The Devil’s letter hidden in Southern Sicily

The little town of Palma di Montechiaro is located in Southern Sicily, in the area of Agrigento. Not much to tell about the town, except for the fact that it gave birth to a famous Sicilian family, the Tomasis. The most famous member of the family is surely Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author of The Leopard, one of the most important Italian novels of the 20th century.

One of Giuseppe Tomasi’s ancestors who lived in the 17th century, Isabella, was a nun of the Benedectine cloistered convent of Palma. One day Isabella received a mysterious letter: it was written in an unknown language, a unique combination of ancient Greek symbols, Arab language and obscure signs. The nun told she received the letter from Satan himself; that’s why it is known as the Devil’s letter.

The message written in the letter has never been decoded. Today the document is still stored in the convent, a copy is on exhibition at theĀ Biblioteca Lucchesiana inĀ Agrigento.

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