This jULY 4TH impromptu show is to celebrate the real meaning of independence, James Gandolfini's memory, and his importance as the fiercely independent Ancient King of Sicily during the Rise of the Ancient Roman Empire.
Through time Sicily has been at the heart of great civilizations, at other times it has been nothing more than a colonial backwater. Its fortunes have often waxed and waned depending on events out of its control, in earlier times a magnet for immigrants in later times a land of emigrants. Sicily is part of the Mezzogiorno (southern Italy, including Sicily and often Sardinia), a region historically characterized by a predominantly agrarian economy, quasi-feudal land tenure, sharp class differences, and the vendettas and criminal activities of the Camorra in Naples and the Mafia in Sicily.
The history of Sicily has seen Sicily usually controlled by greater powers—Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Hohenstaufen, Catalan, Spaniard—but also experiencing short periods of independence, as under the Greeks and later as the Emirate then Kingdom of Sicily. Although today part of the Republic of Italy, and the largest island in thr Mediterranean, it maintains its own distinct culture.
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