Randazzo

The urban plan of this characteristic small town reveals its medieval origins and represents its main pride.

Its name comes from the ancient Sicilian word "rannazzu", meaning large village, probably due to its wide and quick development.

In late Roman times or early Middle Ages, an earthquake or an imposing lava eruption forced the first inhabitants to leave the original site of Randazzo settling further to the west, in a safer place, on a wide lava plain not far from the Alcantara river spring, between the Alcantara and Simeto rivers.

Randazzo

According to history, the town was inhabited by three different peoples - Greeks, Romans and Lombards - soon after its foundation. Each one of them has left traces of its culture in the three different dialects spoken in the three quarters Randazzo was divided in ever since. Each community of citizens also had a separate church, which acted as the main church in town following an annual rotation.

Today Randazzo has about 12.000 inhabitants, whose main economic activities are the production of wine grapes, olives, hazelnuts, almonds and chestnuts, and the breeding of sheep, cows and goats. The products of both these activities can be appreciated at the local cattle fair taking place in June.

Highlights in Randazzo

Apart from its characteristic narrow streets, typical of the medieval age, the main attractions in Randazzo are the three medieval churches of Saint Mary, Saint Martin and Saint Nicholas.

Chiesa di santa Maria - Randazzo

Saint Mary was built with lava blocks between 1217 and 1239 according to the Norman style, with three imposing apses shaped as merloned towers, several simple, double and triple-lancet windows on the right side, a gothic portal on the left side, and a precious main portal dating back to the XV century decorated with a marble statue of the Virgin Mary. The dome was added in the XIX century, and it has been recently restored and covered with copper slabs. The interior of the church is divided into three naves by lava stone columns with elegantly engraved capitals.

Saint Martin was built in the XIII century too, and has an elegant bell tower with simple and double-lancet windows.

Castello Svevo - Randazzo

Saint Nicholas was renovated in the XVI century, and it has several statues from the Gaginis' school and a baptismal font in gothic style.

Other monuments are the surviving portions of the medieval defensive walls, Saint Martin's Gate, and the Swabian Castle, repeateadly restored and now hosting the Archaeological Museum "Paolo Vagliasindi".

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