Gratteri

 

 

Gratteri is a town of about 1,300 standing some 630m a.s.l. in proximity to the Madonie Park, in the Palermo province. It is surrounded by beautiful pine and oaks woods and sites such as Pizzo Dipilo.

The town boasts an historical importance. Although probably founded by the Romans, as a coin discovered at the area seems to confirm, the town design betrays clear Arab-Medieval features. The noble Roger managed to take it from the Saracens, and subsequently, it passed onto the Counts of Monforte di Petralia, the Curia di Palermo, and the Princes Ventimiglia di Geraci and Castelbuono.

The 1800’s Chiesa Madre, dedicated to St. Michael Archangel, is one of the town’s most attractive buildings. The Abbazia di San Giorgio – built in 1140 is the only monastery founded in Sicily by the Augustinian Reformed Fathers; of its original structure only remain ruins and a portal from the convent and from an apse of the church; the 1300’s Chiesa Matrice Vecchia dedicated to St. Michael Archangel was built at the behest of the noble and wealthy Ventimiglia; the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Gesù, built in 1150, is the oldest church in town; it is attached to a former convent now used as Town Hall.

The town is much renowned for its embroidery and for several longed-for events such as the Saint Joseph’s Festival on 18 March, the Patron Saint’s Festival on 8 and 9 September in honour of Saint James Apostle featuring a fine procession.