The city of Licata, with a population
of 39,000, stands between the Salso river – Sicily’s
second river – and the Licata Mount, in the Agrigento province.
It was settled since the Paleolithic Age as relics discovered across
the territory and researches by scholars have shown. Under the Romans,
Licata became increasingly important thanks to its coast and commercial
harbor. A number of cave-churches and worshipping places testify
to the Byzantine presence in the area. Two castles, namely the Castel
San Giacomo and the Castel Nuovo – both no longer existing
now – were erected during the Middle Ages. A remarkable growth
was recorded from the 16th century on.
The visitors of Licata can enjoy
numerous attractions. The Town Hall has a big room where relics
of the Greek age are displayed.
The Town Museum, divided into two
broad sections, is particularly worthy of note. The archaeological
section displays many interesting relics such as vases and lithic
tools from the Copper Age. The second section, reserved to the Hellenistic
Age, collects relics from the 7th-6th century BC, archaic artefacts
from a shrine in the Casalicchio district and other material from
the necropolis of Portella di Corso. A third, minor section is devoted
to the Middle Ages; it includes five marble statues depicting the
four Cardinal Virtues and the Virgin with Child.
Among the city’s noble palazzi
are the 1600’s Serrovira and Caro-Dominici palaces and the
1700’s Frangipane and Bosio Palaces.
A number of religious buildings
are as much interesting. The Mother Church, built in the 15th century,
is dedicated to Santa Maria La Nova. It has three naves and houses
the fine Chapel of the Crucifix with golden and wooden carved decorations,
a wooden Crucifix and a remarkable 1600’s altarpiece.
The 1600’s Chiesa di San Domenico,
with the adjacent Convent, contains fine paintings among which are
the 1600’s S. Antonio Abate and the Holy Trinity and the Saints
by Filippo Paladino. Another religious complex, that goes back to
the 1700s, is comprised of the Chiesa e Convento del Carmine. The
church, refurbished at the end of the 18th century, preserves ten
medallions illustrating events from the Old and New Testaments.
The Chiesa di San Francesco, with
adjacent a convent, dates from the 16th century. It has a single
nave and contains a fine organ fron the 18th century.
Among the minor religious buildings
are the Church of the Charity with, adjacent, the Monastery of Saint
Benedict; the 1600’s Church of the Angel and the Church of
Santa Maria La Vetere, comprising a Benedictin convent that was
requisitioned by the municipal board and tranformed into hospital.
Later abandoned, it is today reduced to a very poor condition.
Licata shore with its beautiful
sand beaches is also very attractive.