Serradifalco
Encyclopedia
Serradifalco is a town and comune
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 Caltanissetta
Province of Caltanissetta
The Province of Caltanissetta is a province in the southern part of Sicily, Italy...

, Sicily
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,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

History

Serradifalco (from Serra del Falcone, "Mountain of the Falcon") was founded in a feudal fief which bore the same name since the late 15th century. The town itself was founded in 1640 under permit from King Philip IV
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

 of Spain to Maria Ventimiglia, grandmother and governess of Baron Francesco Grifeo, a minor. In 1652, ownership of the Barony and Town passed to the Lo Faso family. In 1666, it became a Duchy under Duke Leonardo Lo Faso, and it remained in control of the House of Lo Faso until the abolition of feudalism in 1812. Its last duke was Domenico Antonio Lo Faso Pietrasanta (1783-1863). His rule was from 1809 through 1812. He was a renowned archaeologist and was instrumental in promulgating the excavation and restoration of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
Agrigento
Agrigento , is a city on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, and capital of the province of Agrigento. It is renowned as the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas , one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden...

.

Sulfur mining, in some of the oldest mines in Sicily, and farming were the most prevalent occupations in Serradifalco after the Italian unification in 1860.

In the great emigration of Sicilians to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Serradifalchesi farm laborers and sulfur miners went to American towns, including Pittston and Robertsdale, where they worked as coal miners; and to Buffalo and its rural environs, where they found employment with the steel plants and railroads, and in the strawberry and corn fields.

Main sights

  • The Chiesa Madre San Leonardo completed in 1755 in the roccoc√≤ style.
  • The Chiesa San Francesco (completed 1653). The town's first church and original Chiesa Madre.
  • The Palazzo Ducale, or Ducal Palace, in the town square (Piazza del Barone)
  • Lago Soprano (Soprano Lake, also called "Cuba"), a migratory fowl preserve with unique hydrology. It was formed only within the past hundred years, and has no surface streams flowing in or out.
  • In the Grottadacqua district, a Micenean necropolis with prehistoric Sicanian domed tombs.
  • The Testa dell'acqua (Head of water), an ancient fountain said to be the site of a mythical, magical Fiera di mezzanotte (Midnight Fair) that appears only once every seven years.

External links




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