The Carretto is a utilitarian Sicilian cart used to transport family members, farm produce and equipment from 800A.D. to the present. Specialized craftsmen took great pride in carving and painting the cart. The panels were sometimes decorated with traditional religious scenes but more often scenes were based on legends from the Crusades.
This Carretto was brought from Sicily to San Francisco in the 1950’s by the Italian Consul General was used during the Columbus Day celebrations in North Beach in the 1960’s. The Italian Heritage Society of the Monterey Peninsula borrowed the cart for the Santa Rosalia Festival, a celebration for a successful harvest, safety of the fishermen and the blessing of the fishing fleet. The Festival honors Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Sicilian fishermen. The Carretto was used in Monterey’s Santa Rosalia parade, hitched to a donkey carrying several costumed children. In 1970 the cart was permanently donated by the Italian Consul General to the Italian Heritage Society.