|The province of Agrigento
Cattolica Eraclea (Zip Code 92011) is 36 Km. distant from Agrigento, the province it belongs to, 108 Km. from Caltanissetta, 228 Km. from Catania, 149 Km. from Enna, 252 Km. from Messina, 134 Km. from Palermo, 172 Km. from Ragusa, 253 Km. from Siracusa, 209 Km. from Trapani.
Photo © Roberto Meli
The municipality counts 5.402 inhabitants, its surface measures 6.214 hectares, and its population density is of 87 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a hilly area, 200 meters above the sea-level.
The Town Hall is located in via Agrigento 47, tel. ++39 0922 840111 fax. ++39 0922 840312, toll free number 800128500 (only for italian residence). E-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surrounded by high chalky mountains, the small town placed in the valley stands out for the production of grapes, olives, almonds, pistachios, honey, citrus plantations, and fruit. Cattle breeding and sheep farms are flourishing, the cattle being exhibited during the annual Fair held in the month of October.
The town was founded in 1610 by Prince Francesco Isfar of Siculiana, with the approval of King Filippo III of Spain. The suburb was named "Cattolica" to honor the Spanish king, who called himself "Sua maestà Cattolica" (His Catholic Majesty). zona_archeologica.jpg In 1612, the feud was bestowed to Francesco Isfar's son, with the title of Duke of Cattolica. Afterwards, it became property of the Bosco family, and of the Bonanno family, who ruled until feudality was abolished.
In 1874, after the Unity of Italy, the appositive "Eraclea" was added to the name Cattolica, due to the nearby homonymous Greek colony.
The monuments that stand out are the Chiesa della Mercede, XVII century, that preserves the polychrome marble sarcophagus of Prince Francesco Isfar, and the Chiesa Madre, finished in 1870 with the completion of a classic style facade.
Noteworthy are also the Palazzo Marchese Borsellino and the Palazzo Principe Bonanno.