The province of Catania



Photo © Luigi Nifosì

Randazzo (Zip Code 95036) is 245 Km. distant from Agrigento, 179 Km. from Caltanissetta, 61 Km. from Catania, which is the province it belongs to, 150 Km. from Enna, 89 Km. from Messina, 215 Km. from Palermo, 157 Km. from Ragusa, 127 Km. from Siracusa, 314 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © Affinità Elettive 


The municipality counts 11.674 inhabitants, its surface measures 20.484 hectares, and its population density counts 57 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a mountain area, 765 meters above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is located in piazza Municipio n. 1, tel. ++39 95 7991912 fax. ++39 95 921387, toll free number 800261310 (only for italian residence). E-mail address is:

Situated over an intermediate area between the Alcàntara and Simeto rivers, Randazzo is outstanding for the conspicuous production of wine grapes, olives, walnuts, almonds, and chestnuts. Cattle breeding, sheep farms, and goat farms are flourishing because of the vast pasture areas, and their derived products can be tasted during the annual Cattle Fair, held in the month of June.

The name Randazzo probably derives from the ancient term Rannazzu, that means "big suburb" because of its vast urban expansion.

The first inhabited center goes back to the Byzantine era, when a fort was built surrounded by imposing town walls. Approximately in 1282, king Pietro I from Aragona changed the town into a military base to prepare for the war against the Angevins.

Photo © Affinità Elettive 

The Castle

In 1305, it became a possession of Federico II from Aragona, becoming his stable residence; he was appointed duke of Randazzo in 1332. Subsequently, the town became part of the royal state property.

In the XVI century, the suburb experienced a long period of financial decadence because its main noble families relocated in the nearby towns.

Up until 1500, the town remained divided into three districts, each speaking a different dialect: Greek, Latin, and Lombard. Afterwards, built using the local lava-stone ashlars, it acquired its current urban structure, with a Middle Age imprint.

Architecturally interesting are the Chiesa di S. Maria built between 1217 and 1239, with a Norman-Swabian imprint, beholding three majestic apses characterized by their embattled towers, 1583's Chiesa di S. Nicolò preserving numerous sculptures belonging to the Gaginesca school and a Gothic baptismal font, and the Chiesa di S. Martino of the XIII century, beholding a beautiful Gothic holy-water vessel and an external bell-tower of fourteenth century, characterized by the alternation of mono-hole and bi-hole windows.

Photo © Affinità Elettive 

Church of San Martino

Noteworthy are also the Casa Spitaleri of the XIV century, the remains of the Middle Age walls with the 1753 Porta di S. Martino, and the Swabian Castle, restructured many times, today hosting the Archeological Museum "Paolo Vagliasindi".

Among Randazzo's citizens, the most noteworthy were the musician Erasmo Marotta (1576-1641) creator of the Dramma Pastorale (pastoral drama) in music, and the famous physiologist Andrea Capparelli (1855-1907) who was Chancellor of the University of Catania.

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