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The story of Regina

Testa di Moro

Leggi la Leggenda della testa di Moro

The Legend

The legend of the Moorish head goes back in the XI century, during the Moors domination in Sicily and as in most legends, is once again Cupid’s fault (or credit). One day, a beautiful and honorable young girl living in the Kalsa, the arabic district of Palermo, was taking care of plants and flowers in the balcony of her house as she was used to. Suddenly, a Moor merchant who was passing by, fell in love with the beautiful girl who immediately returned his love.

They started having a love story until when she discovered he already had a wife and children waiting for him in his native land. She went suddenly crazy of jealousy and one night, while he was sleeping she thought of a way to make him stay with her forever! She therefore cut off his head and cleverly decided to use it as a vase to grow her beautiful basil plant. People walking down her balcony started looking at her flourishing plant of basil and became jealous of how bloomed her plants were, so they began to forge colourful clay heads pots wishing to have the same magic green thumb.

La storia della Regina
La storia della Regina

With the head of the young man he created an object similar to a vase which he placed on the balcony and planted a sprout of basil inside (he chose basil because, this fragrant plant, from the Greek "Basilikòs", king, represents precisely the herb of sovereigns).

In this way, bytaking care of the plants on her balcony daily, the girl continued to take care of her beloved. Every day she watered that basil with her tears, making the plant more and more flourishing and luxuriant. The neighbors, looking with envy at the plant that visibly grew emanating an intense perfume in that bizarre vase in the shape of a head, created terracotta vases that reproduced the same appearance as the one guarded by the girl.

For this reason, today every Testa di Moro that is produced bears a crown aimed at re-proposing the royal plant that originally embellished the head of the young Moro protagonist of the sad story.

La Regina

La Regina di Manarola
Speaker Camera

Overwhelmed by lost love, the girl watered the pot where she had planted the basil seeds with all her tears. The basil grew luxuriant as never before in that land but he was struggling to support himself. The girl decided that she had to make that plant become green, beautiful and fragrant, therefore she embarked on a journey in search of new territories with a mild climate that could be fertile place for the plant.

Calabria Peperoncino calabrese

When she arrived in Calabria she was welcomed by a family of peasants who made her discover the local spicy flavors and she, on her side, left part of the fruits and flavors of Sicily.

Agrumi di Sicilia Sicilia
Olio d'oliva
Pesce fresco

She soon realized that the land was too dry and she ventured to the Adriatic coast in Puglia. The magic of the olive trees and the trulli pushed her to a short period of rest during which she was able to discover new forms of pasta seasoned with the oil of low plants, accompanied by bread topped with creamy burrata and other fertile cheeses countryside.

Puglia Trulli pugliesi
Pomodoro e Mozzarella

However, her curiosity had not yet subsided and she resumed her pilgrimage she returned to the Tyrrhenian coast, arriving in Campania. In this land full of warmth and imagination you discovered that basil had multiple uses, from Pizza Margherita to pummarola intertwining with mozzarella fior di latte to finish as a garnish for citrus fruit delights.

Pizza verace napoletana
Lazio Colosseo Roma
Sapori del Lazio

She once again felt a movement of the soul that pushed her to seek new horizons again: she went as far as Lazio where the flavors of ancient traditions and cultures intoxicated her. The artichokes alla giudia, the chicory salad but also bacon and pecorino for the Amatrice area.

Vino Toscano eccellenza
Uva pregiata

Even this coast was not congenial to her, she needed to go further north. Her arrival in Tuscany made her fall in love with the hills with her with the multiplicity of vineyards, grapes and wines: the Queen of Florence, with its sweet flavor and thick skin, red grapes magnificently accompanied by Chianina meat.

Toscana Firenze
Emilia Romagna Ravioli

Hence another stop in Emilia-Romagna: the tradition of sfogline, creators of very thin sheets of pasta that welcome fillings flavored with parmesan and hams, cold cuts accompanied by fried cake and corn jam.

Sapori emiliani
Liguria Manarola Cinque Terre
Bruschetta con pomodori

The difficult climate of the Po Valley with its mists brought it back to the sea reaching Liguria where it was charmed by the similarities with its land: the flora, the sea breeze, the vines and above all the color and scent of lemons than ever how they now made her feel safe.

The beautiful stranger was welcomed by everyone with such kindness that an elderly lady welcomed her into her house and gave her hospitality in exchange for help with her garden. There, her basil plant found her habitat and once transplanted it grew enormously, multiplying itself through the hills.