Barrafranca – Sicilian Cart Workshop

Barrafranca, EN, Italia
Artigianato a Barrafranca - Laboratorio di pittura Carretti Siciliani

One of the most characteristic craftsmanship works in Barrafranca is the production of Sicilian carts. The Sicilian cart was born as a working tool for transporting goods and people and was the basis of the Sicilian economy. This vehicle is entirely made of wood and consists of three main elements: wheels, shafts, and body.

What characterizes the Sicilian cart is its decoration, which can be either sculptural or painted, and in a concise manner manages to express high artistic content. The work of the “carradori” (the true name for cart builders) is done on commission, and carts are built one at a time.

Once the structure is built, the decoration process begins. The painter uses mineral colors mixed with linseed oil and varnish to cover the surface of the cart, leaving only the backgrounds of the sides and the rear door free, as this part will have to be decorated by the figure painter who will create religious, epic, or romantic scenes. Finally, inscriptions are added, including the artist’s signature, the names of the owners, and the names of other artisans who contributed to the creation of the work.

In Barrafranca, the renowned painter Roberto Caputo has been involved in the creation and restoration of these beautiful works of art for years. For this reason, he has opened a workshop where visitors can admire his skill, which is now well-known throughout Sicily.