Appendix 6. Note Regarding Malvello Springs


Poggioreale’s counsel resolutions (number 52 of January 31, 1925, and number 62 of March 29, 1925) vigorously protested against the civil suit of the firm of Giambalvo Andrea and Alfonsina, Attorneys, claiming to have proprietary rights on the waters of the Malvello Springs, which feed the right Belice river, hi addition to the voices of protest, the Administration was warned by these Attorneys in a petition dated December 28, 1923, through the Corps of Engineers of Palermo, which reached the town in a letter dated March 14, 1925, number 1066. It asked us to: formally recognize that the Giambalvo Firm has right to divert water from the Malvello Springs, located in Roccamena, in order to run their mills, as stated in the publication of official bills, according to article 5 and subsequent articles of the Regulations, number 1285 of August 14, 1920.

We respond that:

This claim is unfounded, absurd and unconscionable.

Aside from the question of rights, the cited council resolutions explain the grave, irreparable damages that such a concession brings, since the Malvello is the principle spring of the right Belice, the river that gives life to the lands sloping to its banks. About 5 and a half square miles that are sustained by the river in the territory of Poggioreale, in addition to the provinces of Palermo and Agrigento along the riverbanks.

Without this river, where would the livestock of this agricultural town go to quench their thirst? And what of those lands covered in green, with fields of tamarisk (vrucchi), tall poppies, with their beautiful foliage of gleaming- green leaves, land covered with fertile vegetation used for vineyards, beds of reeds, orchards?

Whoever sees these fields of green that delight the eye are refreshed and heartened. To them desiccate and impoverish them by depriving them of river waters would mean reducing farmland to miserable, bare land, arid with drought. In ancient times the Belice was called: Great River, it was navigable up to the confluence of its branches. The small amount of water that reaches us from the basin of the Greek Plain suffices vast regions: and it must remain public domain. No laws or morality has ever sanctioned the enrichment of the one (the private) upon the impoverishment of the multitude.

[This webpage is excerpted from the book: “The History of Poggioreale, Sicily – From 1640 to 1956.” Originally written in Italian by: Canonico Dottore Francesco Aloisio in 1956. Adapted and translated by: Dr. Jeremiah P. Spence, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas. 5th Edition. International Order of Genealogists Publishing. Ireland. 2019. ISBN: 9781072403371. The book can be purchased online at: ]