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Salemi (TP)

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Salemi (Trapani Province) is 37 km from Trapani, alt. 446 m, in the hill country between the rivers Delia and Mercanzotto, area 181.8 sq km, pop. over 12,200, post-code 91018, tel. 0924. Economy: agriculture, and embroidery handicraft.

This is the anciant Halicyae, of Sican or Elymian origin, an ally of Segesta in the war against Siracusa and, under the Romans, one of the five free and immune cities of Sicily. In the Middle Ages, the Arabs extended its defensive and urban stuctures; the name of the town dates to this period: salam, in Arabic, means 'health and safety'. Under the Aragonese, it was disputed by the most powerful families of the Sicilian nobility (Ventimiglia, Alagona, Moncada), but soon freed itself from them and became a city of the royal domain. During the Expedition of the Thousand, on 14 May 1860, three days after the landing at Marsala, Garibaldi issued the declaration from the Castle of Salemi in which he assumed the title of "Dictator of Sicily" in the name of Victor Emmanuel, "King of Italy", thus underlying the strictly monarchic and unifying intentions of this military undertaking. The town of Salemi was severely damaged by the earthqauke in 1968. Some of the buildings that could be saved have been restored, while a new town has been constructed further down the valley, to which part of the population have moved.

Of interest is the 13th century Castle dominating the town, built by Frederick II of Swabia. It is trapezoidal in plan and has corner towers. It now houses the Town Library and the local Public Records office. Also of interest are the Museo Civico in the old Collegio dei Gesuiti (17th century), and Palazzo del Commune.

Churches (Mazara del Vallo Diocese) include the following:
S. Nicolo' di Bari (Chiesa Madre)
Byzantine basilica of San Miceli (outside of town and contains three floors with three different orders of mosaics and Greek and Latin inscriptions from the 4th and 6th centuries)
Chiesa del Collegio (Chiesa Madre, 18th century, historic)
Chiesa di Sant' Agostino (18th century, historic)
Maria SS. dells Confusione nella Trasfigurazione di N.S.G.C.
Maria SS. della Misericordia
S. Francesco di Paola
Maria SS. del Paradiso (Pusillesi - suburb of Salemi)
Maria SS. di Trapani (Ulmi - suburb of Salemi)

Families researched in these records include the following:

Links to other sites about Salemi include:
Ancient Sicily
Italian Postal Codes
Italian Towns
Italian Wikipedia
Sicilian Net
Sicily Web
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 2002-2008