Petralia Sottana

The first settlements and their consequent artistic productions of which we have proofs in Petralia Sottana territory date back to 3000 b.C., to the Paleolithic and Neolithic age. Several traces were found in the "Vecchiuzzo" cave, located in front of the village, in the so called "Rocca delle Balate".

Following the path up to the Greek colonization age (750-730 b.C) is very difficult, as it is to affirm that the Greeks arrived at Madonie mountains slopes.

More certain however, is the Roman presence in the area, who came to Sicily, as it is known, as conquerors. The news regarding the period of Arab domination, from about 820 to the Norman age are richer, both in place names, in agricultural management, in Madonie organization. Is certain that in Petralia (at the time Batraliah) there was a mosque and then a significant Arabs presence, a Lord, Maimun (Gaito), and probably also an Emirate seat.

The Norman conquest (1062) destroyed the Arab settlements (they also suffered a religious persecution). For this reason nothing or very few vestiges definitely attributable to the Arabs remain today in Sicily.

With the Normans opened the long period of feudalism, which in Sicily and in southern Italy lasted until the 1812 Constitution, with all the quite well known implications. Petralia, in early times, was state owned land; there was perhaps a count, Gilberto from Monforte (1201), then was absorbed by the Collesano county.

Certain historical evidences of the exhistence of the two Petralia, Soprana and Sottana, are dated back to 1258 when Manfredi, Emperor Frederico II son, gave the investiture of Collesano shire to Enrico Ventimiglia.The two Petralias, regrouped in the Petralie barony, lived bound to Ventimiglia family events, like the two counties unification, Collesano and Geraci, and like their separation.

After the 1412, the Regnum ended and began the Viceroy. Pietro Cardona, son of the first Sicily viceroy, became Petralias lord (1444). Through the mariage between Moncada Paterno widow and Montalto Duke, Petralia found itself almost in the center of a huge heritage that went from San Mauro, Collesano, Geraci, Caltanissetta, Paternó.

The last heirs of Moncada from Montalto belonged to the Alvarez Ferradina fom Toledo family, whose last heir Francis Alvarez ruled until the end of feudalism in 1817.

With the Bourbons, Petralia follows the fate of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies constitution, with its Decurionate and its administrative bodies, its Civic Council and its prerogatives. On 1860, the city participated with a group of Garibaldi's volunteers in Sicily liberation of from the Bourbons and in Italy unification. Petralia was against the Bourbons and worked at the forefront for the new nation formation: took part to various uprisings (1812, 1820, 1848), all smothered in blood, until the 60´s revenge.

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Adjacent municipalities
Alimena, Blufi, Caltanissetta (CL), Castelbuono; Castellana Sicula, Geraci Siculo, Isnello, Marianopoli (CL), Petralia Soprana, Polizzi Generosa, Resuttano (CL), Santa Caterina Villarmosa (CL), Villal
  • Unione Europea
  • Repubblica Italiana
  • Regione Sicilia
  • Po Fesr
  • Madonie