The province of Messina

Villafranca Tirrena


Santuario Ecce Homo
Photo © Santuario Ecce Hom di Calvaruso

Villafranca Tirrena (Zip Code 98049) is 313 km. distant from Agrigento, 246 km. from Caltanissetta, 114 km. from Catania, 205 km. from Enna, 21 km. from Messina, which province it belongs to, 238 km. from Palermo, 218 km. from Ragusa, 172 km. from Siracusa, 337 km. from Trapani.

Photo © Santuario Ecce Hom di Calvaruso 

Santuario Ecce Homo: il Chiostro

The municipality has 8.185 inhabitants and an area of 1.434 hectares for a population density of 571 inhabitants per square kilometre.

It rises on a flat area along the coast and is 22 metres above sea-level.

The Town Hall is placed in via Don Luigi Sturzo, tel. ++39 090-331011 fax. ++39 090-332001.

Local production is prevalently based upon agriculture and the mostly cultivated products are citrus fruit, wine-grapes, olives, fruit.

Villafranca Tirrena is the first centre that rises along Tyrrenian coast which extends till Mounts Peloritani, and it has been a municipality since 1929 with the fusion of Bàuso, Calvaruso and Saponara Villafranca.

It is mentioned in some Aragonese diplomas and during the XVI century it has been the main point shelter along Palermo-Messina road.

Photo © Santuario Ecce Hom di Calvaruso 

Statua Ecce Homo

Originary it was property of Cottone family and in 1630 it passed to Princes of Castelnovo and assumed the title of County.

The most interesting monuments are Baronial Castle wanted by Stefano Cottone; the Cathedral Church with a very beautiful painted Cross of the XVI century; the Sanctuary of Gesù Ecce Homo with inside a wood statue of Ecce Homo made by Gianfranco Pintorno (1600-1639) better known as frà Umile di Petralia (Humble friar of Petralia).

On 6 of December in Villafranca Tirrena is celebrated San Nicola of Bari, Patron Saint of the small town and he is also the patron of spinsters. In fact spinsters turn to him hoping to obtain a good marriage.

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