Great Casino of the Climiti Mountains
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Great Casino of the Climiti Mountains

The Casino Grande dei Monti Climiti is one of the largest and most interesting feudal estates in the Province of Syracuse which, although now reduced to a ruin and abandoned to itself, remains a very fascinating place to visit, perhaps taking an excursion to the plateau. dei Monti Climiti located between the municipalities of Priolo Gargallo, Solarino, Sortino and Melilli. It can be reached from the SP 76 Floridia - Priolo from two different points; the first going in the direction of “Masseria Italia” and from here follow the road that rises around the upper basin of the Anapo power plant continuing up to a path located exactly north of the large pool that leads us to the large estate; or always from the SP 76 we continue straight up to a side street where the indication for the Barbagallo Agricultural Company is placed and, after having asked the company staff for directions, it is possible to follow a path placed in the back of the company that leads us at the feudal farm, a rare example of rural construction in the Baroque style. Today much of the farm (used after the loss of the fief by the Beneventano family occasionally as an agricultural warehouse or as a large shelter for the flock) is shored up because it is at high risk of collapse and most of its internal rooms are closed to visitors because the structure is now unsafe; this feudal estate should be restored (and perhaps destined for tourist - cultural use) to preserve it and make it possible to return to the splendor of when it was built or at least made accessible and open to visitors.

The feudal estate was built by the Beneventano del Bosco barons starting in 1740, incorporating a pre-existing rural settlement. The project of this farm is due to the Buccherese architect Michelangelo Di Giacomo.

It looks like a fortified settlement formed by the main building (the real farm) and by other buildings located in its vicinity. Access to the estate is allowed by a large, now ruined portico in the keystone of which there is a grotesque mask above which stood a turret (of which only the front elevation remains standing) characterized by a triangular window with rounded vertices. On the top of the turret (inside which the guard posts are still visible) there are three pyramidal obelisks by now compromised.

To the right of the entrance there is the access to a warehouse - stable while on the left there is the beautiful church which served as a "Chapel" for the owners of the fief and also for the "Massari" who worked there. The façade has an elegant facade bordered by two large pillars; the lower order has an elegant arched portal above which there is a circular window surrounded by an elegant rose window (between the portal and the rose window there was a bas-relief depicting the heraldic coat of arms of the Beneventano del Bosco family, which most likely went o destroyed or has been removed and stolen elsewhere); the top has a small bell cell surmounted by a triangular tympanum. The interior of the church with a single nave has traces of decorative frescoes while very little remains of the altars. The collapsed vault was adorned with a large fresco depicting "Saint Lucia with the Risen Christ".

The interior of the farm has a large internal courtyard called "Bagghiu" which overlooked the stables for the horses, the warehouses and the main millstones (left wing), the elegant residence of the Beneventano del Bosco family (central wing) reachable by a ramp of stairs and with elegant verandas and the accommodation of the "Massari" (right wing). All these buildings are characterized by elegant arcades. In the center of the courtyard there is a well connected to various tanks in which rainwater was stored.

Adjacent to the Casino Grande there are the buildings that served as a guesthouse, a stable for cattle, sheep, pigs, the chicken coop as well as a large building that had various types of millstones inside and even a dairy for the production of cheeses.

Source of the website card:

Card insertion: Ignatius Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Web 

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