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coat of arms
Randazzo (Italy)
Country Italy
region Sicily
Metropolitan city Catania  (CT)
Local name Rannazzu
Coordinates 37 ° 53 '  N , 14 ° 57'  E Coordinates: 37 ° 53 '0 "  N , 14 ° 57' 0"  E
height 765  m slm
surface 204.8 km²
Residents 10,591 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 52 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 95036
prefix 095
ISTAT number 087038
Popular name Randazzesi
Patron saint Santa Febronia
Website Randazzo
Randazzo with a view of Mount Etna
Randazzo with a view of Mount Etna

Randazzo is a town and municipality in the metropolitan city of Catania in the Sicily region in Italy with 10,591 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019).

Location and dates

Randazzo is 68 kilometers north of Catania above the Valle dell'Alcantara on the northern slope of Mount Etna and southeast of the Monti Nebrodi . The inhabitants work mainly in agriculture, animal husbandry and industry.

The place has a train station on Ferrovia Circumetnea . Randazzo is at the intersection of the SS 120, SS 116 and SS 284 roads.

The districts are Monte la Guardia, Murazzorotto and Flascio.

The neighboring communities are Adrano , Belpasso , Biancavilla , Bronte , Castiglione di Sicilia , Centuripe ( EN ), Floresta ( ME ), Maletto , Nicolosi , Regalbuto ( EN ), Roccella Valdemone ( ME ), Sant'Alfio , Santa Domenica Vittoria , Tortorici ( ME ), Troina ( EN ) and Zafferana Etnea .


According to the local historian Giuseppe Plumari ed Emmanuele (1770-1851), who all his life to the study Randazzos story has dedicated existed to Roman times in today's city five Roman dwellings called Triracia, Triocala, Tissa, Demena and Alesa. They fell victim to the Roman war, but under the reign of Emperor Augustus a new settlement was founded on this site. From the name Triracia (Triracium) the current place name emerged through some phonetic changes (Rinacium, Ranacium, Randacium) over the centuries.

The historian Michele Amari, on the other hand, assumed that Randazzo is of medieval origin and his name is of Byzantine origin and goes back to Rendakes or Randas, a Byzantine ruler of Taormina in the 10th century, who is also said to have come from the Byzantine ruling family.

Another, little-documented, but popular opinion assumes that the name comes from the Sicilian expression rannazzu ("very large").

What is clear, however, is that the area around today's city was settled in small villages in ancient times by Greeks and later also by Roman settlers. The conquest of Sicily by the Saracens forced the residents to leave their villages and retreat to what is now the urban area, which at that time was surrounded by lava rocks, swampy terrain and the Alcantara river and thus offered better protection.

The legend tells that at that time a small community of Christians who believed in Madonna lived in the area of ​​what is now the Santa Maria quarter, who are said to have retired to a cave on the Alcantara while fleeing from the Saracens. When the persecution by the Saracens could no longer be withstood, they walled up their most important property, a picture of Our Lady, in the cave and lit a light as a sign of their faith before they left. After a very long time a shepherd came by and discovered a light that shone towards him from the slope of the lava rock. It was the light that was lit centuries ago. The residents came over and began to admire the light and to build a small, initially wooden church in honor of Our Lady, which has now become the Basilica of St. Mary.

The conquest of Sicily by the Normans under Roger I , who had fortresses built in the neighboring towns of Adrano and Paternò , drove the Saracens out, and another people, the Lombards , joined the population of Randazzo. Understanding among the ethnic groups was limited, however, and so they divided the city among themselves, continued to speak their own language and withdrew to their neighborhoods.

In the following centuries of changing power relations, Randazzo did not play an essential role. Under the Hohenstaufen, however, Randazzo entered his heyday. In 1210 the Sicilian King Frederick II and his wife Konstanze fled personally to Randazzo from the plague that broke out in Palermo. It turned out that Friedrich felt so well taken care of in the city that he decided to relocate his Sicilian seat and court here. To this end, he renewed the city wall and had several splendid mansions built. After the death of Frederick II in 1250, his son Manfred demanded the Sicilian crown, but the Sicilians sought a compatriot to succeed him. In his lust for power, Manfred and his army overran several Sicilian cities, including Randazzo, which he did not care about personally, and there he was proclaimed king.

After the death of Manfred, the rule of Anjou , which was difficult for Randazzo and was marked by disputes and persecution, followed. It was only after the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 that Randazzo would rise to new splendor. The successor of Charles of Anjou , Peter III. von Aragón, who took over the reign as Peter I of Sicily , renewed the city wall and took over Randazzo again as his seat and that of his troops.


Porta Aragonese
Porta San Martino

Randazzo was once surrounded by a three-mile long fortification wall from the Stauffer rule, which included eight fortified towers and through which a total of twelve city gates led. The ancient wall can only be seen in isolated places and only one tower (the fort) and four gates have been preserved:

  • The Aragonese Gate ( Porta Aragonese ) belongs to the longest surviving part of the wall and owes its name to King Peter III. of Aragon, who ruled Sicily until 1285 and had the gate restored and decorated with a portrait of his wife Konstanze
  • The Gate of St. Martin ( Porta di San Martino ) is also called the Gate of Palermo or Gate of St. Christopher because the image of the saint adorned the gate before it disappeared without a trace, but was then replaced in 1983 by a ceramic work by Nunzio Trazzera .
  • The gate of St. Joseph ( Porta di S. Giuseppe ) leads up a small staircase and bears the name of the church that once stood nearby.
  • The Apulian Gate ( Porta Pugliese ) is also located in Via Santa Margherita .

Randazzo also has the following attractions:

  • Vagliasindi Archaeological Museum, with finds from the area
  • Municipal Natural Science Museum, opened in 1983
  • Collection of Sicilian puppets
  • The Church of St. Maria ( Chiesa S. Maria ), built in the 13th century. Since then it has been rebuilt several times; the bell tower was last renewed in 1863 .
  • The Church of St. Nikolas ( Chiesa S. Nicola , local: Chiesa S. Nicolò ) from the 14th century is the largest church in Randazzo. Many changes have been made to it over the centuries, for example the dome dates from the middle of the 20th century.
  • The Church of St. Martin ( Chiesa S. Martino ) originally dates from the 13th and 14th centuries, but the church has been rebuilt several times, so the facade dates from the 17th century. The bell tower from the 12th century is remarkable.
  • The mansions Palazzo Lanza (a patrician building from the 13th century), Palazzo Scala and Palazzo Finocchiaro


railway station

The city lies on the Ferrovia Circumetnea railway line and was the terminus of the Alcantara – Randazzo railway line .

Sons of the city

Web links

Commons : Randazzo  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.