On-Site Italian Research
Jewish Italian Research
Possibly of Sican or Greek origin, its existance is recorded with certainty in the 3rd century with the name of Petra. Under the Arabs, it was an impregnable fortress, inhabited by Christians and Muslims alike.
Under the Normans, it maintained its predominant strategic role and changed its ancient name of Petra to its modern name of Petralia, recorded in the 12th century, possibly in honor of the saint and prophet Elia, the founder of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites (a convent of the Order stood in about 1050 on the site of the present-day Church of La Madonna del Loreto). It was a fief of the Ventimiglia family after 1258, in the 15th century of the Centelles and the Cardonas, and later of the Moncadas and the Alverez de Toledos.
Of interest is the Town Hall which is located in the former Convent of the Discalced Carmelites. On the northern outskirts of town are the ruins of the Norman Castle and the Convento di Santa Maria di Gesu dei Padri Riformati (17th century).
Churches (Cefalu Diocese) include the following:
Families researched in these records include the following:
Links to other sites about Petralia Soprana include: