Sambuca di Sicilia
The town was founded by the Arabs and its ancient name was Zabut. Afterwards, the little town located on top of a hill became Sambuca Zabut and during the Fascist period it was renamed Sambuca di Sicilia. The city’s layout still includes a maze of tiny streets, that the locals call “li sette vanneddi,” or the “Saracen alleys” – the historical nucleus of the town – situated near the Castle of the Emir Al Zabut. Today, no trace remains of the ancient castle while the alleys, after having been abandoned for a while, are returning to their ancient splendor thanks to faithful restoration works and to the fact that the town hall has decided to rebuild the ancient church of the Matrice, that had been destroyed by the earthquake in 1968, and that used to rise in all its beauty right over the Saracen alleys. The town is enriched by the presence of many churches, several of which are no dedicated to the celebration of religious rites, like the church of San Calogero that houses the newly founded Gianbecchina Institute, a small but important picture gallery exhibiting the works of Giovanni Becchina, an artist known for his drawings depicting rural life and his oil paintings about bread making. Sambuca is also home to several historical palaces dating back to the XVth Century, a marvelous theatre built between 1848 and 1851 and a beautiful panoramic Belvedere Terrace overlooking the nearby countryside. There’s also a lake nearby and to the north of the town, one can visit Mount Adranone, where there is a Greco-Carthaginian settlement reaching back to the VII – VI Century BC, where one can still admire the artisans’ district, the acropolis and the city walls.
Sambuca di Sicilia, the city of Saracen streets and baroque churches