A real ancient Norman jewel: visit the castle of Paternò, Sicily

castles of Sicily: castello di Paternò

The Normans left many and invaluable historical jewels on this island. And one of the most important and significant is, undoubtedly, the castle of Paternò, in the province of Catania. New stage of the tour to discover the castles of Sicily.


The history

  • The castle was built in 1072 by Roger de Hauteville. Before this date, in the area there was an ancient Arab fortress.
  • Frederick II of Swabia, between 1221 and 1223, decided that the castle of Paternò was part of the fortification system to defend Sicily: the castle of Paternò was used as residence for the emperor and as rearguard fortress.
  • In 1456 the castle of Paternò became property of Moncada family and was used as prison. And it was used as prison until 1860, when the castle of Paternò became property of the Bourbons.


The castle

It’s a three-floors castle. The most important things and halls to see are:

  • The hall covered by a large vault
  • The chapel, a rectangular room with a single nave, on the walls there are precious wall paintings dating back to Frederick II
  • The great hall
  • The gallery


How to get there

As already said, Paternò is in the province of Catania. To get to the castle from Catania:

  • Take the state highway 121 to Palazzolo
  • From Palazzolo, follow the road signs to Paternò

The journey by car takes about half an hour.


Previous stage: castello di Aci Castello | Next stage: castello di Adrano


Image source: “Castello normanno paterno” di Antonio Caruso di Wikipedia in italiano. Con licenza CC BY-SA 3.0 tramite Wikimedia Commons

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