Pantelleria-Malta, have more in common then just geographical position, which both Islands are directly
connected due to their position in the Mediterranean Sea. For the Rizzo's family Pantelleria is birthplace of Felice Rizzo
who immigrate from to Malta and started the Rizzo's family in Senglea.
Pantelleria's long history is due to its geographical
position and is directly connected to the sea. The some civilization such as Phoenicians arrived sometime 1X century B.C.,
and then came the Romans followed by the Byzantines then the Arabs landed on the island around 700 A.C. They also introduced
the cotton, olives and grapes the Arabs built fortified city of Pantelleria destroyed during the 2nd World War the Normans
follows by the Swabians, the Angevins, the Aragonese. Pantelleria was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy 1860.
islands with the Limestone Greensand and blue Clay. Interestingly had some civilization however Malta culture dates back to
the Stone Age 3,800 B.C. The Phoenicians 1,000 B.C. The Roman Empire 146 B.C-475 A.D. The Arab 800 A.D. Count Roger of Normandy
and the Normans, who gave the Maltese, their National Flag and he ended the Arab occupation in 1091. 1224 A.D. was almost
at the some time when Malta annexed to the Kingdom of Sicily. The Maltese may have witnessed their first battle in their own
waters when in 1283 A.D; the Arrogances and Angevins were engaged in battles for control of the Mediterranean.
Moorish territories allotted to Aragon by the treaty of Cazorla, the Aragonese began expanding in the Mediterranean, making
use of the seapower of the Catalans. After 1282 an Aragonese dynasty was installed in Sicily; and Sardinia in 1320. Malta
was tossed around from Kingdom to another the golden era of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem when Malta started enjoying
prosperity from 1530-1798.
During this time its been recorded that Felice Rizzo has immigrate from Pantelleria to
Malta and the parish of Senglea's records indicated that Felice Rizzo married Rosa Mangion on February 8. 1747
Senglea first church St Julian Church originally was constructed in 1311 and continued. To serve on the peninsula for a long
time. It's certainly been the first church built then the parish priest of Vittoriosa administers the sacraments celebrating
Mass on Sundays. When the Knights arrived they renovated St. Julian's Church through the financial intervention of a wealthy
Portuguese Knight who had been sent to the peninsula to plan the Grand Master's residence. The parish of Vittoriosa continued
administration of certain sacraments, such as Baptism and Nuptials until the close of the 16th century. St. Julian was redesigned
1696 and completed 1711 when the Bishop then proclaimed St. Julian the protector of the city of Senglea. L' Isla (As it was
known) was then inhabited by some three hundred houses the place grew when Grand Master de L'Isle Adam began looking for a
site not far of from the Order's new seat at Birgu (Vittoriosa) to relax and practise his favourite sport of hunting built
his second home on this peninsula the Casa Magistrate Interestingly at this church the first Rizzo's marriage took place or
where Felice Rizzo and Rosa Mangion married on the 8th February 1747.
The second church and convent of St. Phillips
Neri or as it was known as Porto Salvo was built in 1610. This group of priests of St. Philip's community had established
themselves in Senglea. The church was originally dedicated to Our Lady of the Visitation and was also known as Our Lady of
Porto Salvo because of its position facing the Malta harbour. The convent was used as a hospital during the first cholera
epidemic and later acted as the parish when the Basilica in Senglea was extensively demolished by bombs during air raids in
the Second World War and was rebuilt between 1950-1955.
The Basilica or as one will understand Senglea parish church
dedicated to our lady of Victory. In fact the original site of this church was erected at same place where Malta first Great
Siege took place or close to the site of Fort St. Michael, where the heaviest battles of the Siege were fought to commemorate
this historic event
Today visitors can read the inscription across the frieze on the front of this parish church of
Senglea "MONUMNT INSIGNS VICTORAE MDLXV" of the Glorious Victory of 1565.
Grand Master Claude de la Sengle however,
founded Senglea in 1554 and he gave his name and coat of arms to this City. The Fort of St. Michael or that the remains of
the fortress bastion wall or the battlements watch tower over looking Malta or the Maltese famous Grand Harbour which should
constitute one of the Island's prominent attractions was left only a statue of St. Michael which still stand at the Conner
of St. Michael and Boston Street Senglea, still reminding us of the Glorious Victory 1565. However the only few inhabitants
lived in our beloved City of this small hill called "L-Isla" Senglea and known then as The Fort of St. Michael 1565 Siege.
Senglea in the twenty first century is completely deferent it has been re-built after the Second World War still the
smallest of the. Three cities, with less then a mile long still situated between the Galley Port on the Cospicua site and
the French Creek across from Vittoriosa and still Senglea position at the far end into the Maltese Famous Grand Harbour and
still my love for this City did not die after so many years living abroad and will never will. Senglea I love you so much!
But no "Senglean" can write anything about our beloved Senglea without mentioning the 8th September. Ever since the year 1565,
the 8th day of September has assumed a special significance for Malta and its people and, in a particular way, for the inhabitants
It marks the and of the Great Siege and Malta's historic victory, hailed by Pope St. Pius V and in the
Capitals of Europe as a landmark in the defence and safeguard of Europe's Christian heritage and centuries old civilization.
For this reason the 8th September is proudly observed in Malta and by Maltese communities abroad as Malta's National Day.
On this day, Senglea celebrates, together with the Universal Church the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin under whose patronage
the parish was placed since its foundation soon after the Victory of 1565.
BEAZON OF ARMS RIZZO
Italy is renowned for the development of culture, especially the fine arts. Many fine art institutes had their
beginnings in this country. One of the first being the Accademia Bel Disengo which was established in 1563 and is now known
as the Accademia Di Belle Art of Florence. Another academy of renown was the Accademia Del Cimento which was established at
Florence in 1657. The surname RIZZO when found in Italy is of Descriptive Origin. Descriptive names, otherwise known as nicknames,
were used to identify a particular feature or trait of an individual. Nicknames have been applied to many historical figures
and was use before ancestral surnames were introduced. Names such as Walsh were to describe a person from Walsh. Short, long
or white are readily identified as nicknames. The tendency to identify people in this manner is still quite popular. In this
case the name is derived from the Italian word "ricco" which means curly and would been applied to someone curly hair.Investigations
of the surname RIZZO or a variant show that it appears in Italian documents from at least the 14th century when Sergio Riccio
of Sicilia is mentioned in records in the year 1321 AD. Later in the century, Tommaso Rizzo of Sicilia is recorded in 1392.
Also around this time, the Rizzetti family of Tastelfranco-Veneto is entered in documents in 1400.Later references include
Alfonso Riso of Rome who appears in records in 1655. More recently, Francesco Rizzini of Mantova is recorded in 1739. Described
below are the celebrated historic arme for the country from which this name wa first recorded. The interpretation of these
arms reflect the national aspirations of this nation.
BEAZON OF ARMS: A cogwheel sable in the centre a star
argent bordure gules, all within a bordure of laurel vert.
TRANSLATION: Sable represents the colour black which in burn designates allegiance and loyalty. Argent represents
the colours silver or white and indicates harmony and sincerity.
Joseph Victor Rizzo
© 2009 Joseph Victor Rizzo