Under the attentive and shapely forms of the marine deities in the painting decorating the entire arc of the room, a hundred chairs were distributed in two rows in order to leave three small walkways, one in the centre and one on either side. Painted by one of the most famous Sicilian artists of the last century, those forms had been the subject of several book reviews, not all positive. Over the decades, they had repeatedly witnessed the laying of chairs by the employers of the administrative body that had been in possession of that historic city building for almost a century, turning what was once a room for social entertainment into a site for cultural events or gala dinners. The room had two entrances, a large door to the left of a flowered table where they used to seat the speakers and a smaller door in the back, still on the left, beneath a tapestry that covered most of the wall. On the other side was a large window overlooking one of the most important squares of the city, dominating the entire landscape up to the Strait of Messina and the southern Calabrian Ridge of the Apennines Mountains in mainland Italy.