Randazzo

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Randazzo
Comune
Comune di Randazzo
Randazzo.
Randazzo.
Coat of arms of Randazzo
Coat of arms
Randazzo is located in Italy
Randazzo
Randazzo
Location of Randazzo in Italy
Coordinates: 37°53′N 14°57′E / 37.883°N 14.950°E / 37.883; 14.950Coordinates: 37°53′N 14°57′E / 37.883°N 14.950°E / 37.883; 14.950
CountryItaly
RegionSicily
Metropolitan cityCatania (CT)
FrazioniFlascio, Monte la Guardia, Murazzorotto
Government
 • MayorMichele Mangione
Elevation765 m (2,510 ft)
Population (31 December 2015)
 • Total10,900
Demonym(s)Randazzesi
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code95036
Dialing code095
Patron saintSt. Joseph
Saint dayMarch 19
WebsiteOfficial website
Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta.

Randazzo (Sicilian: Rannazzu) is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania, Sicily, southern Italy. It is situated at the northern foot of Mount Etna, c. 70 kilometres (43 mi) northwest of Catania. It is the nearest town to the summit of Etna, and is one of the points from which the ascent may be made.

History[edit]

In the 13th century the town had its own army, which fought in favor of the king against the rebels. In 1210 King Frederick II of Hohenstaufen and his young wife Constance of Aragon sheltered at Randazzo to escape the terrible plague which raged in Palermo.

Randazzo became one of the most densely populated towns in the island, after Palermo and Messina. The town was also divided into three main districts: the Greeks lived in St. Nicola's quarter, the Latins in St. Mary's and the Lombards in St. Martin's.

Randazzo was the scene of important action during the latter phases of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, during World War II. Nazi forces were driven from the island by a combined force of British and American troops, which also contained Canadian troops who were fighting under British command. In the course of their retreat they attempted to hold the northeastern corner of Sicily in the hopes that they would eventually be able to retake the entire island. The Nazies had to abandon this plan when the British 30th Corps forced their way into Adrano while at the same time the British 13th Corps battled the Nazies in the nearby town of Randazzo. Once Adrano and Randazzo fell to the British, the Nazies decided they had no choice but to retire to Messina and use it to evacuate the rest of their forces from Sicily.[1]

Main sights[edit]

  • Church of Santa Maria. It has a façade completely built of black lava stone, three polygonal apses in the form of towers and 15th-century side portals in the Catalan-Gothic style. The huge interior is divided into three naves by black monolithic columns, and preserves statues by the Gagini school and six paintings by Giuseppe Velasquez (1750–1827).
  • Church of San Martino. It has a 14th-century bell tower, by some acclaimed as the most beautiful in Italy.
  • Church of San Nicola, the largest in the town, originally established in the 14th century but rebuilt in 1585. It houses works by Antonello and Giacomo Gagini, and in the right nave a triptych by Messinese painters
  • Castello Svevo ("Hohenstaufen Castle"), the only one remaining of the eight medieval towers, on a high lava rock, already existing at the time of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. For a time it was the seat of the Giustiziere del Valdemone (a kind of medieval judge and governor) and a prison, then became the mansion of the Romeo e Vagliasindi families, to become again a prison in later centuries: a sinister building, with tiny cells, a torture chamber, the well for those who were sentenced to be bricked up alive. After a recent restoration the castle is used today as an exhibition center and houses a collection of "Pupi siciliani" and the Paolo Vagliasindi archeological museum.
  • Aragonese Gate
  • Palazzo Lanza
  • Palazzo Scala, a former Royal residence from the 12th century.
  • Palazzo Finocchiaro (1509)

People[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Randazzo is served by two stations: one of the Ferrovia Circumetnea, connecting to Giarre and Catania; one on main Trenitalia station, once conneting it to Taormina and Messina, currently inactive.

Twin towns[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily, 1943 by Carlo D'Este pg. 508-509