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Carini is a large town near to Palermo on the north coast of Sicily. The old town sits about 170 meters above sea level though streets and houses descend as far as the sea.
The main attraction of Canini is as a shopping destination and it has one of the biggest shopping areas of Sicily. The old town though does have some highlights worth visiting.
The castle of Carini dominates the skyline and the old centre of Carini. A castle has occupied the location since Norman times in the 11th century though the current castle was extensively renovated in the 16th century.
The ground floor originally contained the food hall but was converted into a library. The upper floor is the Festival Hall with an attractive decorated ceiling and access to the large square tower.
There is a chapel in the eastern section with frescoes from the 17th century and a wooden tabernacle also from the 17th century. The inner facade of the castle which can be seen from the courtyard has been renovated in Renaissance style and decorated with the coat of arms of the La Grua family.
The castle was the setting for a tragedy in 1563 when the Baronessa di Carini was murdered by her own father in an honour killing because of her affair with another man when married. Her husband killed her lover and both men, her father and husband, were pardoned by King Philip II for their crimes after citing medieval law as their defense!
The main street in Carini is the Corso Umberto I and near to the castle on this road is the Church of San Vincenzo next to a convent. Further along is the main square, the Piazza del Duomo, home to both the Mother Church and the Church of Saint Vito.
The Mother Church was built in the 15th century but extensively altered in the 18th century. It contains an important painting, the 'Adoration of the Magi' by Alessandro Allori who was a great Tuscan painter who had made his mark at the Medici court in the 16th century. There is also a notable wooden crucifix with a silver crown which is in the chapel dedicated to the Crucifixion.
The Oratory of Saint Sacromento next to the mother church has a wealth of white stucco statues around its edges and a beautiful painted ceiling. It really is quite lovely as an ensemble!
Places to visit nearby
The catacombs of Villagrazia are evidence of early Christian settlement in the area and can be visited with a tour guide.
If you are looking for beaches some of the nicest in the area are at Terrasini where the beaches and coves have a backdrop of red cliffs.
Palermo is of course not to be missed. The city holds a multitude of treasures including UNESCO listed Arab-Norman buildings.
Be sure to visit the fabulous mozaics in the monastery at Monreale.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.