|The province of Catania
Belpasso (Zip Code 95032) is 201 Km. distant from Agrigento, 116 Km. from Caltanissetta, 21 Km. from Catania, which is the province it belongs to, 81 Km. from Enna, 117 Km. from Messina, 251 Km. from Palermo, 90 Km. from Ragusa, 79 Km. from Siracusa, 350 Km. from Trapani.
Photo © Zimbone Antonio
The municipality counts 20.867 inhabitants, its surface measures 16.449 hectares, and its population density counts 126 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises over a coastal hilly area, 553 meters above the sea-level.
The Town Hall is located in piazza Municipio n. 9, tel. ++39 095-7912100 fax. ++39 095-7912840, toll free number 800012300 (only for italian residence).
A charming agricultural center, Belpasso boasts a conspicuous production of Indian figs, grapes, citrus fruits, and olives, exhibited during the annual Fairs held in the months of April and August. Cattle breeding, as well as sheep and horse farms are outstanding. Wooden objects are typical of the local handicraft activity.
The town's original name was Malpasso, that derives from the Latin term Mali passus meaning "Passo del melo" (passage of the apple tree).
It was so called until 1669, when it was destroyed by a terrible eruption of the volcano Etna. Subsequently, the suburb was rebuilt and called Fenicia Moncada, "Fenicia" (phoenix) because the phoenix is the civic emblem of Catania, and "Moncada" in honor of Baron Raimondo Moncada.
Photo © Affinità Elettive
In 1693, the center was razed to the ground once again, and in 1695 it was rebuilt following a project by architect Giovanni Bellia (XVII century) and was given the current auspicious name Belpasso (literally, charming passage). It belonged toe the Moncada family until the abolition of the feudal rights.
Some of the most enchanting monuments to visit are the Chiesa Madre dated 1700, and the ex Chiesa Collegiata of the Convent, preserving incredible frescoes from 1700. Relevant are also the Palazzotto Bufali and the Palazzo Scrofani, both of the XIX century.
Belpasso was homeland of the famous journalist and playwriter Nino Martoglio (1870-1921), creator of the Sicilian dialectal theater, and author of the notorious book Centona, a marvelous collection of poems written in the Sicilian dialect.