Burgio is a small inland town in the Province area of Agrigento.
There live 3600 people. Its economy is based mainly on agriculture . It seem that its first inhabitants were Saracens and that its name having Arab origins means fortress. It’s the home place of one of the most famous Sicilian kind of pottery which is also exhibited in the Pitrè Museum in Palermo. Even today you can see an old craft man shop whose owner has been inscribed in the list of protected people by the Sicilian Region, as he still keeps the skill of a tradition dating from the 18th century which unfortunately runs the risk of disappearing. As a matter of fact Sicily is the region of the world which has the highest number of sites mentioned in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Sicilians protect by low not only their monuments and natural reserves but also traditions like the religious feast of San Calogero of Agrigento and even those people who keep the memory of a craftsmanship or of a way of singing which you can learn only if you see it.
The old town is known for the interesting and different doorways of its private houses. The top of some bell towers of its churches is decorated with colourful tiles and walking around the streets you find religious pictures painted on ceramic tiles.
This is the most important and interesting religious celebration of Burgio and it starts on Friday , thirteen days before Easter. However the most interesting day is Good Friday when the procession takes place four times and each time it’s managed by a different group of people belonging to a different society who wear their own special suit . Some children are also dressed different. For instance some little girls wear garlands of flowers around their heads.
It is dedicated to the patron Saint of Burgio Saint Antonio Abate. Some people say that it dates back to the Norman time, but the outside front of the church is in renaissance style.
Some of the plaster decoration inside the church was made by Antonino Ferraro in 1596, while some of the sculptures by Vincenzo Gagini .
An icon from the 13th century representing the Virgin had been stolen few years ago and then it was found in Catania thanks to a confession made to a priest and shown to Pope John Paul II when he visited Agrigento in 1993 before gaining back its original location. Since then it can be seen again inside this church.
It’s standing on de very top of the town and from there you can enjoy a nice view.
It dates from the 12th century and it’s still well preserved.