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Calascibetta, Province of Enna, Sicily region, Italy

The town rises on a plateau in the Monti Erei, 7 km from Enna, in the heart of Sicily and still preserves its medieval layout of alleys and courtyards, dominated by the ancient church of San Pietro and Santa Maria Assunta.

Info

Population: about 5,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 94010 -- Phone Area Code: 0935

History

A number of necropolis of the 9th and 5th century BC show that the area was inhabited at least since that time. The present town was however founded in 851 by the Saracens, who named it Kalat Schibet (meaning castle on the Xibet mountain in a quiet place) it was fortified with walls and a castle which Count Roger had built in 1062, along with the church to St. Peter and Santa Maria Assunta. King Pietro of Aragona died here on 15 august 1532, though his body was then buried in Palermo, in the Palazzo dei Normanni.

In 1428 king Alphonse gave to a Jewish community the quarter that still today is called "Giudea". Under Carles V in 1535 Calascibetta was given as a fiefdom to Ludovico Vernagallo, but the town collected the funds necessary to buy back its independence, which the emperor granted, along with exemption from custom duties. Again in 1668 the town had to ransom its independence with Charles II of Spain, who granted Calascibetta the title of "Fidelissima".

What to see

  • The parish church of San Pietro and Santa Maria Maggiore, with an inscription along the left side of the main portal, declaring the origin of the town: "Rogerius comes et templi fundator et urbis" (=count Roger founder of both the church and the town). The church hosts an invaluable collection of art works, as well as a treasury with ancient items and relic holders.
  • the church of Maria Santissima del Carmelo, inside which there is a fine marble sculpture, The Annunciation, the work of Antonello Gagini.


Province of Enna
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