S. STEFANO DI QUISQUINA
Santo Stefano di Quisquina stands at an altitude of 730 metres a.s.l. in the province of Agrigento. Agriculture and zootechnics are major resources for the city economy. Two interesting cattle fairs are held in the months of May and September.
Several toponyms and the two hamlets of Rahaltvilla and Santo Stefano di Melia provide evidence for the Arab presence on this area in the past ages. During the 12th century, the city was ruled by Giovanni Caltagirone. Its successive lords were Ruggero Sinisi, Guiscardo de Agijas, the Lacarns and the Ventimiglias.
The city has much to offer to tourists. The 1500’s Mother Church dedicated to Saint Nicholas from Bari has three naves and contains precious 1800’s paintings. One of these represents the ”. The Santuario di Santa Rosalia alla Quisquina lies on a privileged position, nearby the Serra Quisquina district at a 986m altitude amidst a beautiful oak-grove. Built in the mid-1700s, it is said to have been inhabited by Saint Rosalie before she migrated to the Monte Pellegrino in Palermo. The hermitage, now inhabited by monks, is a favorite goal for tourists. The church is enriched with frescoes by the Manno brothers and a 1700’s statue of Santa Rosalia by Filippo Pennino. Among the minor churches is the Chiesa del Sacramento dedicated to San Francesco from Sales.
S, Stefano di Quisquina accommodates several fine secular buildings; among these a mention goes to the Palazzo Baronale (the Baron’s Palace), built at the behest of Giuseppe Emanuele Ventimiglia, and a small anthropological museum devoted to the local rural traditions.
Several “profane” celebrations and food festivals are much renowned, namely the Carnival, l’Estate Quisquinese (the Quisquinese Summer) and the Cheese Festival. Religious celebrations are dedicated to Saints Rosalia and Calogero, in June, and to the Martyrdom of Christ on the Holy Friday.