Randazzo, a Medieval jewel
untouched by the eruptions of Etna, is located 753 metres
above sea level, towards the North Western foot of Mount Etna,
above a prehistoric lavatic tap.
Randazzo was founded during the Byzantine era, but due to
finds from archaeological digs, it seems that the area was
already inhabited since ancient times: Roman, Greek and even
It definitely passed hands to the Arabs in the 9th Century,
and enjoyed moreover a period of development, as with the
whole of Sicily, but then during the Norman period the Castle
and town-walls were constructed. It then came under Swabian
rule (13th Century) and later the Angioini, who immediately
distanced it from Sicily with the Vespri Siciliani (Sicilian
Vespers, 1282), when Randazzo participated on the front lines
become a military base for Pietro I d’Aragona during
the war against the Angioini.
The Aragonese moreover, loved it to such a point that they
chose it as their summer dwelling, decorating themselves with
the title of Duke of the City.
Until the end of the 16th Century, the City had three dialects
(Greek, Latin and Lombard), derived from three different communities
who can be identified with three different churches: S. Maria,
S. Nicolò and S. Martino. The three churches represent
three diverse ethnic groups, who each, for centuries, every
three years were seat of the Church Matrix, until 1916, when
the fixed role was given to the Chiesa S. Maria.
On 13th August 1943, the Anglo-American alliance troops conquered
Randazzo, putting an end to the presence of German troops
in Sicily, who had the City under military command.
Through the Aragonese Portal (1282), which opens up in the
Medieval walls, one can reach the Church of S. Maria with
its beautiful bell tower, a Norman Swabian building, constructed
between 1217 and 1239, which guards precious works of art
in its interior.
S. Nicolò (14th Century), situated in the homonymous
square, was reconstructed in 1583 and then gravely damaged
during the Anglo-American bombardments of the Second World
War. The third important church of Randazzo, S. Martino, was
almost destroyed by bombs and re-adjusted over the centuries,
but still has its adjacent beautiful 14th Century bell tower
A definitive must to visit in the City is the: Casa Scala
or Royal Palace from the Norman era, which over the centuries,
has accommodated royals and nobles from all over Europe, and
the Swabian Castle, seat of the Sicilian Doll Museum.