In Germasino we can still find some “mason”: archaic buildings in wood and stone. With their peculiar shape they have steeply pitched roofs covered with straw whose sharp angle sides are closed by a wooden partition or by a rack of sparse perches; the lower stonework building is used as a stable while the upper wooden building is a barn ( we can see something alike in Galicia called “pallozas”). Even if the lexical television pollution has reached Germasino too, the village can still be considered a linguistic enclave. The speech is a mixture of languages and dialects ranging from “Grigionese” to “Ticinese” , from “Valtellinese” to Sicilian with some reference to English.

Numbers three and four for instance sound “tchrii” and “quatchru” with the same utterance we can hear in Palermo. By the way the sentence “Voo a fà Palermo” (I’m going to “make” Palermo) in Germasino or in other villages in the upper lake meant to emigrate, to leave their village and go to work away from home. The migration to Sicily culminated between the 16th and the 18th centuries. Once there they worked like porters or dockworkers and offered part of their earnings to their parishes of origin to embellish them. The cult of Saint Rosalia, Martyr from Palermo and its patron Saint, is still strongly felt here on the upper lake. Even today they give a new born baby girl a gold medal with an “R” engraved on it as a sign of great benevolence.


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