POLLINA

 

Pollina is a town of about 3,200 located in the province of Palermo. It stands at 730m a.s.l. splendidly placed atop a rocky spur between the Madonie and Nebrodi Mountains.

The road leading to Pollina is highly panoramic with diverse views of the Tyrrenian Sea, the Madonie ranges and the Rocca di Cefalý.

The medieval town centre is particularly charming with a maze of narrow streets lined with fine monuments and buildings.

The town is especially renowned for the Classical theatre shows held during the summer months in the Teatro di Pietrarossa, so-called because of the red rock on which it was built. This is flanked by a Ethno-anthropological Museum surmounted above by a tower, that represents the last and sole remnant from the ancient Ventimiglia Castle.

The earliest documented records about Pollina go back to the remote 1082, at a time when the Hamlet of Polla was part of the Troina diocese. Later, it passed under the Patti and, then, the Cefalý dioceses. In the early-1300s it was a property of the Count of Geraci Francesco Ventimiglia.

The townís Chiesa Madre (dating from the 16th century) is dedicated to St. John and St. Paul. Among the pieces that ornament the interior are a fine Nativity and a Madonna delle Grazie, both by Antonello Gagini. The exterior features some shallow-reliefs representing the Resurrection of Christ between two Apostles. The Chiesa di San Giuliano, dedicated to Pollinaís patron saint, is a fine specimen of Romanesque architecture. Inside, there is a 1600ís statue of the titular saint.

San Giuliano is celebrated with the Processione Campestre, an annual festival that takes place in July, the saintís statue borne through the streets up to Piano San Francesco where it takes place a Blessing of the Fields. This is a more profane rite, since it takes place without ecclesiastic members and the statue of the saint, and has lost much of its past charm.