The province of Catania



Monastery of Agostiniani and Sanctuary of Madonna
Photo © Affinità Elettive

Valverde (Zip Code 95028) is 210 Km. distant from Agrigento, 144 Km. from Caltanissetta, 10 Km. from Catania, which is the province it belongs to, 115 Km. from Enna, 90 Km. from Messina, 267 Km. from Palermo, 122 Km. from Ragusa, 76 Km. from Siracusa, 366 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © 

The portico of the Sanctuary of Madonna

The municipality counts 6.699 inhabitants, its surface measures 550 hectares, and its population density counts 1218 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a hill area, 305 meters above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is located in piazza del Santuario, tel. ++39 095-524065 fax. ++39 095-525161.

Principally an agricultural town, Valverde produces grapes, citrus fruits, vegetables, olives, and fruit. The  "sagra dell'acciuga" (anchovy festival) is characteristic, held in the month of August.

In the Sicilian dialect, the town's name is Bedduvirdi (literally, beautiful green), because of the soil's fertility and the excellence of its waters. In some literature, the sixteenth century historian Tommaso Fazello mentions the town using the name of Santa Maria Belverde.

Photo © 

Madonna di Valverde

The town's origins coincide with a miraculous event that led the local inhabitants to build a Church, that afterwards became the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Belverde, and the first center rose in its surroundings. It was a property of Carlo II, who bestowed it to Luiggi Riggio, who furthermore bestowed it to Luigi Gaetani.

Approximately towards mid-XVIII century, it became a possession of the prince of Palagonia, thus it was annexed to the jurisdiction of the nearby town of Aci Castello, and became autonomous in 1951.

Particularly important is the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Valverde, that preserves a fantastic portal, dated late fifteenth century, under the arcades. Within are the monumental tombs of the Riggio family, that owned Valverde in 1'700, and highly influenced the town's political and military events. One of the noteworthy monuments is the Palazzo Riggio , that later became Palazzo Carcasi.

The marvelous Sanctuary of the Madonna di Valverde is one of the most visited in all of Sicily. Giovanni Verga remembers it in his novel Il Mistero (the mystery), affirming that the "the candle of the Madonna di Valverde does miracles everywhere".

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