La fortezza quadrata del generale Ben Muhammad
Castello Lanza Branciforte is in the place where the General Aausman Ben Muhammad and 600 men coming from the province of Ifriqyia built the fortress At Tarbiq with the porpoise to lay a siege the city of Termini Imerese (827 a. C.).
The square plan of 50 x 50 mt has remained unchanged for the next 12 centuries and has influenced to such an extent the history of the surrounding area to be borrowed by the founders of the current settlement– the powerful branciforte-lanza– when it was
granted to them the licentia populandi (sec. XVII);
Trabia, in fact, is nothing more than the name of the Arabic At Tarbiq/At tarbi’a, or ‘La quadrata’, as it was indicated by the Muslim periegetes of the Dry. X-XIII Yaqut, Ibn Hawqal, al Muqaddasi and by the most famous geographer of the Middle Ages, al idrisi, that in this place noted the insistence of a settlement (not only of a castle). At that time, at least one plant for the production of durum wheat pasta is to be referred to, defined as itryia from the sources– and in which it is customary to recognize the first dated attestation of the existence of spaghetti.
During the Norman reconquest of Sicily, The apostolic legate Count Roberto Il Guiscardo donated the fort and its relevance to Captain Corrado Lanza in recognition of the service provided in battle.This was the first of a long series of Lanza that kept him in the patrimony of family for 900 years. Over the centuries, to the nucleus, to the Balio and the original Arab tower they went adding various bodies of factory which a Norman tower, the buttresses, a mill (sec. XIII), a tonnara and the cannameleto (both sec. XV) as well as the highest and oldest ficus magnoloides of Sicily (1793) this last proof of the close relations that came to be created between the Bourbon establishment and the British Admiralty during the Napoleonic wars and the following decade (1800-1815).
Characters of the Admiralty like Captain Cook are due, in fact, the recovery of exotic essences in the southern lands of which the ficus magnoloides is perhaps the most known species. Relations between Great Britain and Casa Lanza continued until its last representative, Prince Raimondo (1915-1954), who was educated in Oxford and was an agent for the Special Operations Executive (British espionage service) during and immediately after World War II.
Although a bellicose one, Raimondo saw in the war (fought also in the Spanish Civil War) an opportunity for adventure. From the same he let himself be pervaded in the amorous experiences that he shared with icons of the caliber of Rita Hayworth and edda ciano (daughter of Mussolini), in business (taking over the management of the consortium for Sicilian sulphurs before, and starting a collaboration for the exploitation of Sicilian oil with Aristotle Onassis) in the arts (being co-founder of panaria, the first house of post-war film production and discoverer of Domenico modugno) and in sport (having restarted the Targa Florio invented by his uncle Vincenzo and headed the presidency of the Palermo Football Club in the two years before his mysterious death).
Raimondo Lanza di Trabia has been the subject of no less than two films, three songs and an unknown number of books, among the which “I will have to dance”, the work of the daughter Raimonda and her granddaughter Ottavia.