Castles of Sicily tour: the next leg is Caccamo, the largest of the island

castles of Sicily: Caccamo

The castles of Sicily are places rich in charm and mystery. Ancient sites, silent witnesses of centuries and centuries of history. Such as the castle of Caccamo. Which is the largest castle in Sicily.

 

History of the castle

  • The castle was built during the Norman period, in 1094 presumably. It was built by Chiaramonte family and it is one of the Sicily’s most important feudal manors.
  • During the insurrection of barons (1160-61), it was the refuge of Matteo Bonello and other conspirators.
  • Confiscated by the Crown, Manfredi I Chiaramonte added new halls and towers in 1300.
  • The castle of Caccamo was further fortified in Fourteenth century by Giaimo de Prades: the tower of Dammuso was built in this period.
  • Finally, the castles was used as palace by Amato family in XVIII century.

 

Rooms, towers and halls

The rooms and halls to visit in this castle are several: the stables, the hall of the theater, the gatehouses, the chapel, the main tower, the prisons, the Sala della congiura (“Hall of the conspiracy”), the great Sala delle armi (“Hall of weapons”).

In the western side of the castle there is a terrace overlooking the valley below. From here, you can enjoy a spectacular panorama from the dam of Rosamarina to Basumbra fortress.

 

Afraid of ghosts?

To immerse yourself in the atmosphere, there are the scratches left by desperate detainees on the wall of the castle’s prisons. And now, the “main course”: according to a legend, the ghost of Matteo Bonello haunts the castle. Betrayed by his friends, he was captured at the end of the insurrection of the barons, tortured horribly and finally left to die.

 

How to get there

Caccamo is a small municipality in the province of Palermo. To reach its castle from the Sicilian capital city:

  • Take E90 motorway to Termini Imerese
  • From Termini Imerese, take the state highway 285 to Caccamo

The trip by car takes three quarters of an hour.

 

Previous leg: Castello a Mare | Next leg: Castelbuono

 

Image source: Flickr.com/photos/ikonovel

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