Casteldaccia

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Casteldaccia
Comune
Comune di Casteldaccia
Coat of arms of Casteldaccia
Coat of arms
Casteldaccia is located in Italy
Casteldaccia
Casteldaccia
Location of Casteldaccia in Italy
Coordinates: 38°3′15″N 13°31′50″E / 38.05417°N 13.53056°E / 38.05417; 13.53056Coordinates: 38°3′15″N 13°31′50″E / 38.05417°N 13.53056°E / 38.05417; 13.53056
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province Palermo (PA)
Government
 • Mayor Fabio Spatafora (since June, 2013)
Area
 • Total 33 km2 (13 sq mi)
Elevation 79 m (259 ft)
Population (31 December 2010[1])
 • Total 10,233
 • Density 310/km2 (800/sq mi)
Demonym Casteldaccesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 90014
Dialing code 091
Patron saint St. Joseph
Website Official website

Casteldaccia (Sicilian: Castiddaccia) is a town of 11,303 inhabitants and comune in the province of Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy, founded by Marquis Longarini.[2] It is the seat of the Vini Corvo wine producer, and the Tomasello Pasta factory.

Origin of the name[edit]

One hypothesis on the origin of its name is that is comes from the union of two words: castello (Italian for "castle") and accia (celery, a plant that used to grow abundantly in the place where now the village stands).

Architecture[edit]

The original town-planning is irregular, characterized by narrow streets and typical houses of the Sicilian tradition. The town center is constituted by the Matrice Square, surrounded by the town church, the façade of the castle of the Dukes of Salaparuta, a symbol of the past feudal splendor, as well as a small chapel called La chiesetta.

Unfortunately, in recent years, Casteldaccia had a chaotic urban development: real estate speculation has irreparably damaged the territory. For example, the town has no public garden or a playground for children. When the tourists go to the main square to visit the castle of the Duke of Salaparuta, they are forced to walk on the edge of the road, as there is no sidewalk.

Casteldaccia’s railway station belongs on the lines Palermo-Messina, Palermo-Agrigento and Palermo-Catania.

Customs and traditions[edit]

The majority of population has a relatively advanced age. During the Carnival period, every Saturday and Sunday, families and friends watch allegorical trucks parading across the village.

Casteldaccia's patronal festival is one of the most awaited appointment of the year. The little town comes alive with the typical stalls lined around the main square. On the last Sunday of August, the statue of the patron saint, St. Joseph, is carried around the town in procession by the local artisans, especially carpenters. The festival ends at midnight with the fireworks' outbreak.

Agriculture and wine production[edit]

The village has no large commercial activities. Most inhabitants commute to Bagheria and Palermo to carry out their work. Once most of the population was constituted by farmers. Currently agriculture hardly exists any longer, since most of farm lands were declared construable.

The fame of the town is mostly tied to the family of the Dukes of Salaparuta and in particular to Giuseppe Alliata Moncada who, in 1824, started to bottle up a white wine produced with the Inzolia grapes coming from his property in Corvo di Salaparuta’s district. The first seat of production was Alliata Moncada's Villa Valguarnera in the town of Bagheria, a few kilometers away from Casteldaccia. Thus the first bottled Sicilian wine was born, as well as the Sicilian wine-producing industry most famous all over the world.

There is a fun legend about the Earl Alliata who chose for its wine the name of "Corvo di Salaparuta".[3] It is said that the peasants could no longer work among the Casteldaccia’s vineyards due to the incessant cawing of a crow. A friar, who was believed to be able to speak with the beasts, was asked for advice. He spoke with the bird and came to an agreement with him: the raven would stop bothering the farmers as long as its image and its name were used as a symbol of good taste and quality.

Other productive activities[edit]

Another very important industry in town is the Tomasello macaroni factory, whose name comes from the family that founded it.

A famous oil company called Giada Oil bottles and exports most of the oil produced in the town.[2]

In the 16th century, the territory was intensely cultivated with sugarcane, so a tower called Bellacera[4] was built to protect the plantations.[5]

Tourism[edit]

Casteldaccia is a resort area. In the summertime many citizens of Palermo move to some villas on the coast, just a few tens of meters away from the shoreline. Yet other villas, some of which in Art Nouveau style, surrounded by large gardens, are located on the hill overlooking the railway station.

There are several well-known restaurants in Casteldaccia, where you can enjoy a pleasant musical evening in the summertime, such as "La Rotonda" or "Café 113" or the older “Casetta Bianca”, all located on the main arterial road "S.S. 113" running from Palermo to Messina.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Touristic brochure published by the Province of Palermo.
  • ASSO Informatica, The Italian Heritage, Casteldaccia, Touristic Information, 2009, [1]
  • Russo Rocco, Casteldaccia nella Storia della Sicilia: Memorie di ieri, Edizione Arti Grafiche Battaglie, Palermo, 1961, page 260.
  • Sommariva Giulia, Bagarìa il territorio e le ville, Dario Flaccovio Editore, Palermo, 2009, pages 24–25.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Data from Istat
  2. ^ a b Russo, 1961, p. 260.
  3. ^ Salaparuta’s Crow.
  4. ^ The name of the tower derives from the family name of a local industrial family.
  5. ^ Sommariva, 2009, p. 24-25.