Discovering Geraci Siculo, a Village in all senses

Geraci Siculo, Sicily, Italy
Est. 6.4km / 2 hrs 21 mins

Discovering Geraci Siculo, a Village in all senses - Cya On The Road

Welcome to Geraci Siculo, a charming village in the province of Palermo, which is part of the network of villages said to be the most beautiful in Italy!Thanks to this itinerary you will discover why our town deserves this prestigious recognition!Jraci’s name is said to come from the Greek Jerax, which means vulture! This is how our village, perched on the Madonie mountains, must have appeared to those who saw it from afar!Its foundation dates back to over 1300 years ago, around the middle of 700 AD, when under pressure from the Arabs, the Byzantines built strongholds to control the surrounding valleys. From here, at about 1100 meters above sea level, your gaze sweeps from the Tyrrhenian sea to Etna volcano and you can easily take in the entire Madonie area, from Castelbuono to Gangi!Despite building strongholds the Byzantines could do nothing against the Muslims’ advance: Geraci also fell under their control, around 840. Under this domination, however, Geraci must have had a certain importance, so much so that it was included in the list of the island’s cities in 988.You may wonder what has remained of that long ago domination ... unfortunately, little, but the alleys and byways in our historic center date back to almost 1200 years ago!Then the Great Count Ruggero came, the Norman, who conquered the stronghold and entrusted it to his nephew Serione, as a reward for his valor in the battles against the Saracens. Serione, however, fell victim to an ambush. His successor, the soldier Angelmaro who married his widow, was so proud that he transformed his house into a tower, provoking Roger’s wrath, and so he was dismissed.We know that in 1082 Geraci was included in the extended territory of the Troina Diocese, which had the task of evangelizing cities and countryside, but shortly after, in 1087, the Diocese was transferred to Messina: so all the Madonite centers fell into this new bishopric.But who ruled Geraci almost 1000 years ago? We know that the domain passed from the Barnavilla to the Craons, then, around 1250, Isabella, heir of the Craons, married Henry of the Ventimiglias from the Liguria region, by the will of the great Swabian emperor Frederick II. In the convulsive period that marked the transition from the Swabian to the Angevin dominion, Henry remained faithful to the Swabians and to King Manfredi, and so in 1258 Manfredi rewarded him with the two Petralia villages. So the Ventimiglias expanded their domains from there, acquiring power and prestige for centuries, so much so as to dominate over the course of the 1300s other centres, such as Collesano, Polizzi Generosa, Termini, Tusa and even Cefalù, on the one hand, and Sperlinga on the other.The history of Geraci is closely connected to that of the Ventimiglias and to the events of the Kingdom, now ruled by the Aragonese Spaniards. You will discover how some places in the city are also closely related to the history of their lords!Giovanni Ventimiglia, to whom King Alfonso the Magnanimous had granted the title of Marquis, decided to move to Castelbuono in 1454, thus leaving Geraci, which until then had been the capital of the County of Ventimiglia. Over time, the town changed its medieval and fortified urban appearance, until it assumed the current conformation of a village that preserves traces of its medieval origins!And now, let’s discover our beautiful village together!This audio tour has been realized for the Municipality of Geraci Siculo by Elisa Bonacini, under the coordination of Maria Giovanna Meli and Giuseppe Antista granted by the !Progetto 2019_VOL_00845- Nel cuore delle Madonie Borghi Accessibili per tutti". Texts by Giuseppe Antista and Elisa Bonacini.Translated by Teresa Giblin.  

by Borghi accessibili per tutti
Col sostegno di Fondazione con il Sud, Nel cuore delle Madonie: Borghi accessibili per tutti promuove l'accessibilità e l'inclusione sociale

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