This article discusses the political relationship between the center and the periphery in liberal Italy. The case of Nunzio Nasi, a great Sicilian political notables of the early 1900s, is examined. His political history, at the moment of his great success, is intertwined with the birth of a regional discourse that exalts the local identity; and a national one against the notabiliate and the Sicilian political parties. Following a financial scandal, Nasi escaped abroad and then ended up in jail. His judicial affair seemed to many a persecution against Sicily. This is why Nasi was again triumphantly re-elected to the Chamber. But if you go to follow the story of his constituency in Palermo, you note the instrumentality of this discourse on local identity. In this work we insist a lot on the actors’ discourses, on their way of self-representation and self-legitimization. Research is conducted on different scales of sources and methods, from the micro to the macro. In this game of stairs it is possible to understand how political parties were heirs and at the same time guardians of ancient local traditions and notables.
Keywords: Notables; Parties; Political languages; Local identities.