Petralia Soprana, in the Palermo province, stands at 1,147m a.s.l. It enjoys a splendid scenery comprising the Nebrodi Mountains and the Moutn Etna in the distance.
The town origins go back to the Roman domination, when it was a major wheat producer. During the Arab domination, it was called Batraliah, its political and strategical influence growing higher and higher, even under the following Norman rule. During the Middle Ages it saw the rise of several families namely the Ventimiglias, the Centelles, the Cardonas, the Moncadas and the Alvarez de Toledo.
Petralia Soprana boasts several endearing secular buildings, such as the 1800’s Palazzo Municipale and the Town Library containing various precious incunabula, manuscripts, documents and a monument dedicated to Frà Umile de Petralia.
The town’s Chiesa Madre is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. It is of remote origin, although its present form mainly derives from 1300’s restoration works, by the Ventimiglias, and 1700’s. It is flanked by an old bell-tower graced with a two-light window and the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul, and a 1700’s one remained incomplete. The interior has a basilical plan with three naves and is adorned with many works of art among which is a Crucifix by Frà Umile Pitrono, a marble statue representing the Madonna dell’Udienza and another representing the Madonna of the Chain.
The 1700’s Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto was built on the foundations of an ancient castle; it has a Greek-cross plan with for corner domes and two bell-towers with spires. It contains various pieces of art such as the 1400’s marble altarpiece representing the Madonna and Child and an altar-step representing Christ and the Apostles.
The Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista was extensively refurbished in the 18th century. It is ornamented with a 1600’s Crucifix and a 1400’s marble statue representing the Madonna del Carmelo.
Among the town’s minor church a mention goes to the Chiesa del Santissimo Salvatore with an elliptical plan and a fine dome with rectangular windows, and the 1500’s Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate.