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Favara is a Sicilian town of about 33,000 inhabitants, near Agrigento. Abandoned to be transformed into mundane modern apartment blocks, a piece of Favara’s historic center experienced a tragedy in January of 2010: the collapse of a run-down building that caused the death of two little sisters. The Seven Courtyards -a kind of Sicilian Casbah: seven small courtyards linked together are home to a series of small buildings and hide an Arabic array of small but wonderful gardens – also forgotten, and lacking maintenance and cleaning, were the sight of small-time trafficking and seemed destined to be swept away by a few bulldozers for security reasons or ghettoized by high walls made of tufa block. Resisting in their houses were Aunt Mary, Aunt Rosa and Aunt Antonia, three little old ladies born and raised there, and Vito, a big guy, all heart and muscle, with a few legal problems.
In March 2010, two years earlier than planned, Florinda and Andrea, a young professional couple who decided not to move abroad, but to remain in Sicily, decided to start recovery work on the first two buildings of the Seven Courtyards.
In June 2010 they inaugurated the space with a large party, thousands of people from around Italy and different parts of the world, to share the beginning of a dream; to transform this place into a next generation Cultural Center in which culture becomes a noble instrument for the regeneration of a territory and to give a city without a past, a present and a future.
It has been six years of hard work; the restructured houses are many and the Seven Courtyards have become a small tourist attraction, many friends have joined Florinda and Andrea in this project.
It is not easy to explain Farm Cultural Park, and it’s normal that not everyone understands its reason for being; but everyone’s noticed how Favara is no longer as it once was. Everyone’s noticed that each day brings tourists and visitors from around the world and everyone’s read some article or have seen their city on television. Not because of the mafia, not because of illegal construction; but for art, culture, and urban regeneration. Piazza Cavour is the main square of Favara; it’s a beautiful square and hosts several noble palaces: the Chiaramonte Castle, the municipal library created by Baron Mendola, forgotten patron. Seven years ago, evening in the square became a small Maracaná, hosting African football championships until the early hours of the morning. It was nice even then, but no one if not immigrants lived in that beautiful part of the city. Today the square is home to small hotels, pizzerias, bars, and taverns and the youth of Favara no longer spend their evenings in San Leone. They are the friends of Agrigento that finally, for the first time, come to Favara to spend their evenings, and the young people of Favara finally feel proud.
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