PETRALIA SOPRANA, SICILY
Birthplace of my great, (5x) grandfather
Petralia Soprana – Petralia Soprana
(meaning up town)
is, at 3761 feet in altitude. It is the highest city in
the Madonie and
overlooks a dramatic open landscape. Its origins seem to
go back to Petra,
a settlement founded by Sican tribes. The city features a
stone (as per a local regulation) houses nestled against
each other. It
is one of the finest preserved examples of a 17th century
developed in the Middle Ages.
The medieval part of the town is marked by a maze of narrow streets lined with noble palazzi and churches, all built in the local natural stone, occasionally opening out into picturesque little squares and onto breathtaking scenery. A particularly impressive panorama, including the city of Enna, Resuttano, Monte Cammarata and Madonna dall’Alto, can by enjoyed from the section of town known as Belvedere, near Piazza del Popolo.
Petralia Soprana (elev. 1147
meters / pop. 3903)
Founded in the 3rd century BC
S. Maria di Loreto
The Chiesa di S. Maria di Loreto was
built on the site
of an ancient Saracen fortress. Its convex front
elevation, framed between
two bell-towers, was designed by the Serpotta brothers.
Inside, there is
a large altarpiece depicting the Madonna and Child,
attributed to Giacomo
Mancini (15th century). From behind the church extends a
of the volcano: Mount Etna.
Piazza frate Umile Pintorno
At the heart of the town is Piazza
del Popolo; there
stands the Town Hall occupying the former premises of a
that retains its Gothic appearance, complete with pointed
Church of Santa Maria delle
( San Teodoro )
Roger I (Norman king) founded the
Church of Santa Maria
in Petralia Soprana to thank the Virgin for the victory over the
Arabs at Piano Battaglia ( the fields of the battle ).
View of Petralia Soprana from the
cemetery. That iron
cross is above my family's crypt.
Church of "le Anime del
Purgatorio" also called
The street to the Chiesa Madre leads
to the beautiful
Piazza Quattro Cannoli, with a wonderful stone fountain.
The Mother Church
is preceded by a fine portico on its right flank, and also
views over Piano Battaglia, Polizzi, Etna and Enna. The
a precious wooden Christ by Frà Umile da Petralia, to the
of the altar, and a fine wooden altar carved by Bencivinni
inside the Cappella
del SS. Sacramento, to the left of the altar. The rear
wall is ornamented
with a big 1700s organ.
which is dedicated to Saint Peter and Paul
The Chiesa del Santissimo Salvatore
has an elliptical
plan and 1700’s decoration. It houses a wooden figure of
St. Joseph, by
Quattrocchi, and, in the Sacristy there are two works by
They are St. Catherine of Alessandria and the Madonna del
Gatto, both showing
an intimacy and gentleness that is unusual for this
The 7 'quartiere' of Petralia
La Madrice, SS Salvatore, San Teodoro, San Nicola, la Porticella, Porta di Seri, il Castello
Petralia Soprana Winter 2009
The view leaving Petralia Soprana
to the south. Roman
aqueducts still in use for parking.
The new albergo under construction
Throughout my web site are much more photos of Petralia Soprana.
There are collections of images
from 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2016