Adrano is a town and comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

in the province of Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

 on the east coast of Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...


It is situated around 41 km northwest of Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

, which is also the capital of the province
Province of Catania
Catania is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital is the city of Catania.It has an area of 3,552 km², and a total population of 1,073,881 . There are 58 comunes in the province, see Comunes of the Province of Catania...

 to which Adrano belongs. It lies near the foot of Mount Etna
Mount Etna
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m higher than it was in 1981.. It is the highest mountain in...

, at the confluence of the Simeto and Salso
Salso River
The River Salso , also known as the Imera Meridionale , is a river of Sicily. It rises in the Madonie Mountains and, traversing the provinces of Enna and Caltanissetta, flows into the Mediterranean at the western end of the Gulf of Gela at the seaport of Licata, in the Province of...

 rivers. It is the commercial center for a region where olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

s and citrus
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

 fruit are grown. Neighbouring towns include: Biancavilla
Biancavilla is a town and comune in the Province of Catania, Sicily, southern Italy. It is located between the towns of Adrano and S. Maria di Licodia, 32 kilometers northwest of Catania.The town was founded on 8 January 1488 by Albanian refugees...

, Bronte, Paternò
Paternò is a town and comune in the Province of Catania, Sicily, southern Italy.-History:The site of Paternò was settled before 3500 BCE. Its inhabitants were probably the Sicani, although it was located in mainly Sicel territory; its initial name was Inessa. The modern name derives form the Greek...

, Randazzo
Randazzo is a town and comune of Sicily, Italy, in the province of Catania. It is situated at the northern foot of Mount Etna, 70 km NW of Catania by rail. It is the nearest town to the summit of Etna, and is one of the points from which the ascent may be made.-History:In the 13th century the...

, Santa Maria di Licodia
Santa Maria di Licodia
Santa Maria di Licodia is a town and comune in eastern Sicily, in the province of Catania, southern Italy.-History:...

 and Centuripe
Centuripe is a town and comune in the province of Enna . The city is located 61 km from Enna, in the hill country between the Rivers Dittaìno and Salso.The economy is mostly based on agriculture...


The founding of the town and the pre-Christian era

The settlement was founded by Dionysius the Elder
Dionysius I of Syracuse
Dionysius I or Dionysius the Elder was a Greek tyrant of Syracuse, in what is now Sicily, southern Italy. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies...

400 BC, intending to strengthen Syracusan
Syracuse, Italy
Syracuse is a historic city in Sicily, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in...

 power in the region. He named the town Adranon in honour of Adranus
Adranus or Adranos was a fire god worshipped by the Sicels, an ancient population of the island of Sicily. His worship occurred all over the island, but particularly in the town of Adranus, modern Adrano, near Mount Etna. Adranus himself was said to have lived under Mount Etna before being...

 a deity of Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

n origin.

In 344 BC the troops of Timoleon
Timoleon , son of Timodemus, of Corinth was a Greek statesman and general.As the champion of Greece against Carthage he is closely connected with the history of Sicily, especially Syracuse.-Early life:...

 fought the forces of the Syracusan commander Iketas of Leontini
Lentini , historically Leontini, Leontinoi , or Leontium, is a town and comune in the Province of Syracuse, southeast Sicily .-History:...

 near Adrano. During the following years, Adrano was frequently harried by Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

n mercenaries, called the Mamertinians.

The Romans conquered the growing township in 263 BC and declared it a civitas stipendiaria, obliging it to pay a costly tribute to Rome. The consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

 Valerius ravaged the town, enslaved the inhabitants and sold them as workers and slaves to the aratores residing in the near city of Centuripe
Centuripe is a town and comune in the province of Enna . The city is located 61 km from Enna, in the hill country between the Rivers Dittaìno and Salso.The economy is mostly based on agriculture...

. In 137 BC, Eunus
Eunus , a slave from Apamea in Syria, became leader of the slave uprising in the First Servile War in Sicily. Eunus rose to prominence in the movement through his reputation as a wonder-worker and prophet...

 led an unsuccessful slave revolt against the Roman suppressors, and from then on, Adrano was nothing more than part of Centuripe.

The Romans referred to the city as Adranum or Hadranum.

Byzantine Empire, Arabs and Normans

The township was pillaged several times by Germanic tribes during the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

. Only through the reign of Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 (495-526), the conditions improved due to the administration by Cassiodorus
Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

. In the mid-6th century it was conquered by the Eastern Roman Empire.

Around 950, the Arab Musa occupied the city of Centuripe and its vicinity, and thenceforth Adrano became part of the emirate of Sicily
Emirate of Sicily
The Emirate of Sicily was an Islamic state on the island of Sicily , which existed from 965 to 1072.-First Arab invasions of Sicily:...

. The ruined town of slaves meanwhile was little more than a settlement of various primitive shacks, but the Islamic occupants, which showed to be quite tolerant towards the Sicilians and very skillful farmers, build up a functioning infrastructure around Adrano. Several of their buildings and structures, like the Ponte dei Saraceni (Bridge of the Saracenes) can still be visited around the region.

The Arabs reigned the region until in 1075 the Normans, led by Hugo of Yersey, succeeded in conquering the region against the resistance of Caid Albucazar. Adrano became part of the Diocese of Catania, administered by the monk Ansgerius. The citizens of the prospering township continued the successful agricultural and economic work the Arabs had initiated. Therefore, the Norman era was enormously influenced by winegrowing, leather work and silk manufacturing.

Late Middle Ages and feudalism

The arrival of the Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

 around the end of the 12th century brought enduring difficulties and disputes over Sicily and its inhabitants. The remaining Arabs were vehemently pursued by the administration, which forced them to gather inside the fortresses of Troina
Troina is a town and comune in the province of Enna, Sicily, Italy. It is located in the Nebrodi Park.-History:...

, Entella
Entella , was an ancient city in the interior of Sicily, situated on the left bank of the river Hypsas , and nearly midway between the two seas, being about 40 km from the mouth of the Hypsas, and much about the same distance from the north coast of the island, at the Gulf of Castellamare.It was a...

 and Centuripe, offering armed resistance. The insurrection was ended violently, and the survivors were massacred or kidnapped. Pope Clement IV
Pope Clement IV
Pope Clement IV , born Gui Faucoi called in later life le Gros , was elected Pope February 5, 1265, in a conclave held at Perugia that took four months, while cardinals argued over whether to call in Charles of Anjou, the youngest brother of Louis IX of France...

 made Charles of Anjou king of Sicily in 1265, which ended the Hohenstaufen rule of southern Italy. During that time, Adrano was rather a small settlement of hunters, and the number of inhabitants had decreased from 1,000 to 300.

In 1282, the Sicilian Vespers
Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks three thousand French men and women were slain by...

 ended the French reign in Sicily, and Peter III of Aragon
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

 became king. The following years were characterized by constant conflicts between the residing farmers and the Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 of the region. Adrano fell to the property of the Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

n landholder Garzia de Linguida, and eventually, in 1286, to the ownership of Luca Pellegrino. The estates and soils of the region were subject to immense disputes between several landowners and noblemen in the following time until the 15th century.

From the 15th century on, Sicily was reigned by the socalled vice kings. Between 1412 and 1515, Adrano was under administration by the Moncada family. Giovan Tommaso Moncada (1466–1501) renovated the Norman castle and fortified it. He allowed a couple of refugees from the northern Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 region of Epirus
The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

 to settle down in the vicinity of Adrano, which is how the town of Biancavilla
Biancavilla is a town and comune in the Province of Catania, Sicily, southern Italy. It is located between the towns of Adrano and S. Maria di Licodia, 32 kilometers northwest of Catania.The town was founded on 8 January 1488 by Albanian refugees...

 was founded. The relatives of earl Moncada build many manors (socalled palazzi) in the centre of the town, among which is the latter town hall, and the centre of the city, the piazza, became popular meeting place for the residents, who meanwhile numbered around 6,000. Around the same time began the construction of the Monastero di Santa Lucia (Monastery of St Lucy). In 1693, a severe earthquake inflicted heavy damage to the town.

18th, 19th and 20th century

Since the beginning of the 18th century and until around 1820, Adrano suffered from enduring riots and changes taking place in Italy and particularly Sicily, as was the Risorgimento. Adrano became the main administrative town of the vicinity in 1819 and hosted the local court.

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

 landed in Sicily in 1860 and many reforms took place. On July 1, 1860, a town council was installed in Adrano, and don Lorenzo Ciancio was made chairman. The famous Teatro Bellini (Bellini theatre) dates from that time and testifies to the various diversifications the city underwent in that very period. A hospital was instituted as well, and meanwhile Adrano was considered the wealthiest town in the region.

In the 1920s, the reformist preacher don Vincenzo Bascetta appeared in Adrano, and together with the young anti-fascist professor Carmelo Salanitro he passionately fought for the peasants' rights. Due to their initiative, large parts of the surrounding lava landscape were transformed into olive and almond plantations. Carmelo Salanitro died in Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen Concentration Camp grew to become a large group of Nazi concentration camps that was built around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria, roughly east of the city of Linz.Initially a single camp at Mauthausen, it expanded over time and by the summer of 1940, the...

 in 1945.

Adrano suffered massive damage again in 1943 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...



The Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 changed the name of the township into Hadranum; during the occupation by the Arabs it was called Adarnu or sometimes Adarna, while the Normans referred to it as Adernio and Adriano. Until 1929 its official name was Adernò, until eventually it was changed into Adrano. Several elder inhabitants of the town still use to call it Adernò.

Main sights

  • Castle of Norman origin (Castello Normanno) in the centre of the town, built in 1070 on behalf of Roger I
    Roger I of Sicily
    Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...

    . Inside the castle is the archaeological museum with antique findings of the region.
  • Chiesa Madre (Mother Church), originally a Norman work.
  • Convento di Santa Lucia (Monastery of St Lucy) in via Roma, constructed in 1596 to the order of the prince of Biscari and redesigned by the well-known Catanese architect Stefano Ittar
    Stefano Ittar
    Stefano Ittar was a Polish-Italian architect.-Biography:Ittar was born in Ovruch , where his father, a member of one of Italy's aristocratic families the Guidone de Hittar, had fled following a disagreement with the Grand Duke of Tuscany.While Ittar was still young his family moved to Rome, where...

    . It contains a chapel dating from 1775. Until the early 1920s, the monastery was still inhabited by monks, but meanwhile it is communal property and partly used by a secondary school.
  • The public park (Villa Comunale) opposite the monastery, with palm trees
    Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

     decades old
  • The public Teatro Bellini, which was re-opened in 2004 after over 26 years. It was built on behalf of the vice king in 1779 and resembles the theatre of Parma
    Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

     dating from 1618. It is situated on the ruins of the antique church of St Vito.
  • The medieval Ponte dei Saraceni (Bridge of the Saracens) about 3 km outside the town
  • The ruins of the original Greek settlement visitable in the east of the town.

Due to the prospering Catholic tradition of the region, Adrano has numerous antique chapels and small churches hidden in the backstreets. Moreover, Adrano is famous for its colourful carnival and the passionate celebration of San Nicola, in honour of its patron Saint Nicola Politi on August 3.


Adrano is linked to the rapidway SS 121 leading from Paternò to Catania. Near Bronte, a large mall named Etnapolis has been opened recently.

Adrano is connected to the province capital Catania by a bus route which is operated by the FCE
Ferrovia Circumetnea
The Ferrovia Circumetnea is a 950 mm gauge narrow-gauge regional railway line in Sicily...

 and leads through various towns to the central station of Catania and further to the communal beach. A rapid bus skips the smaller towns and leads to Catania directly over the highway. In the summer season, a bus connects Adrano, Bronte, Randazzo, Floresta
Floresta refers to several locations:*Floresta, Pernambuco is a city in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil*Floresta, Boyacá is a municipality in Boyacá Department, Colombia*Floresta, Buenos Aires is a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina...

 and Naso in the province of Messina. Between the station of Catania-Borgo and Riposto
Riposto is a comune in the Province of Catania in the Italian region Sicily, located about 170 km east of Palermo and about 25 km northeast of Catania.-External links:*...

 operates the Littorina, a nostalgic Diesel fuelled train which stops in Adrano, Paternò, Biancavilla, Santa Maria di Licodia and other towns. The extension of a route of the rapid transit railway of Catania to Paternò and Adrano has been planned and the constructions have begun. Adrano is not linked with the national train system of Trenitalia
Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy. Trenitalia is owned by Ferrovie dello Stato, itself owned by the Italian Government. It was created in 2000 following the EU directive on the deregulation of rail transport.-Passenger transport:...

. Moreover, the FCE operates two bus routes (A and B) in Adrano.


Adrano does not possess any hospital but only a socalled Guardia medica, a paramedic station with emergency personnel, vehicles and equipment. The nearest hospital is the Maria SS. Addolorata in Biancavilla, which is on stand-by as well for emergencies in Adrano.
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