oro , dominated to the north by Monte Pellegrino .

The original nucleus of Palermo  rose on the weak relief now occupied by the Norman palace, once lapped by the sea.

The current structure of the historic center took shape between the 16th and 17th centuries. with the opening of new arteries that determined the alignment of public and noble buildings along the main streets, while behind it remained the tangle of narrow and irregular streets characteristic of the Arab city.

The historic center has always retained a great symbolic importance, and was the place where the functions of political, economic and cultural direction were concentrated. From the end of the nineteenth century, however, it was gradually abandoned by the families of the more recent nobility and by the bourgeois, who moved to the new neighborhoods created in the North East area. This trend resumed and became even stronger after the Second World War.

From the four districts , in which the ancient city was divided from the seventeenth century (the Loggia , the Capo , the Kalsa and the Albergheria ), all the wealthiest families who could afford it left. Thus, in 1981, a good part of the entrepreneurs, managers and professionals resided outside it, in the north, in the Libertà and Politeama districts or even in Mondello , which is 10 km from the central square of the Quattro canti .

In 1981, the first year for which accurate data is available, both industrial and service workers were over-represented in the historic center. The process of gentrification a Palermo  started later, around the 1990s, and was slower than elsewhere. The council of Mayor Leoluca Orlando commissioned in 1988 to three prestigious Italian urban planners, Leonardo Benevolo, Pierluigi Cervellati and Italo Insolera, the elaboration of a recovery plan for the historic center, but the Region  Siciliana _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ it approved only in 1993. And the following year various interventions began.

The complex of S. Maria dello Spasimo was opened to the public, which after the Second World War had been submerged in garbage. The Massimo Theater was reopened. The interventions of the municipality were called 'open construction site fruition', because they attracted the Palermitans and tourists to visit the places and buildings undergoing renovation, even before the works were finished. These interventions, and those in the first decade of 2000, have revitalized the historic center, also giving rise to new commercial and tourist activities, and have set in motion a moderate tendency, on the part of young and educated sections of the population, to go and live in that old city abandoned by the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie long ago.

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