19 October 2021

The Sicilian town of Gangi - updated with video

When I saw this photo at the via, I immediately went to Google Maps to see a map of the streets:

I'm showing my bias as an American raised on rectilinear grids of streets, but it's hard to imagine navigating in an old city like this.

Addendum:  found a video depicting streetviews and interior views -


  1. I think if you think like a pedestrian (hard for me raised as a suburban US kid), it's probably pretty easy to figure things out and get used to navigating. I'm guessing there are alleys or cut-throughs that might help you get from one level to the next. And it's easy to see that a traditional rectilinear grid would be a disaster for vehicles and pedestrians alike. It looks way steep!

  2. selecting the 'street view' option for that map will be enlightening as to navigating those streets.


  3. Ifa you want to navigate in Sicily
    ... youa gotta hold your fingers like this.

  4. The crypt (scroll down) is TYWKI-worthy: https://www.sicilyonweb.com/gangi/

  5. I know nothing about the water system for a city like that, any city on a hill, really, but especially one so densely populated. I mean, if all those houses have running water and there are sewer lines, where does the water come from, where is it stored, where is the sewage treatment plant, and how is pressure maintained at sensible levels everywhere?

  6. How do they do garbage pickup? What if there's a fire or medical emergency? How do you move in/out of a home? What if there's a car accident and a car needs to be removed? I imagine every kid has to walk to school because there's no way a bus is navigating those streets.

  7. The first time I was in Venice. I tried to pay meticulous attention to street names, etc. Ten minutes into it, I realized it was a futile exercise. By the end of the day, I had a working knowledge of a considerable area.

  8. I spent an hour or more looking for more views of this maze of a town when i first saw it.
    I ended up thinking that the view must be to the right, perhaps the sea.
    Each house or apartment must be seriously one sided.
    I hope a native joins in here with what it is like to live there.

    1. Found this video - which may be worth adding to the post.


  9. It's easy. You walk halfway down Santa Clara road, then when you see the house with the brownish-yellow window sills on your right, take the alley left uphill, past the gargoyle, then to the right again. That'll take you to a street that doesn't have a name, but it smells of mozzarella so you can't miss it. Then take three lefts and a right (the second right, obviously) so you're walking downhill again. This is Santa Clara road, which should be easy because you've been here before. Now knock on the door of the house with the ivy climbing up its eastern wall, and ask if old Giuseppe is awake. He'll be able to help you, although he's getting rather hard of hearing these days, hates people and only speaks the Sicilian dialect.

  10. The map reminds me of a slide depicting cardiac muscle tissue. The pins even resemble sporadic nuclei.

  11. A close friend got married in the Duomo di Taormina in 2019. Taormina is very similar to Gangi and equally as beautiful. She needed special dispensenation from the town council to drive a very tiny convertable up to the church. Otherwise, she would've been walking up the tiny streets to the church in her wedding dress. Most of the centre of the town is pedestrianised. Only municipal vehicles are permitted for refuse collection and street cleaning.


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