Sciara

Sciara is a small village in Palermo province. Its name comes from the Arabic language, but its designation is uncertain because of the meaning of Xiara, which can be translated with "lava" or "woods". The translation from Greek is certain instead, there are no doubts about its meaning of "woods". The word derives, in this case, from the consistent presence, in ancient times, of a lush vegetation that had to cover the zone.

It's easy to suppose that because of this enviromental condition, a lot of water and the presence of several caves and shelters, together with strategic position, the Humans chose this place since the Prehistory as the remains found nearby Monte Castellaccio shows:  megalithic walls (enormous blocks of stone on top of each other, which are 9 metres-30 feet- high) which encircled the whole mountain; a monument dolmen-like (Dolmens are very rare in Sicily), a miraculously still existing necropolis, while almost all hilly area called "Mura Pregne" pointing out human presence continuously from Prehistory to Middle Ages was swallowed by a quarry used for fifty years. In addiction to Brucato town that rose on the highlands and was destroyed in the 16th, it's likely that into the fief there were some other little villages. In certain cases, their presence is certified. The area is inside the San Calogero Mounts declared Oriented Nature Reserve. The history of the village began on 13th November 1671 when King Charles II of Spain officially invested Filippo Notarbartolo Cipolla as the first Prince of Sciara, allowing him to populate the territory, even if, at the times of Baron Vincenzo Pilo, around the XVI century, it seems that a town with a church already existed, alongside a road in the valley of Torto river. After having occupied the property, Notarbartolos built the castle, a typical example of seventeenth-century residence for the aristocratic family, usual at those times and not for defence.

Starting in 1823, with the investiture for mayor of Nicasio Saso, the country begun to free itself from the condition of feudal subjection, even if it took forty years to get out of it completely, in1860 when, even in Sciara, peasants occupied the feudal lands, drove some g land administrators away and divided the land.

In the historical development of the young town there is its parish church dedicated to Saint Anne, made in the 1930s, funded by the family Notarbartolo, it stands in the main square of the town, vaguely Gothic, with the prospectus featuring two spires as in the Cathedral of Mainz in Germany, and it was referred to as "under construction" so much that neighbouring country citizens when they failed to complete their project they used to say "finiu comu a Chiesa di Sciara" (completed like the Sciara church).

This condition, due to the instability of the land on which it's built, was remedied with the use of consolidation and restructuring that allowed its reopening, for the purpose of worship and cultura, the 5/30/2008.

Inside the Church are two holy water fonts carved in local stone and a baptismal font by sculptor Civiletti, also, a painting of Saint Anne with the maiden Madonna offering flowers and a painting of the risen Christ with the Magdalene at his feet. The wooden statue of Jesus' heart is from the 18th century, while the Notarbartolo family's gifts to the Church, are a precious silver monstrance carved with bas-reliefs and a drape with gold embroidery both of the 19th century.

Part of the history of Sciara is the tragic story of Salvatore Carnevale, defender of workers' rights, killed by the mafia on 5/16/1955, for his work as a union leader. His story was narrated by the writer Carlo Levi in his book "Le parole sono pietre", memorable the poetry dedicated to him by Ignazio Buttitta and the making of the film by the Taviani brothers, "Un uomo da bruciare" played by the great Gian Maria Volontè.

The economy is based on agriculture, the most prized production of Sciara is the artichoke, the Palermo thorny variety excels in quality.


Adjacent municipalities
Aliminusa, Caccamo, Cerda, Termini Imerese
  • Unione Europea
  • Repubblica Italiana
  • Regione Sicilia
  • Po Fesr
  • Madonie