SAN MICHELE DI GANZARIA
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San Michele is a city 490 m a.s.l. in the area of the Mount Ganzaria, overlooking the southern Iblean Mountains. It totals some 4,800 inhabitants.
The Mother Church – The 1200’s Chiesa Madre, dedicated to the patron Saint Michael, is the main religious building in town. Its façade, in the Gothic-Cistercian style, is graced with two battlemented towers. The interior, divided into three naves, contains a marble statue of the Gagini school depicting the titular saint, a 1600’s baptismal font and a fine wooden Crucifix.
The 1500’s Church of the Holy Rosary – The 1500’s Chiesa del Rosario or of Sant’Antonio, has a simple design with a single nave, a fine marble major altar and interesting 1700’s stuccoes and frescoes.
Minor monuments and city surroundings – Among the city’s minor monuments are the remnants of the Castello Ducale – consisting of sections of the outer walls, of a balcony and battlement – and the 1800’s fountain on Via Garibaldi.
In the surrounding area are sites of naturalistic and environmental interest such as the Mount Garganzia, home to richest vegetation and wildlife composed of cork-oaks, eucalyptus, walnut-groves, dwarf fan palms and orchids, foxes, porcupines and weasels.
The city was founded in 1534 when the Baron Antonio Gravina granted these lands to a colony of Greek-Albanian exiles.