Castelbuono: the next leg of the journey to discover the castles of Sicily

castles of Sicily: Castelbuono

The tour to discover the castles of Sicily continues. And the next leg is, once again, on the northern coast of the island: it’s the castle of Caccamo.


The history of the castle

  • The castle was built by Count Francesco I of Ventimiglia: its construction began in 1316 on the ruins of the ancient Byzantine town of Ypsigro.
  • The castle is located on the hill of San Pietro. Because of that, its nickname was “Castello del buon aere” (literally “castle of the good air”). From which the name of Castelbuono.
  • Since it is located in a valley, he never had strategic function and it was (almost) never the scene of battles and sieges.
  • The castle was renovated only during XVII century: some Ventimiglia families moved here from Palermo and the castle became their residence.


The castle

Since, as mentioned above, it had no particular strategic or defensive purpose, the castle has a very particular “cube-shaped” form, which clearly recalls the Arab architectural styles. While the “square towers” are typical of the Norman style.

The most important and famous part of the castle is the Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina in Italian). Giuseppe e Giacomo Serpotta, two brothers, realized it in 1683. The crape is enriched by precious marble, stucco, friezes and putti.


How to get there

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

  • Take the E90 motorway to Messina
  • Take state highway 286
  • Follow the road signs to Castelbuono

The trip by car takes one hour and twenty minutes.


Previous leg: Caccamo | Next leg: Milazzo


Image source: “CastelbuonoCastelloDeiVentimiglia1” di LigaDue – Opera propria. Con licenza CC BY-SA 3.0 tramite Wikimedia Commons

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