The Castle

A Castelluccio on the spur On a rocky spur overlooking the plains near the River Gela the ancient Castelluccio fortress rises, which also hosted Frederick II. The wide walls are lined with crenels and windows: the crenels tell us of its initial defensive function, while the elegant windows, one of which has a beautiful bow, tell the subsequent use as royal residence. At the edge of the monastery The construction of the “Castelluccio” in defence of the town dates back to the second half of the 12th century. The oldest mention of Castelluccio dates back to 1143 when count Simone of Butera donated some land to the Abbot of the monastery of San Nicolò L’Arena di Catania probably as penance for some sins: the Castelluccio is mentioned as ultimate border at the eastern end of the assets assigned to the monastery. Greek stone in the walls of the medieval castle Built by reusing in part some large blocks of white limestone and yellow calcarenite of the Greek Caposoprano wall, the building has a formal rigor, stripped of any decorative indulgence that enhances its practical functionality. Easily reached along the road that from Gela leads to Catania, the fort is rectangular-shaped with thick walls and two mighty towers located on the sides: the western tower still has the remains of a cistern and a still partly visible room, while in the eastern tower you can see a chapel carved into the wall. A history of abandonment and wounds Repeatedly abandoned, in the 16th century it underwent extension works abruptly interrupted by an earthquake, which drew on the castle a deep and irreparable crack. In 1943 the Allied bombing caused widespread damage to the entire building.