Origins of my LoDico Ancestry
Blufi was a 'frazione' [fraction]
of Petralia Soprana until March of 1972 when it became an independent town.
Blufi is one of the newest communities in the Madonie, but its historical
beginnings are lost in the time. From the influences of the Arabic culture
through the Knights of Malta and the Sicilian noble families, Blufi has
remained an quiet jewel, nestled in the Madonie.
Blufi is comprised of five 'quartiere' or districts: Vaccarelli, Malpasso, Conigli, Vizzini, and Macelli.
The story of the LoDico ancestry begins in Malpasso. At the end of the 17th century there was one road that went from Catania to Palermo along an ancient pathway first used by the ancient Sicilians. This road was later improved by the Romans and it passed through Blufi in a region called Malpasso [ bad pass ]. This was a dangerous stretch of road known for its steep ravines and high bluffs where criminals and others would attack and rob the travelers. The priests, pilgrimagers, and merchants complained to the Sicilian nobility and asked for protection. The Marchese Pottino who owned most of the land, entered into an agreement with three Sicilian campiere families: the LaTonas, the di Geracis, and the LoDicos. In return for protecting the travelers on the road, the LoDico family was given the land known as Malpasso.
The quartiere of Malpasso
Another deserving place of interest
is the 'ponte romano' or 'Roman Bridge' - annotated
by the Marquis di Villabianca, between the territory of Blufi and Petralia
A place of innumerable pilgrimages, so much so, it makes Blufi a centerpiece of the Madonie in importance, is the "Sanctuary of the " Madonna of the Oils " .
From the stone bluff there flows
an ancient and mysterious source of mineral oil. Mentioned by Aristotle
in one of his scientific works. The oil is reported to have the powers
to cure afflictions of the skin. The Festival of the Sanctuary of the Madonna
of the Oils is celebrated on the 15th of August. The faithful come on foot
from all corners of the rural Madonie to listen to the Mass.
A manuscript, dating back to 1832, tells the Bourbon government that the Sanctuary's origins date back to around the eighth century. It's writings indicate the Sanctuary was built by the faithful, subjects of the Reverend Arciprete of Petralia Soprana, as reported by Father Francesco Ferrara of Petralia in 1762".