What to see in Petralia and surroundings

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The city of Petralia Soprana is a small Sicilian village located on the southern border of the Macedonie park, halfway between Enna and Cefalù. It was elected Borgo dei Borghi in 2018, as the most beautiful village in Italy. Thanks to its historic buildings and the natural beauty of the nearby Macedonie Park it represents the perfect destination for a quiet weekend.


  1. Church of Saints Peter and Paul
  2. Pottino Palace
  3. Madonie Park
  4. Salt mine
  5. What to see in the surrounding area: 5 places of interest near Petralia
  6. What to do in the evening: the most beautiful neighborhoods and clubs of the nightlife
  7. Plan your stay in Petralia: advice + info on flights, hotels and tours
  8. User questions and comments

1 - Church of Saints Peter and Paul

The church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, framed by bell towers on both sides, it is the main place of worship in the village of Pietra Soprana, dedicated to the patron saints of the town and rises to the role of Duomo, also giving its name to the square it overlooks. Like many historic Sicilian buildings, the church is the result of an architectural, artistic and cultural stratification which occurred due to the different dominations of the territory. There is no certain information about it, but it is assumed that before the construction of the current Latin cross structure, the site was used as a Muslim mosque.

  • the church is located in Piazza del Duomo, in the city center, two minutes away from Piazza del Popolo. - Get directions
  • Opening time: every day from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 16:00 to 19:00.
  • Prices: free entry
  • Info and advice: it is advisable to consult the times of mass indicated on the Facebook page of the church to organize the visit during the hours when religious services are not held, in respect of practitioners.

2 - Palazzo Pottino

Pottino Palace is an ancient noble residence located in the center of Petralia Soprana, in Piazza del Popolo. The palace belonged to the baronial family that dominated the town, and currently it can be visited for a historical journey which aims to make the viewer identify with the elegant life of the building, with guides in period costume and an exhibition space with original furniture and furnishings, as well as interesting frescoes with local landscape motifs depicting the ancient Petralia.

  • the building is located in Piazza del Popolo, in the center of the village, in front of the town hall - Get directions
  • Opening time: the first and third Sunday of the month in the morning from 10:00 to 13:00 and the second and fourth Sunday from 16:00 to 19:00
  • Prices: € 2,00
  • Info and advice: it is advisable to plan the visit in advance from the restrictive hours. For groups of more than 10 participants it is possible to book the visit also on other days of the week.

3 - Madonie Park

The two villages of Petralia Soprana and Sottana are located on the edge of the Madonie Park, a natural park established in the early 80s which includes the homonymous mountain massif and the Pollina and Imeria rivers, as well as a many animal and plant species, some of these protected. The central part of the massif is characterized by a strong presence of limestone, which tends to absorb the water from precipitation, but further east, in the eastern Madonie, do not miss the Gole di Tiberio, a canyon flooded by the waters of the Pollina river with narrow white rock walls up to twenty meters high, which together with the surrounding vegetation create spectacles of light effects on the water, where it is possible to go kayaking.

  • the best way to get from the center of the village to the nature park is by car, and then continue on foot depending on the excursion route chosen - Get directions
  • Opening time: some areas are always accessible, while for guided tours and picnic areas the times vary. For detailed information, visit the Park website
  • Prices: access to the trails is free, but the equipped areas and practicable sports have different rates that can be consulted on the Park website
  • Info and advice: wear comfortable clothing suitable for sports, without forgetting sunscreen in the summer months.

4 - Salt mine

Not far from the villages, Petralia salt is extracted and consumed on tables throughout Italy. According to some sources, the rock salt mines have been used since the fourteenth century, and it is one of the richest salt deposits in Europe still in operation, which extends for 80km up to 400m deep. In addition to the extraction of salt, the mines currently house the museum of contemporary art in salt (Macss), where it is possible to visit the tunnels dug in the salt from which peculiar statues have been obtained.

  • by car taking the crossroads of via Madonnuzza - Get directions
  • Opening time: the museum in salt can only be visited on Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00, so as not to hinder the extraction works.
  • Prices: admission costs € 5,00
  • Info and advice: access is not allowed to children under 12 for security reasons. It is located on the second of the twelve floors on which the mine is structured, however it could be claustrophobic for those who cannot tolerate enclosed spaces.

5 - Church of Santa Maria di Loreto

The church of Santa Maria di Loreto is located in the u castru district, in the highest part of the village, from which there is also access to a panoramic point. The church stands on the remains of a Saracen fortification on which the order of the Discalced Carmelites erected a convent and a church with a Greek cross dedicated to the cult of Sant'Elia, the prophet from whom it is assumed the village takes the name Petralia. Santa Maria di Loreto still retains that plant and today it stands out for its asymmetrical majolica spiers, which in fact were built in different eras.

  • it is located on the southern peak of the village, about 190m from the central piazza del popolo - Get directions
  • Opening time: from 9: 00 to 18: 00
  • Prices: free entry
  • Info and advice: Use of cameras without flash or tripod is allowed.

What to see in the surrounding area: 5 places of interest near Petralia

  1. Petralia Sottana: it is a medieval village that shares a piece of history with Petralia Soprana for the domination of the Ventimiglia family. It has obtained the orange flag recognition as a village of excellence for the quality of hospitality. (11 minutes by car from the center - 7 km)
  2. Gangi: it is a small town that is part of the Parco Delle Madonie, elected village of villages in 2014. Do not miss a visit to the Ventimiglia Tower. (37 minutes by car from Petralia Soprana - 20 km)
  3. Castellana Sicula: it is a municipality born in 1947, spun off from Petralia Soprana itself. It takes its name from the noble Castellana family, whose domination has characterized its architecture. (20 minutes by car from the center - 14km)
  4. Enna: a provincial capital called the navel of Sicily for its strategic position in the center of the region, which have made it a crossroads of peoples and cultures. Thanks to its location at over 930 meters high, it allows a splendid panoramic view of the region. (70 minutes by car from the center - 72km)
  5. Cefalù: it is a very ancient city, founded by the Greeks in the 82th century BC Its architecture is peculiar for the different historical influences that have shaped it over the centuries, between Arab and Norman atmospheres. (57 minutes by car from the center - km)

What to do in the evening: the most beautiful neighborhoods and clubs of the nightlife

Petralia Soprana is a small village perched in the mountains, and that due to its morphology it does not host many night clubs, but still offers the opportunity to spend fun evenings between live music and cocktails.

The best clubs

  1. Saxum: It is a pub with low costs and rustic furnishings located in the village of Petralia Sottana. It is much loved by both local young people and tourists, and offers an excellent choice for both an aperitif and a tasty dinner of pizza or sandwiches.
    Address: via Felice Gangi - Get directions
    Phone: (+39) 0921 680444 - Facebook page
    Average price of an aperitif: € 4,00
  2. Blue Night K2 Dance Disco: it is the only reference disco for the Borgo di Petralia, and is located just before the historic center, allowing it to be reached even by those who do not have their own means.
    Address: Bivio Madonnuzza - Get directions
    Facebook page
    Average price: many events are free to enter
  3. Seby Pub: it is a pub located in the hamlet of Fasanò, where the selection of beers and sandwiches are often accompanied by evenings of live music with DJ sets and piano bar.
    Address: Via Nazionale Fasanò - Get directions
    Phone: (+39) 3933234464 - Facebook page
    Average price: € 8,00
  4. Lombard Bar: it is a small historic bar in Petralia Soprana, open all year round. It is famous for its traditional granitas and ice cream brioches, but also offers cocktails until late in the evening.
    Address: Piazza del Popolo - Get directions
    Phone: (+39) 0921 641135 - Facebook page
    Average drink price: € 3,00

    Plan your stay in Petralia: advice + info on flights, hotels and tours

    The village of Petralia it is not a well-known tourist destination from and for this hisCosti they are below average compared to other Sicilian locations. Restaurants are often family run with local and genuine food, and many of the points of interest have free admission or at reduced costs.

    • Recommended period: at the end of June, to enjoy the beautiful temperatures that will allow you to take part in the naturalistic activities in the Madonie Park and participate in the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on 29 June.
    • Recommended for: family holidays and more mature tourists given the small size and relaxing atmosphere, far from the frenzy of large urban centers.
    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -
    • How to get there and how to get around: The closest airports are those of Palermo and Catania, both about an hour and a half from Petralia Soprana. The village is very small in size, so it is advisable to walk inside. The more distant destinations, such as the salt mines, can be reached by car, given the scarce presence of public transport.

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