Piazza dell'Universita (University Square), Catania
There is the University Palace, Gioeni Asmundo Palace and the San Giuliano Palace. The alternate name for the square is Student Square. In former times the square featured a statue by Antonio Cali of King Francis I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. King Francis abdicated in 1830 and the statue followed.
The square now has four elaborate lampposts sculpted in bronze and designed by Vincenzo Corsaro. The lampposts together form a candelabra. Each candle has figures at the base that tell a tale of Sicily. In the telling, the statues celebrate virtues traditionally esteemed in Sicily: Chastity; Patriotism; Filial Devotion, and; Cleverness.
The lamp-post Gemmazita shows a woman dives into a well to avoid a lustful French soldier. This event is said to the cause of the War of Sicilian Vespers which was a successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I.
The lamp-post Paladin shows a knight of Catalan defeats a Saracen and marries a princess.
The lamp-post Fratelli Pi shows two brothers save their elders from a river of lava by carrying them on their shoulders (the brothers' shoulders).
The lamp-post Colapesce (Tail-Fish) shows Count Ruggero asks a very young merman if he can see Mount Etna underwater. The boy says yes. He dives holding a log. He is not seen again but the volcano spits out the log during an eruption.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Catania. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Piazza dell'Universita (University Square) on Map
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