Your tour of the artistic heritage of Polizzi can start from the Cathedral Church of Saint Maria Maggiore, dating back to Countess Adelasia and enlarged by the Ventimiglia family in the second half of the 14th century.
Cathedral Church of St. Maria Maggiore
The church was rebuilt in the second half of the 18th century, with the loss of part of the ancient structures and also part of the altar and decorative highlights of the 16th century. Despite this some features of Norman times under the side porch are still recognizable.
Inside the church and on the main altar there is a statue of the Virgin by Giuliano Mancino (16th century) and to the left is a large chapel with funeral monuments in the Baroque style.
In a chapel on the left we can also see a monumental reliquary with a crucifix and 18th century statues, attributed to Filippo Quattrocchi (1738-1813). Opposite, on the right transept, the chapel of S. Gandolfo contains a marble sarcophagus of the saint by Domenico Gagini (1420-1492).
Be sure to also admire the Flemish triptych located on the right of the main altar - this is the most important painting in the church and has been attributed to various renowned 15th century artists including Dürer, van der Goes and van Eyck.
Other churches in Polizzi
Among the other churches the Church of St. Maria Delle Grazie has a picture of Saint Benedict by the so-called “Zoppo di Gangi” (17th century) and other statues of the Gagini school, while the Church of the Carmine holds a Crucifix by Francesco Gallusca (17th century), a pupil of Fra Umile da Petralia (1600-1639).
The S. Pancrazio Church in the ancient Byzantine district of Polizzi is in a panoramic position. The church contains a painting by Zoppo di Gangi, the “Immaculate” by Antonio da Conversano (17th century) and various paintings and statues by Zoppo di Gangi and Filippo Quattrocchi.
In addition, we must mention the church of S. Maria Lo Piano with its vaulted wood decorated with figures of animals and other paintings by Zoppo di Gangi.
Other buildings in Polizzi
Among the civic buildings in Polizzi is the Palazzo Gagliardo, which belonged to the Barons of Carpinello and is in the late-Mannerist style with a solemn and majestic portal. The Carpinello Palace is noteworthy for its imposing façade.
We should also mention the former Jesuit College, now the seat of the Municipality and the Civic Library, and the remains of the ancient castle around which Polizzi originally developed.
From Polizzi you also have commanding views across the landscape - the top of the hill is at an altitude of 950 meters above sea level and overlooks a vast horizon.
See also history of Polizzi
Map of Polizzi and places nearby
Polizzi places to visit
See more places nearby in the Sicily guide