The city of Licata, with a population of 39,000, stands between the Salso river – Sicily’s second river – and the Licata Mount, in the Agrigento province. It was settled since the Paleolithic Age as relics discovered across the territory and researches by scholars have shown. Under the Romans, Licata became increasingly important thanks to its coast and commercial harbor. A number of cave-churches and worshipping places testify to the Byzantine presence in the area. Two castles, namely the Castel San Giacomo and the Castel Nuovo – both no longer existing now – were erected during the Middle Ages. A remarkable growth was recorded from the 16th century on.
The visitors of Licata can enjoy numerous attractions. The Town Hall has a big room where relics of the Greek age are displayed.
The Town Museum, divided into two broad sections, is particularly worthy of note. The archaeological section displays many interesting relics such as vases and lithic tools from the Copper Age. The second section, reserved to the Hellenistic Age, collects relics from the 7th-6th century BC, archaic artefacts from a shrine in the Casalicchio district and other material from the necropolis of Portella di Corso. A third, minor section is devoted to the Middle Ages; it includes five marble statues depicting the four Cardinal Virtues and the Virgin with Child.
Among the city’s noble palazzi are the 1600’s Serrovira and Caro-Dominici palaces and the 1700’s Frangipane and Bosio Palaces.
A number of religious buildings are as much interesting. The Mother Church, built in the 15th century, is dedicated to Santa Maria La Nova. It has three naves and houses the fine Chapel of the Crucifix with golden and wooden carved decorations, a wooden Crucifix and a remarkable 1600’s altarpiece.
The 1600’s Chiesa di San Domenico, with the adjacent Convent, contains fine paintings among which are the 1600’s S. Antonio Abate and the Holy Trinity and the Saints by Filippo Paladino. Another religious complex, that goes back to the 1700s, is comprised of the Chiesa e Convento del Carmine. The church, refurbished at the end of the 18th century, preserves ten medallions illustrating events from the Old and New Testaments.
The Chiesa di San Francesco, with adjacent a convent, dates from the 16th century. It has a single nave and contains a fine organ fron the 18th century.
Among the minor religious buildings are the Church of the Charity with, adjacent, the Monastery of Saint Benedict; the 1600’s Church of the Angel and the Church of Santa Maria La Vetere, comprising a Benedictin convent that was requisitioned by the municipal board and tranformed into hospital. Later abandoned, it is today reduced to a very poor condition.
Licata shore with its beautiful sand beaches is also very attractive.