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A visit to Lentini can start from the centre (Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Umberto I). In Piazza del Duomo stands the so-called Mother Church dedicated to Santa Maria La Cava and Saint Alfio (rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 and ended around 1750), with three naves and the façade of the eighteenth century by Vella da Malta. The central door has been worked with the symbols of the Passion of St. Alfio. The church offers some items of great artistic interest, especially in the so-called 'ferculo of St. Alfio', silver work of the nineteenth century.
Besides the church stands the bell tower, about 30 meters high. In the chapel next door, there's another work of the Byzantine era, a 9th century icon of Madonna Odigitria in embossed silver. In the vestry you can see three 18th century pictures: The Eternal Father, the Redeemer and Virgin. Also very beautiful is an inlaid wooden wardrobe (XVIII century) from the former Capuchin monastery.
Other Lentini highlights
In Piazza Umberto I see the Church of St. Luke (XVII century) with a beautiful painting of the Crucifixion (a 16th century copy of the Crucifixion by Jacopo Tintoretto).
From Piazza Umberto I follow Via Piave to Piazza Liceo, home to the interesting Lentin i Archaeological Museum - see Lentini Museum for details.
Ancient City of Leontinoi Ancient Ruins
Visit the archaeological site of ancient Leontinoi at Carlentini. The structure of the ancient city is located to the south of the modern city in the valley of San Mauro and on two nearby hills (S. Mauro and Metapiccola). The hills have traces of a population from before the arrival of the Greeks. On the hill of Metapiccola, huts were discovered on a rectangular plan. The Greeks began the construction of massive walls which enclose the hills of San Mauro and Metapiccola, and the roads leading to Catania and Syracuse were fitted with powerful fortified gates. In the walled city there are traces of dwellings and sacred areas with remains of temples, from which many potteries proceed. Outside the city walls, there was the necropolis; in the sixth and fifth centuries, the tombs were simply graves, while in the Hellenistic period graveswere much more elaborate.
In the necropolis, which is on the road between Syracuse and Lentini, near the oldest gate of the city, many interesting remains of the fourth and third centuries BC have been found. In addition to the remains of South Gate, also known as “Syracusan”, they have discovered a prehistoric village in Metapiccola and some Byzantine frescoes, also the prehistoric village of Valsavoia (on the road that leads from Lentini to Valsavoia); the neolithic village called Castellana, and the necropolis of St. Eligius, south-west of Lentini, with graves dating back to eighth century BC. Also on the Castellaccio hill you can see the remains of the medieval castle, of Swabian age.
A Culinary pause
After the cultural tour, explore the culinary traditions of Lentini. The typical “home-made bread” of Lentini (cooked with wood fire in a stone oven) has a very long preparation time, and is truly a unique production. Also take a visit to a local restaurant to sample dishes really out of the ordinary based on duck, chicken, salmon, veal cutlet or even salads with orange sauces (traditional Sicilian dishes). Local wines include the 'Black of Avola' and the 'White of Inzolìa'.
Where to visit nearby?
See also Lentini history
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.