Salemi mountain heart of Sicily. Possibly the best place for your second home
Salemi | Definition, Map, Population, Facts, & History
If you know Italian, you can use the excellent audio guide from the local organization PROLOCOSALEMI:
What to see in Salemi? Interesting places
Salemi Freedom Square
This is one of the main centers of Salemi. It branches off via Matteotti, a meeting place for young people on weekends, via Amendola and via Crispi, the entrance and exit from the historic center, Via Ettore Scimemi and via dei Mille, which leads to the cemetery.
In front of you, you can admire the monastery with a clock that marks the time of the city. Outside the gate is the small church of S. Antonino, a couple of doors on the left you will find the headquarters of Pro Loco with its information office. Once there was a fountain in the center of the square.
If you look up, on your right is the Castle tower, the final destination of the walking tour. The square is a meeting place for the elderly and looks like a small Wall Street. Here you can hear debates about the local economy, news and events. During the election campaign, you can attend rallies, listening to candidates who perform expressive and colorful verbal exercises from the podium.
Сhurch of Sant Antonino da Padua (Salemi)
The real name of this church is Chiesa di San Francesco, but it is better known as the Church of Sant’Antonino. Located on the main square of the city, its bell tower was one of the city’s towers; in ancient times, the monastery actually leaned against the walls.
In ancient times, it was a dense forest, it was set on fire for the construction of the complex in 1362, but of all the trees, only the oak, which remained in the monastery monastery, survived.
The complex was dedicated to Saint Francis and was completely rebuilt in 1764 and then restored in 1797. In ancient times, his statue and a huge painting of the Immaculate Conception stood on the main altar.
To find out more, we invite you to read the information sign, but it’s best if you go inside.
Salemi – Via Amendola
Better known as the “Strata Master” -(main road) is the road that, together with Via Crispi, delimits the historic center.Starting from Piazza Liberta, you will reach the Belvedere, Piazza Simone Corleo, the Church of Sant’Agostino with its magnificent monastery, Piazza Dittatura, the Church of San Giuseppe, Porta Ghibli and finally back to Piazza Liberta.
From here you can enjoy views of the Salem countryside, which extends southwest towards Mazara del Vallo. This is a good place to take some photos.
Simone Corleo Square
The square is named after a 19th-century politician, scientist, and philosopher from Salem. From here, you can climb the three stairs to the center that you see on the left. They are pretty steep but great short cuts.
Chiesa di S. Annedda
Commonly called Sant’Annedda. San Clemente Church is Salem’s artistic heritage of the eighteenth century. There are several paintings by Frate Felice da Sambuca that depict scenes from the life of Jesus and the Madonna.
Back outside, at the top of the steps you can see the entrance to the Ritual Bread Museum. You can visit it now or later when you arrive at the Jesuit College Complex.
After visiting the museum, we suggest that you go down the steps again and continue along via Amendola or go down via Cosenza, which will lead you directly to the Church of San Agostino.
Chiesa e Convento di S. Agostino
We have reached one of the most characteristic places in Strada Mastra and one of the most beautiful churches in Salemi.
The monastery, founded by General Falciglia, dates from 1400, while the church was built around 1250. In antiquity, one of the city’s gates stood next to the church: Porta L’Aquila. Today, a collection of silverware and sacred vestments from various churches in Salem is on display inside.
At the main altar we find a large choir and in the center a wooden altar with the urn of the martyr S. Vincenza under it. The church has three large crypts for the burial of famous monks and Salmites. Walking down the street on your right, you will reach the monastery with its unmissable cloister. Continuing down, you get to the Arab quarter of Rabato.
Named in memory of the First Capital of Italy, proclaimed by Garibaldi on May 14, 1860 in the name of Vittorio Emanuele II.
Here Garibaldi promulgated the first laws of the Italian monarchy, making Salemi the first capital of Italy.
The Town Hall expanded and changed over time. On the first floor, above the central balcony, you can see the Salemi coat of arms, an eagle with spread wings, on the chest of which a shield with a castle is engraved. At the top is a crown, and it is surrounded by an oak branch and a laurel branch.
Chiesa di San Giuseppe
The church dates back to the time of the exile of the Jews in Sicily and stands right on the border between the Christian and Jewish quarters of Giudecca (on the street below Via Crispi). In 1665 it was enlarged with the addition of two altars and 4 high and low ones, including the marriage of the Virgin, where a solemn feast was celebrated every 23 January.
At the main altar stood a statue of the saint (kept in the Mother Church), whose feast fell on March 19, and solemn rites were performed on all 7 Wednesdays preceding this day. In 1761, it was decorated with stucco and carvings, and by the will of the Monk Ignazio Battiata, the ceiling was brought up to inflated sails.
Seriously damaged by the 1968 earthquake, it has been partially restored.
La Matrice Salemi
Founded at the end of the 17th century and dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola. After the earthquake of 1968, she took over the functions of the Mother Church. Its façade with twisted columns is a typical example of the Baroque.
Inside is a precious eighteenth-century organ and the main altar. There are statues of Saint Nicholas in the church.
Turning your back to the facade, you see the barracks in front of you, on the left – the City Library. Following the road to the right you will reach the Museum of Ritual Bread, go there if you haven’t been there yet. The road on the left leads to a long staircase leading to Dittatura Square. Next to the church, ascending through D’Aguirre, stands the Jesuit College, founded in 1652, which today houses the Palazzo dei Musei.
It was the home of the city’s noble families and has been expanding since 1618.
From May 13 to May 15, 1860, the landlord, the Marquis Gaetano Emanuele di Torralta, hosted Garibaldi and his staff.
The palace has been recently restored and is open to the public and hosts various cultural events.
We have reached the heart of the historical center.
First the monastery of the Basilian monks, then the order of Santa Chiara. Later, the building housed a hospital and social assistance service. Since 1984 it has housed a library containing over 100,000 volumes, which are part of one of Italy’s most important historical archives.
Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo
The church dates back to 1600.It was enlarged and decorated with stucco designed by the architect Pietro Bolognese. In the main altar there was an image of the Resurrection with Magdalene, in one of the aisles there was a statue of St. Bartholomew, in another – St. Apollonia. In ancient times, the rite of the Last Supper and the washing of the feet of the brothers of the slain were performed in this church.
Today, the church houses a museum of breads prepared on the occasion of the feasts of San Biagio (February 3) and San Giuseppe (March 19), which are presented in various forms and take on the forms of Christian iconography.
Collegio dei Gesuiti Musei
Work on the construction of the complex began in 1652 and included the demolition of many buildings to create the necessary space. This changed the urban planning of the area, which was gradually settled by residents. The Jesuits occupied it until 1860 when they were evicted from the island and it became part of the state property.
The entrance leads to a large quadrangular courtyard in which you can see the size of the building, which now houses various museums and a reproduction of the “Holy House” of Loreto.
This is the main symbol of Salemi.
In its current version, it can be dated between 1070 and 1130, the period when the great Count Roger of Normandy, with the help of Arab workers, rebuilt it, possibly on an ancient pre-existing fortification.
It has been well preserved and in recent years, after some restoration work, it has been reopened to the public. Numerous cultural events take place in the halls of the castle.
In the years when the castle was closed to the public, boys often secretly entered the castle and climbed the towers, in particular the cylindrical one, from which one can admire a breathtaking view and sweep across the entire province of Trapani, also managing to look at the sea in fine weather.
When Garibaldi declared Salemi the capital of Italy for a day, he hoisted the Italian flag atop a cylindrical tower.
Ex Chiesa Madre – Salemi
Apparently, it was built on the site of an Arab mosque, which, in turn, had a temple dedicated to Venus. Built during the reign of Frederick of Swabia, it was rebuilt in the first decades of the 17th century to designs by Mariano Smirillo. The bell tower of this church was once a watchtower.
The 1968 earthquake badly damaged its structure, however, according to some popular versions, the 1968 earthquake caused the collapse of only part of the side passage, and it was the neglect on the part of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the time that turned it into an imposing sight. devastation. It has been partly restored in recent years and today it certainly has its own charm.
We invite you to play a cute game: stand in the centre of the square and imagine, with the help of photographs from that time, what the church must have been like before its decline, majestic and majestic.
Piazza Alicia Salemi
Square in memory of “Galicia”, the ancient name of the city.
The square has two main buildings that represent the forces that govern the lives of its citizens: the Norman-Swabian castle and the ruins of the former Mother Church.
It’s time to relax after a long journey and everything uphill. Explore the area or sit down for a cool drink.
Recommended reading : 1 EuroHouse Salemi, Sicily