Who was Salesio Balsamo? Not everybody knows that he was the first mayor of the city of Palermo after the proclamation of the unity of Italy. Before him Giulio Beso duke of the Verdura was nominated in 1860 by Giuseppe Garibaldi.  At the time the nominee was still the one of “praetor. Salesio Balsano della Diana was the first mayor elected after the Unity of Italy, he covered the role twice in a row, in 1861 and 1866.
He was born in Parlermo in 1818 from a noble family that originarily was from Vicari. The family moved to Palermo after they obtained the noble title in the second half of the 700′.  He took part in the revolutionary movements in 1848. He was part of the committee held by the prince Pietro Lanza di Scordia, that had an important role in education, commerce and administration. He also was a senator in the last bourbon period, and governor of the San Saverio Hospital.
After the unity of Italy, the first election was between the moderates of major prestige. Thanks to him many public offices were restored and also the dazio, that till then was dealt by the mafia, was riorganized. He was very observant of the law, infact he fired 350 guards that were accused of corruption once he proved they were giulty with charge.
He was relected mayor of Palermo in 1866 when the moderates went back to power. He had to face the raise of prices due to the brought that hit the region in 1867. This also caused the closure of many water mills on the land.
He was very inspired by liberl ideas in the economic, political and religious field. Balsano adopted solutions that helped with the realization of steam mills to block the growth of the price of flour. He didnt manage to avoid the general discomfort of the population: they needed basic necessities in major quantities.
In addition to this already difficult situation, in june of the same year, 1867, and Colera epidemy burst out, causing the death of many people and among these people, also of the daughter of Balsano. The local administration really worked hard to try and contain the spreading with various sanitary interventions.
Balsano personally took care of helping the sick also with the help of Stanislao Cannizzaro, that was in charge of the direction of the Office of health. He also took care of the infected areas and once the areas became infection free, he ordered the beginning of the works to build the Politeama. The works started in 1866, the architect who took care of the job was Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda. This architect also took care of fixing the streets and contributed in expanding the city planning. He also took care of restoring school buildings and converted some convents in schools too. He dealt with alot. He is a man worth of respect.

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