Feudal Sicily: Santa Margherita Belice and Sambuca di Sicilia
Full day guided tour
Full day excursions from Verdura resort, Sciacca, Menfi, Marinella di Selinunte, Agrigento
The low Belice area, in ancient times borderland between Greek and Punic territores, belonged, in the Spanish period, to great noble families: Corbera, Giardina and Tagliavia. Santa Margherita Belice was founded on the ruins of an Arab castle by Antonio Corbera. The town, overturned by the 1968 earthquaque, was spaced around Palazzo Filangieri di Cutò, the Palace of Donnafugata in the novel "The Leopard" . We'll visit the Palace (once owned by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's mother family) and the garden described in the novel. After a walk in the city centre, we drive on to Sambuca di Sicilia through hills of vineyards and olive groves. According to the tradition, the town (called Sambuca Zabut until 1923) was founded by the emir Zabut. It shows the best example of Islamic urban layout in Sicily with its seven Saracen alleys (sette vicoli saraceni) . Stop to enjoy the view at the Belvedere, put up on the remnants of the Arab castle, and walk through the old city centre to see the Mother Church , the Church of Saint Michele and the Church of the Rosary and Palazzo Panitteri with its "salotto sambucese" or 19c wax museum. The building will also house the antiquarium. Walk along the main street where you can admire the Idea Theatre and the paintings of the sambucese master Gianbecchina centred on the life and work of peasants in the Sicily of the latifondo and housed in the Church of Saint Calogero.