|The province of Palermo
Piana degli Albanesi
Piana degli Albanesi (Zip Code 90037) is 139 km. distant from Agrigento, 142 km. from Caltanissetta, 242 km. from Catania, 161 km. from Enna, 283 km. from Messina, 24 km. from Palermo,which province it belongs to, 283 km. from Ragusa, 307 km. from Siracusa, 88 km. from Trapani.
The municipality has 6.384 inhabitants and an area of 6.489 hectares for a density of population of 98 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on an internal hilly area and is 720 metres above sea-level.
The Town Hall is placed in via Matteotti, tel. ++39 091-8574144 fax. ++39 091-8574796. E-mail address is: email@example.com.
Cereals, grapes, olives and vegetables are its main agricultural products of Pianese economy. Wide is also breeding both of cattle and sheeps. Particular are handicraft products such as golden embroideries, puppets in Albanian-costume, icons, painting on cloth and artistic pottery articles.
Photo © Edizioni Leopardi
Originally Piana degli Albanesi was called Hora that means town. It was founded in 1488 by a group of Albanian refugees escaped to Turkish army. King John II of Spain allowed them to occupy that place and to preserve their Greek cult so that the small town had the name of Piana dei Greci. In the times it changed into Piana degli Albanesi. Since 1941 it rises on a hill below it there is a basin that is the cradle of an artificial lake.
The most important monuments are the Cathedral Church with Greek rite and dates back to 1590; the chiesa di Santa Maria Odigitria (Church of St. Mary Odigitria) built in 1644 according to architect Pietro Novelli's plan; the chiesa di S. Giorgio (Church of St. George), the oldest of the town, and the chiesa di S. Vito (Church of St. Vito) with an imposing portal.
In Piana degli Albanesi it is singular and beautiful Easter Feast that takes place according to a peculiar itinerary: at the admittance of the town two Pianesi (inhabitant of Piana), dreesing the typical costume, receive visitors and give them some coloured eggs. Later followed the Mass and during it the Gospel is read in seven different languages, among them there is also the Arabic. In the end through the town streets a long train takes place and on the occasion the inhabitants wear sumptuos costumes.