From the Castle to the Chiesa Madre

Ancient symbols of power
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Santuario di Santa Maria della Consolazione

From here we move to the nearby sanctuary of Santa Maria della Consolazione, whose red architecture and slender pointed bell tower immediately attract the eye. Built in the Romanesque Revival style in 1954 replacing a 17th century church, it is a bold building in a panoramic position on a basaltic plateau overlooking the valley below. The interior has a basilica plan and panelled ceiling. It shows a series of paintings with holy scenes (works of the Catanese Archimedes Cirinnà) and a simulacra of the Madonna, subject of veneration for centuries. Her precious crown was donated in 1961 by Michelangelo Virgillito, a finance expert from Paternò; it weighs ten kilos and is adorned with six emeralds, ten sapphires, five rubies and five thousand diamonds. During the feast, which is held on the last Saturday of May, the crown is placed on the head of the Madonna. Next to the church are traces of a crypt, perhaps belonging to the ancient church of Santa Maria del Pietoso (1585). Behind the apse, however, in the spot called Porta Lentini, you can glimpse the ruins of an ancient building.