Le Case Coloniche

Borgo Fazio - entrance

The entrance of Borgo Fazio

Between the 1920’s and 1930’s in Sicily, Mussolini started the first intervention of integral reclamation of the uncultivated land in the island, as part of the national ruralization program of the Fascism. The aim was to create small agricultural settlements, with low social class people, disconnected from the cities and easier to control. These were called Case Coloniche (Colonial Houses)

Different villages were built consisting of a main square, a church, a school, a police station and a small first aid room. At the beginning, the houses were used to host the workers for the drainage of the wetlands, and after the new village was born to host the farmers that would be working in the fields.

Most of the Case Coloniche keep the Fascist architectural style, but their execution, under the control of the mafia, was done with poor-cement (cemento povero), affecting the house’s structure with serious damages. A municipal and then national law obliges everyone owning a house with a roof, used or not, in the city or in the countryside, to pay an heavy tax to the Italian State. Since many of these houses were already uninhabitable, the law only incentivised many of their owners to demolish them. Proprietors removed the roof where it was possible, while others entirely destroyed their houses in the middle of the countryside, reducing them to pile of stones, everything in order to avoid paying the tax.

This is a selection from two villages: Borgo Fazio and Borgo Runza, both in the province of Trapani and both in complete decadence, only used by shepherds for their herds and by the people as garbage place.

Non-places bombed by history.

All images and text are copyright of Giuseppe Licari

The Chruch from inside

The Church from inside

The main square

The main square

The church

The Church

Fire place

Fire place

A space ready for the sheeps

A room ready for the sheep

The old manger

The old manger

A still used Casa Colonica

A still used Casa Colonica

A demolished Casa Colonica

A demolished Casa Colonica with Erice in the back

Borgo Fazio

Borgo Fazio

Borgo Runza

Borgo Runza

Borgo Runza

Borgo Runza

A demolished Casa Colonica with a carob tree marking the old entrance

A demolished house with the left carob tree

Still standing

Still standing

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