The town of Aragona was established by Count Baldassarre Naselli in 1606; it soon flourished and the royal family Naselli built their majestic Palazzo Principe there. The castle was modernized in 1875 and nowadays it houses a religious institution. Fortunately some precious frescoes by Borremans have survived and can still be admired. Another important monument adorns the central Piazza Umberto I with its baroque style facade: the Church of the Rosary which has a wonderfully decorated wooden ceiling and a small museum in the crypt below: the MUDIA – diocesan museum of Aragona; a little space with a unique charm rich in ancient sacred objects, precious reliquaries among which the jewel containing a fragment of the Holy Shroud stands out. Don’t miss the 17th century Chiesa Madre: there are some important paintings by Fra Felice di Sambuca, a beautiful Madonna by the sculptor Gagini and an another significant section dedicated to the exhibits of MUDIA, the diocesan museum of Aragona.The collection is composed of paintings and wonderful liturgical objects which show how art and faith have coexisted for centuries.
The Chiesa del Carmine houses a splendid wooden statue of Saint Joseph by the famous baroque sculptor Girolamo Bagnasco. The territory of Aragona is rich in sulphur which was mined in the area until the beginning of the 20th century. The Taccia Caci mines, owned by the family of Luigi Pirandello, have directly inspired the novel “Ciàula scopre la Luna” in which Pirandello describes the hard working conditions of the Sicilian miners with rare poetic beauty. Just out of town there is a nature reserve called Macalube.The area resembles a moonscape due to a rare volcanic phenomenon: eruptions of a mixture of cold mud, gas and salt water create hundreds of small craters dotted over the area. At the moment it is not accessible to visitors.
If looking for a savoury snack, pop into a bakery and try a traditional m’briulata, a tasty roll with meat, onion and black olives. At Easter Aragona is famous for its tagànu: a sturdy pasta dish composed of pasta, eggs, pecorino cheese and minced meat which is baked in the oven in a deep dish. Easter in Sicily is always a particularly colourful and lively period but the festivities in Aragona are unique: two enormous wooden statues representing Saint Paul and Saint Peter are ‘worn’ by tying them onto the shoulders of two men who run about the streets of the town announcing the resurrection of Christ to the masses of spectators who come out to participate in this singular ‘procession’.
Aragona: distance from Agrigento approx. 15 km.
Guided tours are available upon reservation for Palazzo Principe, MUDIA – Diocesan Museum of the Mother Church and the Church of the Rosary. For more information contact the Pro Loco of Aragona.
Contacts of organizations and associations which offer tourist information and other useful services:
Pro Loco Aragona: guided tours is available by reservation for Palazzo Principe, MUDIA – Diocesan Museum of the Mother Church and MUDIA – Diocesan Museum of the Church of the Rosary. For more information contact:
Municipality of Aragona: telephone reception
Comune di Aragona: the coordinates indicate the Mother Church
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N 37° 24' 29.27''
E 13° 37' 14.63''
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