Among Italy’s pride of its curiously wonderful villages known for their history and structure, a small village called Centuripe sure brags the award.
Centuripe is a small Sicilian hamlet of 5000 inhabitants, in the province of Enna. When looked at from above, it is nearly impossible to not start thinking about the surprising shapes it forms and resembles.
Some see a starfish, others, a man lying down supine, with his arms and legs spread restfully. The small size of this beautiful village has prompted some to joke that it’s a village on human scale.ç
The polylobate plan
The kind of an urban plan where various branches extend in several directions from the center of a town is called polylobate (having many lobes), 5 in this case. What is the reason for this structure? Simple enough. The mountainous territory of the village led to this improvisation.
The history of this wonder
Although humans have known about, visited and settled in this village since prehistoric times, the true foundation of the settlement, with the name of Kentoripa, can be credited to ancient Greeks.
Like all of Sicily, the city underwent frequent and intense invasions, conquests and dominations – Romans, Arabs, Normans, Angevins – you name it, they faced it. Angevins destroyed our little village completely, so it had to be rebuilt from scratch. Refounded in the 16th C, the village was named Centorbi, and maintained the same urban plan as the mediaeval times. The present name of Centuripe was given to the settlement in the 19th C, after the City Council issued a decree finalizing this name.
Where should you go while you’re there?
The long, traumatizing history is a boon for visitors because it makes this village a stunning archaeological treasure.
Any part of the town is sure to take you on a ride to the past. The spectacular Regional Archaeological Museum boats of masterpieces of ancient art that it conserves. The surroundings are no less, either. A short distance from the center are two ancient bridges: the Roman, and the Saracen – closest to the town of Adrano. It doesn’t stop here. The Roman Baths in Contrada Bagni are a delightful treat. Go a little further and what you see is the Castle of Corradino which, surprisingly, is a funeral monument dating back to Imperial Roman period. The breathtakingly panorama this site offers makes the visit worth every second of your time!
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