History of Chiusa Sclafani
Chiusa Sclafani originated in the Middle Age. The medieval village is named Chiusa Sclafani, because of its founder: Matteo Sclafani. He belongs to Sclafani aristocratic family, very powerful during the fourteenth century. In about 1320, Matteo relocated in his country county of Chiusa, where his father had already began the construction. He and his servants gave birth to the first housing cluster in the quarter known as Barrere. From that period, several aristocratic families alternated in the history of our village.
Thanks to the aristocracy and to several religious orders, Chiusa Sclafani, together with Giuliana and Burgio, became a cultural crossroad on the Western Sicily.
Several interesting pieces of art, placed, above all, into our churches, demonstrated Chiusa Sclafani was rich and culturally important.
St. Sebastian Church
St. Sebastian church was built by the will of Colonna family. It was opened on 1628. Subsequently the church was decorated with lot of stucco elements, like decorations, angels and statues. So that, besides his exterior is very simple, its interior is very rich and elaborate. Cause to its beauty, Saint Sebastian church is a jewel of baroque style.
Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta
Another monument of baroque style is the church of Santa Maria Assunta, not so far from St. Sebastian church.
In particular, its façade is a beautiful work dates back to XVII century, with huge twisted columns, on either side of the front door.
To see pictures of the interior click here.
Walking down medieval alleys in the historical centre of the village, you can appreciate amazing landscapes and lot of very interesting monuments. Among them: the church of St. Nicholas of Bari. It is the most important church of the village and one of the biggest church of the local diocese.
These church keeps, beside several interesting pieces of art, a picture of the Holy Family, called Madonna delle Lacrime, that cried on 1835, and a copy of the Veil of Veronica, representing the Sacred Face of Jesus, dates back to XVI century.
A worthwile monument is the so-called Badia, an ancient monastery built on XVI century, habitated by cloistered nuns.
Coming in Chiusa Sclafani you can taste excellent natural products like oranges, peaches, figs and some perfumed and delicious extra virgin olive oil.
The village is known in Sicily as the "village of cherries". The specific cultivar, called "cappuccia" is widespread in our contries and typified by big dark-red fruits.
In addition, pastry-making from Chiusa Sclafani is very renowned for cannoli and other sweets made with local and quality ricotta. Cannolo consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with sweet ricotta.
Among several bakery products, "Ranza e Sciura" is a very tempting and tasty flat bread with anchoives, onion, aromatique spices and olive oil.
Finally, the votive bread for St. Joseph feast is very particular and interesting.
On this occasion, votive altars are set up, consisting of a wooden frame, covered with leaves of laurel and decked of oranges, lemons and several small loaves handcrafted by the women of the country representing animals, work tools and sacred symbols. These small loaves are so well detailed that could be considered as pieces of art.