Home of Aragonese Baroque
In the eastern part of Sicily, near Mount Etna, Paternò was founded around the 2nd century BC. Under Aragonese rule, it came into the possession of the Moncada family and became a principality in the 16th century. Its modestly sized centre boasts the most important monuments, including Palazzo di Città, the site of the town hall, the former Palazzo Ciancio and Palazzo Moncada. Don’t miss the iconic Norman Castle, built in 1072, with views from the terrace as far as the Simeto valley, and the Torre dei Falconieri tower, built in the Middle Ages as a war outpost and since the 17th century used as the bell tower of the Church of the Madonna dell'Itria.
The many Baroque religious buildings include the Church of the Santissima Annunziata, the Church of Santa Barbara and the Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna della Consolazione. The 18th-century Scalinata della Matrice steps connect the lower and upper parts of the town and are the main access route to the Church of Santa Maria dell'Alto. On the eastern side is the Moncada Garden, the city's largest green space.
Around Paternò, don’t miss the Oasis of Ponte Barca, a protected natural area with small river islands, marshes and reed beds that attract water birds, and the Salinelle di Paternò geological site, where you can witness fascinating volcanic phenomena.