On the first night in Sicily, we all sat down to una opera dei pupi in Palermo. Though technically an amusement for children (we all know that kid in the front row was getting really into it), the show we watched provided some valuable insight into the uniquely complex culture of Sicily. The factions of “paladins” and “infidels” pitted against each other, as they are traditionally in the Carolingian cycle, reveal the extent to which some of the more recent cultural influences are the most prevalent. Though the Arabs took hold of Sicily as early as the 9th century CE and held it for nearly two centuries, the French (of which nationality the paladins are supposed to be) never had a stake in the island. This goes to show that the Christian influence from groups whose presence we saw, such as in the Norman Cappella Palatina and the Spanish inquisitor’s building, was strong enough to make the island associate more closely to a people that were never there than those who once were. Although La Zisa, which we saw earlier that day, shows a clear integration of the artistic traditions of the two faiths nearly a millennium ago, this cooperation does not seem to have lasted. We can confirm that, at least in recent history (since the pupi rose to popularity in the 19th century, which is recent for us classicists), there has been a negative attitude toward Islam in Sicily, or at least one strong enough to sustain the tradition of pupi.