city of Riesi is located at the foot of the Santa Veronica Mount,
in the province of Caltanissetta at 330m asl; it totals nearly 15.000
inhabitants. It is thought to have been inhabited since the Prehistory,
evidence provided by ancient tombs discovered near the Veronica
Mount, in the so-called Costa di Mandorle (Almond Coast). Their
origin is however much uncertain the site never being properly excavated.
city was successively dominated by Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Goths
and Byzantines. In 853 it was involved in the Arab conquest of Butera
and its surrounding lands. In the late 13th century it came under
the Ventimiglia family, and was successively handed down to Francesco
Gastone di Castellar, Giovanni Rujs de Calcena and, in the early
1600s, the noble Spaniard Pietro Altarriba. This residing in Spain
for most of his time, his procurator Cristoforo Benenati ruled in
his place. The city founding dates back to 1647. A remarkable urban
and demographic growth was recorded in the 18th century. The 19th
century is mostly characterized by desorders and by the cholera
that repeatedly hit the city.
offers plenty of cultural attractions like the Basilica of the Madonna
della Catena and the Mother Church, erected in the early 1700s.
On the façade is the coat-of-arms of Don Bartolomeo Moncajo.
On the inside are 1700’s stuccoes and frescoes; worth-mentioning
are those portraying Sant’Eligio and Santa Sabina in the vault.
Also noteworthy is the Chapel of the Holy Crucifix guarding a wooden
Crucifix of the 17th century. The 1700’s Church of the Holy
Crucifix contains a precious 1600’s black Crucifix by unknown.
The 1800’s Chiesa di San Giuseppe sits on a plateau and is
particularly renowned for a statue of the Saint and a fresco depicting
the Marriage of the Virgin and Saint Joseph.
events take place on Holy Week, among which is the Misteri.
Santa Caterina Villarmosa
Torre di Manfria
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Guide of Sicily
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