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Prizzi (PA)

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Prizzi (Palermo Province) is a hill town 83 km. from Palermo, alt. 966 m., on a hill in the upper valley of the River Sosio, south of the artificial lake of the same name, area 95 sq. km., pop. over 6,200, post-code 90038, tel. 091. Economy: cereals, fertilizers, dairy products.

Traces have been found on the nearby Montagna dei Cavalli of a small Elymian settlement dating from the 8th-6th century BC, later rebuilt in the 4th century BC and inhabited by Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans. The name of this ancient town was possibly Hypana. The present town is of Norman origin, when it was a fief of Guglielmo Bonello. In 1150 it passed to the Monastery of Sant'Angelo, which depended on the Cistercians of Casamari. Between the 13th and 15th century, control of the town was disputed by various lords until it finally fell to the Bonanno family, whose fief it was until 1812.

Of interest are the ruins of a nearby castle, originally built in the early 12th century.

I diavoli a Prizzi is the traditional dance and race of the masked devils, held on Easter Sunday around the streets of Prizzi.

Florence Cannariato has written a 100 page book about her ancestors in Prizzi that is VERY well done. She not only includes family charts, but about half the book is a history of the town. If you have ancestors from there, you might connect with some of hers, certainly you'll appreciate the effort she's taken to discover the history of the town. She's run out of copies but you can contact her at

Families researched in these records include the following:
Lo Presti

Churches (Monreale Diocese) include the following:
San Giorgio Martire (Chiesa Madre, 16th century building on site of older church)
San Francesco d'Assisi
San Giovanni Battista
Santa Rosalia
SS. Crocifisso
San Ferdinando Re (Filaga - suburb of Prizzi)
Maria SS. Addolorata (Molara - suburb of Prizzi)
Maria SS. del Carmine (Portella della Croce - suburb of Prizzi)

Links to other sites about Prizzi include:
Ancient Sicily
Prizzi Photos
Italian Wikipedia
Italian Towns
Italian Postal Codes
Sicily Web
Sicilian Net

My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.

Order Italy Kathy Kirkpatrick

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© Kathy Kirkpatrick 1997-2008