Melilli

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Melilli
Comune
Comune di Melilli
Melilli is located in Italy
Melilli
Melilli
Location of Melilli in Italy
Coordinates: 37°11′N 15°7′E / 37.183°N 15.117°E / 37.183; 15.117Coordinates: 37°11′N 15°7′E / 37.183°N 15.117°E / 37.183; 15.117
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province Province of Syracuse (SR)
Frazioni Villasmundo, Città Giardino, Marina di Melilli
Government
 • Mayor Giuseppe Sorbello
Area
 • Total 136.0 km2 (52.5 sq mi)
Elevation 310 m (1,020 ft)
Population (Dec. 2004)
 • Total 12,555
 • Density 92/km2 (240/sq mi)
Demonym Melillesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 96010
Dialing code 0931
Patron saint Saint Sebastian
Saint day 4th of May
Website Official website

Melilli (Sicilian: Miliddi) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Syracuse, Sicily (Italy), located about 190 kilometres (120 mi) southeast of Palermo and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Syracuse. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 12,555 and an area of 136.0 square kilometres (52.5 sq mi).[1]

The municipality of Melilli contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Villasmundo, Città Giardino and Marina di Melilli.

Geography[edit]

Melilli stands about 310 metres (1,020 ft) above sea level close to a mount (monti Climiti) overlooking the Megara bay and the industrial district of Augusta-Priolo. It is located in the Siracusa province.

Melilli borders the following municipalities: Augusta, Carlentini, Priolo Gargallo, Syracuse, Sortino.

History[edit]

It boasts a rather eventful history, the human presence apparently being attested since the Bronze Age. Its strategic situation between the major cities of Augusta and Syracuse has played a critical role in its growth. In the feudal age, it became a dominion of the Augusta County.

It managed to revive after two devastating quakes in 1542 and 1693. Since 1842 it has been an autonomous city.

The town[edit]

Numerous interesting building are scattered throughout its centre. The Chiesa Madre, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, has a ceiling finely painted with the Triumph of the Faith by celebrated Olivo Sozzi. The Chiesa di San Sebastiano, dating from the 18th century, houses numerous paintings by Sozzi, among which are a Coronation of Saint Sebastian and The Triumph of the Faith, and a fine marble altarpiece representing the Deposition of St. Bartholomew.

Nature[edit]

The city environs are also very interesting. The River Marcellino, flowing nearby, offers fine naturalistic spots and an old necropolis. A final mention goes to the neighboring salt-mines of Augusta, that were an important economic resource as far as the end of Second World War.

Demographic evolution[edit]

Panorama

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Feasts[edit]

  • Carnival
  • Christ's nativity representation (during Christmas)
  • Holy week
  • Feast of Saint Sebastian - 4 May (Patron Saint of the town)

Saint Sebastian is very popular here and every year on 3 and 4 May he is celebrated with a fine festival drawing devotees from all Sicily. The Martyr lived in the 3rd century AD is celebrated by the so-called Festa dei Nuri its name relating to the fact that popular iconography used to represent Saint Sebastian undressed; in old times the faithful taking part to the celebration showed completely undressed. Today the event has lost much of its importance and the participants wear white clothes with red stripes that cover some definite parts of the body, that are where the Saint was hit. Over night, they run to the church dedicated to the saint, where they toss flowers onto His statue.

Principal Churches[edit]

  • Church of Saint Sebastian Martyr
Particular for its baroque style, the church of Saint Sebastian today is the principle of the town. In fact, every year the church reaches thousands of Christian believers coming from the nearest towns of the province during the celebration of the feast of Saint Sebastian (4th of May), the patron saint of the town. The church of Saint Sebastian is situated on the homonym square, the principal of the town, where is also situated the monumental lodges belonging to the 19th century.
  • Church of Saint Antony of Padua
  • Mother church of Saint Nicola
  • Church of Madonna del Carmine
  • Church of Convent of Cappuccini
  • Church of Holy Spirit
  • Church of Madonna del soccorso
  • Church of Madonna delle Grazie

Sister city[edit]

  • United States Middletown, Connecticut, (United States of America)Middletown, Ct. A large number of Melillesi immigrated to Middletown in the early 20th century, and the Sicilian-American Roman Catholic Church in Middletown, Saint Sebastian's, was modelled after the church in Melilli.

References[edit]

  1. ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.

External links[edit]