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                                         Sicilia (Sicily)

Piedimonte Etneo (Postal Code 95017, Elevation 348m, 26.5 sq Km, Population 3,900) - Province of Catania.

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Piedimonte Etneo is located on the North Eastern slopes of the famous volcano Mount Etna and overlooks the Fogliarino valley. It is only 44 Km north of the city of Catania and has many picturesque views of the eastern coastline of Sicily spanning from the hills of Taormina to the town of Giarre.


This is the town where my Grandfather Mariano Nicotra and Grand Mother Caterina Lameri were married and raised their family. My parents Carmelo (Nicotra) and Angelina (Alessi) grew up, lived and worked in this town prior to their emigration to Australia in the mid 1950s. We still have many relatives living in here

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Piedimonte Etneo is outstanding for the rich production of citrus fruits, fruit, floral plants, and excellent wine and table grapes, that can be tasted during the annual Festa della Vendemmia (the grape harvest festival), held at the end of September. The local handicraft activity is characterized by wood and iron objects, as well as embroideries.

The original center was named Belvedere (Panoramic Viewpoint) due to the picturesque lookouts afforded by its vantage point on the slopes of Mount Etna.

In 1687, the name was changed to Piedimonte Etneo (Translation "Foot of Mount Etna") by its founder Ferdinando Gravina di Palagonia, because the town was situated at the foot of the volcano. The town was under the dominion of this noble family until the abolition of the feudal rights.

PE_Porta.gif (163258 bytes)The picture on the left is of the characteristic landmark on the main road Vittorio Emanuele called  "la porta" (the door) which is the Original northern gate to the town.

The most interesting monuments are the Chiesa Madre (Santa Maria del Rosaro) erected in the XVIII century, that preserves a polychrome wooden statue dated 1600, the Chiesa dell'Immacolata rich of wooden altars of 1700, and the Mariano Sanctuary, preserving a splendid Byzantine manufactured Madonna.

The Town Hall is located in via Vittorio Emanuele n. 34, tel. ++39 95 644578 fax. ++39 95 644344. E-mail address is:

Linguaglossa (Postal Code 95015, Elevation 550m, 58 sq Km, Population 5,500) - Province of Catania.

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Linguaglossa is situated just north of Piedemonte Etneo, on the slopes of Mount Etna. A renown skiing tourist center, Linguaglossa is outstanding for the rich production of wine grapes, walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, and mushrooms. The cattle breeding and the sheep and goat farms are outstanding as well, along with production of excellent typical Sicilian cheeses. The handicrafts activity boasts the production of wooden and iron objects, exposed during the annual Fair of wooden sculptures and murals, held during the months of July and August.

My Great Grandparents Giovanni Nicotra and Giuseppa Lanzafami lived and raised their family here in latLG.jpg (88373 bytes)e 1800s.

The name Linguaglossa derives from the ancient term lingua grossa, referring to a "grossa lingua di lava" (a big tongue of lava) as a result of the lava stream formed after Mount Etna's eruption in 1634. The first inhabited center goes back to 1145 and, in time, belonged to the noble families Crisafi, Cottone, and Patti. Afterwards, it became a possession of the Bonanno family until 1634, when the town was annexed to the Royal property and it acquired its autonomy.

LG-duomo.jpg (95898 bytes)The most relevant monuments are the Chiesa Madre erected in 1613, that preserves a wooden choir dated 1728, and the Chiesa di S. Egidio, who is the town's patron saint, built under the Angevin dynasty; it preserves a splendid Gothic portal representing the town's emblem. The Festa of St Egidio is held on the 1st September each year.

Architecturally, extremely interesting are the Chiesa dei SS. Vito e Antonio of the XVII century, that has a lava stone portal, and the Chiesa di S. Francesco di Paola of the XVI century, preserving a famous marble statue of the Madonna dell'Oreto, by Gagini (1478-1536).

One of Linguaglossa's noteworthy citizens was the famous sculptor Francesco Messina (1900-1996), author of two incredible sculptures: the "Cavallo morente" (the dying horse), situated in front of the RAI (State television) building, and the "Venere" (Venus), placed in the garden of the SIAE building, both in Rome.

The Town Hall is located in Piazza Municipio, tel. ++39 095-7777111 fax. ++39 095-643322.



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This page was last updated 12-Nov-2008