Palma di Montechiaro is a town not far from the sea to the east of Agrigento,
Its economy is based mainly on agriculture.
There live 25000 people.
It was founded in 1637 by Carlo Tomasi De Caro and it remained an estate of the Tomasi di Lampedusa family till 1812. The town planner was the Jesuit Giovan Battista Hodierna from Ragusa who was also a scientist and astronomer. He’s buried in the Mother Church of Palma.
The Tomasi family was very religious and even in their own palace you can often find symbols of the cross and other religious symbols.
The most famous descendant of the Tomasi family was the Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa who wrote “The Leopard”.
The Madonna del Castello feast takes place on Sunday after Easter.
From the 17th century has a spectacular location and it’s rich of works of art. Inside the church you can find the tomb of the Jesuit scientist, astronomer and architect Giovan Battista Hodierna.
It’s in baroque style and it has very interesting wooden ceilings. Religious symbols can be seen everywhere in the palace as the Tomasi family was very religious.
Originally it was the palace of the Tomasi family who then donated it to the Benedictine cloister nuns as they moved to a new palace. That’s why it lacks of a cloister. The façade of the monastery from the 19th century is in neoclassical style. The church of the monastery and the monastery itself are very rich of works of art. The nuns are famous for making the almond pastries known as “Ricci del Gattopardo”.
It stands by the sea not far from the town and it was built by the Chiaramonte family in the 14th century. It has been restored and it’s open to visitors.