The Palace of the Prince and the construction of the church of Saint John the Baptist

The Palace of Prince of Campofiorito to Acicatena.
Probably similar to this one of Acitrezza

Picture Father De Maria

The palace of the Prince

It is the February of 1749 when Prince Don Luigi Reggio successor of Don Stefano makes to erect in Acitrezza a majestic palace for his residence. The palace was built in front of the sea, close to the beach. It was huge, with eleven windows in row and on the seaside, it was fortified with a rampart against the cannons of the Turkish ships, that often crowded the sea of the oriental Sicily. From the beginning of 1900, the palace of the Prince, as commonly known, it was still visible. When son Stefano died on 13/02/1790, there were not any descendants of the Reggio’s house. Then, the palace, after some modifications, it passed in property to Giuseppe Castorina and to the Grasso family, two grain traders. They left it in the complete abandonment and inclemencies. It was subsequently divided in manufactured, new lotteries and they built new constructions on it. Today, it does not remain anything of the palace. It was still visible, but in ruin at the beginning of 1900. The palace was used to celebrate Mass, after the earthquake of the 28/10/1908 because the church was destroyed. A room of the ground floor of the Prince’s palace was the first Post Office of Acitrezza in 01/07/1908.

The construction of the church of S. John Baptist

Nearly 50 years ago there was the destruction of the church of S. Joseph by the earthquake of the 1693. The population increased and the small church of S. John the Baptist,situated in front of the sea, it was not enough anymore. Left the idea to build again the church of S. Joseph, it was made bigger and more beautiful the one of the Baptist, in the same place where was the small one, which would have been incorporated to the big one and, when the construction was completed, destroyed. The population asked an opinion to the Prince that he gave his agreement. It was Archpriest in Acitrezza Don Francesco Spina who become priest when he was still Deacon, as we can read in the registration of his picture situated in the modern church of S.John Baptist. For the construction of the new church there were two experts builders, Alfio and Concetto Grasso, father and son, come from Aci S. Antonio. The two people were famous, and they had already constructed the church of Saint Anna. The church was finished thanks to the economic contribution of the Archpriest and the population. For the construction they were used, in part, pieces of the destroyed church of S. Joseph. A lot of material coming from that church had been used from people, also, for the reconstruction of their houses because of the 1693's earthquake.

Façade of the church

Click to enlarge
Plant Prospect Section Location  Plant Location
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Architectonic reliefs by Greco Orazio

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Renewed: 20-07-05 .