Visit Motta Sant'Anastasia
The town of Motta Sant'Anastasia is situated to the east of Sicily, a few kilometres inland from Catania.
Explore Motta Sant'Anastasia
Your visit to Motta Sant'Anastasia can start from the Mother Church, built in the 13th century and with a typically byzantine style. The church was originally built around a central plan, and then later converted to a Latin cross form, while the bell tower dates from the 18th century.
The church contains some valuable works of art, such as an altarpiece, a painting of the "Madonna of the Rosary" and "Our Lady of Mount Carmelo", attributed to the school of the great painter Antonello da Messina (1429-1479).
Motta Sant'Anastasia Castle
The Castle, that is the 'Donjon' of Motta Santa Anastasia, dates back to Norman times. A detailed description of the castle was provided recently by G. Bongiovanni and F. Maurici:
“The donjon of Motta...has smaller dimensions than those of Paternò and Adrano. The castle plan measures 8.50 m x 17 m while the height reaches 20 m. The tower is set on a rocky crag of lava. The walls are constructed in 'opus incertum' with lava stones, and the stiffeners are constructed of the same lava-rock. The donjon is a three storey building, lit by small windows.
On the ground floor there is a door of no great size. On the sides there are rectangular windows presumably built in modern times. The Masonry vaults, wooden floors and partition walls have not survived the changes to which the tower has been submitted. The linkage among different levels was probably secured by small stairs close to the walls (…) certainly less powerful than the walls of the Paternò and Adrano donjons.
The roofing consists of a rib vault with a median arch set on some supports. The terrace has a crown of battlements (seven on the long sides and two on the short sides). Presumably the tower of Motta had essentially a defensive military value, while the residential function would seem entirely secondary, in particular compared with the close donjons of Adrano and Paterno.”
(Castelli medievali in Sicilia”, Palermo, 2001)
Other highlights in Motta Sant'Anastasia
Another major religious building in Motta Sant'Anastasia is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, situated near the castle. Rebuilt in the 17th century, it is among the oldest churches in the town. In the interior the church holds works by unknown artists of the 17th and 18th centuries depicting saints such as St. Agata and S. Lucia, the Holy Family, Anna and Joseph, with Mary and Jesus.
In Motta Sant'Anastasia the narrow streets of the old town create a maze to explore and are surrounded by the remains of the original defensive walls. These walls were once only passable through a gate located on the west side leading to the so-called Piazza delle Porte.
You can also see the church of Saint Anthony of Padua, renovated in the 1960s.
Among the most exciting natural volcanic phenomena in Motta S. Anastasia is the famous "neck" - the conic lava-rock on which the oldest part of Motta Sant'Anastasia was built.
Motta Sant'Anastasia also offers tourists a natural environment of great interest, with the landscape of the hills of Sieli, between the Castle of Motta Santa Anastasia and Misterbianco - here you can see an ancient olive tree, dating back more than 1000 years.
Finally, there is also the local cuisine to discover, with specialities such as the sea-bass and ravioli with wild fennel.
Map of Motta Sant'Anastasia and places nearby
Motta Sant'Anastasia places to visit
See more places nearby in the Sicily guide