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The province of Siracusa

Sortino

Sortino
Photo © Siciliafotografica.it
 

Sortino (Zip Code 96010) is 195 Km. distant from Agrigento, 179 Km. from Caltanissetta, 52 Km. from Catania, 160 Km. from Enna, 148 Km. from Messina, 295 Km. from Palermo, 66 Km. from Ragusa, 28 Km. from Siracusa, that is the province it belongs to, 378 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © Siciliafotografica.it Mother Church

The municipality has 9.229 inhabitants, its surface measures 9.321 hectares and its population density counts 99 inhabitants for square kilometre. It rises inland over a hilly area, 424 metres above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is located in via Municipio, tel. ++39 931 952111 fax. ++39 931 917425. E-mail address is: comune.sortino@sicilyonline.it.

The main economical activities are agriculture, cattle breeding and handicraft. It produces citrus fruits, olives, cereals and fruit.

There are cow and sheep farms, and apiculture is largely practiced. Handicrafts include wooden, wrought iron, marble, stone and embroidery handmade production.

The word Sortino comes from the Arab Sciurta, which means polizia (police) indicating a guard post in the area. The first historical evidences date back to the 14th century.

It belonged to many lords: the Eredias, the Moncadas up to 1477 and the Gaetanis from Pisa, who governed it up to the 18th century. Damaged in the 1542 earthquake and levelled in 1693, it was later rebuilt over a hilly area.

Chiesa Santa Sofia

Artistically very important is the church of the Monastery of Montevergini, built in the 18th century, the Convent built in the 16th century and restored in the 18th century, the Mother Church dedicated to St. John the Evangelist (18th century).

Amongst its most famous personalities we mention Dr. Giovanni Vinci (1859-1920), who never accepted money from his patients, and Gaetano Colomba (1861-1947), the historian who managed the University of Palermo.

He was also appointed Senator of the Reign and wrote many scientific works, such as "I porti della Sicilia nell'antichità" (The harbours in Sicily in the antiquity).