Prizzi is a town of the Palermo province, standing 966m a.s.l. in proximity to the Prizzi Mount, with a fine view over the Sosio and Vicaria valleys. It is bordered by the two cities of Corleone and Palazzo Adriano and counts nearly 7,000 inhabitants. Its narrow streets, alleys and stairways reveal a typical medieval layout.
Prizzi has an eventful history. Archaeological finds at the area spanning a period between the Punic and Roman ages provides evidence of the close relationship between to-dayís Prizzi and the ancient settlement of Hyppana, an Elymian settlement grown between the 8th and 6th century BC.
The modern city started to develop in the 12th century. It saw the Norman conquest and the rule of the Bonello and Bonanno families, the latter possessing the city until the feudalism abolishment in the early 19th century.
The visitors can enjoy various attractions. The 1500ís Chiesa Madre, dedicated to Saint George, was built on the foundations of an earlier religious building dedicated to the same Saint. It is divided into nave and aisles and contains numerous pieces of art among which a statue of Archangel St. Michael by Antonello Gagini stands out. Other interesting churches are San Roccoís, and the 1600ís Santa Maria delle Grazieís and the San Calogeroís. The remnants of a castle dating from the 12th century and later rebuilt by the Chiaramontes are also worth-visiting.
Interesting naturalistic sites are situated by the Prizzi artificial lake, that resulted from the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Sosio river.
A most traditional and longed-for event takes place on Easterís Day, called the ĎAbballu de li Diavoli, when devils, dressed in red, with goatskins slung across their shoulders, their faces covered by horrible tin masks, run through the streets of the town rattling iron chains accompanied by another masked figure this time dressed in yellow and armed with a wooden cross-bow, representing Death. Anyone who gets hit is carried off to the bar (identified as hell) where he pays for a complete round of drinks. These weird-looking figures lurching madly around as if engaged in a hellish dance, jump about uttering threats, trying to avert the Madonna from meeting the Resurrected Christ. The scene repeats itself several times until at last the two angels accompanying the Madonna strike them down, and the devils fall to the ground. Only Death itself cannot be touched, spared partly as a result of human resignation (man already has to live with the knowledge that he must die) and also because Christ has already overcome it.†