Pietraperzia is a small town located at 476m a.s.l. in the Enna province. It has a charming medieval look featuring yellow-ochre colored houses. From the ruins of its Norman Castle extends a breath-taking view over the valley of the river Salso. It has a population of some 12,000. Pottery remnants discovered at the area seem to date back to an ancient neolithic village.
The earliest documented records date from the Roman, the Arab and, above all, the Norman dominations. It were them who enlarged the castle which sits atop a calcareous spur dominating the landscape. Frederick II granted Pietraperzia to the Barresi family. The French actually ruled over it as far as it was besieged by Frederick of Aragon army led by Manfredi Chiaramonte. After Caltabellotta’s peace treaty, it first became a royal dominion, then it was given back to the Barresis who held it as far as the close of the 16th century. A remarkable urban growth was recorded in the following centuries.
Pietraperzia has many interesting buildings and monuments, mostly noble palazzi, such as the 1500’s Palazzo del Governatore, the Neogothic Palazzo Tortorici and the Palazzo Comunale, that is a former Dominican Convent. The town library is as much attractive, with a rich collection of works, comprising some thirty incunable editions and countless 1500’s, 1600’s and 1700’s tomes ranging from the Goutenberg epoch through 1500’s.
Several religious buildings are also worth-seeing. The Chiesa Madre, dedicated to St. Mary is the most important of all. It contains various statues in the Gagini style and a splendid canvas depicting The Enthroned Virgin and Saints by Filippo Paladino.
Among the minor churches are the Chiesa di San Nicolò – a former mosque converted during the Norman rule – the Chiesa Caterva, preserving the relics of San Felice and various stuccoworks, and the Parrocchia di Santa Maria del Gesù with the adjacent Convento dei Frati Francescani.