As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
My Fathers family is from Sciacca Sicily. They were and still are very superstious. For example my father placed a red ribbon in every new car anyone purchased, the same went for a new house or apartment. He said you could never put a red ribbon yourself, it had to be given to you. he always wore horn and hand gold charms. as well as other superstitions and rituals. One of his Aunts could do something called the "Evil Eye" Meaning that if you were having a run of bad luck, sickness, or in particular a very bad headache you would go to her, she would perform some sort of ritual with olive oil and water, say a prayer if the "evil eye" was found you were instructed to do something like spit out a window and the evil eye would be gone. I remember my mother going to this Aunt with me when I was a child. It was also said, that learning to do this could only be passed down from mother to oldest daughter. My Father also used to tell how his mother would put out a plate of Honey, milk, and wheat grains out on the night before All Saints Day (halloween) to ward off the spirits.
I believe this is out of the Stregha tradition of Sicily, and would like to learn more. I just find it very interesting. Would anyone know of any place I could get more information? I have tried a few sites, but the information is very general. Thanks for your help.