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Open-air sirocco room

An old photo of the sirocco room before it was filled with refuse. It is now clean and pristine again, thanks to the scouts of Sicily.
This is an outdoor sirocco room where eighteenth -century grandees would go to cool off in the summer when the hot, humid wind blew up from the Sahara. The source of the cooling, flowing water is a qanat. It is located withing the Palermo city limits, in a southern, somewhat rural, quarter called Altarello di Baida. For a while it was owned and occupied by Mafiosi, but the government took it from the mobsters and gave it to the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Italy. I was here with Professor Pietro Todaro, the Palermo geologist who wrote the book on Palermo underground, called Il Sottosuolo di Palermo. (Palermo Underground)
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