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The province of Messina

Caronia

View of Caronia
Copyright © 2003 A.A.P.I.T. Messina
 

Caronia (Zip Code 98072) is 198 km. distant from Agrigento, 145 km. from Caltanissetta, 180 km. from Catania, 104 km. from Enna, 145 km. from Messina, which province it belongs to, 120 km. from Palermo, 234 km. from Ragusa, 188 km. from Siracusa, 219 km. from Trapani.

The municipality has 4.037 inhabitants and an area of 22.655 hectares for a density of population of 18 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a mountainous coastal area and is 304 metres above sea-level.

The Town Hall is placed in pizza Idria, tel. ++39 921 332064 fax. ++39 921 332473. E-mail address is: sindaco@comune.caronia.me.it.

Main economic activities are agriculture and breeding. Products mostly cultivated are citrus fruit, olives,grapes, mushrooms, wood, corks. Breedings present are cattle and sheep ones. Considerable is the production of cheese.

The name of the little town derives from Mounts Caronie, which is another name, little known, of Monts Nebrodi where Caronia rises.

The first traces on the presence of a inhabited place goes back to VIII° century B.C. with the name of "Kale akte" that means "beautiful coast". The archeological finds suggest that the town was located in proximity of the sea then coinciding with the actual village of Marina di Caronia. Accordingly with the historian Diodoro Siculo, Ducezio founded in 447 B.C. the ancient town of Calacte, the actual Caronia. Calacte had great importance in hellenistic and roman age. The city had severaltemples and villas and coined its own money with the images of Dionisio, Apollo and Eracle. An important roman presence is the Aureliano Bridge, of late imperial age, than still today crosses the Caronia river.

Caronia: The sunset
Copyright © Municipality of Caronia

It is believed that Calacte has been destroyed by the Saracen pirates, around the year 1000, and then reconstructed by the survivors with the name of Caronia, from the Greek word meaning "new house". The name of the city appears in a document of 1178 of the archbishop of Messina that assigned to Abbot of Maniace twentysix churches among which that of Saint Nicholas of Caronia and the "Madonna of the Marina".

After the dominion of the Normans, that founded the "Castle" around which the inhabited place was developed, Caronia passed in hand to the Aragoneses. In 1296, for concession of Federico II of Aragon, it was handed to the Ventimiglia and after, in 1330, passed under Matteo Palici, substitute of the reign of Sicily. Subsequently passed to Blasco Aragon, in 1408 to Enrico Rosso count of Collesano and in 1540 to Ettore Pignatelli, husband of the daughter of the count of Collesano, Diana di Cardona. In the years after the second world war three thousand hectares of property of the noble family Collesano were assigned and divided among the countrymen.

Today Caronia heads for a development based on the naturalistic and bathing tourism thanks to the presence of the Park of the Nebrodi and the beaches of the village of Marina, Torre of the Lauro and Canneto.

Copyright; 2003 A.A.P.I.T. Messina Bridge on the torrent of Caronia

The most interesting monuments are the Norman Castle, the Cathedral Church, the church of Saint Biagio, protecting saint of the country, the church of Saint Francesco dating back to 1500 in origin annexed to the convent of the "Frati Minori Osservati" which was destroyed in the 1848 and the small church of the "Annunziata", built in XII the century for Queen's will Costanza, situated in Caronia Marina.

Cecilio di Calacte wrote in the First Century B.C. the famous treatise about rethoric named "Del sublime".