Castelbuono Tourist Attractions
LocationCastelbuono, which lies on the northern slope of the Madonie range of mountains at the foot of Pizzo della Carbonara (1,977m/6,486ft), is a popular town with summer visitors. In the Byzantine period it was known as Ypsigro and by the Arabs as Ruqqat Basili.Cultural eventsThe "Ntaccalora e lu triunfu di la manna" takes place in May, the "L'Arrucata di li Ventimiglia" in August (both are costume celebrations).
Castelbuono is dominated by the castle, situated to the north, which dates from 1316 and was designed in the style of a Hohenstaufen fortress. It was the seat of the Counts, and then from 1595 the Princes of Ventimiglia.
Inside the castle are the Cappella di Sant'Anna with stucco decorations by Giuseppe Serpotta (1683) and the Museo Civico with archeological and natural history collections.
Matrice Vecchia and Matrice Nuova
The Chiesa Matrice Vecchia in Castelbuono, which has four aisles and boasts an altar retable by Pietro Ruzzolone, dates from 1350. The Chiesa Matrice Nuova contains a painted crucifix from around 1500 (on the piazza).
In the Chiesa San Francesco is the burial chapel of the Ventimiglia family, an octagonal building with a lavish doorway, dating from around 1500.
This range of mountains is the westerly continuation of the Monti Nébrodi and the highest point in the series of mountains which run parallel to the north coast of Sicily.In Pizzo Carbonara at Castelbuono the range reaches a height of 1,977m/6,486ft and falls steeply away to the north coast. In the higher regions there are large forests of deciduous trees. On the Piano della Battaglia (1,680m/5,512ft) and the Piano degli Zucchi (1,105m/3,625ft) winter sports are possible.
Isnello (10km/6mi west of Castelbuono) lies in the Madonie Mountains and is a popular setting-off point for the ski station of Piano Battaglia (1,648m/5,407ft). The remains of a medieval fortress overlook the village. The cathedral of San Nicoló was built in the 15th century; in the Chiesa San Michele the wooden crucifix in the Leonardo Chapel (to the right of the entrance) is by Fra Umile da Petralia.
Collesano (20km/12mi to the west of Castelbuono) is another popular village with holidaymakers. The Chiesa Madre dates from the 15th/16th century but possesses a modern facade. Inside there are some fine works of art.
Pizzo della Carbonara
A circular trip, with plenty of views, leads through Isnello (10km/6mi west), on to Munciarrati (5km/3mi), and then off to the left in a southeasterly direction, passing Torre Montaspro and Piano degli Zucchi (1,105m/3,625ft). 15km/9mi beyond Munciarrati the road turns off left to the Rifugio Marini south of Pizzo della Carbonara (4km/2mi, 1,680m/5,512ft).