is a town of the Palermo province, standing 966m a.s.l. in proximity
to the Prizzi Mount, with a fine view over the Sosio and Vicaria
valleys. It is bordered by the two cities of Corleone and Palazzo
Adriano and counts nearly 7,000 inhabitants. Its narrow streets,
alleys and stairways reveal a typical medieval layout.
has an eventful history. Archaeological finds at the area spanning
a period between the Punic and Roman ages provides evidence of the
close relationship between to-day’s Prizzi and the ancient
settlement of Hyppana, an Elymian settlement grown between the 8th
and 6th century BC.
modern city started to develop in the 12th century. It saw the Norman
conquest and the rule of the Bonello and Bonanno families, the latter
possessing the city until the feudalism abolishment in the early
visitors can enjoy various attractions. The 1500’s Chiesa
Madre, dedicated to Saint George, was built on the foundations of
an earlier religious building dedicated to the same Saint. It is
divided into nave and aisles and contains numerous pieces of art
among which a statue of Archangel St. Michael by Antonello Gagini
stands out. Other interesting churches are San Rocco’s, and
the 1600’s Santa Maria delle Grazie’s and the San Calogero’s.
The remnants of a castle dating from the 12th century and later
rebuilt by the Chiaramontes are also worth-visiting.
naturalistic sites are situated by the Prizzi artificial lake, that
resulted from the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Sosio
most traditional and longed-for event takes place on Easter’s
Day, called the ‘Abballu de li Diavoli, when devils, dressed
in red, with goatskins slung across their shoulders, their faces
covered by horrible tin masks, run through the streets of the town
rattling iron chains accompanied by another masked figure this time
dressed in yellow and armed with a wooden cross-bow, representing
Death. Anyone who gets hit is carried off to the bar (identified
as hell) where he pays for a complete round of drinks. These weird-looking
figures lurching madly around as if engaged in a hellish dance,
jump about uttering threats, trying to avert the Madonna from meeting
the Resurrected Christ. The scene repeats itself several times until
at last the two angels accompanying the Madonna strike them down,
and the devils fall to the ground. Only Death itself cannot be touched,
spared partly as a result of human resignation (man already has
to live with the knowledge that he must die) and also because Christ
has already overcome it.