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Sciacca
Comune di Sciacca
Coat of arms of Sciacca
Location of Sciacca
Map
Sciacca is located in Italy
Sciacca
Sciacca
Location of Sciacca in Italy
Sciacca is located in Sicily
Sciacca
Sciacca
Sciacca (Sicily)
Coordinates: 37°30′33″N 13°5′20″E / 37.50917°N 13.08889°E / 37.50917; 13.08889
CountryItaly
RegionSicily
ProvinceAgrigento (AG)
FrazioniLazzarino
Government
 • MayorFabio Termine
Area
 • Total191.67 km2 (74.00 sq mi)
Elevation
60 m (200 ft)
Population
 (31 August 2022)[2]
 • Total38,912
 • Density200/km2 (530/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Saccensi, Sciacchitani
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
92019
Dialing code0925
Patron saintHoly Mary of Soccorso
Saint day2 February
WebsiteOfficial website

Sciacca (Italian and Sicilian: [ˈʃakka]; Greek: Θέρμαι; Latin: Thermae Selinuntinae, Thermae Selinuntiae, Thermae, Aquae Labrodes and Aquae Labodes) is a town and comune in the province of Agrigento on the southwestern coast of Sicily, southern Italy. It has views of the Mediterranean Sea.

History

Thermae was founded in the 5th century BC by the Greeks, as its name suggests, as a thermal spa for Selinunte, 30 km distant, whose citizens came there to bathe in the sulphurous springs, still much valued for their medical properties, of Mount San Calogero which rises up behind the town. There is no account of the existence of a town on the site during the period of the independence of Selinunte, though the thermal waters would always have attracted some population to the spot. It seems to have been much frequented in the time of the Romans. At a later period they were called the Aquae Labodes or Larodes, under which name they appear in the Itineraries.[3] Pliny was most likely mistaken in assigning the rank of a colonia to the southern, rather than northern, town of the same name. Strabo mentions the waters (τὰ ὕδατα τὰ Σελινούντια.[4])

The origin of the town's name has been much debated, with Latin "ex acqua", as a reference to the springs of thermal water of the area, or Arabic "Syac", meaning bath, and al Saqquah, dating back to the cult of the Syrian god "Shai al Quaaum", as possibilities.

The city walls, the bastions and the Old Castle owe their existence to Roger the Great Count.

A royal city that had remained faithful to Manfred of Sicily during the Angevine invasion, by 1268 A.D. Sciacca was besieged by Charles I of Anjou and surrendered the following year. After the Sicilian Vespers, it established itself as a free commune. During the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the city was besieged numerous times; the final engagement of the 20-year war took place in 1302, when a French army failed to capture the city.[5]

Following the Vespers era, the Peralta family took possession of it and obtained from the king of Sicily the right to mint coins. In the following centuries, the town was at the center of bloody feuds between rival baronial families (the Luna, of Aragonese origin, and the Perollo, of Norman stock), which nearly halved its population. In 1647, the impoverished town was the seat of an anti-Spanish rebellion.

During World War II, the Italian Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force) had a base near Sciacca.

Geography

Overview

The municipality borders Caltabellotta, Menfi, Ribera and Sambuca di Sicilia.[6]

Climate

Sciacca has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa),[7] with short, mild and moderately rainy winters and long, hot and dry summers. The city receives around 450 millimeters (17.7 inches) of rain per year, experiencing a peak of 72.3 millimeters (2.8 inches) in November and a minimum of 2.5 millimeters (0.1 inch) in July.

Climate data for Sciacca, Italy
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 15
(59)
15
(59)
17
(63)
19
(66)
23
(73)
27
(81)
30
(86)
30
(86)
28
(82)
24
(75)
19
(66)
16
(61)
22
(71)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
9
(48)
10
(50)
13
(55)
17
(63)
19
(66)
20
(68)
18
(64)
15
(59)
12
(54)
9
(48)
13
(56)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 56
(2.2)
46
(1.8)
45
(1.8)
37
(1.5)
17
(0.7)
5
(0.2)
2
(0.1)
9
(0.4)
42
(1.7)
61
(2.4)
65
(2.6)
65
(2.6)
450
(18)
Mean daily sunshine hours 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 10 9 7 5 4 7
Source: Meteo Italia (ilmeteo.it)[8]

Main sites

Sciacca still retains much of its medieval layout, which divided the town into quarters, each laid out on a strip of rock descending toward the sea. Sciacca has several points of interest, including:

Culture

Sciacca's festivals include the Carnival, celebrated during the week before the beginning of Lent (February). The highlight of the festival is the parade of bizarre figures mounted on floats, famous throughout Sicily for their gaudy expressions. The local television stations are TRS Tele Radio Sciacca and RMK Tele Radio Monte Kronio.

Diaspora

Starting around the turn of the 20th century, a number of residents of the Sciacca area emigrated to Norristown, Pennsylvania and the North End of Boston.

The Boston-based descendants of Sciacca, especially those from fishing families, have celebrated the Festival of the Madonna del Soccorso since 1910.

The Norristown-based descendants of Sciacca, through the local M.S.S. Club, maintain both traditions and devotions to the Madonna del Soccorso. The M.S.S. holds a communion breakfast in February and a large festival (often called simply "The Feast") in August in celebration of the miracles performed by the Madonna herself in Sciacca.

Economy

The economy of Sciacca is mainly based on agriculture, fishing and related food industries, as well as tourism.

Gallery

Sister cities

People

See also

References

  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Itin. Ant. p. 89; Tabula Peutingeriana
  4. ^ Strabo, vi. p. 275
  5. ^ Stanton, Charles D. “ENDGAME (SPRING 1301–SUMMER 1302).” In Roger of Lauria (c.1250-1305): “Admiral of Admirals,” NED-New edition., 289–301. Boydell & Brewer, 2019. doi:10.2307/j.ctvd58tqg.24.
  6. ^ 39255 (x a j h) Sciacca on OpenStreetMap
  7. ^ "World Map of Köppen−Geiger Climate Classification". Archived from the original on 2010-09-06.
  8. ^ "Climate, temperatures and weather in Sciacca". www.thetraveller.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-06-18.