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Niscemi

Chiesa Madre dedicata a Santa Maria d'Itria/Mother Church dedicated to St. Maria d'Itria

Chiesa Madre dedicata a Santa Maria d'Itria/Mother Church dedicated to St. Maria d'Itria

Description

Niscemi, whose place name derives from the Arabic "nasciam" (elm), is a beautiful town in the province of Caltanissetta, located on a plateau at about 300 meters a.s.l..
Although the area was inhabited since the Siculian period, as the tombs and necropolis of the XIII century BC reveal, the first documents date back to the XVIII century, when in 1626 Giuseppe Branciforte obtained from Philip IV the "licentia populandi" and, the following year, the title of Prince of Niscemi. According to tradition, indeed, the town was founded after the discovery of the painting of Our Lady of the Wood by a local shepherd. After the earthquake of 1693, the whole town was rebuilt, preserving the orthogonal town plain with clear Islamic influences.
Attractions:
- the remains of a Roman mansio (stopping place on a Roman road) of the Imperial period and a spa complex in Pitrusa district;
- the Mother Church, dedicated to St. Maria d'Itria, rebuilt in 1742 after the earthquake of 1693, by the architect Giuseppe La Rosa from Messina, in Baroque style. The interior was decorated between 1863 and 1864. The bronze portal door was realized by Yosef Hermann Runggaldien from Ortisei. On the façade there are four niches containing the statues of the evangelists Marco and Giovanni and the saints Pietro and Paolo.
- the Church of Sant'Antonio, rebuilt in 1746, after the earthquake of 1693, has a rectangular plain with one nave. The bell tower is set on the rear side of the building;
- the Church of Addolorata, in Baroque style, built in the second half of the XVIII century by the architect Silvestro Gugliara from Caltagirone. It has one nave and arched portal door; the façade is a harmonious alternation of colors (dark stone and white wall), whose convexity id underlined by the four lateral pilasters.
- the Church of Santa Maria della Grazia, rebuilt in 1733, has one nave with vaulted frescoed ceiling. The façade is divided into three parts: on the upper one there is the belfry, while, in the middle, a niche with the statue of San Gaetano.
- the Church of Our Lady of the Wood (XVIII century), with an elongated elliptical plain, whose construction is linked to the discovery of the painting of Our Lady by a local shepherd.
- the Church of St. Francis, with its cloister;
- the Town Hall, in Neoclassical style;
- the belvedere (also called "u tunnu"), in Baroque style, where you can enjoy a stunning view of the Gela Plain and the valley of the Maroglio river;
- the Museum of Rural Life;
- the Natural History Museum;
- Branciforte Palace, built by Margherita Branciforte, duchess of Mondragone, in 1824;
- the Natural Reserve of Sughereta (cork forest).

Map

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