Polizzi-Generosa, Sicily; a beautiful hill town in the north of Sicily

Photo of Polizzi Generosa in North Sicily

Visit Polizzi Generosa

Polizzi Generosa is a lovely village set 917 meters above sea level in the Madonie Natural Park.  Its beautiful setting and pretty stone buildings make it well worth a visit. It is in the commune of Palermo to the south of Cefalu.

Explore Polizzi Generosa

The town of Polizzi Generosa is quite small and it is probably for its lovely setting that you will come to visit with its lovely views over the Madonie Natural Park. It also makes a good base for walking in the park and for exploring this area.

Polizzi Generosa itself has a fair number of churches and mansion houses along its streets of simple stone houses. Indeed there are 21 churches in total!  The main church is the Church of Saint Maria Maggiore which dates back to Norman times. It was then expanded in the 14th century by the Vintimille family and then almost entirely rebuilt in the 18th century.

Polizzi Generosa

Inside the church there are some artworks from earlier times including a 16th century statue of the Virgin Mary by Giuliano Mancino, a 15th century sarcophagus by Domenico Gagini and a 15th century Flemish triptych which is thought to be the work of a renowned 15th century artist, possibly van der Goes or van Eyck.

The churches of Saint Maria Delle Grazie, Saint Pancrazio and Saint Maria Lo Piano all contain art works by Zoppo di Gangi.

A couple of palaces are also worth looking out for. The Palazzo Gagliardo is built in late Mannerist style and once belonged to the Barons of Carpinello. The Palazzo Carpinello also has an imposing facade.

You can also see the remains of the Polizzi castle, fortified in Norman times and the Tower of Leo in the Byzantine quarter.

Like many towns and villages in Sicily jobs are relatively scarce and in the last century many locals left to create a new life in America. Amongst these were the grandparents of director Martin Scorsese and the parents of the actor Victor Schiavelli.

Polizzi Generosa

Victor Schiavelli often came to visit and returned to live in Polizzi Generosa for the last years of his life. He wrote a book called 'Many Beautiful Things' based on his memories of Polizzi and recipes of the area.

Domenico Dolce of 'Dolce and Gabanna' was born in Polizzi as was Giuseppe Borgese, an Italian writer.

The production of hazelnuts is the main industry in the town though this is in decline. There is still, however, an annual hazelnut festival in August when the hazelnuts are harvested .

Places to visit nearby

Cefalu is a lovely seaside town and one of the main tourist destinations on the island of Sicily. It has an interesting historic centre with a cathedral famous for its gold mosaics and of course excellent beaches. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns of all of Italy!

See also:

Map of Polizzi Generosa and places nearby

Polizzi Generosa places to visit