The historical center

A surprising urban system
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Guide to the artistic, monumental and museum heritage

The historical background of Paternò is visible everywhere in the town. From the ancient monumental hill to the 18th century centre, where churches and ancient convents are dotted around, Paternò is a permanent sequence of airy open extensions and narrow spaces, a play of light and shade where the perpetual blinding light of Sicily creates original contrasts.

Beginning with the narrow alleys of crowded districts, ordered by the straight, long 19th century thoroughfares, to the wide green peripheral districts of modern design, it is a whole that tells a complex and dynamic reality, an unusual stratification of eras and architectural styles, at times original and at others hybrids, which attract scholars and visitors from all over the world and that make Paternò a unique city.

The ideal starting point of our route is Piazza Santa Barbara, the heart of the historical centre of Paternò. As well as being a large open space in which to gather and meet, this square is in itself a rich site of monuments, an urban jewel for its original composition: it provides a series of perspective views which allow the gaze to wander from the great dome of the Church of the Annunciation to the imposing structure of the Norman castle on the hill.