Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily
Italy recently elected the 20 most beautiful villages in Italy and awarded Geraci Siculo, in Sicily, as the third most beautiful! Today I take you to discover all the charms of this small town in the province of Palermo, Geraci Siculo. Are you ready? Let’s go! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Video about Geraci Siculo in Sicily
Geraci Siculo is a small town located in the province of Palermo, Sicily. It placed third on the 2021 list of the most beautiful villages in Italy, second only to Baunei, in Sardinia – which placed second; and to the winning village in 2021: Tropea , in Calabria. Today we are going to Geraci Siculo! Geraci Siculo is a small town of medieval origin and is practically entirely dedicated to agriculture. W ith about 1778 inhabitants, it is also famous for its mineral water, collected and bottled there through the springs of the Geracese mountain range. The village’s traditions are also particular and include a jousting tournament in period costumes called “Giostra dei Ventimiglia”, which we will see later. Read also:What are the 5 most beautiful villages in Italy in 2021?
1) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE REGIONAL PARK OF MADONIE
Anyone who climbs the mountain from Cefalù sees the Regional Park of Madonie, which, passing through Castelbuono, soon presents us with the beautiful ruins of the Castle. Geraci Siculo is located at the rocky base of a hill, and its narrow and winding streets, which mix with alleys and courtyards, are enchanting!
2) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE HOLY TRINITY, THE CASTLE AND THE CHURCH OF S. ANNE
I suggest you start your visit by the famous drinking fountain of the Holy Trinity, built by Marquis Simone Ventimiglia. The drinking fountain is presented in a rectangular shape and has impressive 20 meters in length, with two stone fountains on the sides. From here, continue your stroll along Via Biscucco, a street full of stones, very elegant.
Through this street, you reach the castle, which probably dates back to Byzantine times – and which would have become a military fortress at the hands of the Ventimiglia family. Its ruins present us with deteriorated corners, but of an unusual beauty. We can also see the beautiful Church of Saint Anne, in addition to the palatine chapel that was built by the Ventimiglia family. Here was the skull of Saint Anne, which has been here since 1242 and was later transferred to Castelbuono.
3) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE CHURCH OF SAN GIACOMO
Leaving the Church of Saint Anne, with a short walk, you arrive at another beautiful church: that of San Giacomo (St James). In this church there is a valuable wooden crucifix from the 15th century, a 15th century Byzantine style fresco and a wooden statue of San Giacono made in the 16th century. Don’t be afraid to get lost in the charming and charming alleys that surround the city.
4) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE NOBLE PAPLACE AND THE MOTHER CHURCH
Continuing our tour, it won’t be long before we see the Largo Greco Noble Palace and then Piazza del Popolo. Here is the heart of Geraci and the place is dominated by two churches: the Church of the Collegio di Maria (“College of Mary”), built in 1762 and, of course, the Mother Church: the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (” St Mary Major “).
The Mother Church of Geraci
The Mother Church of Geraci is the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. It was consecrated in 149, but historians say that its construction was carried out much earlier, without specifying the date; its portal is from the 14th century. Inside the church, you will find several impressive works, such as the alabaster marble baptismal font, from the Gagini workshop that dates from the middle of the 16th century, and admirable marble statues from the same school, which represents the Madonna of Snow, Mercedes and the Child; also noteworthy are the wooden statues of unknown Sicilian sculptors, probably made between the 17th and 18th centuries.
The wooden choir dates from 1650, as well as the work of the Annunciation – carried out in the late 16th century and attributed to Jacopo da Empoli, who was a student of Vasari. It is a must to visit the crypt. The crypt gathers important liturgical furniture in gold and silver and includes a refined custody, a work carried out in the 14th century. The work was done by Tuscan goldsmiths and is of magnificent beauty.
5) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE CHURCH ST STEPHEN
Leaving the Church, follow along Corso V. Emanuele and, with a few meters of walk, you will find another important church: the church of St Stephen . With a beautiful bell tower, the outline of the site is elliptical and dates from the late 18th century. The place preserves a precious wooden sculpture, by an unknown author, that portrays St Stephen; the work dates from the 15th century. There you can also see a canvas attributed to Giuseppe Salerno, which would date from 1609 and was one of the most renowned artists of the Madonites; he was nicknamed Zoppo di Gangi.
6) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE CHURCH ST BARTOLO, SALTO DEI VENTIMIGLIA AND THE CHURCH ST MARY OF THE CHAIN
Those who love art need to visit the church of Saint Bartolo . Why? Because here you will find one of the most beautiful sculptures in the city: Saint Bartolo carved in polychrome wood from the 17th century – its authorship is unknown, but the beauty of this piece is to leave everyone jaw-dropping! Here is also an all-marble main altar that was carved in the middle of the 16th century. On the way back, stop at Salto dei Ventimiglia .
What is Salto dei Ventimiglia?
After all, what is Salto dei Ventimiglia? It is an AWESOME overlook all made of glass, built where Count Francesco I Ventimiglia lost his life by throwing himself down the bank with his horse. Next to this very particular place, you will find the charming Church of St Julian, where the Benedictine monastery is, and a little further on, you will reach the delicious Sant’Antonino Square, where the church dedicated to St Francis is located. From there, continue the descent to reach Municipio Square, where – on the right – you will find the old church of Santa Maria della Catena (“St Mary of the Chain”).
7) Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily: VISIT THE CHURCH ST MARY OF THE QUARRY
Once outside the village, if you want, you can visit the church of Santa Maria della Cava (“St Mary of the Quarry”) , which is an old monastery with a Norman foundation, opened in 1090. The construction seems to emerge from the bottom of the forest, which presents us with an almost magical view, with its ogival portal and the remains of frescoes made there. A charm is the small chapel of Saints Cosmas and Damien, which is majestic with its Gothic portal. Every year here, always on September 27th, there are several celebrations for the celebration of the saints and the celebration is an excellent ‘excuse’ for you to spend time outdoors and in contact with nature.
The Giostra dei Ventimiglia
The Giostra dei Ventimiglia (Joust of Ventimiglia) takes place in the first week of August and evokes the time of the Ventimiglia council. The party consists of parades through the city, where people wear 14th-century costumes, play various chivalry games, there are presentations of hawks trained in hunting simulation, cooking fairs, a lot of music and various medieval representations, where shows with horses are presented . There are also several cultural events , reconstruction of medieval environments, and several exhibitions of typical products. It is a delicious event and the city gets crowded!
The History about Geraci Siculo
The city’s history is long, but we can summarize it in a few lines. From the 6th to the 8th century, the city was dominated by the Byzantines; in 840, it passed through the hands of Muslims, but this did not affect the city’s traditions – until the 14th century, in the chapel of the Palatine and in the church of Saint Mary, where the Greek-Byzantine rites continued to be performed. In the year 1072, with the arrival of the Normans, Geraci became the capital of the eponymous council; in 1252, the county passed into the hands of the Ventimiglia family, to whom Geraci owes much of its history.
Enrico Ventimiglia was responsible for the first nucleus of Osteria Magnodi, in Cefalù, and for the restoration of the Cathedral roof; he led, during the Vespers war (1282-1302), the Swabian-Aragonese party in the war against the Anjou. Between 1338 and 1354, the county was confiscated from the Ventimiglia family and passed into the hands of its greatest rivals: the Chiaramonte family, this due to an alleged disobedience by Francesco I to the Aragonese ruler, who did not like his attitude and decided to punish him. In 1419, by the hands of Giovanni I Ventimiglia, the county is elevated to the category of marquisate and the capital becomes Castelbuono; due to the various battles won as head of the Catalan army, in 1422, Giovanni became viceroy of Naples and Sicily. In 1430, Alfonso d’Aragona granted Ventimiglia the right of full command of his county.
How to get to Geraci Siculo?
Geraci is 120 km from Palermo. The most scenic road crosses Cefalù and Castelbuono: SS. 286 and 113, however, the best road to reach Geraci is the Palermo-Catania highway. Go to Bivio Madonnuzza and take the SS.120, which takes you straight to Geraci Siculo.
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Let’s get to know Geraci Siculo in Sicily? Visiting one of the most beautiful villages in Italy should certainly be on your list things to do on your next trip to Italy. Geraci Siculo is a charming city, which conquers us for its simplicity and for its calm air, like a medieval city that, in fact, seems to have stopped in time.
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