Niscemi lies at 332 a.s.l. on a hill between the Erei and the Hyblean Mountains, providing scenic views over the Maroglio valley and the Gela plain. The city belongs to the province of Caltanissetta and counts some 27,000 inhabitants.
The remote origins of the town are testified by remnants of Sikel and Sikan settlements, tholos tombs and a necropolis going back to the 13th century BC. In 1620 Giuseppe Branciforti became the Lord of the village. A few years later he was entitled Prince of Niscemi.
The visitors of Niscemi can enjoy several naturalistic areas like the Sugherata and the Castellana, consisting of beautiful oak and cork-oak groves. Legend claims that in the Castellana area a shepherd searching for his bull found him knelt in prayer before a spring where was a floating silk veil bearing the figure of the Virgin with the Child. This fact would lead to the erection of a Shrine dedicated to the Virgin and is today celebrated annually in the end of August. The event is organized by the Confraternita di Maria SS. del Bosco and is characterized by sacred celebrations, processions and the much awaited Palio dei Cavalli.
The city accommodates various fine religious and secular buildings. Among the former are the Mother Church dedicated to Santa Maria dell’Odigitria and the 1700’s Church of Our Lady of Sorrows.