Connections between Malta & Pachino, a book by Arnold Cassola
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The Sicilian town of Pachino, which encompasses within its territory the popular port of Marzamemi, was founded in 1760. The original inhabitants were supposed to be Catholics coming from Greece, Albania and Illyria, the Western part of the Balkan peninsula.
Instead, by 1763, it was already inundated by Maltese settlers, who had qucikly formed the major part of the population. The Maltese were considered to be illegal settlers but indeed they were tolerated without any problems. Indeed, they ended up being the motor of the Pachino economy and earned their living as cheese makers, cotton growers and stone masons.
Today Pachino, famous for its world renowned cherry tomatoes, has thousands of its citizens who are named Sultana, Cassar, Busuttil, Buhagiar, Cammenzuli, Scerri, Dingli and myriad of other surnames of clear Maltese origin.
Next Saturday, the 15th of February, the Comune of Pachino will be launching a book on the Maltese in Pachino and the connections between Pachino and Malta, written by Prof. Arnold Cassola and Dr Silvio Aliffi.
The two authors trace the origins of the first Maltese in Pachino and hypothesise that many of them came from Gozo, in particular Xewkija.
The launch will be held at the Palmento di Rudinì, in Marzamemi, in the presence of the Mayors of Pachino and Xewkija.