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Comune di Grammichele
Pianta settecentesca di Grammichele.jpg
Coat of arms of Grammichele
Location of Grammichele
Grammichele is located in Italy
Location of Grammichele in Italy
Grammichele is located in Sicily
Grammichele (Sicily)
Coordinates: 37°12′53″N 14°38′11″E / 37.21472°N 14.63639°E / 37.21472; 14.63639Coordinates: 37°12′53″N 14°38′11″E / 37.21472°N 14.63639°E / 37.21472; 14.63639
Metropolitan cityCatania (CT)
 • MayorGiuseppe Maria Purpora
 • Total30 km2 (10 sq mi)
520 m (1,710 ft)
 (31 August 2017)[2]
 • Total13,274
 • Density440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0933
Patron saintSt. Michael Archangel
Saint dayMay 8
WebsiteOfficial website

Grammichele (Sicilian: Grammicheli, Greek: Echetle (meaning "plowshare"); Latin: Echetla, Ochula; Medieval: Occhiolà) is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania in Sicily, southern Italy. It is located at the feet of the Hyblaean Mountains, some 13 kilometres (8 mi) from Caltagirone.


Piazza Carafa in the center of the town, Palazzo Communale and San Michele Arcangelo

The town was built in 1693, after the destruction by an earthquake of the old town of Occhiolà,, located to the north of the modern Grammichele. Occhiolà, which, on account of the similarity of name, is generally identified with Echetla, a frontier city between Syracusan and Carthaginian territory in the time of Hiero II, and which appears to have been originally a Sicel city in which Greek civilization prevailed from the 5th century onwards.

The devastation of the old town was so severe, the feudal landlord of the town, Carlo Maria Carafa Branciforte, Prince of Butari, commissioned reconstruction of a new town, with plans aided by Michele da Ferla. Supposedly the Prince himself sketched out the initial hexagonal layout. In the center of the hexagon is the Piazza Carlo Maria Carafa, faced by the Chiesa Madre, San Michele Arcangelo and the Palazzo Communale (City Hall). The town of Avola, also destroyed by the same earthquake, was also relocated and rebuilt along a hexagonal layout.

On July 15, 1943, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division fought its first battle with the Germans in Operation "Husky" with elements of Panzer Division "Hermann Goring" The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, Saskatoon Light Infantry (Machine Gun) and the Three Rivers Regiment (tank) all took part in the fighting which concluded at midday with the town in Canadian hands.

Saint Michael's church

Main sights[edit]

To the east of Grammichele a cave shrine of Demeter, with fine votive terracottas, has been discovered. Other sights include the Mother Church, San Michele Arcangelo, dedicated to St. Michael, and the church of the Calvary.


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Grammichele". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 332.