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The province of Caltanissetta

Riesi

A panoramic view of Riesi
Photo © Wikipedia

Riesi (Zip Code 93016) is 73 Km. distant from Agrigento, 45 Km. from Caltanissetta, which is the province it belongs to, 141 Km. from Catania, 63 Km. from Enna, 237 Km. from Messina, 187 Km. from Palermo, 104 Km. from Ragusa, 169 Km. from Siracusa, 246 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © Wikipedia A particular of the grout of Riesi

The municipality counts 12.646 inhabitants, its surface measure 6.667 hectares, and its population density counts 190 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises over an internal hilly area, 330 meters above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is locates in via Roma, tel. ++39 0934-923111 fax. ++39 0934-921467. E-mail address is: uffsegr@x-net.infoservizi.it.

Riesi's typical products are olives, grapes, almonds, vegetables, and fruit, exhibited during the annual Agricultural Fair, held during the second half of September. Cattle breeding and sheep farms are relevant because of the presence of vast pasture areas throughout the land.

The name Riesi derives from the Latin term Rieses, that means "uncultivated land" to indicate the total state of abandonment of the countryside.

Since the XIII century, the suburb belonged to the noble Ventimiglia family first, then to the De Caro family. As of 1634, the feud was inherited by the Spanish nobleman Pietro Altarriba.

Photo © Wikipedia The Church of San Giuseppe

The current inhabited center rose in 1647, when the "licentia populandi" was official and the town passed under the dominion of the Princes Pignatelli.

The most outstanding and important monuments are the Matrice dedicated to the Madonna della Catena, erected during the XVIII century, the Chiesa di S. Giuseppe of 1837, that preserves a marvelous staircase, and the Chiesa dei Valdesi, the Valdesi being a religious group present in town since 1871.

The famous physician Antonio D'Antona (1842-1916) was from Riesi; he became Senator in 1896, and was the inventor of the "frangipietra" (literally, stone breaker) technique, a singular method for the cure of renal calculus.