The old Sicilian cart, drawn by oxen, appeared in the 18th century and was the symbol of Sicilian folk art.
The first ones to be decorated can be seen around the beginning of the 19th century. They were made with very high wheels to overcome country roads (trazzere).
It has always been characterised by its bright colours, which represent the colours of wonderful Sicily: yellow, orange, green, colours that recall passion, sun and citrus fruits.
The first Sicilian carts were decorated with sacred designs, which were meant to protect the cart as a means of work.
As time went on, the chariots were represented by designs such as the Paladins of France, Orlando Furioso, and Jerusalem Delivered.
This was the birth of a trade that is now almost extinct: 'Il decoratore di cart o meglio u Pitturi ri carretti'.
One of the very famous painters was Peppino Ducato, from Bagheria, who left this beautiful and now extinct tradition to his son Michele Ducato.
When he was five years old, Renato Guttusowrote a dedication to him: 'may he be worthy to bear the glorious name of the Ducato'.
Today, the Bagheria architect has perpetuated the family tradition of being a decorator not only of Sicilian carts but of any object adorned with his oil paintings that tell the story of the culture of the Sicilian soul steeped in legend, history and melodrama: "For years I have been asking the Bagheria Art Institute to set up a workshop dedicated to the Sicilian cart so that we can preserve its memory".
The typical paintings of Sicilian carts are also found on the stalls at Sicilian festivals or fairs, but they are also found on the panelle or octopus stalls at some weddings or private parties.
It is in this way that Salvatore Martorana and his son Maurizio Minardi create wonderful stalls full of designs created by the decorator Ducato. The stalls became a means of selling octopus, panelle, ice cream, dried fruit or roasted chestnuts known in Sicilian as "Bancaredde ra simienza".