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The province of Agrigento

Santa Margherita di Belice

The town of  Santa Margherita di Belice
Photo © Municipality of Santa Margherita di Belice

Photo © Municipality of Santa Margherita di Belice A Church of Santa Margherita di Belice

Santa Margherita di Belice (Zip Code 92018) is 98 Km. distant from Agrigento, the province it belongs to, 170 Km. from Caltanissetta, 290 Km. from Catania, 211 Km. from Enna, 363 Km. from Messina, 103 Km. from Palermo, 234 Km. from Ragusa, 315 Km. from Siracusa, 81 Km. from Trapani.

The municipality counts 7.067 inhabitants, its surface measures 6.706 hectares, and its population density is of 105 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a hilly area, 300 meters above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is located in piazza Matteotti, tel. ++39 925 30200 fax. ++39 925 31170. E-mail address is: urp@comune.santamargheritadibelice.ag.it.

An urban center hosting modern constructions, Santa Margherita di Belice boasts a rich cultivation of wheat, grapes, olives, citrus fruits, and delicious Indian figs, that can be tasted during the annual Indian Fig Festival, held in the month of October. Cattle breeding and sheep farms are very developed. The handicraft production of artistic sculptures and bronze bells are typical.

Photo © Municipality of Santa Margherita di Belice Villa Gattopardo

Originally, the town was simply called Santa Margherita until 1863, when the appositive "Belice" was then added due to the nearby homonymous river. The suburb was founded in 1572, by lord Antonio Corbera, above the same land where an ancient Arab farmhouse used to rise.

Subsequently, the town belonged to the noble Filangieri family, that beheld it until the abolition of the feudal rights. In 1968, the town was razed to the ground by the terrible earthquake that devastated the entire Valle del Belice.

Among the monuments, noteworthy are the Chiesa Madre dated 1700, and the Palazzo Filangieri with the nearby theater, both belonging to the XVII century, sole architectural structures still visible to this day.